BLANCHARD, Okla. -- In this week’s “Pay it 4ward” we honor two Oklahomans.
A husband and wife team who give their effort, money and passion to the Operation Christmas Child Program.
In fact the wife uses her retirement money to help fund this mission that brings Christmas and its message to needy children around the globe.
In some of the most desperate places on earth planes are flying in carrying a shipment of love and caring.
The cargo is thousands of shoe boxes from the sanitarians Purse Project and each box is filled with a holiday message of hope for children.
Part of that worldwide shipment starts at the Agape Church in Blanchard, Oklahoma. Church members Jim and Elaine Robertson are the driving force behind the effort.
Despite Jim battling cancer and Elaine; a host of other concerns, they able to raise enough money through the 100 member congregation and through their own pocketbooks to fill almost 1,200 shoe boxes with toys, toiletries and trinkets so that tears are replaced by smiles.
Kids all over the world get to experience their first Christmas gift. Their pastor Christopher Broeker nominated Jim and Elaine for ‘Pay it 4ward.”
Taylor Ortiz of Spirit Bank did the honors.
"I know that they do this out of the goodness of their hearts on their own time and their own money and you know they don't expect any recognition at all but they sure do deserve it,” Ortiz says.
Kevin Ogle says, "Hi Elaine, Hi Jim, My name is Kevin Ogle. How are y’all?
After explaining to a shocked Jim and Elaine they were our Pay It 4ward winners, the pastor took over.
"The family of God rejoices with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. We've been mourning with all the health issues you guys have but rejoice with all the work you do for children around the world,” the Pastor Broeker says. "We'd like to give you $400 to continue the ministry mission for kids."
Jim and Elaine are happy warriors against the cancer and other health concerns they battle; believing God is in control.
"I know he has something left for me to do," Jim Robertson says. "Every time I fill a bag; every time I fill a box, I say that’s one more child that has an opportunity to learn that somebody loves them unconditionally and wants them to know my savior.”
When they see the pictures of the poorest of the poor around the world beaming with wonder and excitement while opening the shoe boxes filled with items you and I see as simple, it puts things into perspective for us here in the land of plenty.
"Some of them will get this box and they will look in it and it bring something out like this and they say thank you and they will hand the box back because they think that’s all they are supposed to get get; just one item out of the box. They can't believe this all for them," Elaine explains.
They are “Paying it 4ward” halfway around the world by loving hands here in Oklahoma dedicated to those in need.