Sherri Roe, a wife and mother who listens to God and acts on what He says to do, began Operation Giggle as a way to provide Christmas gifts for orphans in China. The overwhelming response from her blog meant that she needed to find more needy kids to help! God led her to our ministry and what He has done as a result is nothing less than amazing! Our ministry director, Joy Casey, recently went to Ethiopia and was able to deliver many of the gifts donated by Operation Giggle's many donors. Here is Joy's summary of that experience...
I pinch myself sometimes. How did I get chosen to give out gifts to 56 children, widows and orphanage staff? But that is exactly what I got to do thanks to the efforts of Sherri Roe of Operation Giggle and all the wonderful, generous people who put together incredible gift packages for two YWAM orphanages in Ethiopia. The ingenuity and thoughtfulness was touching and the recipients so joyful. I received hugs and kisses on behalf of all the people who put their money, time and creativity into gifts for those in Ethiopia who have very, very little.
I wish I could personally thank and hug each person who gave a gift. But let me highlight just a couple of stories. YWAM has a feeding and sponsorship program in a small village. For a year we have provided flour and a small amount of money to twelve very poor widows and eight children are sponsored at $30 a month. We gathered the widows and orphans in the tiny church and watched the children shyly come forward to take their precious gift in both hands and bow in thanks while their mother or caregiver was given food. A brother and sister from Arizona put together fun packages for two children. Emeline, age 9, bought for Endale, age 8 and Luke, age 6, bought for Besufekad, age 2. The Ziploc bags were full of many fun and practical things and the children also included a picture of themselves with their packages. I was so impressed with the thoughtfulness of their gifts and I also thought how much fun their mother had helping her young charges think of ways to bless another child on the other side of the world who is lucky if he eats one good meal a day and has something to wear on his feet.
The widows at the Widows and Orphans Home were almost the most delightful to give gifts to. They were so expectant and thrilled with every little thing. Whoever gave the flashlight and batteries …. kudos to you! That was a huge hit!
The generosity of my fellow Americans amazes me. Many of you gave $25 to be used for food or to provide practical help to orphans. A little over $1,000 was sent to be used for Ethiopian Christmas gifts or special food. We were able to buy one new outfit and a new pair of shoes for 70 children and put money in the food budget of two orphanages for a nice Christmas dinner. The children’s eyes sparkled as they opened their gift at a restaurant reserved for their celebration and were delighted when served a piece of Christmas cake, a very special treat.
Operation Giggle is rightly named! Smiles, giggles, laughter were the dominant emotions that this outpouring of love elicited. It was a Herculean effort on behalf of Operation Giggle to coordinate this special Christmas for the children and widows YWAM cares for in Ethiopia. It is impossible to say thank you enough. I am comforted by the words of scripture which says in many places and in many ways, Blessed are those who care for the weak …..