Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Penny’s Cousins

Did you ever wonder, where do all those Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes go after being packed by so many generous folk each year?

We posted here about the shoebox Penny helped to pack last year: Packing a Shoebox With Love.

Then in November of last year, 2017, my clothespin doll, Violet, got to travel with our friends Don and Cindy, to visit the biggest Shoebox Packing Center in the country, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Would you like to see what they were up to?

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Volunteer at a Processing Center


“Millions of shoeboxes are collected during National Collection Week, the third week in November every year. Before these special gifts can bring hope and joy to children around the world, each one has to be carefully inspected and made ready for overseas shipment by volunteers like you. You can help prepare shoeboxes for delivery by volunteering at one of our eight processing centers across the United States. About 80,000 volunteers serve annually at our processing centers.”


Quoted from the Samaritan’s Purse website – here.

There is a long line waiting to get started today, come on in and see what happens here!

Once we check in, we get assigned to our station. There are 60 stations in this plant, with 12 volunteers working per station, 6 on each side of the bench.

Each shoebox that was packed, (maybe in your hometown) is brought here to be inspected. The inspectors open each box to see, first, if there are any forbidden items inside. See the list of “inappropriate” items hanging there to remind them? This list changes sometimes depending on which country these shoeboxes will be going to. Filler items piled in those center baskets are available to replace anything that must be removed. As far as possible, each box still contains what the giver meant it to.

Violet found a friend. ♥

Once each shoebox passes inspection and is ready to go, it is taped shut and bundled into the waiting cardboard boxes.

Very often throughout the day a moment of silence is taken to stop all labors and pray unitedly for the packages being sent from here right now.

Cindy wrote: 11/27/17   “Becky, the boxes today are going to the Ukraine and Africa, we have processed 45,000 boxes so far today. Violet is taking in all the experience with us.  This is an amazing project!!!”

Lunch Break. Taking a little rest.

Don is waiting with a tape gun where the cardboard boxes come down the conveyor belt to be piled into giant stacks.

Cindy helped to enter the tracking numbers for those who are following where their box is going in its travels.

The stacks of boxes are lifted by forklift and loaded onto semi trucks to move them on toward their final destinations.

A giant panel colorfully illustrates the travels of a shoebox.

Packing, Collection Centers, and then the Processing Center to prepare for shipping.

Worldwide Distribution, where leaders are trained to use “The Greatest Journey” and host outreach events where the Gospel is shared and the shoeboxes are handed out. Then this results in Discipleship and Multiplication – spreading the word and building churches.


The Greatest Journey

“After receiving shoebox gifts, many children are invited back to participate in our discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. Through this 12-lesson course, which includes Bible stories and Scripture memorization, they learn how to follow Christ in their daily lives as they share Him with friends and family. More than 14.9 million children have enrolled in this program since 2009.”

The Greatest Journey

The little fellow in this giant poster below is holding a copy of “The Greatest Journey.”

What a great privilege it was when Franklin Graham himself stopped by to personally thank the volunteers here. There was a little program presented with skits and special music for everyone to enjoy.


Violet is here in the stack of wrapped packages on display in front of the speaker’s podium. A close up shot…

And a disant shot, can you still see her?

Merry, Merry Christmas to all!!

The Samaritan’s Purse Headquarters is located in Boone, North Carolina. There is a processing center here, but it is not as large as the one in Charlotte.

Here Cindy met with a guard and a few other volunteers by the Christmas tree.

These ladies, once upon a time, were blessed to recieve a shoebox when they were young. Now that they are grown, they have come to help others recieve them too!

Their shirts are printed to tell where they were living when they got their shoebox!

Here are a few displays of distant countries where the shoeboxes go. Merry Christmas to many children in many places around the globe!

Cambodia
Thailand
Afghanistan

Violet’s trip also included a wonderful visit to the Billy Graham Library.

This barn is a tribute to Billy Graham’s early days growing up on a dairy farm. Violet got to make friends with “Bessie the Talking Cow” !!

Billy Graham’s pulpit.

These happy ladies work in the house; they enjoyed meeting Violet and hearing about her travels.

Here is where Billy Graham’s Bible is kept.

I’m guessing this must be Billy Graham’s father. Here is a neat article on him. Billy Graham’s Father and the Prayer Heard Around the World.

