It’s much more than a pretty package. Each box that is donated to Operation Christmas Child is a gateway to the gospel for a child in need. OCC demonstrates God’s love by providing gift-filled shoe boxes to impoverished children around the world. What’s more, they use these boxes to begin a relationship.
Members of the Watermark External Focus team got a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when kids receive their boxes as the team traveled with OCC to a remote village in Ecuador. It was great to see exactly how our participation can spread real hope to children. Here’s what we learned:
- Building relationships. Boxes are delivered to churches that have an ongoing relationship with Operation Christmas Child. In Ecuador, the local pastor we met had been persecuted for his evangelistic work, and many villagers were fearful of his church. OCC was a valuable tool in breaking down barriers between the church and the community.
- A little shoebox is a big deal! Celebration, singing, and dancing began as 70+ kids greeted the Operation Christmas Child team. At every OCC event, children hear about the grace available to them through Jesus Christ.
- “5…4…3…2…1…” The kids excitedly counted down, then cheered as they opened the packages. Each child receives a box created specifically for their age and gender.
- The personal touch. Kids were thrilled when they got personal notes and photos from the person who sent their box. Another favorite: gifts sent in a plastic box (often the only “toy chest” the child will ever own).
- Introducing the greatest Gift of all. The Greatest Gift, a book presenting the gospel in the child’s language, is placed by OCC in each Box. Afterwards, a 12-week discipleship class for kids begins. In addition, OCC also trains local pastors in discipleship.
The Watermark team came away with a deeper appreciation of how God can use something as small as a gift box to change a life. OCC delivers boxes throughout the year to remote places where few have ever heard the gospel. Since 1993, more than one hundred million Boxes have been delivered.
Be Part of Operation Christmas Child
- Follow the simple instructions in the OCC brochure, available at the Watermark Welcome Center and at watermark.org/am-site/media/occ-flier-2014.pdf. (Download extra labels if needed here.)
- Bring your box to the Watermark Town Center no later than December 7th.
- Include your children, friends and family as you create and decorate your box (remember that durable, plastic shoeboxes are preferred). OCC is an easy way to serve others during the holidays.
- Go deeper by helping us collect shoeboxes, visiting the Processing Center, discipling others in the process, or other efforts – visit this page for ideas!
To learn about all the other ways to serve during the holidays, click here!