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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Weihnachten im Schuhkarton - our final post

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 Germany."

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.

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