Local churches filling shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
Published 7:33 pm Friday, November 2, 2018
By LIBBY CRISWELL
First Baptist Church on the Square is collecting shoe boxes with gifts for children of a particular age group and gender as part of Operation Christmas Child. Collections will be taken until November 18.
Last year, about 20 different churches from the LaGrange area participated in Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse project focused on bringing God’s love to more than 100 poverty-stricken countries around the world.
Items put in a box may vary, but school supplies, toys and personal hygiene items are commonly included. Also included in each of the boxes is either a New Testament Bible or a booklet describing the Christian faith. Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 135 million shoe boxes to children in need since 1993, thanks to more than 500,000 volunteers worldwide.
Tom Farr, the Discipleship and Christian Education Pastor at First Baptist Church on the Square, described Operation Christmas Child as “the global effort of Samaritan’s Purse to reach boys and girls and their families with the good news of Jesus Christ through boxes that we pack.”
First Baptist Church packed and sent off 1,361 shoe boxes last year. The church has participated in Operation Christmas Child for 25 years, but this year, things were done a little differently.
“We participated in a project this year where we sent our boxes early in order to reach countries that are harder to reach,” said Farr.
Recently, volunteers from First Baptist have spent a few mornings in the church gym packing shoe boxes. The church had packed a total of 1,227 shoe boxes by mid-October.
Members of the community are welcome and are encouraged to drop their boxes off at First Baptist. The boxes will be sent on from there. Participants have the ability to see where in the world their own shoe boxes went.
“I would encourage everyone to participate in Operation Christmas Child. It’s a fun way to involve families, individuals, small groups, and Sunday School classes in packing shoeboxes that will reach a Child for Jesus Christ,” Farr said. “We will take as many as people bring.”