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I can image it right now…
A little girl or boy, holding a shoebox in their arms. Anticipation and eagerness etched on the brow of its young possessor. A white smile spread wide, the pain and worry removed from their youthful face, as they listen to the story of the Ultimate Gift. That young child is hearing about a Father they have not heard of before and a Love that they have been yearning for a long time. Then finally, when they have been fed the Truth, the child is told to open their box. The child can’t get the box open fast enough. Screams and yells of excitement are surrounding this child as their friends open their special boxes, completely filled with delight and joy. Once this little girl or boy opens the box and feasts their eyes on all the goodies inside, they cannot contain the excitement. The child takes each item out of the box, giving it a thorough examination, with eyes of wonder. “This is mine,” suddenly runs through his or her mind. A smile creeps up and the sound of laughter escapes out from those lovely, kissable lips. I can send a smile in a shoebox. An everlasting smile.
I can do that to not just one child…but countless children. I can give many children the joy of hearing that there is a heavenly Father who loves them, and another person out in this world who cares for them. This is what goes through my mind when I am packing an Operation Christmas Child box.
I want to make a difference. How about you?
My goal for this year is to bless 50 children with a shoebox that they can call their own, and I want to invite you, your family, and your friends to participate with me! How does that sound? Want to join me?
Here are some ideas that you and your kids can do to get involved and become aware of how Operation Christmas Child works:
- Read the books, Miracle in a Shoebox and Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts, which tells stories of children who have received a shoebox and how it changed their lives.
- Throw a “Shoebox Packing Party” with your friends and family. Make it festive by offering Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, and Christmas music playing in the background!
- Take a picture of some of the shoeboxes you and your children have packed and send them to me on Facebook, or on Instagram using the hashtag #SendingSmiles.
- Join me and help 50 children receive a shoebox this Christmas! (Online only, this is perfect for those of you who want to help, but don’t have time to shop and pack a box, or missed the National Collection Week)
- Watch Si Robertson pack his first shoebox, and share it with your friends, using the hashtag #ShoeboxSi on social media.
I just wanted to share with you a story of a man I personally met in October, Alex Nsengimana. What a story. We only know about it today, because of God and him receiving an Operation Christmas Child shoebox…
“Alex never knew is father, and his mother died from AIDS when he was only 4 years old, leaving his older sister and younger brother in the charge of their grandmother and young uncle.
After witnessing his grandmother’s and uncle’s murders, Alex, his brother and sister ran. They ran for nearly two months, crossing the hills around Kigali. Explosions from bombs and grenades followed them everywhere they went, it even went as far as someone opening fire on him, bullets whizzing past him. One even grazed his hair, but no matter what danger Alex and his siblings were in, they would always come out alive. “Why?” Alex asked himself, “Why am I still alive and all those other people dead?”
One day, at the orphanage he was now living at, he received his shoebox from OCC. He can still picture the box, along with many of its contents. Small, multi-colored candies—Alex thought they were medicine—a comb, and his favorite: a red and white striped stick shaped like a “j.” He couldn’t figure out what that was, so he stuck it in his mouth. As he bit through the plastic wrapping, a sweet cooling sensation filled his mouth. Alex had eaten his first candy cane.“ Just having something that we could call our own, that could take our minds off of what happened during the war, reminded us that someone out there cared for us and we still had hope,” he said.”
Get involved, today! Make a child’s Christmas as merry as your own, and change their life forever…Jack!