Every year Samaritan’s Purse does their annual Operation Christmas Child. The effort started in 1993 and since then over 61 million shoeboxes have been distributed around the world. We, as a family, have participated for many, many years now.
Our personal goal each year is to fill as many boxes as we have kids, plus Dw and I. Last year we filled 10 because of our son-in-love, Ryan also. This year we will be filling several extra for many reasons – not just because Jubilee is “on her way” but it also appears we have a wedding coming soon too. (Yippee Jesus – I love weddings!)
So the basic idea is to take a shoe box and fill it with age appropriate things to bless a little one somewhere in the world. How cool is that? – being able to minister to orphans and underprivileged kids right from your own home.
This year it takes on a whole new meaning for us since Dw and Emma’s trip to Uganda this past July. Dw and Emma were walking to an orphanage in a village near Kampala when several little kids spotted them and started yelling something. Although D & E couldn’t understand they knew that they wanted them to wait. Before long these little ones came running out of their orphanage carrying shoe boxes from Samaritan’s Purse. These precious little children were soooo proud of their boxes as they lifted their lids to show Dw and Emmy the contents. Dw still can’t even talk about it without crying and now neither can I. Inside the boxes were the remains of broken toys – but they were such treasures to them.
It is such a sharp contrast from these orphans who have nothing to what kids in America think of their toys. In this abundant land of plenty, toys are strewn throughout houses or yards with very little respect or regard for them. BUT to these little ones who have absolutely nothing, they were the greatest treasures in the world tucked safely away in their little boxes!
If your church does not participate, please consider doing it anyway. On the web site there are drop locations listed, as well as regional representatives. If you live near our church, you can drop it there. Maybe you would even want to be a coordinate the drive for your church. Pastors are always looking for people to take the initiative and “run with it”. =) hint hint
It’s such a simple little thing to fill a box. But the impact is far reaching – each box provides hope and joy to little children in some of the most desperate of situations. When they receive their boxes they are offered a gospel storybook in their own language. They are later given a chance to be involved in a follow-up Bible study program. Folks are also encouraged to put a family picture in and a letter. Pray over the boxes. Ask God to allow you to be His hands and feet loving the little ones who are in great need of His love.
Hey, and if you don’t have any shoe boxes – the seven words many women long to hear – go buy a few pair of shoes!