Week 3: Countdown to Packing Party

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OCC logoOur Operation Christmas Child Packing Party is set for November 13th where we will attempt to pack 2,000 shoebox gifts. Every single shoebox gift is an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ with a child in need. As the hustle and bustle of these last 3 weeks come to a head, we thought it would be great to share with you where we are finding deals, and what the countdown actually looks like.

For the last 5 months, we have been collecting items monthly at our church. We collected about 300 items to include notebooks, washcloths, toys, school supplies, and T-Shirts. At the same time, we were working with local businesses to see about donations or low-cost merchandise, and raising money by way of securing monthly donors to help us purchase supplies for our packing party. We also had a local business that worked with us last year who would help us purchase items in bulk at a low cost. As far as we could tell, we were very well set for this year’s packing party and everything was on schedule. But, of course, that’s not always how things turn out. So, here’s what’s really happening…

Sunday, October 23rd – Go over to the church building and set up a plan of how to organize the tables for the Packing Party.

collectionMonday, October 24th – Our collection has been growing over the last few months, so we had to re-organize the space. We start putting the word out to local churches and friends to see if they can donate any unused event T-Shirts that are collecting dust in a closet. And, we find out the local business that we were planning to purchase about 10,000 items from is no longer able to help us purchase these items this year.

For the last 5 months, we had purposely not collected any items we knew we could get through this wholesaler. So, with 2.5 weeks before our Packing Party, it would have been very easy to panic. However, our immediate response to this news was simply to pray. “Alright God, this is no surprise to you. We need you to provide.” Admittedly, this is not always the case… or even, most often the case. But, this time, we got it right. We were completely powerless and simply needed to put our faith in God to provide.

Tuesday, October 25th –  First thing in the morning, we choose to trust that God would provide all of our needs one day at a time. It should be no surprise that with this Love Project, from the very beginning, the following verse came to mind, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Determined to keep working on finding more supplies, we went to The Google. Immediately, we found an online wholesale business called H&J Closeouts that offered free shipping. I called the company, end up talking to the owner and asked if he’d ever heard of Operation Christmas Child. He chuckled and said, “Yes! In fact, today I have just released a 20% coupon for anyone purchasing items to fill shoeboxes.” WHAT??? I shared what we were doing and he spent the next 1.5 hours with me on the phone, drastically reducing the already low prices on his website AND still giving us free shipping.

Wednesday, October 26th – One day at a time, God will provide! 2,000 toothbrushes and 2,000 combs were delivered to our doorstep last night. We also received and folded 53 T-Shirts from a friend to help towards our clothing goal.

Thursday, October 27th – Continue working with H&J Closeouts and finalize our bulk order. We now have the rest of the notebooks we needed, all the pencils, 2,000 toys, 2,000 craft supplies, 1,000 hats, and 2,000 plastic containers for the soap. We were given an unbelievable discount on these items and we are so grateful. We also received news today that our shipment of 4,000 bars of soap has been cancelled by a different retailer. We had been waiting for this shipment for a week, so it was frustrating to learn that it had been cancelled.

labelsFriday, October 28th – Contact the company where we purchased the soap and found out there was a huge miscommunication. They were sending emails to an account we have not checked in a good year, so we were not receiving their need for more information for the shipment. We re-ordered the soap, gave them the info they needed, and the order was processed. Today, God also provided 2,000 shoeboxes, 87 cartons, and 2,000 labels from Samaritan’s Purse.

hatching-hopeSaturday, October 29th – We decide for the very first time to locate some garage sales to see if they had new or nearly new T-Shirts we could purchase. We found a “Charity Garage Sale” and WE were the ones blessed. We met a precious family that experienced a house fire a few years ago and lost everything they had. This led 12-year old Ashton and his mom to start a foundation called Hatching Hope to help other families displaced by fire or other disaster. What an incredible ministry!

