I have to send a big thank you to all the people in Delta County who dug deep and made the collection for Operation Christmas Child the biggest collection we have ever had to date. It is November 2011 and so far we have collected 1,111 shoebox gifts. Praise the Lord. Thank you to Ferdinand's Restaurant and to Grace Church for providing a collection site.
"Christmas in a Shoebox" ("Operation Christmas Child" OCC) is a division of Samaritan's Purse - well known as the First Responders all over the world when there is a disaster: floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires...wherever people need help. Food, water, shelter, caring, whatever is needed. Just a small part of that is OCC, which has been in existence since 1993 and praise God, more and more people are finding out about the project every year. The need for these shoebox gifts is great. The shoebox gifts go to the poorest of the poor all over the world: children who have lost everything and have nothing. Many have lost their parents and families in the war, or in a disaster, and are left to fend for themselves. As Americans, we have a hard time even imagining what this would be like, as even our poorest here, can still seek and receive help. We had a homeless shelter in Chicago make over 30 of these shoebox gifts. They know what these children feel, and yet they know they have it worse than they do. That is just amazing to me.
In a shoebox: place hygiene items, small toys, school supplies, etc... things that bring joy to a child who has nothing. Even clothes and shoes can be added. The message of hope: Salvation in Jesus Christ has been interpreted in over 80 different languages and these gifts are sent to over 139 different countries. As a follow up, the children who receive these gifts can receive 12 lessons in their language, "The Amazing Journey" and learn about this Hope: Heaven. Last year over 750,000 children accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior as a result of this project, that we know of, and who knows how many other family members came to know the Lord? Because people, like you, reached into their pockets and gave a shoebox gift. This makes OCC the largest mission outreach project in the whole world.
God bless you everyone for helping. If you still want to give, some of us will be leaving to help in one of the many Processing Centers for OCC, and if you want us to carry your shoebox gift(s) with us, just call me BY Dec. 1, LuAnn (906) 280-3584 or Linda (217) 412-9627 or (906) 428-1882. We want to get these gifts to the children by Christmas. Many of the gifts are carried in by crude canoes, elephants, donkeys...into remote villages. Last year one of the 139 countries requested over 140 million boxes for the children that have never received a shoebox gift before. Since 1993, 85 million boxes have been collected... the need is never met. So thank you for helping.
Special thank you to all the clubs,individual churches, girl scout and boy scout troops, and other organizations that participated. National Honor Societies and Key Clubs jumped on board with this great and fun project. Thank you also to The Daily Press, The Action Paper, and to the radio stations that helped promote OCC. If you would like more information about Samaritan's Purse or OCC, go to www.samaritanspurse.com
In Jesus, forever and always,