This is our third year of making shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We do one box per each member of our household so that makes 8 boxes this year! It costs $7 to ship each box and around $15-20 to fill them so we budget about $175 to do this. YIKES! The good news is, we take the $20 off our Christmas budget per person so we don't go over our budget.
We buy things all year long as they come on sale (school supplies being the main one) and watch for things like wash cloths, toys, dishes, mirror, etc. to buy bulk top make it more affordable for us.
Our church will be dedicating our boxes tomorrow during service. We have all the boxes up front and then we pray for the children who will receive them.
Here are a few testimonial stories from the website:
From Kondwani: “Everything I got was of great value. My mum has just given birth to a baby boy. In the box there was a beautiful blanket, three pairs of
baby clothes, sweets for all of us, soap, toothpaste—just to mention a few
items. All these things my daddy could not afford to buy. Please send our
sincere gratitude to the people who sent us these gifts. Everybody is happy.
These are gifts from God.”
Kazakstan From a child:
“Greetings! My name is Aigul. I am 13. I am Kazakh. All the members of my family (grandmother and grandfather, brother, sister and parents) are Muslims. One day my classmate Zhanna asked me to the Zion church. She said that there would be a great Christmas holiday. I decided to go, and I liked it very much. There were a lot of children. We read the Bible, prayed, played games, and sang songs about God. My brother, sister, and I began to go there every Sunday. But our family was against that—they said that we are Muslims and forbade me to go to the church. One day when they all went to the marketplace, I ran to the church where there was a holiday celebration. I received a gift from America. At first I had been very happy, but then I got upset that members of my family might find out about my church visit.We and our teachers from Sunday school prayed for my relatives and then I went home. My parents were at home. When they saw me they were angry. I boldly went to the living room and set my box there. Everyone began to look carefully at the gifts. My father took the cross and hung it on a ring of keys. My mother took a postcard. Then they asked about a meeting for adults in the church, and all my relatives except my grandfather went to the church next Sunday. In the church my mother cried very much, maybe because God touched her heart. Now we have a Bible in the house, and every evening from 8:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. we read it in turns. Our life was changed due to God and the gift. Thanks to Him and Jane from America.”
This blesses our family; which is one reason we keep doing it. Each year we participate and pray for the children who will get a box, that they will be touched by God and their lives never again the same.