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Operation Christmas Child: More than a Shoebox
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Pastor shares his story of seeing miracles in simple gifts given to children around the world

This year, Operation Christmas Child has set an audacious goal: for Canadians to exceed last year’s blockbuster number of more than 730,000 shoeboxes packed from coast to coast.

The greater goal is this: for Canadians to see these shoeboxes as far more than a simple gift. When covered in prayer, these shoeboxes can represent a miracle for over 700,000 children living in poverty. Pastor and Christian Radio station manager Bill Stevens is sharing his personal story of seeing these gift-filled shoeboxes answer prayers and bring hope and joy to many impoverished children and families around the world.

Stevens witnessed how profoundly Operation Christmas Child recipients were impacted during a pastors distribution trip to Uruguay in April 2012.

Noting the opportunity for a shoebox to be a miracle for a child, Stevens recalls “ I watched a little boy jump with excitement after opening his shoebox to find a stick of deodorant. Turns out he had been praying for deodorant for weeks because his dad smelled badly in prison, which kept him from hugging his dad. Deodorant was the solution and an answer to prayer!”

Stevens asserts that these shoeboxes are more than gifts and are answers to children’s prayers; they lead to life-changing miracles. Stevens says, “In several instances we saw miracles when the contents matched [the child’s] expectations but the real miracles came when child after child gave their life to Christ.

Canadian school teacher and recent distribution trip participant Julie Koekman agrees. “The shoebox distribution is just the introduction to Jesus for kids who don’t know him,” she said after hearing a Gospel presentation that’s almost always done before the children receive their boxes.

For those who want to contribute to impacting the lives of over 730,000 children by packing a box, Operation Christmas Child National collection week is November 14-20.

Canadians are also encouraged to prayerfully pack a box online until December 21st. With a simple click, online boxes can be packed and even customized with an upload photo option at PackaBox.ca. Those interested in hosting a packing party can receive free event materials by registering their party at SamaritansPurse.ca. Those having packing parties are encouraged to share photos using #OCC_Canada and #ilovepackingshoeboxes.

About Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child started in 1990 and was adopted by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian Organization run by Franklin Graham in 1993. Operation Christmas Child look to communities and churches for people to pack gift-filled shoeboxes and volunteers to sort and distribute these boxes to hurting children all over the world. To date, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed over 135 million shoebox gifts worldwide.

About Samaritan’s Purse
Samaritan’s Purse Canada has been doing essential relief and development work in Jesus’ Name all around the world since 1973. Based on the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, Samaritan’s Purse provides aid to hurting people—victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution, regardless of their religious faith, race, gender, or socio-economic standing. Partnering with local churches, they provide initiatives that give communities basic necessities, just as the Good Samaritan partnered with the innkeeper. They continue to nurture these partnership, and monitor the effectiveness of our work, just as the Samaritan arranged with the innkeeper. Please visit SamaritansPurse.ca for more information.