Operation Christmas Child is holding an event, and YOU are invited!
As you know, the Northeast area (where I am from) was hit by by Hurricane Sandy last year. I know of many stories of how, even through devastation and loss, people still packed and gave their shoebox gifts sacrificially.
Just recently, the Philippines experienced their own devastating storm (Typhoon Haiyan) that claimed the lives of 5,500 people, leaving many more in need of clean water, medical supplies, and repairs to their homes.
Samaritan’s Purse was quick to respond and currently has a 54-member team on the ground to support the critical needs of the people impacted by this catastrophe.
Operation Christmas Child had already intended to send more than 500,000 shoebox gifts for delivery to children in the Philippines.
Here’s the exciting part: more than 60,000 of these gifts will come from Hurricane Sandy victims from New York and New Jersey!
Those who know first-hand the devastation a storm can cause, will ensure the children of the Philippines know that they are loved and not forgotten!!
Everyone is invited to an airlift event on December 12 at 10:30 a.m. at JFK airport where these shoebox gifts will be loaded on a 747 bound for the Philippines.
Franklin Graham and Hurricane Sandy survivors will host the shoebox gift send-off and press conference prior to the plane’s departure.
***Due to security restrictions on a working airport tarmac, it is required that you RSVP to the event by emailing: OCCmedia@samaritan.org
The National Leadership Team in the Philippines is excited to receive these shoebox gifts for thousands of children who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Please pray for the children who will receive these gifts – and for the Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief team as they continue to offer support and Christ’s love to the people of the Philippines.
Please also pray for favor with the media during this event – that more people around the United States would hear about Operation Christmas Child and decide to get involved this year by packing a shoebox gift online.
I hope to see you at the event next week.
For 2 days ONLY, December 4 and 5, purchase the brand new Christmas song from NEWSONG, “White as Snow” for only $1 and all the proceeds will go to Operation Christmas Child!
Have you see MY HOPE by Billy Graham yet? I LOVED IT!
While packing might be over for this year – now would be a great time to begin to pray for who you might invite to next year’s packing party!!!
My husband and I recently combined My Hope with two Operation Christmas Child packing parties. As we neatly packed 23 shoeboxes for children overseas, we stepped outside our comfort zone to share our faith with more than a dozen friends.
It’s funny how I always thought about My Hope being for other people. Sure, I participated in it, but it’s really for people who haven’t experienced Christ. It’s a way to tell them about the difference He can make in their lives. Right?
Well, that’s part of it.
For the past year, I’ve prayed almost every day for 20 people. Some of them have been friends since middle school; others I’ve known only a short time.
I first started praying for them because of My Hope, a nationwide movement to tell people about Christ. The more I prayed, the more I saw prayers answered, and the more I wondered why it hadn’t occurred to me before to pray for my friends regularly. I prayed for time to hang out with them, for opportunities to share my faith and for them to realize their need for God.
I wasn’t sure where some of them stood as far as faith goes, but I know others on my list definitely don’t believe in God. Some would identify themselves as Christians, but don’t believe some of the basics of Christianity. My husband and I have spent the past year sharing dinners and concerts with them, seeing movies together, carpooling and going on short trips together. We’ve played Rock Band, gone camping, changed a friend’s tire and — with all of them — we’ve talked about faith.
Then, earlier this month, we hosted two Operation Christmas Child packing parties. We packed and wrapped shoeboxes, had appetizers and great conversation. We even made a bonfire. We had mentioned in the invitation that we also wanted to share a short film featuring Billy Graham in conjunction with the party.
In the days leading up to that first packing party, I asked God to replace the nervousness I felt with excitement. I remembered Mark 11:24: “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it.” I tried my hardest to trust that God would help me through it, and He did.
As we showed “The Cross,” the room was dead quiet. When it was over, a couple of our guests were teary eyed.
My husband and I shared our own stories of faith, and our friends thanked us for it. I could see from one friend’s face that he was particularly touched. (This is a friend who had recently opened up about his faith at the end of a long night, just hours after we prayed for a chance to talk about God.)
Another friend at the party looked slightly uncomfortable after the film, and that was OK; he needed to hear the message about Christ’s love and sacrifice.
He and his wife, a longtime friend of mine, even joined us for church the next day, and my friend told me about the Bible study she started attending. I’ve been praying for them to get involved in church.
At the end of the night, everyone said they had a good time, and no one left upset or annoyed that we openly talked about Jesus Christ. One couple couldn’t stay for the film, but we had the chance to reach out to them in another way and gave them a copy of “The Cross” afterward.
Two weeks later, we held our second packing party. This is the one I was more nervous about because one of my best friends who clams up when anyone talks about God was going to watch a My Hope film in our home — with her fiancé, an atheist.
At the second party, we showed “Defining Moments” because the stories so closely align with those of the guests we invited. A few friends commented on how good the film was, and even my friend’s fiancé seemed to enjoy it.
After both gatherings, we told our guests that if they don’t have the hope or peace that we shared about, we hoped they would let us know so we could encourage them. And if they prayed to accept Christ, we would be happy to follow up.
