Amidst all the merriment and fun, Christmas at its core is a time of giving; we take time to remember the greatest Gift given to humanity 2,000 years ago, our Savior.
During this upcoming Christmas season, there are so many wonderful opportunities to give, and I will likely highlight several, but I wanted to start with two: Operation Christmas Child (OCC) and Gospel for Asia (GFA). These two ministries are accomplishing remarkable feats and reaching millions in the name of Jesus Christ.
Operation Christmas Child is one outreach of Samaritan's Purse, started in 1993 by Franklin Graham. It's simple purpose is to provide shoe boxes filled with Christmas presents to needy children around the world. Since it's inception, millions of shoeboxes have been delivered to 95 countries (8 million boxes were delivered last year)! Each shoe box contains a "Greatest Gift of All" booklet in the child's native language, explaining the Gospel. Partnered with a local church, children who receive shoe boxes also have an opportunity to attend discipleship classes and receive their own New Testament. The mission statement of OCC is:
To demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to watch the video below of a young girl from Belarus receiving her shoe box, and consider packing a shoe box this Christmas. National Collection Week is November 15-22, but you may send completed boxes year-round to the Samaritan's Purse headquarters (Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan's Purse, P.O. Box 3000, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607). You can also track your shoe box to see where it is delivered! Please follow the appropriate links for further information on how to pack a shoe box and to answer any frequently asked questions.