Today, they were having a huge sale to raise money to make more care kits. They fill these kits with pillows, towels, toiletries, air mattresses, and so much more. When we showed up, Jordyn shared what she was doing for Operation Christmas Child and simply asked if they had T-Shirts we could look through. Not only did they have T-Shirts, but they told us they would DONATE any item we could use in the shoebox gifts. In fact, we were told to take everything we needed and not to hold back at all! What an incredible gift! Because of their generosity, were able to add 164 clothing items (most brand new) and 45 extra items like cups, stuffed animals, and toys to our collection.

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What a week!! We still have 2 weeks to go friends, so please keep praying!!!


Red Robin – Color Me YUM!!!

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logo-brewsWe had lunch at our local Red Robin this weekend and Jordyn, in true CEO fashion used this lunch as an opportunity to tell the Store Manager about her newest Love Project for St. Jude. We have received a few coloring books as gifts and Jordyn wanted to make sure we had enough crayons to go with them. So, she asked if the Manager would be willing to donate some crayons. What we didn’t expect was that he would donate an ENTIRE CASE of crayons for St. Jude!!

How AWESOME is that?

So now… we are on the OTHER side of this request and need more coloring books to go with all the crayons.

If you would like to send coloring books for this Love Project, you can send them to: Cross Point Church: Attn. Layne Parrish (FLAC) 8000 Liles Lane, Trussville, AL 35173

OR… you can send a donation via paypal to love@faithlikeachildinc.com – and we will use the money to purchase more coloring books.

We have just passed the 300 TOYS donation mark and are very excited to watch as God brings in the other 1700 toys in the next month!! If you want to keep track of the progress, come join us on Facebook!!


Excited to Meet Jesus

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The other day I stared at the computer screen reading her words, “Archie and I had to do what no parent should ever have to do. We made final arrangements for Silas and chose a burial spot.” And my heart ached. As tears fell and fell, I thought about the day we went to identify our daughter before her cremation. It is the most gut-wrenching, heart-aching, cannot-believe-this-is-actually-happening experience one could go through.

Jessica and I went to the same church together growing up. If you had told me as giggly little girls who thought boys had cooties that 25 years later we’d both be where we are today, I would have shook my head in Peter Pan defiance and said, “I don’t want to grow up!” Or, at least can we get a pause button for awhile?

Jessica’s son Silas has been battling a very aggressive form of liver cancer and is now getting ready to meet Jesus. Their family signed Hospice Papers just the other day and are now taking in every moment, every giggle, every word, and every breath Silas has, treasuring each one as a gift. They do not know when the moment will come when Silas will draw his last breath here on Earth and receive his new body in Heaven. All they know is it will be soon.

What is both precious and heart-wrenching, is to read about how he is not afraid to die, he is just excited to meet Jesus face to face. On the one hand, I have no idea how you process your child saying that to you, and yet I wish we could all see death like that. In his sweet little mind he fully understands, as only a child can, the difficult to grasp words of Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Phil 1:21.

A few days ago Silas asked his mama to tell people to paint their nails gold in support of people who are fighting childhood cancer. And then Silas’ Facebook Page began to BLOW UP with all shades of Gold. A day later Jessica posted this, “Thank you everyone for painting your nails gold! I have to tell you something though. I told Silas how many people were painting their nails gold for him and he said “NO not for me! They have to paint their nails gold for the other kids with childhood cancer, because I’m not going to have cancer soon when I get my new body!”

Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people are painting their nails gold right now in support of Childhood Cancer, all because a sweet little boy who is about to meet Jesus is thinking of others and their battle with Childhood Cancer. Silas, we have been praying for you for about a year now and are so inspired by your sweet child-like faith, your precious innocence, and your heart for Jesus.

If you have a few minutes today, please go over to Praying For Silas on Facebook. Check out his journey, the faith of his family, and please pray God will give them the peace only HE can provide.


Disney World Family Challenges

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If you have read The Staycation Jar, you know of our LOVE for Love Projects. We like to incorporate some way of serving others when we go on vacations, staycations, or even weekends around town. As the Disney Trip for the Spille’s got close, Jordyn began to think through some ideas of how their family could serve each other AND others while they were here.

