BIMI
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Gif t Bags of Love by Shirleen Godfrey I have been a missionary in the Bahamas with the Haitian people since 1965.  The Haitians are immigrants from the country of Haiti.  Many times GOD uses the things in our past to be used in later years. With five kids there was never enough money to provide for many things and Christmas was one of them.  We always had food to eat and a mom and dad that loved us but money and many of the necessities of life were very scarce. When I was a little girl, my two sisters and two brothers and I attended a little church called 9 th  Avenue Baptist Church.  At Christmas the church always gave out Treat Bags.  In them was fruit of every description, candy and nuts, pecans and walnuts.  To us as little children, it was the greatest thing in the world to line up for those bags and starting in November we began talking about those bags.  I remember even now the thrill and excitement of those Christmas bags! Looking into the faces of these precious little ones, I see myself as a poor little girl.  So, GOD laid it on my heart to give out TREAT BAGS.  As I shop around, I am that little girl again, buying things that even then we did not get in our Treat  Bags. In the bags there are marbles, balls, race cars for the boys, stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons for the girls along with other items.  Also, there are apples, oranges, cheese doodles, candy canes and packs of cookies. We don't have much money as missionaries and so I started writing letters to get help for this project.  As money comes in, I go shopping throughout the year for the Treat Bags.  One year, bags were given out and two little boys just coming from Haiti were sitting at the table with their bags.  The other children were pulling their things out all the time eating cheese doodles, bites of apples, oranges or whatever.  The boys just sat there.  I called Samuel over and said, “Samuel, what is wrong with those boys?”  “Mrs. Godfrey, they have never had a bag like that given to them, they do not know it is theirs.”  Tears running down my face, I went to them, hugged them and started pulling things out of their bags and giving it to them.  Bewilderment turned to smiles.  So, forty-two years later, I once again see myself as a little girl standing in line at church waiting eagerly for my CHRISTmas bag.  I never forget the thrill of those days!  Along with my helpers we make up four hundred and fifty bags.  The main church, Calvary Haitian Baptist Church, gets just over three hundred. Solid Rock and Redemption, which were started out of Calvary in outlying areas of Nassau, get seventy-five each.    I pray always that GOD would use this as a means to let these children know that I do dearly love them, but also that JESUS loves them more and that He gave the most precious gift HE HAD—HIS LIFE.