I'm sure many of you have heard of Operation Christmas Child, a program through an organization called Samaritan's purse. Every year around Christmas time they gather shoe boxes of gifts put together by people in the states and then they distribute them to children around the world. Ever put together one of those boxes yourself and wondered where it ended up? Well, this year, a large number of those boxes ended up in the Abalak region of Niger! We received boxes from Wisconsin, Minesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Missouri. So far, before we left on vacation (and would have otherwise been evacuated for security reasons) we were able to do five distributions, one at the private school in town, other families around Abalak, and then one each at three different Wodaabe sites. We still have more boxes at home and are hoping that we can go home soon and that someday our ban on bush travel will be lifted so we will be able to take more gifts out to more children in the bush.
Here are the boxes on just one more leg of their journey from the states to Niger. They're coming from the distribution center to the office in Niamey while they await transport up to Abalak.