by Debbie Vanaman
As fall is now upon us and school is back in session, Christmas isn’t that far away. Operation Christmas Child this year is celebrating its 25th year of collecting shoeboxes and distributing them to children around the world. Five years ago we celebrated 100 million shoeboxes and the figure of 200 million isn’t that far off but it’s still just a drop in the bucket for the children who have yet to hear the name of Jesus or know the compassion of someone creating a shoebox just for them. Can’t you just see the smiles on their faces as they open that box and find that precious toy or those needed school supplies – it’s heartwarming.
These boxes also impact the entire family by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through the “Our Greatest Journey” program which is a series of lessons on Jesus and how to accept him into the child’s heart and then, hopefully, the family. This is such a moving experience to see families changed by something as simple as a shoebox.
For the month of September, we will be collecting various items. I still need small girl’s hairbrushes, small coloring or sticker books, markers, colored pencils and erasers. I will be starting a push for October to collect the necessary funds to ship our 100 boxes that our children and youth will be making in November. So if you want to get a jump on it, just make the check out to First Baptist Church and put Samaritans Purse shipping on the memo line and you can cross that off your to-do list.
As always, I ask that you keep this vital mission in your prayers as we enter collection season that each box made will help to show the love of Jesus Christ to children and families around the word.