Shoeboxes and Gospel Opportunities

Copied this from a Facebook post about Operation Christmas Child.

We never know what might happen during our packing parties, with all the excitement of picking out gifts running high. Everyone is smiling and laughing, talking and just having a good time being together. Well at our party tonight, something extra special happened. Near the end of our party, I noticed our Pastor kneeling next to one of our middle school girls. She was quietly crying. Then he motioned for her Mom to come over. They started praying, and afterwards, we found out that she had asked Jesus into her heart, and wants to be baptized! Best packing party ever!! THIS IS JUST AN ADDED BENEFIT TO WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO !!!

November is the month that OCC is in high gear all month. Collection week starts November 13th and goes to November 20th and Calvary Assembly of God Church is the new central drop off point. From Calvary Assembly they will start their journey to either Boone or Charlotte, North Carolina and from there they travel to places you and I may have never heard of. These “gospel opportunities” reach thousands and thousands of children each year who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ and through this simple box their lives, their families lives and possibly their village or town may come to know the saving grace of our Lord and Savior. YOUR BOXES NEED TO BE RETURNED BY NOV. 13TH

What I am asking for this month and through the end of the year and into 2024 is very simple. In your daily devotions, please lift up Operation Christmas Child as these boxes are distributed. Pray that the teams of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers stay safe and that these “gospel opportunities” get to where God wants them to be. As always, you are an awesome congregation and your prayers and support are appreciated.

Gearing Up for Shoebox Collection Week

As things gear up to collection week in November, we shift into high gear to get ready. We will be having a packing party on the 21st of October at 10AM to pack all the donations you’ve given during the year. We have 120 boxes to pack and that’s where the fun happens. You get to pack a box for a child that will receive it who might never have heard the name Jesus and how much He loves them. So join us on the 21st and let’s have some fun. For the month of October we will be collecting money to ship these boxes. Just place a check in with your regular offering and mark it shoeboxes and it will get to the right place. As always, keep this ministry in your prayers as they distribute these boxes to children around the world and share the love of Jesus.

Operation Christmas Child: Celebrating 30 Years of Service

We here at FBC have been actively invovled in Operation Christmas Child for over 20 years and for that you should be proud. You have helped spread the name of Jesus and the love of God to over 200 million children who have never heard the name Jesus before. Their lives have been forever changed by someone they don’t even know who cared enough to pack a box just for them.

Due to a restructuring of our southern West Virgnia team, we will no longer be a drop off point as the new central drop off point has been moved up to Beckley to Calvary Assembly of God church right off Harper Road. What this means is we will gather our boxes in November and sometime during the week of November 13th we will take them to Calvary and drop them off there.

We have just about completed collecting for our boxes that we pack here at the church and you’ve been so generous with your donations. You were also given the opportunity to take a box home with you last month to pack for that I thank you. That box needs to be returned to the church by November 12th.

For the month of September we will be collecting children’s socks for ages 2-4; 5-9 and 10-14. There is a large brown box located in the Welcome Center for your donations. As always, please keep this ministry in your prayers as they continue to spread the name of Jesus to children around the world.

OCC: A Few Changes with the Same Mission

Much has happened within the OCC team since I last wrote you. Calvary Assembly of God Church is now going to be the central drop off point for Raleigh and Fayette County. This means that FBC will no longer be a regional drop off site. I can’t let this go by without thanking the hundreds of people, both members and non-members, who staffed our drop off location over the past 21 years. We could not have accomplished all that was done without your support. God has taken us into a new direction, and we have to be ready to serve God when and where it’s needed.

We still have our own 120 boxes that I have pledged to fill for this year and so far, your donations have been outstanding. For July and August, you can catch the back-to-school sale for supplies such as crayons, pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, erasers, small note pads and glue sticks. I caught a good sale on composition books recently so those we don’t need. Donations can be left in the large brown box in the Welcome Center marked Samaritan’s Purse. If you’re not one that likes to shop, I would be glad to shop for you. So just put your donation in the church offering plate and mark it shoebox school supplies and your shopping will be done. Your past support of this program has been outstanding, and I am asking you to keep shoeboxes in your prayers and we continue to spread the name of Jesus to children around the world.

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.