In 1979, a man sat down in front of a fireplace with a cup of coffee, pen and paper. What followed, was something that would forever change his life, his family’s life and the lives of countless numbers of people around the world. His name was James L. Zirkle and he was a man with a vision. From the first time I met him, he had a dream so much bigger than himself and it did not take long after talking with him, that it made oneself want to be a part in one way or another, as well.
So fast forward now to 1997 and a new outreach from the dream was birthing. He named the outreach after his wife, Marion. They together had such a heart to reach the lost and make a difference in the lives of others, that Marion Zirkle Children’s Foundation, Operation Shoebox was born.
In 1996, a 36 year war ended in Guatemala and in other surrounding countries, and over 300,000 children were left homeless. The Zirkles saw a need and took the step forward to meet that need. Since then, thousands upon thousands of children of all ages have been touched through the Operation Shoebox outreach. Just in 2012 alone, over 10,000 children were touched through this outreach, which spans now into Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua and Panama.
In 1998, the vision took a hit, when Dr. Zirkle lost his life doing what he loved. Along with him on that day, his son, James Zirkle II, his son-in-law, Chris Hamberger, along with the ministry’s pilots, Tom Vanderpol and Raul Jacobs, and 6 mission trip group members from the US, also gave their lives. But the dream did not end there and today, Living Water Teaching, Operation Shoebox, Mercy Wings, and countless Bible Schools and churches all throughout Central and South America and other parts of the world are impacting the lives of others.
All this because of one man’s dream!
Today, Pastor Marion Zirkle Wright and her husband, Clarence, along with myself and their youngest daughter, Debbie, and countless others around the globe, are going forward daily fulfilling the dream which became a vision and burns in the hearts of so many, stronger than ever before.
As I write this blog, we are packing 36 pallets of love that will leave the US on October the 15th, bound for Guatemala, where once again thousands will be touched with a dream that actually was birthed one night back in 1979.
So what’s in the box? I’m glad you asked! LOVE of course. Love from those around the world to a person that they do not know and probably will never see. But the testimonies we get back are amazing. We had a graduate from our Bible School who shared with us after graduation, that he was one of those that received a shoebox that changed his life and he is now pastoring and changing the lives of others. This is why we do what we do!
So it’s in the box, as I said in the beginning! If you would like to know more about Living Water Teaching, Operation Shoebox, and any of our other many outreaches, just ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check us out on the web at http://www.livingwaterteaching.org . I also invite you to go and be a part of one of our many mission trips that we have throughout the year. All that info is on our website, so go and check it out.
Here is a YouTube link for a promo clip for Operation Shoebox: http://youtu.be/WyHciDQjx8c
You are a blessing, I really mean that! I’m always praying for my readers. Debbie and I would love to hear from you. You can post below or send us an email, whichever works best for you.
Until next time, eyes up and gear up for the best is at hand!
Be blessed – Keith & Debbie