Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On the Eighth Day of Gifts for Gracias . . .

For 12 days, I will be writing about the different ways people have participated in the Gifts for Gracias Project over the years. Today is the eighth day. If you are unfamiliar with Gifts for Gracias, or would like to see an overview of how it works, click here for more info.

The Eighth Day of Gifts for Gracias: Making Pastor Lists

During the first seven days of posts, I've talked about things people in the US (and other donor countries) have done to help with this project. Today I'm switching countries - because while donations are being collected in Maryland and Florida, things are happening here, too.

Our warehouse, where we receive the contents of the container, is also our house. Because of this, before the shipment is due to arrive here in Gracias, we spend some time moving things around in our house. We tighten up our living space, to make more room for the unloading, and also so we will have some room to work with the donations when they arrive - organizing and making up gifts. We also take time to organize any leftover items from the previous year, so that everything is ready for when the container arrives.

At the same time, the pastors in our area start making their lists. These aren't your traditional "what I want from Santa" lists! Instead, we get lists of the names of the pastors who wish to receive gifts, along with the additional information needed to make up a gift for their family, including their spouse's name, their location, and the ages and genders of their children.

Sometimes a pastor will drop by at Russell's house and just give his own information, or that of himself and one or two other pastors who live and work near him. These lists are usually written on pages which have been ripped out of small notebooks, and are of lots of different shapes and sizes. Russell collects them in a file folder.

Frequently a denominational supervisor will collect individual papers from each of the pastors under him, and will submit them all at once, stapled together. Occasionally they even type it all out for us, which makes our work much easier!

In the nearby city of San Juan, there is an inter-denominational pastors association, and they have taken on the responsibility of seeing that all of the pastors in their area are on the list. Their annual list is a thing of great beauty, as they are very careful to submit a legible list with all of the information we need to put together the gifts. We heart the San Juan Pastor's Association, LOL! 

Something unprecedented started happening a couple of years ago - some of the lists have starting arriving by email! Things have certainly changed a LOT since we first moved to Honduras 15 years ago!!!!

Kate Cofer, who came down to help with the gift
distribution a few years ago, checks the list as
gifts are loaded for delivery!

Tomorrow I will share more about how people have been involved with the Gifts for Gracias Project!!!!

No comments: