- Ryan Faricelli
The Gift of God's Love
Operation Christmas Child is one of the many sponsors that make General Assembly a great success.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Through this project, Samaritan’s Purse partners with the local church worldwide to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and make disciples of the nations.
Operation Christmas Child sends this Good News and Great Joy by collecting shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children in need around the world.
This begins with people of all ages, from children to seniors, packing shoebox gifts each year. Parents often use the project to teach their kids about giving. Online resources allow families to track their package and learn what country the child who ultimately received their shoebox lives in.
Churches and community groups of all sizes collect boxes from their communities. Many churches also serve as drop-off locations for shoeboxes during our National Collection Week. National Collection Week is always the third week of November every year.
Once collected, thousands of volunteers serve annually inspecting and preparing shoeboxes for international shipping. Every hour work stops for a few minutes to pray for the children who will receive the boxes.
An important part of the process is also preparing spiritual leaders in the destination countries. Before any shoeboxes arrive in the more than 100 countries, volunteer National Leadership Teams train pastors and community leaders there who want to share the message of the Gospel and bless children. The leaders learn how to host child-friendly outreach events, and how to implement The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program.
Every shoebox is an excellent resource for evangelism, discipleship, and multiplication of new believers and churches around the world. Local Christians share the Gospel, inviting children to trust in Jesus. Then, boys and girls receive a surprise that is sometimes the first gift they have ever received – the shoebox filled with tangible expressions of God’s love.
The Operation Christmas Child website is filled with valuable information and guidance for individuals who want to participate in the program by assembling a shoebox gift.
Churches who wish to become involved in the program by promoting the project, becoming an official collection site, or enabling a volunteer to become a Project Leader can also find information online. Project Leaders facilitate the packing of Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts for a church or group. This includes ordering materials, equipping people with resources, fundraising, sharing about the project, or engaging in any other related activities.
If you are attending General Assembly, you can find Operation Christmas Child in the Exhibit Hall. For those of you at home, you can visit their website at https://samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child