Monday morning we had the opportunity to be a part of another container loading party. As usual, I took photos and in almost every photo there is a smile on everyone’s face.
There is a certain kind of joy that one feels when serving others that you just don’t get in any other way. It really did feel like a party! One of the reasons for that sense of joy was that the driver of the truck was a good friend of the driver we had for the last load to the Ukraine, and since this load was also headed for the Ukraine, the driver brought a friend from the Russian Speaking Church in Meridian, Idaho. They have a youth group that goes to the Ukraine every summer to work and share the love of Jesus. They were so excited to hear about the ministries of Hands of Hope NW, and how much Hands of Hope NW has donated to the people of the Ukraine and other former Soviet countries.
David Ferdinand showed him the map on the wall indicating the containers that have been sent out from Hands of Hope NW.
The driver was very impressed with the ministry of Hands of Hope NW and even helped us load the container and was so excited to do so! Visiting with us as time allowed.
The Driver helping us load the container for the Ukraine
There was a point when some of us were not sure that everything was going to fit inside that container, as it was filling fast and there seemed to be so much more to fit into it. But thanks to the new way they weigh and measure the cube of everything, the estimations made based on that were almost exact!
That is in a large part due to the dedication of the loading crew that meticulously fills every open space in keeping with their goal of not packing any air, but rather sending a full load.
After we filled the container, we had a time of prayer before closing the doors and sealing the load.
A word of prayer prior to closing up and sealing the load
Then we had a time of fellowship as the crew watched the videos Todd had made of other container loading parties and volunteers and then we had lunch!
The driver visited with us and even stayed for lunch and fellowship with the crew!
The driver having lunch with the crew before taking the load to the port!
This morning was my first opportunity to be a part of loading a container at Hands of Hope NW. In the past I have always had to work and was not able to be a part of this special piece in sending a container. Todd of course has loaded many containers in the 2 years as Executive Director. For years our family had sorted and counted, and re-counted, and boxed many items at the ministry center, and that has been very rewarding for us, but this tops it all. There is a special undercurrent of excitement along with the hard work of loading a container within a small window of time. Knowing that we are putting the final touches on a load that will be opened and bless the people of the Ukraine is an awesome feeling. If you live in the treasure valley and have not yet volunteered at Hands of Hope NW I would highly recommend it! As my mother says, “Victory in life isn’t about personal success, it is about helping others who have a need that you can fill”.
The motto “pack no air” is very much a part of the way they load. These guys and gals work really hard organizing and handing just the right size box to fit in the space that is open. And let me tell you – it is HOT inside that container! The water gets passed out several times to keep them all hydrated and cooled. They are a great team taking turns fitting the boxes in just the right spots, which includes a lot of lifting.
Hands of Hope NW had been blessed for several months being able to rent a warehouse with a truck dock, on the north side of the freeway, making the loading of containers much faster and easier on everyone’s backs. They are hoping that the funds will come in to build a warehouse with truck docks on the property they own there at the ministry center on S. Powerline Rd. in Nampa.
The time away from the house and packing was good for us. We have done so much but there is so much more to do. Everything we pick up, we have to decide if it is going with us, if we are going to pack it to keep it for our return some day, if it will go to one of our kids or extended family, or if we will just sell it at a big garage sale. Not an easy task day after day. It is amazing how much stuff one can collect living in a house for just a short time.
We are in the full swing of the speaking schedule! We have just completed speaking and sharing at the OR PAC NMI Convention. The OR PAC District is our original home sending district and it was so good to see friends and family there, and to worship at Medford First in the sanctuary where we knelt at the altar some 25 years ago and said “Yes, Lord”. We again reaffirmed our commitment to go where God leads as we listened to several missionaries from around the world, including some that we will be serving with on the Asia Pacific Region.
We knelt at the altar with other friends that we have grown to love as they step out in faith and head to the mission field as well. What a wonderful time spent sharing from the heart.
There were several youth and young adults there that spent some time with the group of missionaries asking questions and the time concluded with them going to the front and stating that they had felt a call to missions and a wonderful time of prayer.
To share God’s love through aviation and technology; seeing isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name.