Recently I was blessed to accept the opportunity to guide the missions activities at my church. It sprang from the trip I took with eleven others to deliver shoe box gifts to some children in the Central America country of Belize last December. While we were there we got to see first hand what kind of challenges the families endure every day. While we did not necessarily witness widespread poverty, there is surely a significant difference in the daily needs and opportunities to supply those needs. Being “on the ground” as opposed to just filling a box and sending it off to parts unknown, we saw the specific items that would most help and be appreciated by those we want to bless.
Armed with this knowledge it is easier to lay out a long-term plan of how to meet the requirements of a totally useful package. Obviously the climate in Central America is much different from in the Arctic or regions of Eastern Europe where winter items would be more appropriate. When you think of the size of a shoe box you must try to arrange as much as possible within a narrow space. There just isn’t any room for useless items.
But, none of this tells you why i am writing about a pie to the face now, does it. When I thought about the approach of our Vacation Bible School I planned out a couple of activities that would get our children interested as well as invested in the mission opportunity. One of the things we did was to have a “penny parade”. By our definition, the kids bring pennies one night, nickels the next, and then dimes and finally quarters. WE also asked them to bring soap one night, wash cloths, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Our local association of churches sends shoe boxes to Belize to support some missionaries from our area. The cost of sending them is $5 right now and the $451+ dollars collected by the kids make a big impact toward covering that need. The collection of the other items are main components that we include with each box. You see I have done it this way before, but on a HUGE scale, like up to 600 boxes in a year.
So now I will explain where the pie comes in. As a motivation to the kids in the various classes I promised the ones who brought in the most change could put a pie in my face. You would have thought I promised each of them a winning Lotto ticket. The excitement built each night as the total for the evening and the week were updated during the final assembly.
On the night of the commencement program I stuffed a change of clothes in my car, expecting to need them. As it turned out I didn’t, but only because the Redi-Whip used to “pie me” wasn’t as fluid as a real pie might have been. I certainly received enough of the pie to make me soaked. For your pleasure I have included a video of the event.
I also included some links to other blog posts about the shoe boxes and our 2012 mission trip.