What is Operation Christmas Child?  According to the Samaritan’s Purse website “Operation Christmas Child(OCC) is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization (presided over by Franklin Graham).  Our mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ.  We ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, famine and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the United States.”

Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  It has been collecting and distributing gift filled shoeboxes to more than 146 million children around the world.

Paxtonville United Methodist Church has been participating in OCC for 16+ years and is doing so again this year.  Records for the last 16 years, show as a church, we have collected 1,889 gift-filled shoeboxes!

Would you like to be part of this mission outreach to bring joy to hurting children and show them how much God loves them?  It’s easy!! All you need to do is:

  1. Pick-up a shoebox (which will be available later) in the Fellowship Hall and a “How to Pack your Shoebox Gift” pamphlet.
  2. Decide on a boy or girl and the age group.
  3. Select a “WOW” toy –Examples: doll, stuffed toy,soccer ball with pump.
  4. Fill with other toys, hygiene items and school supplies.

For additional gift suggestions visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

  1. Include your donation of $9 to cover shipping.
  2. Pray for the child who will be receiving your shoebox.
  3. Return your gift-filled shoebox to the church by Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.

When packing your shoebox please DO NOT include candy, any food items, toothpaste, used items, medications, breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers, or aerosol cans.

Whatever you lovingly and prayerfully pack in your shoebox; be assured that God will get it to the right child.  There are countless stories of children receiving shoeboxes that contain items they need.  Such as school supplies so they could attend school, 5 cups for a family of 5, a backpack, a pair of sneakers, a warm coat.

When children receive their shoebox gifts they also receive The Greatest Gift Gospel booklet and can join in the Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship class.  After 12 weeks of instruction there is a graduation program and each child is given a New Testament in their own language so they can continue to grow in their faith.

At this time empty shoeboxes are being collected and can be placed on the Mission & Ministry table in the hallway or given to Connie Kratzer or Noelle Buckley.  The shoeboxes will be wrapped and can be picked up at a later date.

In Matthew 28:19 Jesus told his followers to “make disciples of all nations.”  We can do this by packing a shoebox because each shoebox gift we pack represents one more opportunity to reach a child with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The amazing journey of a simple shoebox gift begins with YOU!