Intersection of Life and Faith

A Look at Operation Christmas Child Gifts

Emily Hall

After the stress of scurrying from one store to another, searching for a child’s Christmas gift (or scouring websites searching for free holiday shipping), one of the greatest rewards is watching that child rip away wrapping paper, finally revealing the surprise they’ve been waiting for.

Volunteers who pack special gifts into a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) don’t usually get to watch that scene with all its joyful squeals. So OCC filmed the reactions of a group of young boys in Trinidad as they waited patiently for the OK, then popped open the red and green shoeboxes to receive their gifts from generous people they’ve never met. Their excitement is palpable and priceless.

In the video, one boy shrieks, hoists a stuffed whale into the air, gives it a hug, then begins playing with his new toy from an OCC shoebox packer.

If you look closely, you’ll see that each little boy received not only a box of fun toys and essential hygiene items, but also a Gospel story booklet from Samaritan’s Purse called, The Greatest Gift, in their local language.

“Pastors around the world host outreach events in places where people may not know Christ and invite them to follow Him,” according to Samaritan’s Purse. “Other churches use the boxes as resources for outreach in orphanages and other at-risk areas.” Many of these outreach events include The Greatest Gift booklet with the shoebox gifts.

In preparation for these kid-friendly outreach events, local pastors and leaders are equipped with training on how to host these events and continue the impact with a child discipleship program, The Greatest Journey.

The Greatest Journey is a 12-week course designed to disciple kids in studying the Bible, following Jesus Christ daily, and sharing the Gospel with friends and family. According to Samaritan’s Purse, “18.9 million children have enrolled in this program since 2009.”

But of course, this journey starts with volunteers like you with an empty shoebox and a desire to share the love of Christ with children around the world. OCC provided a step-by-step guide of How to Pack a Shoebox on their website, complete with a list of suggested items, detailed by age and gender.

Read through their 2018 Special Report for more information and happy photos, and join in by packing a shoebox this year!

Emily Hall is a freelance writer for Crosswalk.com. 

Photo credit: ©OperationChristmasChild

After the stress of scurrying from one store to another, searching for a child’s Christmas gift (or scouring websites searching for free holiday shipping), one of the greatest rewards is watching that child rip away wrapping paper, finally revealing the surprise they’ve been waiting for.




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