Our church, The Genesee Country Church, here in New York, is just beginning to do more with the Shoebox collecting. Last year individuals filled 138 shoeboxes. This year we hosted a big packing party in the gym and filled 236 boxes. We are thankful for Cindy and Lois who have organized so much, and their enthusiasm is spreading!

Here Don is helping in the corner of our gym where the boxes are brought and each is prayed for, that God would guide it and bless the special child who recieves it.

Even the littlest ones were thrilled to pack a box and pray over it.

Chosen, prepared and sent with love.


 

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In September, Penny and I had a neat project to work on together.  We got out lots of  stamping supplies, ink, and pretty papers, to work on making some Scripture cards in Spanish.  Our friend Christine and her family were headed to the Dominican Republic to visit some orphanages.  We worked together to make these cards for the orphans.

This verse, Philippians 1:6, in English says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

 

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This is Penny’s friend, Violet, who is helping to make the cards, she will be the one to take the colorful cards to the children in the Dominican Republic.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

 

 

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 On each card we also put the five colors of Penny’s beads. (The Bead Story.)

“Walk in love, as Christ loved us, and gave himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:2

 

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John 10:4  “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”

Psalm 31:3  “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.”

Romans 11:36  “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

 

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Together with Christine’s help, and that of Penny and Violet, we made 100 Spanish verse cards.  I hope the children will enjoy these pretty cards.

 

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We also made 40 cards in French for a school in Haiti that they would visit as well.

Philippians 1:6  “Je suis persuadé que celui qui a commencé en vous cette bonne œuvre la rendra parfaite pour le jour de Jésus-Christ.” 

In English: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

 It was an exciting project, and I had so many favorite designs.  I wondered about the children that would receive each card; what was their favorite color, did they like animals or flowers best, trains or teddy bears?  Would they hang the card on the wall by their bed?  Each child is gifted by God for special things in their future.  I wonder what they will become?  May God bless each one!


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I enjoyed hearing recently about another Penny Doll at work.  Here she is in Papua, Indonesia posing with Kristi and Regi.  Regi plans to use the doll to share the Gospel story with a group of children at a church on Sunday.

 

“Without faith it is impossible to please God. 
The man who approaches God must have faith in two things,
first, that God exists and secondly, that
it is worth man’s while to try to find God.”
Hebrews 11:6  (J.B. Phillips NT)

 


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Maria is a new clothespin doll who got to travel to the Dominican Republic this winter with my friend Mary.  “Maria” is the Spanish form of the name Mary.  The purpose of the trip was a medical mission with a team from SCORE International.

 

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The team visited several towns and took part in a variety of work.  I hope you enjoy these slideshows of the beautiful scenes and beautiful people of the Dominican Republic.

 

 

 

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“For by Him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth…”

Colossians 1:16

 

 

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Miss Mary is enjoying herself with her new friends.

 

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Cocoa bean pods are 6-10 inches long and hold 20-40 cocoa bean seeds.

They are harvested, roasted, and ground to make chocolate.

Cocoa beans are one of the major crops of the Dominican Republic.

 

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Children at the orphanage.

 

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Juan Dolio beach

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Time to say farewell to the Dominican, what a great experience this has been.  Mary has gone on these trips several times and is drawn back again and again to share life with these people.

 

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Here’s a spectacular view out the plane window as they take off for home.

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Phil Fields is working in Indonesia on a Plain Language version of the New Testament, to be easily read in the general language of the people.  This month, March, there are many celebrations afoot to celebrate the completion of this New Testament.  It is now published and ready for distribution!  To read more about the Fields and their work, see their website at http://oreoplace.wordpress.com/ .   This girl, Dewi, is a seminary student who was given one of Penny’s clothespin cousins with the beads to use in sharing the Gospel.

Here she is pictured using the doll to tell these children the precious story of Jesus and His Love. To read the Bead story written in the Indonesian language, check this out – Manik-manik Penny.

 

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Gold – O – stands for God, the Almighty, the King of Heaven and Creator of the universe.

Black – O – stands for mankind who fall short of God’s glory.  Sin separates us from God.

 

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Red – O – The color of the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, who took the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross.  In doing so, He bought us back from sin, so that we could become God’s children.

White – O – The color of a clean heart made to be the dwelling place of the God of Life and Love.

Green – O – As trees grow tall and green, and bear fruit, so we as Christians should seek to know God and have His likeness fill us.  In prayer, and by studying God’s Word we will grow closer to Him, and live fruitful lives.

 

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Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…

they are precious in His sight!!

♥ ♥ ♥