November 13th is the date to mark on your calendars to bring your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to your local church or school or drop off centre.
Operation Christmas Child is a very special outreach to bring the gospel to families around the world at Christmas time, and to bless children with their own gift box filled with toys, books, hygiene supplies, school supplies, socks, sandals and more - as well as a tract that shares the story of Jesus.
The ministry began in 1990 when British businessman, Dave Cooke and his wife, Gill, collected shoe boxes filled with presents to give to the children in Romania after learning about the plight of Romanian orphans at the end of the Cold War. By the summer of 1993, they contacted Franklin Graham asking if he would be willing to help fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in war-torn Bosnia.
Franklin Graham then asked his pastor-friend, Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte, to help with the task. Pastor Rhoads demonstrated to his congregation how to fill a shoebox with simple and helpful gifts for children, encouraging them to include a personal letter in each box they filled.
Within weeks, the church had filled 11,000 shoeboxes to send to the children of Bosnia, and through the generosity of Canadians hearing about this incredible initiative to share the love of Jesus to children overseas, Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse sent a total of 28,000 shoeboxes to children in the Balkans that Christmas!
Truly a miracle of sharing God's love in a most tangible way to children and families in third world, and oftentimes, desperate conditions.
Since 1993, more than 198 million children in over 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox delivered to their town or village. More than 10.5 million shoebox gifts were collected in 2021.
Through this ministry, more than 14.9 million children have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour around the world.
Karen Fraser is the local coordinator for Boissevain's Samaritans Purse Shoe Box ministry. Traditionally, Boissevain collects between 200-300 filled shoe boxes each year. From Manitoba, the boxes are delivered to Calgary, to go through the process of clearing Customs, to fly most often to South America. "Just have some fun! You never know what you can put in a box!" shares Fraser.
Please contact Karen Fraser at 204-776-2176 to either pick up an empty box or drop off a full one. Karen is also able to pick up filled shoeboxes in the Boissevain area.
For more on the history of Samaritan's Purse visit their website or click HERE!