Those Christmas Child Boxes
Every year around this time, I write a post about Operation Christmas Child. They don’t pay me to do this. I do it because it’s a cause close to my heart. The collection week nationally is November 14-21, but it may be sooner if you give through a church or other organization.
You may ask why I’m posting this now with the collection week more than two months away. I’m writing because if you already pack boxes, please consider adding another box or two. Maybe even double what you’ve done in the past. With the war in Ukraine and more than twelve million people displaced, it’s bound to be a year where these boxes are needed more than ever. Operation Christmas Child is hoping to collect enough boxes for eleven million children.
Speaking of Ukraine, a few years ago before the war I wrote about a Ukrainian woman who showed up in my college newsletter. She grew up in an orphanage in Ukraine where she received one present a year—a box from Operation Christmas Child.
An American family adopted her along with her two biological sisters when she was twelve and she became a student at my alma mater. Remembering those yearly gifts she received, she set out to raise money and donors to provide one hundred boxes for Operation Christmas Child―a goal she more than exceeded. She said, “I remember the smell of the brand-new toys when I opened the box (as a child). When packing these boxes, myself, it brought that smell back to me.”
I used this quote from John Wesley before in a post about Operation Christmas Child, “I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.” If you’re longing to do something that will make an eternal difference, please pack a shoe box. Besides elevating the hope level in the children who receive them and giving them such joy, they are also presented with the gospel.
This information is found on the Samaritan’s Purse site, “The Greatest Gift Gospel booklet, available in more than ninety languages, is given out alongside your shoebox gifts. With the Apostle John as narrator, the booklet shares 11 Scripture stories in a child-friendly manner and invites children to follow Christ.” Many of the children are also offered the opportunity to attend a discipleship program, The Greatest Journey.
Please visit the Operation Christmas Child site where you’ll find all the necessary information. My sister and I will together pack our usual couple of dozen boxes, but I’m aiming to do more because of the great need. If packing a box doesn't fit in your time schedule, please give. You may also pack a box online.
I'm excited to announce that Grace Publishing has just released another volume in the Divine Moments series from which all the royalties are donated to Samaritan's purse. I receive no remuneration from my contributions. Entitled, Can Sir, it is a collection of stories from writers who share God's strength in challenging times. It includes one of my favorite stories that I've ever written. Called "Dancing," it comes from my breast cancer journey and is a reminder of the joy God can bring despite difficult circumstances. This book was edited by the incomparable Yvonne Lehman who has now gone to be with the Lord as well as Terri Kalfas, the owner of Grace Publishing.