What’s In The Box?
Written by Kit Densley on September 2, 2020
Operation Christmas Child is back!
Many of our listeners would be familiar with the great work Samaritan’s Purse do every year through Operation Christmas Child. But it wouldn’t work without you!
Now is the time to be packing a box filled with essential and fun items for a child who may have never received a Christmas present before.
You can pick up a box from various locations, (including right here at 1079 Life!) or fill a shoebox you already have. Then fill it with quality items that you think a little boy or girl would love to receive. Think cuddly toys, school supplies, health care items. You can get more details and have all your questions answered on the OCC website.
Still not convinced? Here are 7 Reasons why you should pack a shoebox.
1. SHARES THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST.
The shoeboxes are given out by local churches at events across villages and towns in developing countries. This gives local pastors or church leaders opportunities to share the Gospel in a fun way, designed for kids, family and friends to learn what the love of God truly is. Along with their shoebox gift, children have an opportunity to take a copy of the Greatest Gift, a colourful presentation of the Gospel in their own language. Remember, what goes into the shoebox is temporary, but what comes out is eternal.
2. BLESSES CHILDREN WITH JOY, HOPE, AND LOVE.
A gift-filled shoebox could be the first gift of this type that many children will ever receive! It is exciting for the children to learn that someone in another country has lovingly packed the treasures and personal letters just for them. Packing a shoebox is just another way we can tangibly demonstrate love to another person alongside the love God has for us.
3. TEACHES THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING IN A SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE WAY.
Many of us will never be able to personally reach the countries that the shoeboxes go to. Packing a shoebox is a personal way we can learn and teach our children about giving and about international missions. A $10 donation along with a few school supplies, clothes, hygiene products and toys are all it takes to partner with the local church in developing countries to make a huge impact on a child’s life.
4. MAKES DISCIPLES THROUGH THE LOCAL CHURCH.
All children receive a shoebox regardless of race, gender or religion. It is simply a free gift given out by local churches in their own village or town. Through the connection and relationship that is developed through the shoebox distribution events, the local church is then able to invite boys and girls to enrol in The Greatest Journey, our 12-lesson discipleship program, where they learn from trained local volunteers about the love of Christ and faith.
5. GIVES CHURCHES AN EFFECTIVE OUTREACH TOOL AND MOBILISES CONGREGATIONS TO CONNECT WITH THEIR COMMUNITY
Local churches use gift-filled shoeboxes as a tangible inroad to engage with and bring together their local community. The shoebox gifts allow them access to places they might never be welcomed otherwise. Through the efforts of local believers and volunteers, entire communities are building relationships and experiencing the love of God as shoebox gifts are delivered. In many of these areas there are not any churches and the shoebox distribution events bring together believers and the wider community in ways never thought possible.
6. IT IS FUN AND EASY!
Packing a shoebox is one of the easiest and most practical ways you can get involved in international missions without leaving your home. And the results speak for themselves, with approximately half the children choosing to return to the church where they received their shoebox to join the 12-week disciple course, The Greatest Journey. Whoever thought that something so fun and easy as packing a shoebox for children on the other side of the world could be such an effective way to partner in outreach with churches across the world.
7. OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD IS A PART OF SAMARITAN’S PURSE.
Operation Christmas Child is just one of Samaritan’s Purse’s projects at work around the world! The shoeboxes are a tangible way to share God’s love with children, but the relief and development projects bring practical long-term assistance, helping communities effected by natural disaster, war or poverty rebuild their lives. Samaritan’s Purse works with communities to help meet their physical needs through such programs as water, sanitation and hygiene, the construction of health clinics and schools, training teachers, and agriculture and livelihood generation projects, all of which are designed to resource and empower families to break the poverty cycle.