22 Nov The Harvest of Shoeboxes
Every year, dozens of UB churches participate in Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. No doubt several thousand shoeboxes are sent by UB churches to children around the world.
We invited churches (and still invite you) to tell us how many boxes they filled.
Ebenezer UB (Greencastle, Pa.)
Number of Boxes: 352
Daryl Shaffer of Ebenezer UB writes: “A challenge was made to the congregation by our Pastor, David Grove, to increase the number of boxes that were collected last year (268 boxes). Members of the congregation had a yard sale to help with the $7 shipping cost on the boxes, and our Missions Commission covered part of the shipping cost as an incentive to fill more boxes. Between the two, there was no shipping cost to the congregation. A total of 352 boxes were collected.
Idaville UB (Gardners, Pa.)
Number of Boxes: 32
Stuart Johns (right), pastor of Idaville UB, writes: “We have a missions center in our church that the Outreach Commission maintains. Every couple of months the focus of the missions center changes, but each time there is a way that our people can give to missions.
“During October, the missions center was focused on the Operation Christmas Child and the collection of shoeboxes. Announcements were made each week to encourage our congregants to consider putting a shoebox gift together for a child.
“On Sunday, November 13, we encouraged everyone who participated in the program to bring their shoeboxes with them and place them on a table at the front of the sanctuary. During both services we had a time of prayer over the shoeboxes, asking God to use them to encourage children around the world and that they would be open to the Gospel message that is shared with the distribution of the shoeboxes.”
Trinity UB (Fostoria, Ohio)
Number of Boxes: 119
Samuel Suman (right), pastor of Trinity UB, writes: “This was our first year participating as individual box builders. In the past we collected the ‘stuffings’ and gave them to one person to fill and process them. This year each person filled one or more boxes and placed them in the sanctuary.
“Last Sunday, November 20, we gathered around the front placing our hands on the boxes, praying for each child who will recieve a box. What a difference! Plans for next year are to fill and send 200 boxes. All for Jesus!”
Anchor Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Number of Boxes: 60
This is the third year Anchor has participated. On November 13, people brought their filled shoeboxes and set them on a table in the foyer. At the end of the service, while the worship team led in the final song, the children of the church, with the help of a few adults, carried all of the boxes down the center aisle and laid them on the altar.
How About Your Church?
How many Christmas Child shoeboxes did your church collect this year? We’d like to share that on UBCentral for other churches. We even have a form you can use to report what your church did with Operation Christmas Child.