All year long we have been collecting for Operation Christmas Child. OCC is a ministry branch of Samaritans Purse run by Franklin Graham. This is our third year in packing 100 shoeboxes to be distributed to children somewhere around the world. This is a unique and loving ministry that I want you to know more about.
For many of the children who receive the boxes, this will definitely be the first or only gift they ever receive. Many of the children who receive these gifts live in squalor where survival is critical. The idea of superfluous things such as “gifts” and “toiletries” are deemed a luxury. So when they receive a gift with such opulence, they are moved to think someone would give so lavishly to them.
And this is the first step to introducing the children to Jesus. Why would a stranger love them enough to send gifts around the world to a child they never met? Because the love of Christ compels us too. Each child is moved by the generosity of the box and then introduced to the gospel where they meet Jesus.
The boxes are distributed to children through local churches. Men and women who live in the community are trained in the teaching materials for discipleship. Once children receive a box, they come back for 12 weeks to complete the discipleship series “The Greatest Journey.” Upon completion of the material, each child receives their very own New Testament in their very own language!
Each box costs $9 to ship. That may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. The $9 includes the discipleship materials, the copy of the New Testament, and the transportation to get the box from the U.S. to a poor child far far away.
Elsewhere in this newsletter is an opportunity to continue the journey with the boxes by going on a local mission trip to audit the packed boxes. It’s only three days to make sure that each child receives the gift that God intended just for them.
Thank you for your support of this ministry throughout the year. And continue to pray that every box packed on behalf of a child will reach its destination.