was the smingo events to raise money for samaritan's purse (which was the reason why my college rookie, dina, and her hubby, j., were also on the cruise. he works for franklin graham.) dina and j. also had an operation christmas child packing party on the cruise on monday. it was to teach people how easy it is to pack a box and how important it can be in the lives of the children and families and communities where they are distributed. i love o.c.c. and how the simplest things become treasures in the hands of the children and teens who receive these boxes. i cannot imagine that packing a shoebox could be saving a life. but there are testimonies that talk about how that has happened over and over again. i also love it because my dear friend, howard hartsfield loved operation Christmas child. just hearing him talk about it YEARS ago before my friends j. and dina would be involved sold me on the importance of this mission in spreading the name and fame of Christ around the world through the love of the church here in america.
dina did a FANTASTIC job running this event and making it interactive and fun. they started with l'angelus playing some Christmas carols to get everyone in the spirit. and then dina led a box packing competition. very fun. it is one of the BEST parts about getting older to watch your friends from childhood (or college days, which really were our childhood) become the men/women that God has created them to be.
c.s. lewis talks about how when we become closer to God that we become truer to who He created us to be. further away from God and we can only become clones of people around us. but at the feet of Christ we be the truly unique and one of a kind creations living in the freedom of who we were made to be.
this is certainly true of dina. i have seen her become more unique (in a good way. in a God way.) through this years as God has captured more and more of her heart. she grows more amazing and dearer to me every year. i can't wait to see her at her ultimate DINAness in heaven. not sure i am ever prepared for that moment... i am not sure God Himself is prepared for that moment.