What Comes Out of the Box?
You may already be familiar with Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse. Maybe you and your family have packed shoeboxes for years, carefully choosing the perfect gifts for that special boy or girl. Or maybe your church has organized a packing party, filling hundreds or thousands of shoebox gifts. Each of these gifts have been lovingly packed, prayed over and sent on a journey around the world.
You know what goes into a box, but do you know what comes out? An Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift is far more than a collection of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. It is an opportunity to share the Gospel with a child and a family, giving them a tangible glimpse of God’s love.
“Gift boxes are effective tools of evangelism to both children and parents,” Kenyan pastor Peter Murungi Imuru said.
The thoughtfulness of an individual or family to bless a child they have never met opens doors for the Gospel in the heart of the parents.
For many children, their shoebox gift is a first—their first ever Christmas present, the first thing they can call their own, but more importantly, the first time they have heard about Jesus. They discover that there is a God who loves them personally and cares about the details of their lives. This Good News changes entire families and communities.
Through the power of Christ, a shoebox gift can multiply disciples, grow churches, and inspire children to share the Gospel with their family and friends. It can also advance the Gospel in places where it is illegal to be a Christian, giving believers a voice where they are otherwise not heard.
Some children who receive a shoebox also participate in a follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. Through 12 weeks of Bible lessons, they learn to follow Jesus and walk with Him for a lifetime. Since 2004 more than 6.6 million New Testaments have been distributed to graduates of this program, equipping them to grow and bear fruit for God’s kingdom.
The partnership between Operation Christmas Child (Link http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/) and your local independent Christian bookstore gives you the opportunity to take part in this project that changes eternity for children and families around the world. This month, we encourage you to visit your local Christian bookstore to take advantage of this opportunity to not only fill shoebox gifts (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoe-box/) with fun items from your store but also spread the Gospel and transform lives.
[Jesus] said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these…” (Mark 10:14)
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