Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quick Bag and Activity Kit Instructions

I love these! They are made from Dollar Store placemats and potholders. The bags are super simple, cute, and would be sturdy but not as inexpensive. The SUPER CUTE little activity bag is just a potholder and ziplock bags! I LOVE THAT! I just think they would be perfect for the shoeboxes!

And I think the activity bags could be perfect for sewing kits... needles, pins, safety pins put into the fabric, and thread, thimbles, measuring tape, small scissors, and odds and ends into the baggies.  Or how about beading kits??? Even a fishing kit! So many possibilities in this simple idea.

To get the directions go to

Friday, June 29, 2012

Did you want a presentation at YOUR Klamath Area group or church??

In order to get the word out about Operation Christmas Child I am willing to give talks to your church, organization, school, club, or group. I can give informational talks ABOUT Operation Christmas Child, or about a year of Operation Christmas Child, or tailor a talk to your needs.

Recently I gave a talk to the 55 Alive group at Klamath Christian Center. What a WONDERFUL group! I talked about OCC, but also about how to shop year round for bargains, and ideas for crafting for the boxes. They also collected and donated 4 BAGS worth of supplies for shoeboxes!!

I think the favorite part of the talk was some of the impact stories of how God is working through the shoeboxes. That is MY favorite too! After all that reflects the REASON we do this! Right?

Below is the wheelbarrow they FILLED with stuff for OCC.. THANK YOU 55 ALIVE!!! But, NO DONATIONS REQUIRED to have me talk... I LOVE to share about Operation Christmas Child!!!

Haribo Coupon and Update on Hot Wheels Coupon

Found this info at the BEST site for OCC savings...

There is a printable 30 cent off coupon for Haribo Gummy Bears at

Another Coupons note: IF you printed out the coupon for $1 off a Hot Wheels 5 pack when I posted about it from (No longer available) KMart is having a buy one 5 pack, get the second at 50% off... making the total cost of each car with coupon 62 cents each or LESS.

Here are the details from

This week Hot Wheels are buy one get one 50% off at Kmart.
Buy 2 Hot Wheels Cars, 5 pk $5.49, Regular Price
Buy One Get One 50% Off, Through 6/30
Use two $1.00/1 – Mattel Hot Wheels, 5pk – (
Final Price: $3.12 or $0.62 per car when you buy 2
If you have other items to purchase, remember that Kmart doubles coupons up to $1.00 under the following circumstances. If you’re going to spend $25.00 on health, grocery or beauty items, you can double the Mattel coupon! Check out the scenario below when you spend $25.00:
Hot Wheels Cars, 5 pk $5.49, Regular Price
Buy One Get One 50% Off, Through 6/30
Use two $1.00/1 – Mattel Hot Wheels, 5pk – (
Final Price: $2.11 or $0.42 per car

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Michael's Coupon and Clearance

Friday and Saturday they have a 40% off regular price coupon, 15% sale purchase, and an announcement of storewide clearnce up to 70& off... which means MORE off than it was! There might be some VERY good deals to be had!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Michael W Smith

I know this video is older, from 2007, but I love this one.

 OK, yeah, I say that alot.... but these videos get me every time. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Michael's Clearance

This isn't one of those jaw-dropping clearances... but there is a LOT at 40 and 60% off at our Klamath Michaels store. Also, there is as usual a 40% off any regular price coupon on their website. I saw lots of journals, some bags, toys, crafts, etc all on clearance. The cashier said they will be moving more and MORE to clearance in the days to come. Definitely worth watching. I picked up a few soft balls for toddlers at 49 cents each, and used my coupon for a jumprope. Last of the big spenders, but each bit adds up.

JoAnns is also doing 50% off their red dot clearance prices. They did not have a lot at our local JoAnns that was appropriate for the shoeboxes, but that sale is at all Jo Anns so it might be worth a look in your area.

Children helping children.

