Operation Christmas Child Kick Off
It is that time of year again when the red and green shoe boxes show up on display in our church for Operation Christmas Child, an incredible ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Through this project, Samaritan’s Purse partners with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and make disciples of the nations.
It all begins with you, packing a shoebox, and results in evangelism and discipleship. It is far more than “just a shoe box.” Packing shoe boxes for children in need all around the world is a great opportunity to get the whole family involved. Last year, my then two year old, found great joy in helping to prepare the boxes for distribution at LifePoint. Even at that age, we were able to talk about other kids that don’t have what she has, and how some of those kids have never even heard of Jesus.
Once a shoebox is packed, it gets dropped off at a designated drop-off location. LifePoint Church has been lucky enough to be one of the only drop off locations in this area, and this will be our 5th year. When boxes are dropped off, each donor is invited to pray over the box and for the child that will receive it.
From there, after collection week, the boxes go to processing centers across the United States to be inspected and prepared for distribution. Every hour, volunteers stop to pray over the boxes and the children who will receive them.
While all of this is going on, volunteers, pastors, and other community leaders in more than 100 countries are trained to share the message of the Gospel and bless children. As part of this process, “The Greatest Journey” discipleship program is shared with kids like Nohemy, who received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift in Bolivia. She learned many Bible verses, and one of her favorites is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” During the Greatest Journey, Nohemy received Jesus Christ as her savior. She shared: “It has been the most beautiful thing. Jesus lives in my heart. I am going to continue learning more and more about Jesus.”
Gawa is a child who attended an Operation Christmas Child outreach event. She had never heard about Jesus until she was the recipient of one of the OCC shoeboxes. She lives with her grandparents in a village where most people worship idols and spirits. During the discipleship lessons she received, Gawa learned about God and His Word, and she also prayed to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She ended up sharing her faith with family and friends and soon her grandfather also gave his life to Christ.
Shoeboxes are delivered to these children in villages, orphanages, and other at-risk areas. The shoeboxes may come by plane, boat, car, or even camel to get to all “ends of the Earth” so that the Gospel can be shared, families reached, churches started and grown, and communities transformed.
At LifePoint, we are excited for the launch of our 2023 Operation Christmas Child season alongside The Big Give efforts. Boxes will be available for pick-up beginning October 29th in the lobby, and will continue to be available on Sundays through November 12th, while supplies last. You can also use your own standard sized shoebox, plastic standard sized shoebox, or even pick up (for purchase) a plastic Operation Christmas Child shoebox at Hobby Lobby.
How to Pack a Shoebox: (Pamphlets will be available to take from the OCC Table in the lobby).
- Shoebox– Make sure it is standard sized. (If you are using one of your own and you elect or choose to wrap the box in wrapping paper, please make sure the box can be opened).
- Wow Item– Select a NEW, quality “wow” toy such as a doll, deflated soccer ball with pump, or a stuffed animal.
- Other Gifts– Pack full with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. (Please no candy, toothpaste, gum, used or damaged items, scary or war-related items, seeds, food, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items or glass containers, or aerosol cans).
- Pray– Pray over the child who will receive your gift. If you would like, include a personal note and photo to share with the child.
- Donate $10– *Per shoebox. This donation is best made online to cover shipping and other project costs such as materials and training. If you give online, you will receive a donation receipt from Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child. Most exciting, is that you can track your box. (We will have technology available at the OCC Table to assist with this if needed).
- Drop Off– Bring your unsealed, packed shoebox to LifePoint during National Collection Week, November 13th-20th. (You can also bring your boxes on Sundays, November 5th and November 12th).
NEW THIS YEAR!
For the first time ever, we will be hosting an OCC Packing Party on November 4th from 3:30pm-6pm in the church lobby. If you would like to participate in the packing party, please bring a small toy or card game, as well as a $10 donation to help with shipping, materials, and training. (This donation will be made online through Operation Christmas Child, and will allow you to track your box to see where it ends up). To sign up for the packing party, please register on the LifePoint app.
Pack a Shoebox Online–
Also new this year, is the ability to pack a shoe box online. Instead of picking up a shoebox and going shopping to fill a box, you can use the link here to virtually pack a shoebox. Using this link will count your box towards our LifePoint goal. Pack a Shoebox Online HERE
We are so excited to be a part of spreading the love of Jesus to millions of children all over the world. Our goal this year is for LifePoint to pack 150 shoeboxes. We can not do it without you. Thank you for your participation and prayers!
“Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14, ESVf
Nicole Calvert- OCC Co-Leader