Here are the challenges we came up with together. I hope they inspire you to add something like this to your next Vacation or Staycation too:

Family Challenge Monday

Jeff and Jo: Use these cards to write a separate love letter to each of your children and one to each other. These letters will need to be done by Wednesday night and we will let you know when to hand them out.

Family Challenge Monday

Jenna, Jacob, Joshua and Joslyn: Use these cards to write a separate letter to each of your parents. Let them know what you appreciate about them and why you are so glad they are your mom or dad. These letters will need to be done by Wednesday night and we will tell you when to give them to your parents.

Family Challenge: Tuesday

Have each person secretly draw the name of another family member. Rules: At some point during the day, purchase something for (about) $5 from your own money for your family member that will make him or her smile. As you are in the store thinking of what to get for your family member, pray for him or her. Also, at some point today, go out of your way to do something nice for him or her.

Family Challenge: Wednesday

Use these notepads and sticky notes to write thank you notes for different Cast Members today. For instance, you could write a note saying, “Thank you for cleaning this bathroom!” and leave it in the bathrooms inside the park. Or, leave a sweet note for the person who has been cleaning your room this week.

Family Challenge: Thursday

Jeff, find a time early today to give your letter to your boys and have the birds and the bees conversation with them. HA! Just kidding. No really, the birds and the bees are important to know about…

Family Challenge: Thursday

Johanna, bring your letters to your girls with you over to The Contemporary Resort. Before dinner, head over to The Butterfly Garden and give your letters to your beautiful ladies.

Family Challenge: Thursday

Joshua and Jacob – Bring your letters to your dad with you on your adventures today!

Family Challenge: Thursday

Jenna and Joslyn – Bring your letters to your mom with you to dinner tonight!!

Family Challenge: Friday

In the afternoon, break up into two groups: Mom and Sons, and Dad and Daughters and have an afternoon snack together. During this snack time, Jeff, exchange letters with your girls and Johanna, exchange letters with your boys.

Also, Jeff and Jo: At your special dinner tonight, exchange the letters you wrote for each other and gross people out by making out at the dinner table.

Family Challenge: Saturday

Hand out these stickers and tattoos to the boys and girls you see at the Park today. Also, find out what four different families are celebrating on their trip to Disney World..

Family Challenge: Sunday

Have some family circle time. Have each person share their favorite part of their week, and their favorite memory. End your circle time praying with and for each other.

If you want some more ideas of Love Projects or ways to be intentional with your family, check out The Staycation Jar only available on Amazon. All proceeds are continuing to go to Faith Like A Child in support of families going through crises with their children.


Easter Basket Love

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Many people have been asking what was in the Easter Baskets, and since a lot of these items were donated by friends from our church, we thought we’d do our shout-out today to all of our friends who donated money or items to put these baskets together. THANK YOU so much friends!!! These baskets were a big hit!

Candy (of course) – However, Jordyn created a list asking what their “Favorites” were and sent them out to each of the Spille siblings. Then, she made sure their favorite candy was in each of their Easter Baskets.

$50 cash hidden in one of the Easter Eggs… the look on Jenna’s face was completely priceless (see below for a picture in that moment).

Glow Sticks that could be made into necklaces.

A Ginormous lollipop in each of the siblings baskets.

Disney World Celebrating Buttons

Personalized Photo Albums made by a friend from our church

In Jeff and Jo’s basket, there were also some journals and a devotional from our Pastor and his wife, card games for the family, sanitizing soap, and some lotion.

T-Shirts – The girls had matching shirts in different colors, the boys had Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, and then Jeff and Johanna had matching Mickey/Minnie Beach-esque shirts. There is actually a really fun story here, as all four of the kids shirts were DONATED by one of The Disney Store’s in Florida. When it came time to put the baskets together, we were running low on funds because the Disney Dining Plan had been misquoted by $600!!! When I asked Jordyn what she wanted to do, she said she wanted to go to The Disney Store and ask if they could donate T-shirts for her. So, we went!

