For the last ten years, members of Faith Evangelical Free Church have been packing shoeboxes in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child which is headed by Franklin Graham. …
For the last ten years, members of Faith Evangelical Free Church have been packing shoeboxes in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child which is headed by Franklin Graham. Jamie Barth, Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Faith Free, shares that the organization uses the shoeboxes as resources for evangelism and discipleship through local Christians sharing the Gospel. “For some boys and girls this may be their first gift ever!” Barth comments.
The Samaritan’s Purse International Relief website states that Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind and since 1993, has collected shoeboxes from all over the world including Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, North America, and the United Kingdom. More than 209 million shoebox gifts have been delivered to children in more than 170 countries and territories. They hope to reach another eleven million children as they celebrate their 30th year of ministry and they want to show the Love of Jesus not only in word but in a tangible way.
On Nov. 8 children ages Pre-K to 5th grade who attend Faith Evangelical Free Church’s Kids Club had a “packing party” and packed shoeboxes with previously donated items that children in different age ranges would like. They chose a special toy, school supplies and personal care items for each box. The Kid’s Club also made and included handmade cards with inspirational messages. Barth shared, “Some chose to include a little about themselves or draw pictures and/ or included writing ‘Jesus loves you’ or Bible Verses. We also pray over the boxes and the children that will receive the boxes.” The Church then takes the shoeboxes to drop off locations where the boxes are inspected and then prepared for international shipment.
Barth, who participates in packing the shoeboxes with her own daughter, says, “I personally take part in it with my daughter to teach her to share and bless others because God blesses her so much.” She wants to teach her that it’s important to look to the needs of those around you and what you can do for others. Barth shares why Faith Free Church feels that it is important to help those around them who need a hand. “We, at Faith Free, think it’s important to be the hands and feet of Jesus; it gives opportunities for families to focus on loving others during this time of year which is often focused on ourselves; we know it would please God and make some children very happy.”
For more information on the Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org.
For more information on Faith Free Church, visit their website at faithfreestanley.org or call 715-644-2001.