Operation Christmas Child: Seven!

 

 

7 Weeks Til Shoebox Time!

 

Did you know Operation Christmas Child (OCC) has been around for 20 years?  And this past year they delivered their 100 MILLIONTH box?

100 Millionth Operation Christmas Shoebox Sent!

That’s a lot of boxes.  But the pie chart on the Group Leaders’ Video CD reveals that those 100, 000, 000 children are just a tiny slice of the number of children who have yet to hear the Good News.

 

Come To Think of It

Some of you may not have heard the Good News yourselves.  So you might not know how incredibly important it is to share.  🙂

 

In a Nutshell

  • God created us.  Now, don’t get hung up here, you can come back to that later.  The important part is:  Somehow we got here.

 

  • He had a great plan.  And we messed it up.  Again, don’t get hung up on the details.  One glance at the world as is, and we know it isn’t the way it was intended to be.

 

  • *The Big They* didn’t blow our chances for heaven on earth –  or otherwise.  We did.  Individually we all blew it.  We each have turned our own way and fallen short of God’s expectations.  Hang on, don’t leave me now.   Don’t we fall short of our own hopes, dreams, and expectations?  And we set our sights pretty low in comparison to God’s way, don’t ya think?  🙂

The News Gets Good

  •  We can tolerate the temporary.  If we know suffering will not be forever, we can tolerate it for we know it will end. On bad days, time passing is a mercy. 

 

  • In the same way, death becomes a mercy.  Death is not easy.  Nor always painless.  For the die-er or for the survivor.  And when someone’s life is cut shorter than we expected or hoped, the pain is multiplied.  And the questions mount.  But when suffering is intense, we can face the pain of today because we know time passes.   This pain is temporary.  We will die.  This life is temporary*.

 

  • God established limits out of love.  After we introduced sin into the world, God didn’t want us floundering on earth for eternity making the waters of life muddier and muddier, evil and more evil.  Can you imagine it being worse?  I imagine it could be.  Like a good parent, He established limits.  He escorted us away from access to chomping on the tree of forever-alive-on-earth-life and introduced us to the reality of death.  At that point, post-sin-entering-the-world, death became a mercy.

 

If you doubt me, check out PBS’s “short” about the life of a plastic bag.  It’ll make you thankful there *is* an end.

 

  • *But the end isn’t The End.  When we die, we aren’t recycled, we are resurrected.  We are brought to account before God Himself.  And that life – one way or another – is eternal.  For.  Ever.  God, knowing this, gave us another way of escape.  A hope.   An eternal escape.   But we have to do something about it.

 

  • We have to believe Him.  That’s all He asks.  Believe God loves us enough to give us an escape from the judgment that awaits in the next world.  An escape in Christ at the cross.  An escape from the non-stop, forever judgment we justly deserve.

 

  • Even one breath of sin in our lives was enough to poison the atmosphere.  And just one death of His Son on the cross was enough to cleanse us from all un-right-ness.

 

Powerful Stuff.

And certainly worth putting together some shoeboxes of goodies to share with children so they can hear – and relate to – the meaning of the word, gift.  🙂

It really is.   A gift.  The Good News, I mean.

 

And the beautiful part?

It’s not just for the children.  🙂

 

But These Are – Just For the Children, I Mean

What to Pack for the 2-4 Year Olds (Update: The link may not be active. She’s having trouble with the website. 🙁 )

 

REALITY CHECK:  While we still have 7 weeks left before Shoebox Collection Week begins, we may – or may not – have that long to get things right with the Eternal Collector.  Make every moment count – talk to Him.  He’s listening. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

 

More Shoebox Countdown Tips

Comments

  1. Awesome explanation of the need for Chrsit, the good newsl and the need for the shoe boxes!

  2. Marilyn Jaeger says:

    As a year ’round volunteer w/ Operation Christmas Child, and having volunteered three years now at a Processing Center, it is so wise for people to remove toys and other items from their packaging to save much needed space in the boxes. Even boxes of pencils can be tied together with a ribbon or rubber band instead of sending the box or put them inside a pencil case with other school items. We have found even jump ropes with plastic ties holding them to cardboard. The poor child would need to find someone with a knife or other tool to cut it apart before they could use it. We have also learned that most countries do not have the means to handle the extra trash… so why not recycle it here? If we remove unwanted packaging, we can fit more in the boxes. Freezer bags are excellent for soap to help keep the scent from going throughout the box and into the candy. Candy also does better if double bagged or placed in freezer bags.

    • Thank you, Marilyn, for the tips! It’s amazing all the things we take for granted on Christmas Day. I usually think about the paper we toss, but before this year never really thought about where other countries toss their packaging. Great tip about the soap in plastic bags, too. I saw a video where a woman wraps her soap in the washcloth and then places it in a plastic bag. Imagine the scent of the washcloth when it comes out of the package! Mmmm! I’m curious, what kind of things do you do as a year-round volunteer?

      • Marilyn Jaeger says:

        I am a volunteer working with churches during the year helping their Project Leaders for O.C.C. I work at getting media info out and I serve as a Relay Center Coordinator (our church is the collection point in our area during collection week for shoe boxes). We get the shoe boxes packed, counted and ready to go to the Processing Center (for our area it is Minneapolis MN). Anyone interested in volunteering year ’round can contact Samaritan’s Purse for more information. It is so worthwhile! Thanks for asking!

        • You are a busy lady, Marilyn! I love that each individual you reach means another child is touched in real life with the love of God in Jesus. As a blogger, I’ve been curious how best to serve OCC via media. If you have any tips or advice, I’d love to listen. 🙂 I’ll be starting a Crochet for a Cause series soon, with Operation Christmas Child the focus in February (if I remember my planning calendar correctly). There are so many crocheting projects that tuck nicely into shoeboxes!

          • Marilyn Jaeger says:

            Thank you so much Suzanne. The way I serve in media, is to connect people during ‘collection week’ so it is a little different aspect when we advertise that way. I would suggest you contact Samaritan’s Purse or look at their website to list their web address in sharing that way and getting others ‘on board’. They (@ Samaritan’s Purse /O.C.C.) are just wonderful and so helpful if you call / email they would welcome your questions and give you great advice. Great idea to have little crochet projects for shoe boxes! Those children love things like that.

          • I got involved with their blogger program this past autumn and enjoy it immensely. I’d love to get a group together locally to crochet for the boxes. Maybe I’ll check with our local leaders and see if there are others interested. They might be able to get the word out to local shoeboxers. Thank you for the inspiration, Marilyn!

          • Marilyn Jaeger says:

            Great idea! Sounds like lots of fun!