Operation Christmas Child – Give and Get a Cookie!!
Melanie and I have been involved with Operation Christmas Child – Samaritan’s Purse for several years. We love that it is possible for us to give back to children all around the world at Christmas and expect nothing in return. This past Sunday at Church, they showed a video that really hit home. It showed families in America gathering for Christmas, carving a Turkey (we do BBQ), opening gifts, eating pie, decorating Christmas Trees, etc. Intermingled with those videos of a “typical American Christmas”, it showed children from other Countries, in poverty, hungry, no shoes, etc. walking through trash and garbage dumps and drinking filthy water. Then of course, they show the children getting a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child. So, this Christmas, while we are putting on more weight and getting fatter, children in other parts of the world are suffering with no hope. I know children here are suffering as well and I’m saying to ignore them, but children elsewhere have absolutely no hope of their situation improving and they don’t live in an environment where that is even possible.
As I said, we’ve been doing shoeboxes now for years. We started because our Church did it and we wanted to participate. We also decided we would fill a box for each of our children and one for us. So, until Luke was born, we did 3 boy boxes and 2 girl boxes. Now, we do 4 boy boxes and 2 girl boxes every year. It’s really easy to do and inexpensive because what you put in them is stuff that is fun and they need and you can get at pretty much any Dollar type store in your area. You can even put in educational things if you want. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be something a child would like and for children who have basically nothing, that means they will be happy with pretty much anything. So many times, Melanie has come home with stuff and just cried because, as she is looking at the little toys or feeling the little socks, she will look at me and say, this is going to make a child somewhere very very happy to have this and we are so blessed, we don’t even think about it anymore. And, she is more than so right.
Operation Christmas Child – Our Guilt Trip Society
Now, I grew up watching Sally Struthers cry on TV infomercials about the starving children all over the world. Somewhere along the line we all tend to get a little bit cynical. I totally understand that. I wish I could get that out of my mind about how much we are taken advantage of in society by people guilt tripping us into giving more than we want to give. It happens all of the time and people get taken advantage of so easily. That happens especially with older people. But, I can tell you, this is something you can do that will directly go to people without just throwing money at something and hope it makes a difference. The shoeboxes go directly to children in other Countries. I love this verse from The Bible:
James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I think that pretty much says it all. If you want Pure and Faultless Religion, take care of orphans and widows. When you fill a shoebox, you can expect nothing in return. It’s just pure giving and you know The Bible also says it is better to give than to receive. When we give here to people in need, it typically comes with strings attached. We also typically become judgemental or proud of what we’ve done. Sometimes, it can even strain relationships because we expect something in return or we see the person we gave to as ungrateful or they avoid us because they don’t want to be confronted. That is not the case with the Shoebox Ministry. It is giving at it’s finest, from the heart.
Operation Christmas Child – Giving With A Purpose
In each shoebox, Samaritan’s Purse puts a tract with the Gospel Message. There is an old saying that says “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Well, with the shoebox ministry, kids get something for Christmas and as they are given the shoeboxes with gifts, they also have local Missionaries and believers talk to them about Jesus and then they have a tract in there in their own language they can read (if they can read) and share with their friends. It’s a great tool for helping local Missionaries open a door to talk to children and their families. What better way can you help Children this Christmas than to pack a shoebox (or five) with small gifts a kid would enjoy.
Check out this video of Scotty McCreery showing you how to pack a shoebox:
Operation Christmas Child – How You Can Help – Get a Cookie!!
If you live anywhere close to us in Columbia, SC, the Chick Fil A on Garner’s Ferry Road has shoeboxes available. Other Chick Fil A stores may have them as well or you can contact some local churches in your area if you prefer. All you need to do is come by and pick one up and drop it back off filled with stuff for “your child”. There will be an envelope inside also for you to put a monetary donation to help with shipping the package. The requested donation is $7 but you can give more (or if you can’t afford it, you can just bring the shoebox back). Do it, bring the boxes back filled on November 14th between 5 PM and 8 PM and Chick Fil A will give you a Chocolate Chunk Cookie as a Thank You for doing it. Again, if you can’t get it to them at that time, I’m sure if you bring it back sooner they will take the box and you can still get a cookie. Then, Samaritan’s Purse will do the rest. Easy Peasy. I recommend filling at least one for every member of your household, of course, just like we do. If you want, you can get me the money and we will fill a box for you in your name. Most people don’t have time to fly around the world to meet with others and share the gospel. This is a way you can help and never leave your neighborhood, literally. BUT, speaking of that, I am planning a trip to go back to West Africa on January 12th, possibly with my son again, and we will be soliciting donations for that ministry as well. Look for more details on it soon.
If you want more information on Operation Christmas Child, you can go to www.operationchristmaschild.com and check it out or Contact Me. I’m hoping you do this. It’s such a small thing that can affect so many people. As the saying goes….Any fool can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in one seed. This is a small seed you will be planting and only God knows where it will end up. Leave a Legacy and do this.