That's right... a shoebox. For those of you who may not know about Operation Christmas Child, they are an organization that delivers shoeboxes full of toys, hygiene items and school supplies to children in Third World countries who may never own such things otherwise. Last year, OCC delivered over 8 million shoeboxes to little boys and girls. 8 million! And they all came from individuals and families who spent some time and money to bless a child in need.
Today I volunteered at a processing center in Denver. Over the next three weeks, they expect to sort and ship over 650,000 shoeboxes! While there, I met a man named Eddie, from Africa. I learned after the fact that he is a part of the International Operation Christmas Child leadership teams who distributes boxes overseas. He became a part of this incredible program after receiving a shoebox himself many years ago. When I heard his story, I was reminded of other stories I had heard... stories that could only be true because one man or one woman or one family followed God's call to share Christ with the nations--through a shoebox.
There is the story about a family who sent eight toothbrushes to a little boy who "just happened" to have seven brothers and sisters.
The one about a little girl who had decided God didn't exist because He never gave her shoes--until she received a pair in her shoebox!
Story after story of children and their families who now know Christ because of the Gospel that is shared along with the wonderful gifts of shoeboxes.
A shoebox... such a simple act, but such a powerful tool.
If you have never filled a shoebox, I ask you to visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/ and consider what you might be able to do next year.
If you have sent shoeboxes before, consider taking another step... telling others about this remarkable program, either informally or by volunteering with the organization itself. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Volunteer
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope we will not only give thanks, but be called to action to help those who so desperately need the greatest blessing of all--the love of God and His salvation.