They can also hold the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
Shoeboxes have TONS of uses, but my very favorite thing to use them for is bringing joy and Jesus Christ to children in dire need of both.
In December, I had the pleasure of going to the headquarters of Samaritan’s Purse in Boone, NC to help process shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, (OCC for short).
What is OCC?
Well, each year thousands of people in the United States and all over the world pack spare shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, hygiene items, clothing, candy and many other things to send to needy children around the world. After boxes are processed they are shipped to impoverished and war-torn areas in Africa, Asia and beyond, where children and their families are invited to come hear about Jesus’s unfailing love for them, and expression of that love as he died on the cross: the greatest gift of all. Following this, OCC workers hand out shoeboxes filled with goodies to every eagerly-waiting child.
Joy and excitement fill the air as the boxes are opened. Things that seem everyday to us, toothbrushes, combs, candy and simple toys are things these children have never seen or had before.
One of the items most loved by the children is the letter and picture from the person who packed the box.
The discipleship of the children continues as many of the churches offer The Greatest Journey, a 12 lesson Bible study program, which invites the children to respond to the Gospel and teaches them how to walk with Jesus and share their faith.
The project just celebrated its 20th anniversary with 113 million boxes given out worldwide.
While I was at the processing center in December I was overwhelmed at all the boxes! As I helped with box inspection my heart was warmed just thinking of the children who would receive the boxes and what it would mean to them. People put such care into the boxes they pack and I could literally -feel- the love for the child that would receive the box.
Then, when an announcement was made asking for people interested in volunteering year-round, I knew that Operation Christmas Child was something I needed to be involved in. I went straight away to sign up.
It doesn’t matter if you have a small shoe size! Your shoeboxes can hold more inside than you’ll ever know. Each box is a life forever touched by Christ’s love.
Have you ever packed a box for Operation Christmas Child?