The Gift is a Sunday morning devoted totally to being On Mission @ Cottonwood Creek. We cancel our normal Sunday morning small group Bible Study and dedicate the entire morning to missions.
On Sunday, November 16 over 1,300 people came together to be On Mission. Opportunities included serving with:
- Operation Christmas Child
Packing shoe boxes with gifts for children across the world. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. By packing a box, participants became a part of changing children's lives all over the world in Jesus' Name. 961 Operation Christmas Child boxes were collected. Learn more about Operation Christmas Child here.
- Seed Packing
Volunteers created vegetable garden packs. They labeled the vegetable envelopes, filled them with seeds, sorted and ended with harvest packs boxed and ready to send. Our efforts will provide 12,000 new farms in Africa. 28,000 seeds were packed!
- Meal Packing
159,000 meals were packed this year. These meals will be taken to the Dominican Republic and mission teams will help distribute this aid next year.
- Pink Heart Fund
Pink Heart Fund provides free wigs for children and adults who have lost their hair due to illness or cancer treatment. At least 8 inches of hair was required to donate. 25 pony tails were donated.
- Give Blood
Carter Blood Care set up a blood drive and 87 people donated.
- The Gift Canned Food Drive
We partnered with Community Food Pantry of McKinney to collect canned food. 1,638 cans of food were donated.
- Angel Tree
Over 95 Angels were adopted from the Angel Tree this year.
The Gift Testimonies
The Gift not only touched the lives of those received the food, blood, seeds, gifts and hair, but those who volunteered. Below are some of the testimonies of service from The Gift.
I did experience a “God Moment” last Sunday. Ever since I have accepted Christ, I have always remained open to those in need. Helping homeless or helpless in the inner city with a meal or assisting someone broken down on the side of the road are some things I have always felt compelled to do. But missionary work has been something that I’ve shied away from because of a real fear of displacement. I was not willing to step out of my comfort zone. Sure, serving at home was okay but I never wanted to travel abroad to another country where I wouldn’t know the culture and would probably fear for my family’s safety.
After hearing the testimonies from the various different organizations, God revealed something to me that was very obvious. If He loved me enough to sacrifice His only son so that I could spend eternity with Him, how could I have any fear for my well being? Sure, I could tromp through an African rainforest and be captured and killed by the very people I was trying to disciple but that fear is no longer relevant. Brings to mind Romans 8:35-39:
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What a joy to fill seeds with a family from Gain. I think the Anderson's. My envelopes were filled by a precious 2 year old little girl named Olive. She had four siblings including a sister that was adopted from Ethiopia. Her name was Elsa!
We talked about where the seeds were going and how they would be used. A precious experience seeing these kids serve and already understand what it means to give of yourself for others.
Thank you CCBC for this opportunity to serve!!
God used John Wedemeyer’s testimony at a previous deacons meeting and The Gift to call me to “GO” on the DR mission trip this year. So, I’m making plans!!!
I have a touch of arthritis in my hands and wrists. I am in my 85th year but an amazing thing happened...
I started with opening one bag at a time for the tomato seeds to be tossed in by another volunteer sitting opposite me. Another volunteer sitting by me had the same speed until an 'Angel' directed my hand in such a way that I was opening 3:1! In fact the seeds had to linger much less poised in another volunteers hand which, was also aged like mine.
I feel this exercise was a blessing in disguise for both of us. I must tell this to my arthritis class at the Sr. Center. God's ways are hard to understand, perhaps that would be an invitation for some of my class mates to join my beloved Church!
Our home group signed up to serve by meal packaging together. It was really neat to serve alongside them and continue our fellowship out at lunch together. Every time we get together I am thankful for the Transform Campaign and the ways we are still impacted after it ended. The Gift was just one of those ways I was impacted and I hope we can find more ways through the church and local opportunities to give back.
To learn more about how you can take part in The Gift 2015, click here.