It isn’t Christmas yet, and some of us don’t like to even think about Christmas coming early. The holiday season can be a crazy time of the year. There is lots of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and family to entertain as the holiday season approaches. And, as the holiday approaches, my husband and I have determined that our children really don’t need anymore toys. In fact, we are contemplating only getting them one toy at most and giving the rest to children in need somewhere else in the world.
Even though the ministry of Operation Christmas Child, a division of Samaritan’s Purse, accepts gift boxes for children all year long, November 14-21 is national collection week. If you haven’t ever be part of this amazing ministry, I want to challenge you to do so for three reasons:
1. For the price of $14 – $20 you can leave a lasting impact on a child on the other side of the world.
Many of these children have never received a gift and may have never heard of the life changing message of Jesus. By packing a box, it will show a child that someone loves and cares about them half way across the world. Students that receive a box will engage in follow up discipleship so that they will continue to hear the life changing message of Christ. Many times, these children will share the message of Christ with their families, and they in tern will come to know Jesus as well. You can watch a video and see photos here of children in the Phillipines to understand more of what a box can do.
2. Packing a box can leave a lasting impact on your child as you enjoy picking out gifts together.
Every year, I take my children to the store and ask them to pick out a few gifts to put in the shoebox. We then talk about the children all over the world that might receive the box and talk about their need to know the love of Jesus. Your child can draw a picture, write a letter, or add a photo of your family to make the impact even more. When packing a box, Operation Christmas Child asks for a suggested donation of $7 to cover shipping costs. If you decide to give your donation online, you can print a scan-able shipping label. After the box is received, scanned and shipped overseas, you will then receive an email telling you where your box has traveled. Don’t forget to enclose your address in your packed box. Many times children will want to write a letter back to you or your child and thank you for your gift.
3. Packing a box could impact a whole village.
Remember when I mentioned that often times a child will begin a relationship with Jesus and then want to tell her whole family about it? The blessing of shoeboxes in a needy village has often started churches. Sometimes, for the first time, needy people will see for the first time that someone cares for their children. This opens their hearts to the message of the gospel. They desire to grow, learn more, and attend church. Operation Christmas Child has programs in place so that if there are hungry people and they desire to learn more, they will have a chance.
So you see, packing a box goes far beyond just putting a few toys in a shoebox for children in need. By packing in box, you can impact a child’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. And, you can show them how much you care with a very small gift. It does not cost you much money, and you can make a lasting impact on generations. Not only that, but it can make a lasting impact on your family, as well.
I want to encourage you to visit Operation Christmas Child and pack a box this year! Find out all that you can include and where a collection center is in your area.