by Debbie Vanaman
More than 15 years ago, FBC partnered with Samaritans Purse and got involved in Operation Christmas Child for the first time. Hundreds and thousands of shoeboxes have been collected during that time and for that I am truly grateful. These children, most of whom have never had a present before in their lives, received a shoebox filled with school supplies, small toys and hygiene items. Many of them had to wait in line for what seemed like hours for a young child just to receive this box. The joy and smiles on their faces as you see pictures of boxes being distributed will melt your heart. With every shoebox that is given out, the word of Jesus goes with it to that child’s home and eventually to their village or town that they live in. This also has an impact on the families who often have never heard of Jesus and ultimately through their child, give their hearts and lives over to Jesus. Yes it takes a bit of time and some money, but the reward is immeasurable. Just one shoebox in one small town halfway around the world can have an extremely positive impact.
Collection week this year is November 16th through 20th. This is when shoeboxes from churches and organizations in our community return their shoeboxes to be packed in cartons and start their journey. Helpers are needed during that week but also on Saturday, Nov. 21st when these cartons have to be loaded and taken to Princeton. The time for this is not definite – so keep an eye on the church bulletin for that info.
As always, I ask you to keep this program in your prayers throughout 2016 as the shoeboxes are delivered around the world. Remember – it’s a simple shoebox but it has the power to change the world through your gift.