When generosity and God’s love combine, transformation takes place! In the U.S., over 9,000 volunteers are dedicated year-round to encouraging people in their communities to participate in Operation Christmas Child (OCC). A ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, OCC relies on the generous giving of those who pack shoeboxes with thoughtful items each year to bless children in need around the world.

For Christmas 2018, First Church donated 1,055 OCC shoeboxes and we are excited to participate again this year. Plastic shoeboxes will be available at  the church from October 6 through November 10, or until we run out! Cardboard shoeboxes can also be used.

Last year 10.6 million shoeboxes were sent around the world. It is because of the generosity of Christians that, according to Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham, “Millions of children are coming to the Lord Jesus Christ through OCC and The Greatest Journey Bible study. These young disciples are sharing their faith, and the Gospel is transforming families and communities around the world.”

I am so thankful for the continued generosity of the First Church family. We are praying for another successful Shoebox campaign this year. If you would like to volunteer to help with Operation Christmas Child, please contact Director of Missions Trusha Barner or 239.992.3233.

by Trusha Barner, Director of Missions

Visit samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child for more information.

Special Delivery

We don’t often think about it but, after our shoeboxes reach the distribution center, it takes a massive effort to get each box into the hands of the child intended. Many methods of transportation are used, depending on the terrain(s) of each particular country. In Peru, donkeys are able to traverse the coastal plain, rugged mountains and lowland jungle with the large boxes of precious cargo. Oxen, horse and camel help to deliver OCC shoeboxes to children living in the mountains and rolling plateaus of Mongolia. In Malawi and Madagascar, delivery is by canoe; in Fiji, it’s by foot or raft; in Honduras, it’s by helicopter. God bless the generous people who deliver these gifts in Jesus’ name!