Friday March 27th, a Lafayette postal carrier got a serious workout. They picked up forty-four Large flat rate shipping boxes and nine regular (or tiny) flat rate shipping boxes, all headed to Elim, Alaska…
You may (or not) remember several weeks ago Everette shared the vision for "Operation Elim". Our desire was to send boxes to every family in the tiny town of Elim, Alaska. Boxes filled with food, toys, games, etc. with a personal touch. There were 46 families on the list. Those of you Smarty-Pants-Math Whizzes have already put two-and-two together. But for the rest of you (like me), I will spell it out for you. We had seven extra boxes!!! Many of you sent two boxes and several of you packed boxes even after all the families had been assigned.
We decided to send the extra boxes to the Terry and Therese Allen (the pastor of the only church in Elim) so that they can use what they need and distribute the rest as they see fit. I got a chance to peek in a few boxes, and I was so moved by the time and effort many of you put into packing your boxes. I am confident the recipients will be also. I would be remiss if I let you think this project went off without the tiniest of hitches. Not on your end! You were all awesome about getting your boxes in by the deadline. The hiccup occurred when we (the Mills Family) tried to print the shipping labels.
Everettte waited until we got all the boxes in before we paid for the shipping-because it is cheaper that way, and because we needed to know how many boxes of each size to order. We thought we could do it quite easily through Paypal, just click, and ship! Oops. Not so. Paypal is having some sort of contract dispute over the price of the large flat rate shipping boxes. Ironically, with the company Everette used to work for. So we jumped over to the USPS website, no problem, we could import the addresses and do batch labels. We could only do 10 at a time but that still wasn’t too bad. Until we realized that this function was busted. Everette and his computer geekiness tried to work around the system and get it to do what he wanted. No success. So we were stuck entering them one-by-one. To top it off our noble credit card company froze our card due to suspicious activity (yes 53 flat rate shipping charges to the post office qualifies as suspicious)! In the end it all worked out, price wise too, but had we been prepared for this we could have simply printed the labels out as they came. Thank you all for your participation, it was awesome, and we are looking forward to doing it again.
So the next thing to do is pray.
Pray for these things:
1. All the boxes would make it and even on the same day!
2. That even though these boxes came from far away and we have never
met the people receiving them, the love of Christ would pour from those
boxes and cover the people in Elim.
3. That God would give Terry and Therese the words to respond to the
townspeople who may have questions or thoughts, that they would have
opportunities to share the Good News of Christ because of these boxes.
4. That God would meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people in Elim through these boxes.
5. That Paypal will settle their dispute and next year we can just click and ship!:)
As soon as we hear from the Allen’s we will let you know! Thanks again for everything!