Several Fernley churches have launched Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift collection for children in need, all over the world.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Its mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoebox gifts filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. They ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the United States.
“Our Fernley goal for 2019 is to collect 1,000 gift boxes,” said Chris Duncan,
Operation Christmas Child Church Relations Volunteer. “We are so grateful for the support from local Fernley churches, businesses and individuals. The response has been completely overwhelming!”
In 2018, participating Fernley churches and individuals collected 527 shoebox gifts contributing to the Northern Nevada/Eastern Sierras region total of 14,404.
“It’s amazing how God uses a simple shoebox gift to connect us with needy children, all over the world, Duncan said. “There are countless stories of how God orchestrated the delivery of a perfect shoebox gift, to the exact child who needed it.”
Some of these children share a toothbrush with the other kids in the orphanage or have never had a new toy to call their very own. Many children can’t go to school without school supplies. If they are blessed to receive a notebook in a gift box, they use it, then erase the pages over and over, again. Poor children crush used plastic bottles and wrap with twine around their feet for protection because they have no shoes. An eraser, a pair of flip-flops could bring such great joy. For many of these children, the simple shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received. The fact that a total stranger would send them a gift, makes an incredible impact on a child’s life and through the grace of God, on their eternal life, Duncan said.
“Through Operation Christmas Child, not only are we able to help a child in need, but through the power of a simple gift, these children are introduced to the love of Jesus,” Duncan said. “After receiving the gift, the child is given the opportunity to attend The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson course that teaches them how to follow Christ in their daily lives as they share Him with friends and family. Evangelism, and discipleship leads to multiplication.”
Anyone can pack a shoebox. Individuals, families, churches and groups. Details and information can be found on their website at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoe-box/ * Pre-printed empty gift boxes can also be picked up at any of Fernley’s participating churches.
To see an up-to-date list of what can and cannot go in a shoebox gift, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebox-suggestions/
Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. Include a personal note and photo if you like. Be sure to include a donation of $9 to cover shipping and other Project costs or give online through Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox.
Drop off your gift box at any of the Fernley participating churches before November 15, 2019:
Calvary Chapel Fernley: 875 E. Fremont Street
Crosswinds Assembly of God: 3015 Farm District Road
Ebenezer Iglesia Cristiana: 485 E. Main Street
Fernley First Baptist Church: 485 E. Main Street
Fernley Free Methodist Church: 100 S. West Street
Gift of Grace Lutheran Church: 290 S. West Street
JOY! Church: 4120 Hwy 50A
New Beginnings Christian Fellowship: 320 Hwy 95 A
Living Faith Christian Fellowship: 110 S. Center Street
Nearly 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 150,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoebox gifts. In 2019, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children in countries like Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 168 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 160 countries and territories.
During National Collection Week (November 18-25, 2019) Official Designated Operation Christmas Child Drop Off Locations locally are:
Parkside Bible Fellowship: 485 Tedford Lane, Fallon.
Sierra Bible Church, 3195 Everett Drive, Reno.
*Dates and drop off times will be listed on their website https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/drop-off-locations in early October.
For more information on how to get involved, contact Chris Duncan, Operation Christmas Child Church Relations Volunteer in Fernley at ChrisDuncan47@aol.com, on Facebook, or call 702-287-0920. Chris is also the Volunteer Project Leader at Fernley First Baptist Church.