The Great Joy of Sharing the Good News

10.07.21 | Missions & Outreach | by Judy Foster

The Great Joy of Sharing the Good News

    She was thrilled with the glossy notebook, pencils, the sweet-smelling soap, towels, and other items. She knew her heavenly Father loved her. Since then, she has shared Jesus with her family, cousins, and siblings...

     

    Evangeline was raised on a small island in the Philippines. After her father lost his job due to a fire at the factory, he became an alcoholic and no longer cared for his family. At the same time, the government made a dump site near Evangeline’s cardboard home. Her mother and older brother spent their days finding items in the garbage they could sell to get food, while Evangeline cared for the children. Her little three-year-old sister would disappear on Sundays, and Evangeline would find her with a group of Christians at the dump site singing songs and hearing stories about Jesus.

    Someone invited Evangeline to help cook for the children. When she was 13, she received Jesus as Savior. That December, Operation Christmas Child (OCC) came to their dump site and asked Evangeline to help distribute gifts. She said the gifts smelled so good because all they ever smelled was garbage. As she distributed the boxes, she kept praying that maybe one of these shoeboxes could be for her. Finally, there were only a few left. At the very end, the Samaritan’s Purse lady handed the last shoebox to Evangeline.

    She could hardly believe it – she had never received a gift before! She was thrilled with the glossy notebook, pencils, the sweet-smelling soap, towels, and other items. She knew her heavenly Father loved her. Since then, she has shared Jesus with her family, cousins, and siblings. Although she is still praying for her parents and one brother, all the others have accepted Jesus as Lord.

    Every shoebox gift that you pack, pray over, and send represents a precious child just like Evangeline who gets to hear that God loves them and sent His Son. Wow! This is your ministry as you partner with Operation Christmas Child.

    9.1 million boxes were delivered to 9.1 million kids in over 100 countries in 2020– Covid year! God made a way because this is HIS ministry. He directs each box to minister to the specific child who receives it, as evidenced by so many testimonies. Additionally, hundreds of churches were started last year by these children. They told their families, friends, and village leaders about Jesus and started meeting together; Seed Group and Samaritan’s Purse, along with other village pastors, have helped them start and build churches.

    Each of us can participate in this ministry by packing boxes – pack as many as God leads – one more box is one more child like Evangeline. We can also donate items (many of you have been doing this all year!). We can also pack boxes on Packing Day, November 20, at Covenant. You can also Build-a-Box-Online; this is a great way to send a shoebox. You choose items, pay $25 for items including shipping, pray for the child, and it is done. This is the link for Covenant’s Build-a-Box-Online page: https://sampur.se/3A5jJ6l. You can also participate in OCC Prep Day (Tuesday, October 12). We need many volunteers to accomplish all the tasks. And, again this year, Covenant will be one of over 4,000 collection locations in the United States. We need many volunteers to make this happen too. Collection Week is November 15-22. Sign-up sheets will be available by November 1.

    Last year, CPC sent 460 shoebox gifts to 460 children. This year we hope to send to more than 500 little ones! This only happens when each of us participates. I look forward to working with all of you – seasoned shoebox volunteers, brand new members, visitors, families, singles, teens – there is a place for everyone to know the GREAT JOY of sharing the GOOD NEWS with kids!

    Paul in Romans 15:16 understood this great joy in sharing the gospel. When praying for these children that OCC reaches, I think of that verse in this personalized way: Because of the grace God gave us to be ministers of Christ Jesus to the children with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the children might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Help proclaim the gospel to these children by sending shoebox gifts through OCC.

    ~ Judy Foster
    OCC Coordinator

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