Jordyn shared what she was doing to one of the Managers, who got a little teary-eyed as Jordyn spoke. This manager shared how she had a son who also had brain cancer years ago and survived because of surgery, chemo, and radiation. Her son is still here today, but his cancer changed them all forever. So, as you can see, what Jordyn was sharing was very close to her heart. At the time, Jordyn was only thinking of getting T-shirts for the siblings, so the manager asked Jordyn to pick out four T-shirts. She went through the store with Jordyn, helping her with sizing, colors, and characters. It was precious. She then told Jordyn she’d see what magic she could make happen, and together as team members, they raised money to purchase the shirts for the Spille’s! How amazing is that???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had an awesome time putting these Easter Baskets together and appreciate each family and organization who helped make this happen. Please check back tomorrow for a note from our CEO on what she loved about accomplishing her very first major Love Project!!


Fully Funded

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WAHOOO!! Jordyn has completed her goal of raising $11,500 for Jenna’s trip to Disney World.

We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to every single person who donated money or gift items, offered their businesses as fundraisers, and shared this ministry over the last few months. We would not have been able to reach this goal without you.

We are so excited to start concentrating on the planning aspect of this trip and putting all of Jordyn’s ideas together. I am not sure how much she would like to leave as a surprise for the Spille family, but we will definitely share some of the fun along the way!

We know some of you are still waiting for signed drawings… and Jordyn is still working on those!! We will get them out as soon as we can. In addition, would like to announce the winners now of our last fundraiser:

#1 Hasbro Game Set – Will and Maddie A.

#2 Hasbro Game Set – Denise P.

#3 $40 Hasbro Gift Cards – Caitlin A.

#4 $40 Hasbro Gift Cards – Isabel S.

Thank you once again to everyone who participated in this fundraiser. We really appreciate all of your help!!

We will likely start another mega Love Project in about a month or so (mama needs a little break). Until then friends, we will be doing smaller Love Projects and will post them as we go. As you think of us, please continue to pray for the families we are working with and praying for.


Live Radio Interview

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Yesterday was a BLAST!!

Jordyn had an awesome opportunity to go on The Pete O’Shea Show on WTIS 1100AM radio with us (dad and mom) to share what GOD is doing through her to show HIS love!

Honestly, when Pete asked me (Erica) about doing this last week, I was a bit terrified. I had NO idea what would come out of her sweet little mouth! Whew… that seemed like a lot of pressure to go on live radio and have no control! (Once again, reminding dad and mom to let go of our control a bit). But, she did an amazing job and had so much fun! In fact, she wants her own radio show now! HA!

The interview was broken into 4 segments:

In the first segment, Pete introduced Jordyn and her Faith Like A Ministry, Inc. ministry.

During the second, Jordyn was able to share her heart and WHY she has started this ministry. She even got to sing the names of all 66 books of the Bible!

The third segment introduced Johanna Spille, Jenna’s mom. I tell people this all the time… what a PRECIOUS family God is allowing us to get to know through Jenna’s cancer. I loved how Jo kept the focus on Jesus and we are also SO excited to meet their family face to face in a few months.

And, in our last segment, we were able to share what the trip will look like, what Jordyn wants Jenna and her family to do on their trip, and why Todd (Jordyn’s amazing daddy) screams like a little girl on roller coasters!

Like I said, we had a BLAST! Thank you WTIS and Pete O’Shea for all of your support, love, and for allowing us to share what GOD is doing through Jordyn.

Here’s the beauty friends… Faith Like A Child, Inc is NOT about Jordyn. This is not about what Jordyn is doing, the amount of money she is raising, or what she wants to do in the future.

Faith Like A Child, Inc. is about what the power of GOD can do through a willing heart, regardless of age, or seeming ability!

If you would like to hear Jordyn’s interview, please click on THIS LINK to WTIS for direct access!

Don’t forget to check out our monthly Fundraiser right HERE going through mid-Feb! Every $5 donation, gives you a chance to receive some fun thank you gifts!