Operation Christmas Child: Important Changes

Some important changes have taken place these past few months that will impact our church and how we are involved in Operation Christmas Child this year and for the foreseeable future.

In years past, we were the collection center for the Beckley/Raleigh County area which meant that the churches in our area brought their shoeboxes to us, we cartooned them up and took them to the main collection point in Princeton.

The gentleman who ran that main collection center has retired from the OCC ministry and that location will no longer be our central drop off point. The central point has been moved to the Assembly of God church right here in Beckley on Sunset Road approximately two miles from our church. After discussing this with our area leaders, it was decided that having two drop off points so close two each other would not be practical and a mutual decision was reached to close our location and move the drop off location to Calvary Assembly.

In a nutshell, this means that we would do our own shoeboxes and then deliver them to Calvary in November. However, Calvary will still be needing some help during collection week but that’s not until November. The mission of OCC hasn’t and never will change and that mission is to spread the name of Jesus to children around the world through the power of a simple shoebox.

Now for your June challenge. We’re starting something new and that’s called the $5.00 challenge. What we are collecting this month is toothbrushes, combs and children’s scissors. What I need you to do is purchase one of each of these three items and spend no more than $5.00. If you shop at the right stores, this can be done. In the event that you can’t or don’t want to do the leg work, I will gladly take your donation and shop for you. This way it’s not too much of a financial burden on anyone and helps fill our shoeboxes.

As always, please keep this ministry in your prayers as they are delivering these shoeboxes to countries and children around the world and remember YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH THE POWER OF A SIMIPLE SHOEBOX. God bless you all !!

200 Millionth Shoebox!

Last month in Orlando, Florida, people gathered from over 150 nations to celebrate the 200 millionth shoebox being distributed and what a weekend it was. There was a time of praise and worship, many workshops and just gathering with people at the receiving end of these shoeboxes. They shared their stories of the children receiving their box along with the program “The Greatest Journey” which outlines for the children how they can give their life to Christ and gives them an opportunity at the end of the program to “graduate” and hopefully share their lessons with their families. This ministry has grown tremendously in the last 25 years and with your help will continue to grow and reach out to children in previously unreachable countries and share the love of Jesus. This ministry works 365 days a year to spread the gospel.

Last month I asked for small toys such as jump ropes, small balls or a small doll and that’s what we are asking for again. The dollar stores are your best bet to shop for these items. There is a box located in the Welcome Center for your donations.

Over 20 Years of Shoeboxes

We here at FBC have been involved in Operation Christmas Child for over 20 years and countless number of children’s lives as well as their families, towns and villages have been changed by simply receiving a shoebox filled with personal items, toys and school supplies as well as going through the program “The Greatest Journey” after they receive their shoebox. This shoebox shows them that someone loves them and cares about them enough to pack this box. This may be the first time a child ever receives a present and possibly the first time he or she has learned how much Jesus loves and cares for them. So with that in mind, my favorite saying around OCC is “The power of a simple shoebox can change the world.” You will never know how this simple shoebox will impact a child’s life.

For the month of April we will be collecting small (and I mean small) toys for our boys and girls. Some suggestions might be cloth dolls for our 2-4 year old girls, small baseballs and footballs for our boys and items they use outside such as jump ropes. These are just a few suggestions. Just remember what you used as a child and let your imagination take it from there. You can leave your donations in the box located in the Welcome Center. Please keep this ministry in your prayers as they distribute these boxes to children around the world spreading the name of Jesus.

Shoeboxes 2023

Upon tracking the final destination of our 2022 shoeboxes , I found that they were delivered to Madagascar which is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. It is known for its lemurs, baobab trees, vanilla, and pepper. Samaritan’s Purse began delivering Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to children here in 1993. Since 2010, we have also offered these shoebox recipients our follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. (Just a little info for you).

In April there will be a gathering of shoebox recipients and OCC volunteers in Florida to celebrate the 200 millionth shoebox distributed. This will be a gathering of people from around the world in celebration of what you have been a part of for over 20 years in spreading the name of Jesus to children around the world. Please pray for the people distributing shoeboxes around the world

We are forging ahead with this year’s collections although donations have been slow. For the month of March we will continue to collect bars of soap and washcloths. Your donations can be placed in the dark blue box in the Welcome Center.

What a year!

What a year 2022 was. The final count for shoeboxes collected worldwide was 10,599,907. Here in southern West Virginia, we exceeded our goal and for that we thank you. Countless numbers of children will be impacted by your commitment to this ministry. For the month of February we will be collecting bar soap and washcloths. Donations can be left in the dark blue container in the Welcome Center.

OCC: Another 20 Years!

With another year completed, it’s time to look ahead to what God has planned for our shoebox ministry for 2023. We’ve been successful these past 20 years and with your continued support we can go for another 20 years. Through this ministry, countless thousands of children have learned the name Jesus for the first time and many of those have given their hearts to Him through the power of a simple shoebox.

For the month of January, we will be collecting children’s gloves. So head to those dollar stores and get those January bargains. Please keep this ministry in your prayers as the name of Jesus continues to be spread to children around the world.

The Count is In!

As a collection center, First Baptist Church was blessed with receiving 2,350 Shoeboxes as part of Operation Christmas Child.

To all of those who packed a shoebox, prayed for a shoebox or worked in our collection center. Your help and support means that children around the world will know that someone loved them enough to pack a box just for them. Please keep these boxes in your prayers as they start their journey to the special child God has already selected to receive it.

20 Years with Operation Christmas Child

On Sunday, October 30th the church was recognized by Samaritan’s Purse for its 20-year participation in Operation Christmas Child. During that 20-year period, a total of 54,645 shoeboxes were collected from the Raleigh and Fayette Counties. That’s 54,645 gospel opportunities that were handed out to children around the world to share your love and the name of Jesus and it all started with a simple empty shoebox. Those opportunities could not have been sent without the hard work and dedication of the people of FBC and you are to be commended for your efforts.

Looking forward to collection week this year is just around the corner. Tracy Salango has taken over as the relay center coordinator and she needs your help. Collection week starts on November 14th and concludes on November 21st. The hours we will be receiving boxes are listed below.

Mon. 10AM-noon; Tues. 4PM-6PM; Wed. 10AM-2PM; Thurs.10AM-2PM; Fri. 3PM-6PM; Sat. 1PM-3PM; Sun. 1PM-3PM; Mon. 9AM-11AM.

Don’t wait for her to call you – reach out to her and let her know when you can help.

For the month of November we are asking for donations to cover shipping.

Operation Christmas Child is in High Gear!

Now that there is a little “nip” in the weather, Operation Christmas Child moves into high gear. With collection week about six weeks away, there is still much work to be done. Tracy Salango is our new relay center coordinator and she will be asking for your help during collection week in November. Don’t wait for her to ask you – contact her and let her know when you can help.

We will be having a shoebox packing party on a Saturday in October but a firm date has not been set yet. This is where we get to have fun packing the shoeboxes with all the donations we’ve collected all year. Keep your eyes and ears open for that date.

For the months of October and November what is needed are your dollars. We will be packing 120 shoeboxes and at $10 a box – well you do the math. (It’s $1,200). If you are writing a check to the church just put shoeboxes in the memo line.

Finally, please keep this program in your prayers daily. Shoeboxes are being distributed around the world 365 days a year. The national goal is 11 million shoeboxes. While this number sounds very unreasonable, it’s11 million opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and it all happens one shoebox at a time.