Sunday, November 10, 2013

Operation Christmas Child 2013

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Franklin Graham and has been sending Christmas presents and the message of Jesus to children around the world since 1993.  Folks in various nations pack up shoe boxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and other goodies to send to kids in over 130 countries.  Volunteers from churches and Samaritan's Purse deliver the packages and share the Gospel.  I have packed boxes several times in the past, and Isaac and I are trying to make this one of our yearly traditions.  This year we decided to invite our Sunday School teens to join with us.

Last night, 7 of them met up at our house with shopping lists and money they had saved up by doing extra chores.  We piled in the cars to head to the Dollar Tree to buy candy canes, pens, pencils, crayons, puzzles, jump ropes, soap, toothbrushes, clay, play-doh, and all kinds of other things kids love.  The kids of ours were such meticulous shoppers, checking their lists and adding up tax and costs to maximum their spending.  Wow! 

When we got home, they set to work wrapping their shoe boxes while Isaac and I prepared dinner.  We took a break to eat, and then prayed over the boxes as we stuffed them with their gifts.  The teens had a great time filling out the about me pages, and they really hope they receive letters back from the kids that are gifted with their boxes.

Samaritan's Purse has a great tool now for tracking the boxes online for those that pay shipping through the website.  We're excited to see where our boxes travel in the coming weeks.

Operation Christmas Child isn't collecting boxes until the 3rd week of November (week of the 18th), so there's still plenty of time for you to pack some boxes with your family!  It's a great way to teach kids that Christmas has nothing to do with them but about the gift of Jesus!

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