Challenges Don’t Hinder Volunteer from Following God's Call

May 7, 2020 • United States
Rebecca Parker-Moore leads the area team of Operation Christmas Child year-round volunteers in Huntington, West Virginia.

Multiple sclerosis doesn’t stop this area coordinator from serving with Operation Christmas Child.

As a year-round volunteer, Rebecca Parker-Moore leads the efforts of Operation Christmas Child’s area team in Huntington, West Virginia.

“An area coordinator overseas all the operations of collecting shoeboxes, shepherding a team, and just being the face of Operation Christmas Child in a community,” Rebecca said.

At age 16, Rebecca started packing shoebox gifts simply to bless children around the world. But, nearly two decades later, as she began serving as a year-round volunteer in logistics and church relations in 2012, she realized that much more is involved.

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“You could do any number of charities that are doing good works, but this one is all about Jesus,” she said. “That’s why I continue.”

She cited The Greatest Journey, the follow-up discipleship program designed just for shoebox recipients as evidence. “Knowing four children a minute accept Jesus as a result of the course, that seals it. I can’t imagine not doing Operation Christmas Child.”

‘God, Make Me Low’

In the fall of 2013, Rebecca was having a difficult year as an elementary math teacher. She describes being “attacked from every angle” with accusations from parents. During this time as she was desperate for the Lord’s help, she distinctly remembers praying, “God, make me low so You will be made high.”

A few months later, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The symptoms involved fatigue as well as numbness and tingling in her nervous system.

Five years into the diagnosis as she was transitioning to a medication with severe side effects, Rebecca felt it was finally time to share the news with her area team.

“I need you to pray for me,” she said. “I have MS.”

While they were both surprised and supportive, Rebecca explained her motivation for involving them: “I wanted to share this with them so that God will be glorified through my MS.” If she hadn’t told them, they wouldn’t have known. Rebecca’s appearance does not give her condition away.

“I feel incredibly blessed that I’m not having to use a walking device or be in a wheelchair,” she said. “We don’t know what the future holds, but I know that Jesus is already there. I don’t need to worry about what might happen.”

So, in the meantime, Rebecca is focused on rallying more people to get involved with Operation Christmas Child and what she endearingly calls her “shoebox babies.” Rebecca and her husband wanted to have children, but since that didn’t happen, she sees shoeboxes as tools that God can use to transform the lives of boys and girls around the world.

Rebecca offers encouragement to others who are considering serving as year-round volunteers with the Samaritan’s Purse project: “Don’t let any barrier stand in the way of going deeper in what God has called you to do.”

View roles available as a year-round volunteer for Operation Christmas Child.

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