 From Samaritan's Purse

June 25, 2012

The Comfort of the Lamb
By Chelsea Pardue, writer for Samaritan's Purse

In the distance, a bomb drops. The flare lights up the window beside a child’s dirty mattress. The child lies awake with wide eyes, trying to cover herself with tattered blankets, but is still scared to fall asleep. In war-torn countries, falling asleep could mean losing the opportunity to run to safety.

Thousands of miles away, in Wilmington, N.C., Rebecca Hennis is playing with her two children, Jude and Sidney. When they go to bed tonight, Rebecca will tuck them into a warm bed with stuffed animals surrounding them. Five-year-old Sidney will snuggle down in them as she safely falls asleep. She hopes that the little girl thousands of miles away will soon find some comfort.

Last week, Sidney, Jude, and their cousin Riley visited Samaritan’s Purse to donate money for more than 100 “Jesus Loves Me” lambs. Ruth Bell Graham came up with the idea for a musical stuffed lamb to encourage suffering children with the melody of “Jesus Loves Me.” We pack these lambs in Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoe boxes and distribute them all over the world.

The children formulated this idea at Rebecca’s birthday. She didn’t want gifts for herself, so she decided to take the opportunity to teach her children about the importance of giving to others.

“We’re so blessed to have so much stuff, so I said, ‘Y’all pick out something that we can send to somebody else that doesn’t have anything,’” she said. “And so they both decided to pick out the lamb to send. And then we talked about these children who live in countries where they might be hearing war outside and they don’t have anything to comfort them and how scared they probably are, and that’s when Jude said he didn’t just want to send one lambie, he wanted to send 100 lambies.”

But Jude didn’t stop there. His goal grew even bigger after a conversation he had with his father, Scott.

“He first said 100, and then they asked a little bit later how many people there are in the world,” Scott said. “And I said it’s about 6 billion, and so he said they wanted to do 6 billion. We figured that was about $24 billion."

The Hennis family decided a goal of 6 billion “lambies” might be a bit much, but they did decide to aim for 100. Sidney started raising money with a lemonade stand. Later, the family attended the Azalea Festival Parade, an annual event in Wilmington. They took water and snacks to sell. Their last event was a yard sale, which resulted in a final amount of more than $400.

“[People] were giving extra money,” Rebecca said. “I’d try to give them change, and they’d say, ‘No, just keep it since it’s going for the lambs.’”

Although the children were initially hesitant to sell some of their toys, they decided to go through with it. Once they started to see the donated money, it became concrete that getting rid of some of their toys would allow children who don’t have any toys to have something to play with.

Now that they’ve met their goal of 100, the children are already planning their next gift. Sidney and Riley want to continue raising money for toy lambs, and Jude wants to also start raising money for sports equipment for children in developing countries. Sidney’s next fundraising idea is for a hot chocolate stand in the winter.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of their lifelong giving to others,” said Rhonda, the children’s grandmother. “It’s good to start them early. We want them to understand that it’s important to give to others because we have a lot.”

Monday, June 25, 2012

3 Cheers for Sock Monkeys!!

I have always loved sock monkeys, how about you? They are just so CUTE!!!

This week I was inspired by another OCCer to consider Sock Monkeys by her FB post on her cute crocheted sock monkeys. Pam makes AWESOME stuff for shoeboxes and is often an inspiration. And so because she said that I CAN learn and make these... so I say.. SO CAN YOU.

But perhaps you do not want to crochet. Well there is still the awesome option of traditional sock monkeys!

I found a pretty nice tutorial at but there are MANY tutorials online including videos if you want even more help.

Also the above pic is from a crafter who used the sock monkey pattern and instructions from the book Craft Hope... a book from an awesome blogger who started using the net to do craft projects for hurting people around the world. If you are a crafter check her out. Her sock monkey pattern is available for download at

A smaller size sock monkey is AWESOME for the shoebox. Just looking at the photos makes me want to snuggle up with a monkey, and I know a child who received one would be super blessed.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project Four 14

Have you visited this blog?? The author is chronicling the packing of her boxes all year round. It has given me so many ideas for boxes and inspired me to do more... and maybe it will do the same for you.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hot Wheels Printable Coupon!

