This past week, my four daughters and I strategically packed a care package for my husband who is currently stationed in Kosovo. The filling of the carefully selected box was a thoughtful process. I threw in all his running and military magazines that have recently come in the mail, as well as a great book on servant leadership. My oldest daughter pieced together a video with clips from basketball games, parent-teacher conferences, and assorted homemade plays. My next daughter included a couple of small boxes whose contents remain a mystery to everyone but her. My third daughter shared her heart with her daddy through letters and original song lyrics. Finally, the youngest packed a gallery-sized assortment of drawings and paintings, all with a patriotic theme. Together, we agreed to fill the remaining hole with the largest bag of snack-sized Snickers™ we could find. As I sealed the box, I began to wonder if we had included everything my husband needs. Does he really need more reading material, videos, and reams of paper? Probably not. Can he live without the Snickers™? I'm sure he could. Yet, I know he desperately needs the love and prayers that filled the box via the selected, created, and heartfelt items. I also realized just how many Caring Packages my daughters and I have received from others. We, too, have been showered with love and support from friends who care; cards, carpooling, and an afternoon at Starbucks™ have all helped to relieve both stress and loneliness. War can be difficult on the home-front and those who fight the battle against the void a deployed family member leaves could definitely use Caring Packages.
This month, engage your small group in selecting one or more families of a deployed soldier who desperately need love and prayers. Select items such as books, movie passes, restaurant gift certificates, candles, bubble bath, etc., as well as "coupons" for meals, cookies, and services such as handyman help, mechanic help, babysitting, carpooling, snow removal and/or lawn care. Pack the items and coupons for services in a large basket. Fill the 'holes' with candy, encouragement cards, and written prayers. Have a small group representative deliver the Caring Package to the family. Continue to reach out to them through cards, phone calls, and prayers. Invite the adult family members to your small group.