Operation Christmas Child
by Marg (Margaret) Scott
The Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Project began at St. Johns in the year 2000. Operation Christmas Child is one of the many ministries of Samaritan’s Purse. Franklin Graham (son of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham) is president of this organization. They feed, clothe, shelter, and minister in Jesus’ name to hurting people all around the globe.
In 1993 Operation Christmas Child started with sending shoeboxes of Christmas gifts to children affected by the war in Bosnia. Since then more than 113 million boxes have been sent to children in refugee camps, war-torn countries and other areas devastated by natural disasters, poverty, and diseases.
The boxes contain toys, school supplies, and health hygiene items. The person preparing the box also sends a letter and picture of their family so the child knows that someone special cares about them and is praying for them. Once in a while the child will write back. I received a wonderful letter from a little girl in Macedonia. Also there is a book about Jesus and the plan of His salvation inserted in the box in the child’s own language. In many areas where there are Christian missionaries, each child is enrolled in “The Greatest Journey” a Sunday School type program to disciple the children and their families.
The most important aspect of this project is to pray for each child who receives a shoebox of gifts. Pray that God will use the box as a tool to open the hearts of children and their families to receive the Word of God and salvation in Jesus Christ.
For many of the children receiving these gifts, it most likely is the first gift that they have ever gotten because they live in such poverty. Just imagine their joy and excitement when they open their box! Our church has donated 1764 boxes to Operation Christmas Child in the past 23 years. Many dollars have also been donated by our church for postage to send these boxes.
Thank you to God and everyone for all of your time and efforts in this project.