Filled shoeboxes can be returned to the atrium or left in the security office at The Bridge.
Pick up your shoeboxes now to fill at our Operation Christmas Child table in the atrium.
Have you ever tracked your shoebox gift to see what country it went to? Not only can you be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child, you can even discover the destination of your gift. Visit the website below to print a tracking label.
How to follow your shoebox to its destination. More>
As the Operation Christmas Child deadline of November 12 approaches, one of the most rewarding experiences you can have is shopping for items to place in shoeboxes, then to pack them and picture the face of the recipient when he or she opens your box. So many children in the world are not as blessed as ours, and these gifts, along with the Samaritan’s Purse booklet, means SO much to them and can be the means by which to bring them – and even their families and neighbors – to Christ. If you have children or grandchildren, make it a special event by taking them with you and let them pick some of the items they think the gender and age group you are packing the box for would appreciate. You, and they, will feel the true gift of giving. For joyful stories visit>
Operation Christmas Child at First Presbyterian Church Update
More than 5 million children have participated in The Greatest Journey, Operation Christmas Child’s follow-up program that is offered to many children who receive shoebox gifts. The Greatest Journey is implemented through a global church network to help children learn how to know and follow Jesus.
In 23 years since 1993, OCC has delivered over 135 million shoeboxes to kids who often have very little and smile with joy at a free gift! Each year, these shoeboxes reach those smiling faces by plane, boat, train, truck, helicopter, dogsled, donkey -- even camel and yak!
First Presbyterian Church has given to OCC’s evangelistic outreach ministry more than 13,000 shoeboxes over the past 14 years, averaging almost 1,000 per year! We are asking for your help again in 2016. Our hope is to give at least 1,000 this year as well. It is not “just” the many small gifts hidden in each shoebox: it is also the gift of a Savior to these precious children. Good Tidings of Great Joy (Luke 2:10) are found in the Gospel messages read by and taught to the children in follow-up discipleship. We know that our great God works miracles from the tiniest things: a mustard seed, a grain of sand, a box of crayons, a Teddy bear.
Something so ordinary as a shoebox can accomplish the eternal when it is packed with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and God’s love. Powered by your prayers, it can help lead children and families to faith in Christ, inspire pastors, plant and grow churches, and encourage disciples in some of the most unreached places in the world. It all starts when people decide to bless a child overseas through Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse project designed to deliver good news and great joy to boys and girls around the world.
Whether toys, school supplies, or hygiene items, the giver seeks to pack their shoebox with as much fun and blessing as it will hold. Before closing the lid, the giver can include a note for the recipient, often complete with a photograph. The person who packed the gift then pauses to ask God to deliver the shoebox to just the right child—the child for whom the things inside will be especially meaningful or even be an answer to prayer.
After being brought to our church office during National Collection Week in November, the shoeboxes are then delivered to regional processing centers where volunteers prepare them for their trip overseas. Hundreds or thousands of miles later, the boxes clear customs, entering the care of Samaritan’s Purse ministry partners who plan distribution events at churches and other locations. These distributions often begin with music or puppets and include a presentation of the Gospel that a child can understand. Then the big moment comes: each child receives a shoebox and, after a countdown, they all open their gifts at the same time. Squeals of delight and shouts of joy fill the meeting area.
What goes into a box is fun, but what comes out is eternal. A gift of love in the form of a shoebox softens hearts and prepares them for the Good News of Jesus Christ. Children trust Christ for the first time, inviting Him to be their Savior. This changes families, neighborhoods and entire communities. One shoebox can also restore hope that there is a God who loves, cares and is concerned about the details of a child’s life. And when you bless a child, you minister to parents as well. Through shoeboxes, churches grow, disciples multiply, and doors open for the Gospel — sometimes even in countries where it is illegal to be a Christian.
What begins in the heart of someone who cares can change eternity for a child and a family. The process happens millions of times over. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 135 million shoeboxes in over 150 countries. Many who receive boxes are also invited to attend a 12-week follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. Here they learn more about what it means to follow Jesus and walk with Him for a lifetime, and how to share their faith. Receiving a New Testament at graduation, they are equipped to grow and bear fruit for Christ’s Kingdom.
You can be a part of this amazing program by packing a shoebox full of fun items for a child. Above all, pray for the eternal impact of your gifts!
This page last updated November 7, 2017.