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Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

Take a box. Fill it. Bring it back. Deadline November 15th
Serving through giving and the power of a simple gift; that is what Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Project is all about. If you are not familiar with it, this is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, a ministry organization led by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has distributed some 69 million shoe box gifts to boys and girls in over 130 war torn or poverty stricken countries throughout the world. In 2008, nearly 8 million shoe box gifts were collected in the United States and ten other sending nations. These shoe boxes are packed with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and other gifts by people like us who want to give of our abundance that others, who are without, might know the love of Christ this Christmas. A gift carries a strong message to the life of a child; that is the gospel in action.

In addition to the smiles, laughter and joy of those who receive a box, these gifts are accompanied by the ministry of the word as well. Along with a shoe box, children receive a gospel booklet printed in their language and an opportunity to complete a 10 lesson discipleship course. Children are not just given a box and left alone; they and their families are lovingly followed up by national Christian leaders. Your gift can help bring hope to the hopeless, joy to the downtrodden and the Savior to those who are without Him.

Southwood has participated in the Shoe Box Project for a number of years and it is an opportunity to serve that many look forward to annually. This year, November 1 kicked off our participation as a church with plastic shoe boxes being handed out by our 3rd and 4th graders after the worship services. Each box contained a brochure with instructions and 2 rubber bands for closing it up after it is filled. Parents filling boxes with their children, grandparents filling boxes with their grandchildren, small groups of students banning together to fill a number of boxes; serving through Operation Christmas Children pulls many of us together in unique ways to serve those we will likely never see or know. God has blessed us that we might be a blessing to others.

So, what can you do? Take a box, fill a box and bring it back to Southwood. This year, Southwood provided 1,000 plastic shoe boxes for you to fill and bring back. If you did not pick up a box after Sunday worship on November 1, we may have some left to be picked up at the Christmas tree near the nursery. Just remember, you don’t have to get a plastic shoe box from Southwood to participate. You can either buy your own or rummage through your closet for available shoe boxes and fill them. If you need a brochure for packing instructions, you can find extras at the Christmas tree near the nursery or go online at http://www.samaritanspurse.org Bring. your filled shoe boxes back to Southwood on November 8 & 15 and place them at the front of the sanctuary on the steps at either side of the stage. Don’t forget to apply the labels from the brochure specifying it is for a boy or girl and the age range. November 15 is your deadline, so don’t delay. Most importantly, pray for the child who will be receiving your shoe box gift.

Want to know where your shoe box gift went this year? Samaritan’s Purse has provided a way for you to track your box’s destination to help you pray more specifically for it’s recipient. On the brochure, there are instructions to help you with this. Part of the Shoe Box Project is your financial donation to help make sure your box gets to it’s destination. This year, it is $7 per box. If instead of including your donation check in the shoe box (using the donation envelope attached to the brochure) you donate online at http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ezgive That&.#8217;s it! They will let you know.

So, this month, before the craziness of Christmas shopping hits you and your family, fill one or more boxes as gifts of hope and be a part of reaching needy kids around the world for Christ. Remember, November 15 is your deadline!