Don Davis: If you cannot go, send a shoebox
We are about two weeks from the collection of Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Week on Nov. 16-23, 2015. During that week people from across the United States and other countries will be getting Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes ready to be shipped to children around the world. Last year 10,430,333 boxes were packed and distributed to children in just about every country. Those boxes packed with clothes, candy, school supplies, toiletries, and toys were the first gifts the children ever received. The joy they received was more than any of us could ever imagine. The reason is that each child receives another gift that is even more important than all the “goodies” received in their present.
With each shoebox the child is given a copy of a booklet titled “The Greatest Gift of All.” This is often the first book they have ever received. It is a treasure case containing the story of Jesus and how they can receive eternal life by accepting Him as their Savior.
In recent years those of us who work with Operation Christmas Child have begun to call them “Go Boxes” which mean “Gospel Opportunity Boxes.” I think sometimes we only see Operation Christmas Child as a means of making sure poor children from other countries receive a Christmas gift and that is an admirable reason, but the ministry is so much more, and has an evangelistic thrust which is probably greater than any other in the world.
As I visit in churches I hear the people say they are “Great Commission” churches, meaning they are fulfilling Jesus’ command where He said, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:18a-20, KJV).
Except for going yourself and sharing Jesus with every child you meet, the ministry of Operation Christmas Child is the very best way you can send the Word of God to children in more than 130 countries. Although you are not able to go, you can do your part by packing many Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. At the same time you can teach your children and grandchildren that they can give a Christmas gift to a needy child in a country far away. You can also teach them what the Apostle Paul said: “I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than receive’” (Acts 20:35, KJV).
Testimonies after testimonies are being recorded of children who are coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior as a result of receiving these OCC shoeboxes. I have personally seen how God uses a simple shoebox full of toys, clothes, candy and other articles to change the lives of children and their parents. Just a little love along with the story of Jesus can go a long way in showing children from the four corners of the world that someone loves them, and that love comes from God through His Son Jesus Christ.
If you want more information about how to be involved with Operation Christmas Child you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 704-305-2000.
Don Davis and his wife, Barbara, are members of the Church Relations Team for Operations Christmas Child covering the South Piedmont Area.
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