Sabbath afternoon, Nov. 14, 2015, found the Eagle River Valley Church family engaged in its fourth annual shoebox packing party for Operation Christmas Child (OCC).
While the outside temperature dipped below zero degrees Fahrenheit, inside the fellowship hall eager hands packed shoebox-sized containers with things that little children love: dolls, balls and toys of all kinds; socks; frocks; and toys that talk (well, at least a singing rabbit). There were picture books, crayons, pens, pencils and notebooks.
Why all the fuss? These gift-containing boxes are delivered to a local church collection center, where they will join millions of others traveling to distant parts of the world. The boxes will be distributed to needy children, many of whom have never have received a gift before. While the immediate intent is to brighten the eyes of these poverty-stricken kids, the greater goal is to teach them of the wonderful gift of the love of Jesus.
At Eagle River, members have been blessed each year to exceed the previous year’s total of boxes packed. Last year, 125 boxes went out from the church. This year, the total was 149. The young, young at heart and even visitors to the church love to join together in packaging the various gifts that have been collected over the course of the year. One young lady called the event “more fun than getting presents.”
Please add your prayers to those of the Eagle River Valley Church family that the Holy Spirit will accompany each gift-filled shoebox and guide it to the child who needs it most. More information about this incredible program can be found at Samaritanspurse.org.