In November, the parishioners of Christ Memorial participated in a wonderful evangelism and outreach effort called Operation Christmas Child which is sponsored by Samaritan's Purse each year. The idea of the project is to pack and deliver a shoe box full of fun and useful items to a needy child somewhere in world. This is a gift, given in love and in the name of Jesus Christ, with no strings attached. According to the literature, for every eight boxes delivered, a child comes to faith in Christ. This year, the collection station at First Baptist, Mansfield collected 3,407 shoe boxes, an increase of almost 5% over last year. In turn, the collection center in Bossier City took in over 21,000 boxes which were then trucked to the regional receiving center in Hurst, TX, which received 413,248 boxes from Texas and Louisiana (88,314). Nationally, Operation Christmas Child was able to collect and deliver over 5.5 million boxes in 2010. Praise God!
It is not too early to start thinking about OCC for next year. One easy way to help is to keep a watchful eye when you go to the store. If you see plastic shoe boxes on sale, pick up a few. If you see toys or toiletries that we can put in the boxes, pick them up and stash them away. Make it a habit to pick up a little something here and there; and then when box packing time rolls around again, we'll be ready to make it happen.
I would also ask your prayers for all those who do so much to bring the Light of Christ to the nations of the Earth. Pray for those who have heard and received the Gift of Christ, that they may be strong and joyful in their faith. Pray for those who have yet to hear the Word, that God will touch them with His infinite Goodness and Mercy.