Operation Christmas Child boxes collected at church for overseas children

Posted on November 12, 2018.
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Operation Christmas Child boxes were turned on Sunday, Nov. 11, and are now on their way to children overseas.

This year, Operation Christmas Child celebrates its 25th anniversary. An annual project of the Christian mission Samaritan's Purse, this easy way to provide a Merry Christmas to a child living in poverty has become a holiday tradition in many families. Follow the Brhel kids on this Christmas tradition.

The church provides the empty "shoeboxes" every fall, giving participants several weeks to fill them with gifts for an anonymous recipient before bringing them back with $9 per box to cover shipping costs. The boxes are then taken to a central collection site, from which they head out into the world's poorest countries.

The children who receive these boxes not only receive perhaps their first-ever Christmas presents, and certainly gift items their families may not be able to afford, but also a Gospel booklet to introduce them and their families to Jesus.

One such child is 12-year-old Angelella who lives in Malawi. She was thrilled to receive her box, which included pens, pencils, a ruler, and a notebook -- all school supplies that her parents couldn't afford to buy for her. She also enjoyed the flashlight that she found inside the box as her home doesn't have electricity.

What was truly life-changing for her was the Gospel booklet, which led her entire 10-member family to accept Jesus as their Savior.

"When I read the booklet, it proved to me that God is there," Angella said. "That encouraged me to start going to church. As I learned about the Bible, I was being transformed."