I sent the following to the man who joined us the Monday evening before Christmas from the local paper to give out gifts at the Sinsheim refugee camp:
"The CVJM in
Meckesheim, the national church in Hilsbach und Weiler, the Hosanna gemeinde in
Heidelberg, Campus für Christus at the University, several schools and the
International chapter of MOPS in Heidelberg joined together this Christmas to
provide 284 shoeboxes for refugee children in eight camps around Heidelberg.
These included camps in Sinsheim, aided by the refugee organization SAM for
distribution, Mühlhausen, Leimen, Neckargemünd, Walldorf, Spechbach,
Reichartshausen and Helmstadt-Bargen. The response from the people that
contributed was immediate and joyful and only matched by the looks on the faces
of the children receiving the gifts the week before Christmas. Each box
contained items that would delight a child, from school supplies to dolls and
stuffed animals, gift cards and toys, books and candies. Most boxes contained
soaps and toothbrushes, warm gloves and hats. Extra items were donated to
supplement the boxes and the CVJM donated over 300 Euros to buy anything else
needed. We were touched by the outpouring of love and support for the refugees
in our area and wish them a Merry Christmas and start to their new lives in
It was truly our pleasure to facilitate this program and we were as a family very touched by the participation of the many organizations, churches and schools as well as the joy from the children who received the gifts. It was an eye-opening experience for those who had never seen a refugee camp and came to help to distribute the gifts. Alan and I want to do more this next year - especially in the camp that was in the worst shape of them all and just "happens" to be located in our town. We pray blessings on every person involved and every child touched by the generousity of our German neighbors and friends. Here are some of our favorite pictures.
Alan and I live in a small town in the hills above Heidelberg, Germany. We are serving here as full-time missionaries with Pioneers International and we attend the CVJM in Meckesheim. This is both a youth organization and growing church in the outskirts of Heidelberg. We have a 2 and a half year old daughter named Chloe who brightens our lives considerably!