At Chapel Hill UMC (Northwest District), a group of ten children busily colored nativity pictures while six youth and 18 adults prepared Christmas shoeboxes for Honduran children.
Members of the congregation had been shopping for the past month, taking advantage of the end-of-summer sales as well as the final back to school sales. When they finished packing the clothes, health items, toys, crayons and paper, flip flops, and candy, 90 boxes had been filled.
The crayon-colored pictures created by the Chapel Hill children bore messages in Spanish such as: “happy birthday, Baby Jesus”, “follow the star to Bethlehem”, and “heaven and earth celebrate with singing”. The pictures and a list of contents were taped on the outside and the boxes.
A check for $270 ($3 per box) was sent to Alabama Honduras Medical Education Network (AHMEN). This total represents one box for every member on the church roll.
The boxes were delivered to the UMVIM/Disaster Warehouse in Decatur where they were packed in white barrels. Once they reach Honduras, the boxes will be delivered to local Protestant congregations where the contents of each box will probably be divided among several children. That will be their only Christmas gift.
With the addition of PVC pipe, gravel, and sand, the barrels will be turned into water filtration systems that will provide water that is 97% pure. Safer water is a gift that will last much longer than the shoebox contents.