Thanks Clip With Purpose for sharing news about this great coupon! Get the details at....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eager for MORE Shoebox Stories??

Lately I have been sharing just a few of the stories I have heard of distributions, and I will continue to share them.... but I thought I would share the UK's site, which includes an entire section of shoebox stories.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Famous "Twin Miracle"

This is one of those stories that people who are involved with Operation Christmas Child know... but it is one of thousands of small miracles that God brings to pass through Operation Christmas Child. The longer I am involved the more stories I hear.

This one is just beautiful. So watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Operation Christmas Child as part of children's ministry

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I LOVE OCC. I love how it reaches children around the world with the love of Christ, the gospel, and a gift filled with items that bless the child in so many simple ways.

I ALSO love what it does HERE. In the hearts of those who pack shoeboxes.

One of my favorite things to see is CHILDREN packing boxes for the children in need on the other side of the world. It can be difficult to teach children in a real and meaningful way what outreach means, what missions mean, what it means to live out the Great Commission. It can be difficult for children to see beyond their own circumstances. Operation Christmas Child can give a Youth Pastor or Children's Ministry Director a way to do this in a concrete way with the children of their church.
Additionally, the program is small in scope so it is very manageable and can be fit easily into a program.

There are several ways to do this. You can have each classroom pack one box for a boy and one for a girl, and then the class can pray over the boxes and the children who receive them. You can have each family or child pack a box and bring them in for prayer. You can collect items all year round and have a packing party so that each child can pack a box. There are many ways to do OCC with the children of your church.. but all bless the giver and receiver.

 And think of the lessons that can be included! From the Great Commission, to Jesus's desire for children to come to Him, to living out loving one's neighbor. About prayer. About miracles. (There are MANY OCC stories about modern miracles with the shoeboxes.) Or other nations and cultures. About poverty and difficulties in the world and the blessings we have here. Children GET this. It is something they can relate to!

I love when children reach out.. I love to see them blessing other children.. and knowing that in the process kids are hearing about and experiencing Christ's love. I LOVE OCC!!

Brandon Heath Packing Shoeboxes

I love these shoebox videos! But why WAIT to pack??? Start now, save money, and multiply the blessings. Enjoy the video.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Making Kits for the Shoeboxes

I really love the idea of making KITS for the shoeboxes.. especially for the 10-14 year olds that can be difficult to shop for.

Some kits can be very practical for a child, helping provide for them such as:

- sewing scissors
- needle pack
- thread
- measuring tape
- pins
- fabric
- thimble

And maybe a handmade sewn gift for the child as well? Tote bag, skirt, even a plush?

- pack of hooks (make sure these are well enclosed to prevent accidents)
- bobbers
- fishing line
- weight
- lure?
- work gloves

You are even allowed to put them IN a fishing box IF the box is the same dimensions as a shoebox and the handle folds flat so that it fits in nicely with the shoeboxes in the packing crate.

If you are interested in this one, perhaps you could buy bulk of the items and divide them up into several kits to save money. Some use altoid tins to put supplies in.. or maybe in a travel soap case.

Again you can use a toolbox IF it is the size of the shoebox and the handle folds flat so it fits nicely with the shoeboxes in the packing crate.
- workgloves
- assorted screws, nails, washers (contained for safety)
- screwdriver
- measuring tape
- pliers
- electrical tape, etc etc etc
Remember NO blades or saw... you CAN include scissors for the 10-14 year olds though

And other kits are just plain FUN such as

- cording
- beads
- maybe small scissors

ART KIT- lots of options
- watercolors
- paintbrush
- paper or sketchbook
- colored pencils
- scraps of paper
- stickers

LOTS of options with this one for sure!!

