By Mollie LaSalle
WOODVILLE – The pace was fast and furious at First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center last Wednesday evening as children and adults packed and prepared 600 brightly decorated shoeboxes for “Operation Christmas Child”.
According to Kathy Cruse, the coordinator of the effort,
“thisis our second year to participate in this ministry; last year, we packed over 450 shoeboxes, and tonight, we expect to pack 600.” The shoeboxes will then be taken to First Baptist Church in Colmesneil (which also participates) and from there, they will be sent to Beaumont, then to Dallas for their final destinations.
Cruse said that all of their shoeboxes usually get sent to South America. National collection week for the shoeboxes takes place the week of Nov. 14-21.
Operation Christmas Child was started by Franklin Graham in 1993 through Samaritan’s Purse, which partners with the local church worldwide to share the good news of Jesus Christ and make disciples of the nations. Since its inception, almost 200 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received a shoebox. The boxes are age and gender specific, and are filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items and delivered to children in need around the world. In 2021, more than 10.5 million shoeboxes were collected throughout Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Reverend Graham adds, “Every box is an opportunity to reach a child with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
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 local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, go to www. samaritanspurse.org