Wednesday evening my daughter and I headed into our KidsLife class with enthusiasm. It was a special night. The night we would pack Operation Christmas Child boxes and get to share with our first graders how most of the world lives. A large percentage of Earth’s population lives in third world countries. Countries where Operation Christmas Child sends Christmas boxes filled with both fun and practical items, as well as, Salvation literature.
Our lesson for the evening was on Jonah. That couldn’t have been more perfect. Jonah was an Old Testament missionary profit. God asked him to go to a country he had prejudices with and share repentance. Jonah new if the Assyrian Ninevites repented, God would forgive them. Jonah didn’t want that to happen. God made sure it did happen.
God expects us to get past our prejudices, too. He expects us to share His word with those who live differently than us; those we are scared of because of our differences. God desires the entire world to know Him. Ministries like Samaritan’s Purse with projects like Operation Christmas Child help us to reach people who are not in our immediate neighborhoods and share His love.
Up the church stairs we climbed with ten kiddos. Smiles and giggles from excited little faces beamed as they headed into the craft room to find a stack of plastic boxes and tables filled with soap and other toiletry items. Other tables were covered with small toys and coloring books. A member of the church had collected all the materials needed for OCC boxes and donated them to the church so each child could experience the joy of filling a box. Parents were asked to help cover the fees for shipping the boxes.
With boxes filled, our class brought them back into our room to pray over them. While our class sat in circle on the floor, we discussed what it would be like for the child receiving their gift. Children who didn’t have these items. Many of whom owned just the clothing on their back and walked miles to the nearest water pump or river for a drink.
One of our boys leaned over his box and said, “Can’t I keep my box? It has so many cool things in it?” “It does,” I replied back to him. “Won’t the boy who opens it be so excited?”
He looked at me and slowly began to release the box.
“Lord, Jesus,” we prayed. “Thank you for everyone in this circle. Thank you for all the children that will be blessed by these gifts. Thank you for this opportunity to show love to someone else. Please, help those who receive these gifts to know of Your great love and mercy. Amen”
One by one each child wrote a letter to the person who would receive their box. One by one they colored a picture. One by one they stacked their boxes on the table holding boxes from other people in our congregation. So proud. So eager to make a difference in someone else’s life.
If you’d like to make a difference through Operation Christmas Child visit Samaritan’s Purse to find out more information.