Making kits can be a way to save money, by buying large amounts and dividing supplies up between several kits. It can be a way to sharing your interest. Or a livelihood.

T-Shirt Tote Bag

Find the full instructions at 

This is a super simple gift idea for the shoeboxes.. easy, inexpensive, practical, and can be fun too.

The Instructables picture shows quite boring t's used as the totes but I am planning on using kids t-shirts outgrown by my kids that are still in great shape. So the bags I am making have cartoon characters, flowers, and even a cross on them. They are roomy enough that they can even be used to carry the items of the shoebox home in.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Praise for Praise in the Park

Oh what a lovely day yesterday at Praise in the Park here in Klamath Falls! God blessed us with the most beautiful weather... fabulous music... and I had the opportunity to share about Operation Christmas Child with SO many people. And I had a chance to talk to so many others who also love OCC! Thank you for stopping by.. and for each shoebox you pack! Each one makes a difference!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Free Toothpaste at Rite Aid

Found this great deal at

At RiteAid

Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste $2.99
Receive a $2.50/1 +Up Reward when you buy one (limit 3)
Use $0.75/1from 6/3 Smart Source
or Use $0.50/1 from 6/17 Smart Source
or Use $0.75/1 Colgate MaxFresh printable coupon
Final Price: Free

Also for those of you who buy items from Oriental Trading Company... they have free shipping on any order through 6/18 with Code WCE3282 at checkout. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Praise in the Park

I wanted to remind everyone in Southern Oregon and Northern California that Praise in the Park is this weekend in Klamath Falls! Come be blessed by the christian music, the worship, and the fun! And if you do come, stop by the OCC ministry tent on Saturday and say hi.

Whether you can come or not, please join us in prayer for this event... that many will come to know our Lord... that believers who come will be refreshed and renewed.. and that our ministry booth would share about Operation Christmas Child to many many many people.. so that MORE children will receive the blessing of a shoebox and hear the Word of God.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Something to Love


I ALWAYS include something for a child to love, no matter the age. 10-14 is definitely NOT too old. A doll, a stuffed animal, whether store bought or hand made, can be a HUGE blessing to a child in poverty, or in a war-torn area, or in an orphanage. Share a bit of love with a child. 

Don't the pictures say it all??

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Christmas Contrast

This is one of those Operation Christmas Child videos that makes me tear up every time I see it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cup of Joy Video: Girls Screaming Over Boxes

I love the Cup Of Joy video series.. and they always bring a smile to my Mondays. Enjoy.

Jump Ropes

This is my first post!  I’ve made shoebox gifts for 14 years, but as soon as I learned you could craft items, I really got packing!  Every day I crochet, sew, or glue something.  One of my inspirations is fellow Long Islander, 87 year old Reggie Peterson.  A veteran of WWII, he has a mission in life…to prepare and pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  Maybe you saw him and his daughter Cathy Woods in this OCC video or his story here. “It’s so gratifying that He (God) can still use me at my age,” Reggie said. “I wake up every morning asking Him what He wants me to do that day.”  In addition to packing almost 1000 boxes a year, he also makes his own shoeboxes from scrap cardboard!  Their home is like Santa’s workshop!
They also make these fun Jump Ropes!
Supplies:  rope, pvc pipe, bottle tops, strong glue
  • Cut rope between 6’6″ (no shorter) and 8′.
  • Cut 1/2″ pvc pipe 4″ long (you need 2 for each jump rope).
  • Sand off any rough edges.
  • Drill hole in 2 bottle tops (or use awl and hammer).
  • Thread end of rope through cap and tie knot.
  • Glue cap onto one end of pvc pipe (with knot inside pipe).  Repeat for the other side.
  • Then glue 2 more bottle tops onto the top part of each pipe.
Instructables” has a slightly different version.  They thread the end of rope through the pvc pipe and then through a shiny steel 3/8″ washer (not galvanized).  Tie a knot.  Repeat for other side.

Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware etc. should have PVC pipe.  I found 40′ at Ace for $2.56.
This would be a great craft to get boys and men’s groups excited about.  Often OCC can be seen as just a “woman’s project”.  This could provide a fun way to get them involved.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Joy Joy Joy Joy Uganda video

I am so happy to share another video from Wayne and Terrie's shoebox distribution in Uganda! The video below took place in Uganda on Thursday, May 24th.  It shows some of the "Joy, Joy, Joy" of a shoe box distribution. I love seeing the prayer, the singing, the chaos, the JOY of the distribution.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Opening Doors with Shoeboxes

Here is a story I found at Samaritan's Purse about how God is working in India to open doors that are shut tight. This story is not new.... but it still stirs the heart.

Since 1993, more than 5 million Indian children have received gift-filled shoe boxes through Operation Christmas Child.

Sometimes Jose remembered the life he used to lead. He had been a respected businessman who sold carpets made from coconut skins. Friends frequently visited his home. Fellow Christians encouraged him in his faith.

Now he felt isolated and weary, as he struggled to show God’s love to the people of Kottayam, a predominately Hindu village located on India’s south coast. He knew this was the place where God had called him, but the community remained skeptical of his efforts. He knew why other Christians had been hesitant to come here.

But the Lord continued to increase Jose’s love for the people of Kottayam. He started working in a slum, ministering to those deemed untouchable by the Hindu caste system.

“I stayed in the area, sleeping in people’s homes and eating with them,” he said. “I got such a great burden for those people.”

Other Hindu residents were hesitant to accept Jose and his family. No one wanted to rent a house to him and when meetings were held at the church, Hindu leaders stood outside yelling and making so much noise that those gathered could barely hear what was spoken.

For seven years, life continued on this way.

Then members of India’s Operation Christmas Child National Leadership Team approached Jose and several other pastors in the area. They said the region would be a great place to distribute gift-filled shoe boxes sent by Christians in America. The gifts would give pastors a unique opportunity to share the Gospel and show God’s love in a tangible way.

When Hindu families saw the gifts their children had received, many asked Jose: “How can these people, who do not know us, give us these kinds of gifts?”

He said the answer was found in Jesus Christ—God’s greatest gift—and invited them to learn more through Operation Christmas Child’s 10-week discipleship program.

The congregation began to grow.

“People are coming to his church because they realized that this man has not come to destroy their community, but to help them,” said Solo K. Philip, one of India’s Operation Christmas Child regional coordinators.

In fact, when residents learned that several people were planning to harm Jose and his family to force them out of the village, the community came to his aid.

“They told this group not to attack him,” Solo said. “They said, ‘We don’t have any problem with this pastor. He’s so kind and cooperative and our children have learned so many moral things from him.’”

The attackers backed down, and Jose continued his ministry. Parents now bring their children to the church each week to learn about Jesus and His teachings.

Operation Christmas Child continues to make this kind of impact throughout India. In 2007, Operation Christmas Child, through a foundation grant, commissioned an independent consulting firm to survey government officials, parents, community leaders, and Christians living in India about the impact of the program. What they found was that the program gave pastors and church leaders an unprecedented key to open access in resistant areas throughout the country. The research also indicated that it enhanced visibility, credibility, and stature of pastors and Christian workers and had a lasting impact on children who received gifts.

“There are a lot of social and humanitarian activities going on in India, but this is a ministry that raises up the next generation for the Lord,” Solo said. “It just starts with shoe boxes and through that builds relationships with the people.”

Friday, June 8, 2012

Quick and Cute Pillowcase Dress

This idea is NOT new... the simple project has been around generations, and you can find many variations online. I found the basic instructions at the charity Little Dresses for Africa, and have permission to share them here. I believe this is an easy and cute way to add a handmade special item of clothes for a little girl. Because of the way they are created, as they grow short they can be worn with pants as well.Whether these dresses are made for OCC shoeboxes or other children in need, I know they will be a blessing!


