Candlewood Church in Omaha, Nebraska is participating in Operation Christmas Child for the fourth year in a row. Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that distributes Christmas shoebox gifts to children all over the world.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is “to provide God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
The amazing part of supporting this ministry is not only that many impoverished children will receive a gift for the very first time, but also, that they will each get to hear the good news of Jesus Christ in their own language. The shoeboxes are such a blessing to the children, as well as to the local churches, as the gift distribution connects people, who may not otherwise be reached, with the local church.
Why is This Important?
It is estimated that each shoebox represents seven people hearing the Gospel. The child can then go through a 12-week discipleship program, in which they get a Bible in their own language. What an incredible opportunity we have to be difference makers and be part of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth!
Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
What Can You Do?
Last year, Candlewood Church gave 735 Christmas boxes. This year, our goal is 750 boxes.
You can choose to fill a shoebox individually, as a family, or as a small group, but also think about getting neighbors, extended family, and coworkers involved. The holidays are a time when people are often looking for ways to give back, and Operation Christmas Child could be just the opportunity they are looking for, especially during these uncertain times of COVID-19, where many people want to help and serve but restrictions prohibit them. It could even create gospel opportunities here in our neighborhoods, families, and workplaces. There is no limit to what God can do with this.
How to Pack a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
There are countless ways to pack an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
- First off, choose which gender and age group you want to do, and then decide on a “WOW Item.” This could be a (deflated) soccer ball, stuffed animal, nice outfit, etc.
- Then, decide what other items you’d like to add: school supplies (pencils, pens, markers, notebooks, rulers, etc.); personal care items (bars of soap, toothbrush, brush, wash cloths, etc.); other small toys/activities; clothing items/accessories.
- Finally, include a personal note. The personal note is an awesome opportunity to tell them you care about them, are praying for them, and that there’s a God who loves them. It is fun to include a picture of you/your family, your email address, or any contact information you feel comfortable sharing, as it’s possible to have ongoing communication with them!
Candlewood is generously providing the boxes and covering the $9 shipping donation for the first 750 boxes, so all you have to do is fill the box!
Collection Day for Operation Christmas Child boxes is Sunday, November 22nd
If you decide to participate this year, remember to please bring your shoeboxes to church on Sunday, November 22nd. Be sure your shoebox has the provided label identifying age and gender, and please secure the box closed with rubber bands on each end.
We appreciate your participation and generosity in your decision to be a difference maker with Operation Christmas Child, and we trust God to do incredible things through this ministry—across the world and in our own hearts.
Ways to Pray for Operation Christmas Child
- Pray for the child who will receive your shoebox.
- Pray for soft hearts that are ready for the grace and love of Jesus to change their lives.
- Pray for impact beyond the children receiving the shoeboxes.
If you have any questions about Operation Christmas Child, please connect with Candlewood Church here.