Sunday, August 22, 2010
Lead Me to the Cross
Today I would like to take just a few minutes of your time and to share with you the process of packing a shoe box. As a teenager, who received a shoe box at the age of 13, I remember smiling for ear to ear as I asked other kids from school about the content of their box. The joy of receiving a shoe box was unforgettable. Now, 13 years later, my husband and I participate in this wonderful ministry by packing the shoe boxes for children around the world each year.
Before you go shopping for shoe box items, say a prayer. Ask the Lord to draw you to items that you should pack in your box. This is very important step, because there maybe a child somewhere in China praying for a specific item and God can use your shoe box to answer the child’s prayer. Are you excited yet? Well, my friend, I am so excited that I just can’t seat still. To know that my God can use something as small as a shoe box to answer a child’s prayer across the world blows my mind. Furthermore, I feel humble that God would even consider using me as a part of His divine plan!
My God is bigger than a box, so let your imagination go wild when packing a shoe box. You can include school supplies, toys, candy, and toiletries. Now, you can’t pack war related toys, chocolate candy or liquid toiletries like shampoo. Even though the program is called Operation Christmas Child, most children receive their shoe boxes after Christmas. As I child, I received my shoe box in the spring. It takes a long time for boxes to travel, thus if you include liquid items and the bottle breaks, the content of the box will be ruined. The same goes for chocolate that can melt when the box travels through hot countries of Africa. As far as war related toys like soldiers, just be mindful that some children see real life soldiers every day and probably do not want to be reminded of their circumstances by seeing war related toys in the box.
You can visit Operation Christmas Child website for more shoe packing ideas.
Finally make sure to include a letter in your shoe box. In my classroom only one or two people received a letter from the family who packed a shoe box. Everyone was so jealous because we all wanted to write back and thank the family for the gift. And what an amazing opportunity this presents to minister to a child in a foreign country, who may never otherwise hear the name of Jesus.
Before you close the shoe box, spend some time in prayer. Pray for the child who will receive the shoe box and ask the Lord to touch this child in a special way. Once again, God can move the mountain with a simple shoe box.
If you have any suggestions as to what items to include in the shoe box, please share with us!
Acts 20:35, “It is much more a blessing to give than to receive”
Matt 25:40, "... whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."