For many years my own family and my church family have participated in packing shoebox gifts to be distributed around the world by Samaritan’s Purse. It is that time of year again.
We will wrap shoeboxes or pick up the easy-to-identify green boxes with red lids at Christian book stores, Hobby Lobby’s, or Chick Fil A’s. Small toys, articles of clothing, school and craft supplies, and personal care items will be stuffed into each box. The boxes will be shipped to Samaritan’s Purse processing centers and then delivered to boys and girls by Samaritan’s Purse team members. For many of these children, the shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received.
Also packed into each box will be a booklet, The Greatest Gift, which tells the gospel story in the recipient’s own language. In this way, each child is introduced to the good news that Jesus died for their sins and rose again.
Sharing God’s love through shoebox gifts is a wonderful way to bless a child. These simple gifts remind, or inform, a child that God loves him and wants a relationship with him. They open the door for that child to be able to accept Jesus as his Savior and look forward to an eternity in Heaven. And that is truly the Greatest Gift of all.
I encourage everyone reading this to prayerfully participate in this ministry this year. Pray about whether you should pack a box for a boy or girl, pray for direction as you pack your box or boxes, and pray that the heart of each recipient will be open to the good news of the gospel.
Christmas is six weeks away, but it’s not too early to start getting in the Christmas spirit by blessing others. Like many churches around the country, my church is participating in Operation Shoebox, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse.The girls in our Girls Ministries program filled shoeboxes with gifts to be given to a boy or girl in a foreign country. For many of these children, it will be the first Christmas gift they have ever received. Each of our seven classes filled one or two shoeboxes. A few of them are depicted below.
There is still time for you to participate in this important ministry. You can use your own shoebox or pick up a decorated box at your local Christian bookstore or Chick fil A restaurant. If you use your own, please wrap it in Christmas paper. Fill the box with some toys, personal hygiene products, school and art supplies, hard candies, or other small gifts. Use your imagination and ask God to give your ideas for your box.
Box collection started today and goes through next Monday, November 19. It’s not too late, but time is running out. If you are able to participate, you will bless a child and share with them the true spirit of Christ. And in doing so, you will be blessed in return.
Acts 20:35, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”