This Sunday we will begin collecting boxes for Operation Christmas Child 2020. Our church has participated in this ministry since our founding 15 years ago. In that time we have grown, the number of boxes collected by our church has increased, but more than that, new areas in our world have been reached with the Gospel for the first time. It is amazing to think that a simple collection of gifts, packed in the size of a shoe box, could be more impactful to a community than a missionary evangelist visiting the area. That is at least what Billy Graham’s grandson believes. Edward Graham, the grandson of the late evangelist Billy Graham, says shoeboxes filled with gifts are reaching more children and unreached people with the Gospel than the massive global evangelistic events his grandfather held over decades.
“More kids have heard about Christ through these shoebox distributions than ever heard about Christ in stadiums with my grandfather,” said Graham, vice president of programs and government relations at Operation Christmas Child, regarding the evangelistic opportunity shoebox gifts are creating around the world for the Gospel to spread like wildfire. Some might underestimate the impact of packing gift boxes during the holidays, but Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, has provided an open door for people to be a part of evangelism efforts around the world. Operation Christmas Child participants fill shoe sized gift boxes that are sent to over 160 nations, including 50 hard to reach areas.
The gift boxes collected and distributed to children are often filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and always contain booklets with the Gospel message. Samaritans Purse, along with ministry partners, delivers the boxes to children in need around the world, opening the door for the next generation to hear the message of God.
If children want to continue to learn more about Jesus, Operation Christmas Child has a 12-lesson discipleship program, called The Greatest Journey, which takes children further into discovering what it is to follow Jesus and how to share that with their family.
As you complete your shopping this week, pray over each item you place in the boxes. Ask the Lord to use the item to bless the boy or girl. Pray that he or she will use the item to bless others as he or she learns about Jesus. Your simple gift has the power to change an entire community. Take this task very serious as we can see the impact this ministry is having on our world. You might not be called to travel the globe speaking for Jesus, but according to stories coming back from the field, your thoughtful gift can be more powerful than any words you might have spoken in His name!
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Serving the Savior,
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