Hey North Central!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Operation Christmas Child season! Perhaps you have heard of Operation Christmas Child, but are not overly familiar with what it is and what its purpose is. Well, today we are going to highlight this special ministry and hopefully answer all of your possible OCC questions!
So what exactly is Operation Christmas Child? In short, it is a seasonal outreach led by the organization Samaritan’s Purse that is designed to share the love of God and the good news of Jesus in a tangible way with children in need all over the world. This ministry began in 1933 when Franklin Graham received a call asking for shoeboxes filled with small gifts for children in Bosnia, which was a war-torn nation at the time. He partnered with a church, and they sent out 28,000 shoeboxes, each containing a letter written to the children by the people who filled them. That started the ministry and every year since shoeboxes with gifts have been sent out, touching the lives of more the 178 million children in over 150 countries.
This outreach is not just another organization that brings presents to needy children, however. Every location where the boxes go has a festive outreach event, and the Gospel is presented there. The children then receive their gifts. The best part? Outreach does not finish with the boxes. After they have left and the gifts have been given, the children are given the opportunity to enroll in a follow-up course that teaches them how to follow Christ and share Him with others.
Since 2009 more than 11 million children have made decisions to follow Jesus and begin praying for a sharing with their family and friends.
So how can you be part of this ministry? We have lots of boxes right at our church that are in need of being packed! Pick up a few and have a packing party with your family or friends, picking out fun gifts for these children! If you are concerned about what to pack or how to do it, visit the Samaritan Purse website here! They have a helpful guide for you. The great news is, for those of you who are unable to leave your home right now, but still want to bless these children, there is a perfect option for you as well! This year, as a result of COVid, OCC has a Build-a-Box option. Visit the website by clicking here. You will simply select whether you are building a boy or girl box, choose the age that you are packing them for, pick out the items that you want to place in the box, then pay for it (cost is $25)!
Please note that all Operation Christmas Child boxes are due on November 15th! You can visit our church website for all of our church specific information regarding this outreach. If you have any further questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to Lee Anne Privette.
Meghan Williams Missions Resident