When all was said and done, we had 15 adults and four kids attend our packing parties. It was a relief and an emotional high to know that we effectively shared the Gospel and that people even liked it!
While no one said they committed their lives to Christ, there’s no doubt in my mind that seeds were planted. I know that analogy is overused, but it’s true. And there’s no harvest without seeds. I’m grateful that God has given us friends who don’t have a relationship with Him, and I pray that He allows us to see every single one make that commitment for the first time. We’re still finding ways to get “The Cross” to the few friends who couldn’t make it.
God has left no doubt in our minds that He is working in our friends’ lives. But even more than that, He has showed me that My Hope isn’t just for people I’m praying for. It’s also for me. It has made me more intentional about being a good friend and sharing my faith. It has brought me and my husband closer as we pray together for our friends. And it has increased my faith in the God who answers prayers and cares even more about our friends than we do.
While my husband and I have now “done” My Hope, it really never ends. This is only the beginning of living a more emboldened life for Christ that is not ashamed of our Savior but that passionately proclaims how He can transform lives, including ours.
(I’ve included the entire article. Occasionally these great stories get deleted from their main pages, and I wanted to preserve this!)
I just saw this great question on the Operation Christmas Child facebook page:
“Will our shoeboxes arrive at Christmas?”
“The shoebox gifts are shipped out from our processing centers by the middle of December, and depending on the distance they must travel, some of them are delivered by Christmas–primarily those in Central/South America and Eastern Europe.
Most of the gifts are sent via ship, and although the collection of Operation Christmas Child gifts is during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, the delivery of some gifts is sometimes delayed due to international shipping and they may not clear customs in receiving countries until spring.
In addition, many countries that receive the gifts must transport the gifts to rural areas using very poor roads.
Distributions typically occur from late December through spring each year, extending the joy of Christmas to children that receive them!”
(Helps explain why we must have long expiration dates on toothpaste)
WOWSA – this is a GREAT idea!
Do you have someone on your Christmas List who would love a really cool t-shirt?
Sevenly is sponsoring Operation Christmas Child this week.
Order a t-shirt from a selection (there are several varieties), get FREE SHIPPING until midnight (pst, December 2) and they will donate $7 to Operation Christmas Child to ship shoeboxes!
Are you having Christmas parties with friends – and exchange little gifts?
Instead of another candle or sachet — what about sending 10 gospel booklets for $5 — wouldn’t that be even more appreciated?
Items start as little as $4 and go up from there.
Give a gift in the name of someone special to show how much you care for your family, friends, and those around the world who need hope.
FAMILY TOURS are available at the Processing Centers!
What a great opportunity to bring the young ones (under 13) to visit and see just what is the next step in the journey of their shoebox.
The tours are reserved by appointment and consist of three stations:
- Intro to Operation Christmas Child
- Shoebox Processing Station
- Beyond the Box/Spiritual Impact.
The tours are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the following locations:
- Boone, NC (November 29 – December 18th)
- Charlotte, NC (November 29th – December 18th)* *Almost full.
- Atlanta, GA (November 29th – December 18th )
- Minneapolis, MN (November 29th – 18th )
- Denver, CO (November 29th – December 16th)
- Santa Ana, CA (November 29th – December 18th)
- Dallas, TX (November 29th – December 16th)
To register, call 1-800-442-9120.
This event is designed for families, but schools, groups, and clubs also may attend.
FiveBelow – their store brand rubber band bracelet loom is $5 – (their bags of rubber bands are 3 for $5).
12 pk of socks for $5
$1 for the solar dancing flower! I saw these and they just made me laugh – I had to get at least 1!
(I picked up the loom for my family to give ME as a Christmas gift, lol!)
Collection Week 2013 is over!
The shoeboxes have been packed, brought to drop off locations all over the country……
packed into thousands of cartons….and loaded onto the trucks. Phew!
Thank you to the thousands of volunteers who have sacrificed to make this happen!
Every report I have heard from around the country has been wonderful….shoebox totals are not only up, but new churches and new people have participated.
And everyone was having a great time doing it. These boxes have touched our lives as much as we pray they will touch the lives of the children who receive them.
But I’m pooped! Keri from Louisiana shared this picture on the Operation Christmas Child facebook page!
In my 2 counties in NY – last year due to Hurricane Sandy our numbers were down to around 15,000.
This year they jumped to 21,082!
I decided not to shop Black Friday sales, but to put my feet up! And praise the Lord!
Now it’s time for the volunteers at the Processing Centers to take over. Are you volunteering at a PC this year?
You have 2 MORE DAYS to pack a shoebox to be sent to a child in the Philippines!
Typhoon Haiyan has caused much more destruction than even Hurricane Sandy.
Fill a box of love and hope! All the shoeboxes dropped off in Nassau and Queens will be airlifted to the Philippines on December 12th!
We are still collecting Sunday and Monday at all 11 of our drop off locations in Nassau and Queens –
for times and locations check here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/drop-off-locations/