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Exciting News About a Great Journey


*You have arrived at Collage Friday - the format is just a bit different this week! Link up is at the end of this post.

There has been much excitement in our house this week.

God is working and present in the events of the week. I have NO doubt. 

It all started last weekend, as my husband and I attended Blogging Concentrated.

Dan Morris and Crystal Collins led a day of learning that greatly benefited my husband and me. 

It was also much fun to spend the day with my dear friend, Tricia (you know here as Hodgepodge Mom) and her husband. Tricia is one smart homeschooling mom with beautiful art tutorials and other goodness on Southern Hodgepodge.


I never imagined, when my husband first encouraged me to start a blog, that it would blossom into so much more. God placed it on my heart to share our homeschool journey, and through that sharing I have had my eyes opened to so many wonderful opportunities and blessings. 

One of my biggest prayers has been for God to use my blog for His glory. I invest so much time and energy into this little corner of the world, and I just want it to be WORTH IT - for something bigger. 

That prayer was answered in a phone call I received Saturday from Jimmie, while we were driving home from Blogging Concentrated.

"Do you have a passport?"  

Little did I know that Jimmie was a messenger from Operation Christmas Child!

I am going to Ecuador in December (the 15th to be exact) to pass out shoe boxes!! 

It has consumed my thoughts this week, and I am thrilled for this opportunity!

Last year at this time, I blogged about OCC and my sweet little Grant's words as we were shopping for shoe box items. He had picked out New Testaments for the boxes, along with some teddy bears.

He told me it was so they could "know Jesus like I do." 

We packed boxes and filled the very last one from our church in a Children's Sermon I did -- you never can envision where your boxes will go, or which children's lives they will touch.


 Now I will get to hug these precious children and share the Jesus I know. I'm overwhelmed and humbled by this mission. 

Would you begin praying for me as I prepare for this journey?

God Working

Several "God things" have happened since I found out about the trip to Ecuador.



  • Anna is studying South America this week (scheduled long ago in the Challenge curriculum). She was the authority on Ecuador!
  • Monday, a letter from Operation Christmas Child arrived - it said, "Good News, Great Joy" - no small coincidence.
  • Tuesday, I sat down at Classical Conversations to eat lunch. I had some anxiety about flying to the highest capital city in the world (Quito, Ecuador) and I had heard some scary things about the airport there. Lo and behold, one of the CC dads is a pilot, and he routinely flies to Ecuador. He alleviated all of my fears.
  • Our CC community needed a service project this semester - the director is allowing me to organize a box packing party in just a few weeks! 
  • A friend of mine (whose mission board we served on 10 years ago) sent me a note telling me what an impact OCC boxes had on her own children - they were living in Romania as house parents in an orphanage at the time, and her children treasured their OCC boxes!
  • Ami wrote to me to say the little girl they are waiting to adopt is in an orphanage near Quito, and perhaps she will be one of the recipients of a shoe box. 
  • The government shutdown ended - so now there isn't a fear of my passport being delayed! 

Do you see, friends?  SEVEN big things happened this week that confirm to me  this is where GOD wants me to be in December! 

Yes, we accomplished much in our homeschool this week. We learned all about Ecuador, we applied for a passport, and we watched so many Operation Christmas Child videos.  I know we did Latin, math, read alouds, geography, and more.  Truth be told, I wasn't as concerned about those "other subjects" this week.

So for now - please pray for all those involved in service to Operation Christmas Child, and I will provide you with more details about my trip as the time approaches!

Have you packed any shoe boxes yet? 


I am very thankful for this Collage Friday community. I learn so much from each of your blogs - Friday is my favorite blogging day of the week! 

If you'd like to link, you can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Enter your link below. Be sure to link to your post with photo collages and link back to this post (or include the Collage Friday button on your blog).
  • Share your photo collage(s) on Instagram, FB, G+, or Twitter - use the hashtag #collagefriday so I can find you!

Reader Comments (26)

What a privilege and a wonderful opportunity! I'll be praying for you and for the children whose lives you will impact. May God be with you every step of the journey.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaire @ Angelicscalliwags

Dont you love how the Lord works in our lives! Huzzah to you Mary and I know that you will go there with love and grace in your heart! Blessings!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelissa newell

How exciting! I've thinking about what will go in our boxes this year. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol @ Learning with Boys

I am so thrilled for you to be His messenger - and love how you shared seven things the Lord showed you this week to encourage you and confirm it all! And it was so much fun to be with you and Hal last weekend - we just needed more time to talk!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

What a experience of a lifetime. {Give Trisha a hug from me next time you see her.}


What a wonderful opportunity! Your blogging does make a difference and I hope this trip is rewarding for you in so many ways! Holly

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly Giles

We are so excited for you. What a light you will be for those children. We adore Ecuador and can't wait to hear all about your trip. No doubt it will be life changing for you and those sweet little ones!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHope

WOW!! Thank you for sharing your heart & the way that God is using you right now: I will commit to praying specifically for you, the OCC boxes you pass out, & the children that will receive them.

Proverbs 18:16a

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula J

Miss Mary, of all the bloggers I can think of, YOU are the BEST for this privilege! Congratulations and I look forward to reading all about!!!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWonder Mom

Oh My Goodness! That is so awesome. What an amazing journey you are about to go on.
Blessings, Dawn

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

I'll be praying. What a blessing!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGena

Such amazing news Mary!! I know you are beyond thrilled. I can't wait to see and hear all about it. Wonderful WONDERFUL news!! As always thank you for hosting the link. I was so excited when Keilee said she wanted to link up. :)

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Oh Mary, how VERY exciting! I am so delighted for you. It sounds like everything is lining up perfectly around your mission :-)

so excited for you Mary! I love it - one day I will go too ;)

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkelli @Adventurez

What a great opportunity for you, Mary! We will of course pray for you and hope that perhaps our boxes go with you. It sounds like you have had a wonderful week preparing for this adventure and had lots of confirmation that it is indeed your path to take. Have a great weekend!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

How wonderful and exciting, Mary! I'd love to do that one day! We have packed five shoeboxes and they are just about ready to be dropped off. We <3 this ministry!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSennie

That's so amazing and exciting, Mary!!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

Wow! I am thrilled for you, Mary!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy @ Hope Is the Word

Mary, being able to go to Ecuador for OCC is very exciting! I love how God prepares us for things we cannot even imagine!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy M

So impressed and so proud of you, Mary!

Cannot wait to hear more as the trip planning unfolds! What a privilge for you, but how blessed they a re to have YOU!

Thank you for hosting CF, as always!

God bless

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

So excited for you! This trip is going to change your life!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim green

I have been looking into Blogging Concentrated since you mentioned it. As it happens, there will be one in Orlando (about an hour from me). If i can pull off the cost, that'll be awesome!

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Wow, that is going to be so much fun seeing all those kids getting their gifts! How exciting!

What a great opportunity for your family to serve with OCC this December. I love when God smiles on us.

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

What a fabulous opportunity, Mary! I know you'll be richly blessed by this experience. I planned to begin packing our boxes with the girls tomorrow so my stopping over tonight to read your post was a wonderful treat!

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

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