The following is from Michael Kelley’s blog. He gave me permission to post it in its entirety. I was wanting to do an OCC post since this is “collection week,” but his entry was so good, I thought, why duplicate? Thanks, Michael! –

Last night, our family went to Target to fill our Operation Christmas Child shoebox. This is a great organization with a great mission:

Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. People of all ages can be involved in this simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.

It’s simple – make Christmas better for a child by filling a shoebox full of gifts. But here are a few things you might not know about OCC:

– Did you know that there is a national leadership team in each country that receives boxes? Boxes only go to countries that have a National Leadership Team. This team is made up national volunteer Christians
that have a heart to see their country come to know Christ. They help raise funds to help pay for the transportations of shoe boxes into their country. They make the decisions about where distributions
happen and are responsible for creating opportunities for distributions to all kids by creating a strategic plan (meaning that kiddos get one box- not multiple boxes that they show up year to year
just to get the stuff- the goal is to provide the gospel)

– Every child is given the opportunity to participate in a 10 week discipleship program and plugged into a local church

– Shoe boxes have allowed Samaritans Purse to create roots in communities. OCC opens the doors to focus on relief and community development. Other SP programs include children’s heart project, instillations of water filtration systems/ feeding programs, HIV programs, and Medical Mission programs.

– A shoe box = gospel opportunity. For every box that is distributed a copy of “The Greatest Gift of All” is distributed in the language that the child speaks. So last year 7.6 million copies of the gospel was spread throughout the world. Think about how influential that is. One child gets a box- he/she goes home to his 4 siblings and his mom and dad.

– There are 11 sending countries. The US of A is not the only country giving- Other sending countries include Austria, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, UK and New Zealand.

This is national collection week. Click here to find out where to drop off your shoebox.

On this day...