It’s time to start packing your shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! Operation Christmas Child is an arm of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization. You fill a box with hygiene items, small toys, and school supplies. A box packed with love and prayer can have an eternal impact on the life of a child.
This last Saturday, we heard the testimony of a woman, Vanessa, who received a shoebox over 20 years ago in Honduras. She spoke at a church and told her incredible story. At 6 years old, she became a Christian, and no one else in her family was a Christian. Her father was especially negative about her salvation experience. She held onto her faith and prayed for her mom and dad to come to the Lord. When she was 10, her father was in a severe accident. His back was broken in 5 places, and he had no feeling in his legs and feet. Vanessa went to him in the hospital and told him her church would like to come to the hospital and pray for him. He said to her that would be okay, and they came and prayed. The next night his feeling returned, and he stood up. It was a miracle! The doctor did not believe it and did a series of tests on him. After the tests were completed, the doctor told the family something had happened that no doctor could have done. The 5 broken areas were completely knit back together, his nerves had been restored, and he now had a new extra bone down his spine that held up his back! Her dad and mom got saved, and the dad began a ministry in their town.
The trouble for Vanessa came from the fact that this poor family was now even poorer because her dad worked part-time because of his ministry. They had less to eat, and Vanessa’s faith began to waver. They were serving the Lord, living for Him, so why was this happening? She prayed and prayed, and there was no change. Her dad would have them still sit around the table and give thanks to the Lord even if there was no food to serve. Christmas was coming, and they only had beans and a little rice in the house. Her dad told the family that there would be no gifts at Christmas, but they would still gather around the table and give thanks for beans and rice and for God’s love and goodness.
Just before Christmas, they went to church, and there was a huge red box in the front of the church. The pastor said that after the service, they would open the box. When they opened it, there were shoeboxes inside for all the children. They were supposed to wait until they got home to open their boxes. Vanessa could hardly wait! Actually, she didn’t wait but stuck her hand inside and felt something soft, some hard things, and some small items. Finally, they were home, and she opened her box. Inside was a soft stuffed animal, some pink ribbons for her hair, and some other wonderful toys, but at the bottom was the gift she had been praying for. She had not shared that prayer with anyone. She didn’t tell her parents because Vanessa knew her they had no money. She just told God. There at the bottom of her box were socks! Not one pair, but three in pretty colors. Her own socks had had a big in them for a long time, and her classmates made fun of her. She was filled with joy for the socks, but also because her faith was restored. She had prayed, and He had heard her prayers! He had answered in the most amazing way!
As they sat around the table that Christmas morning, there were more gifts than Vanessa and her siblings had ever received. God was watching over them, and Vanessa could enter into the prayers of thanksgiving with a full heart. She said her faith has never wavered again.
This Sunday, we will be in the church foyer before and in between services. We will have boxes and information to give you and will answer any questions.
Denny and Penny Laughery
Drop-off center times
Monday, November 15 – 10am-1pm, Tuesday, November 16 – 3pm-6pm,
Wednesday, November 17 – 12-5pm, Thursday, November 18, 1-6pm,
Friday, November 19, 8-1pm, Saturday, November 20, 10am – 3pm,
Sunday, November 21, 1-3pm, Monday, November 22, 10am – 1pm.