 Supplies: new or gently used pillowcase, 12-16 inches of 1/2 inch elastic, 2 yards of coordinating bias trim (or make your own)

1.      Cut the sewn end of the pillow case top off leaving the hem. The length determines size.

2.      Fold the pillowcase in half and cut out the arm holes so they will be the same on each side. The measurements depend on the size of the pillow case but it’s about 4 inches down and 2 inches in.

3.      Fold down the top strips about 3/8″ and stitch a casing. Slide a 6-8″ piece of elastic at the top of the back and front, so it will be gathered, stitch in place.

4.      Finish the arm holes with double biased tape leaving enough at the ends to tie at the shoulders. Edgestitch tie portion along length and finish ends.
Add pockets or trim if you want to be creative.

Small = 2, 3, and 4  (16-22 inches long)
Medium = 5, 6, and 7 (24-28 inches long)
Large = 8,9, and 10 (30-34 inches long)

The above pictured dresses are from Creations from my Heart, who created these lovely dresses for Little Dresses for Africa. 

Video from the Philippines

Many of the boxes from our area go to the Philippines... and our area has committed to pray for the Philippines.

I was blessed to meet Perry, who you will see in this video, while she was visiting the US. Her stories of how God is working are AMAZING to hear, and one day I will have to share some.

So take a trip with me to the Philippines through this video, and pray. Pray for the children who received your box. Pray for the children in the Philippines. Pray for the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. And know that God is working.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Praise in the Park

Next weekend is Praise in the Park, here in Klamath Falls, Oregon! What a blessing to have right here a christian music festival! God's Word preached, His Name proclaimed, and LOADS of WORSHIP. Last year over 3000 people attended Praise in the Park, and we pray that this coming weekend will be a time of blessing to all who attend.

There, on Saturday, Operation Christmas Child will be one of many ministry booths. As we prepare for this, we ask for prayers. And please pray for the leadership of Praise in the Park... and for the weather... and that all would go smoothly. We want this to be a time of blessing for those who are believers, and a time where others would come and hear the good news.

You can learn more about Praise in the Park at

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Video from Uganda distribution

This video is from Wayne and Terrie's last shoe box distribution on Friday May 25th. The primary school presented several songs, and this was the last one. Wayne said, "The children were praising the Lord, and believe us when we say that you could feel the blessing. And we know that God felt blessed from this distribution event!" Isn't it a blessing to see these children praising the Lord??

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sewn Pencil Case or bag... with full tutorial

A friend of mine shared this video and I thought as I watched this.. I could SO do this. LOL. And if I understood the directions anyone who knows how to do a basic stitch on a sewing machine should be able to do this. :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Klamath Walmart has Colgate Toothpaste at 50cents

Hi all... our Klamath area Walmart has a LOT of toothpaste in the clearance aisle.... Colgate at 50 cents per tube. The 75 cents off coupon might work with it.... not sure... but even so is a good price.

Sharing a Smile

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cute Stuffed Stegosaurus

Oh I love love love this! Too cute! And I think this is perfect for a 2-4 year old box, especially boys, although you could certainly make this in girlie fabric and ribbons for a little girl. I found this on Pinterest.

This looks simple to do and the instructions are very clear.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Giving God the Glory for OCC Miracles!

From Samaritan's Purse website, a post today, June 1.
By Kim Rowland, Community Relations Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child

Humility. It’s a subject that has been on my mind since I traveled to Panama to document stories from volunteer Operation Christmas Child leaders from more than 20 Latin American countries. I left the conference in awe of their humility, but even more in awe of how God uses that humility to bless Operation Christmas Child beyond what we can imagine each year.

I’m going to venture out on a limb and suggest that humility does not come naturally to the vast majority of the human race. We tend to be self-serving, to want recognition for our accomplishments, to be noticed in our world. Ever since man sinned in the Garden of Eden, we have struggled with God’s exhortations to be humble.

What is humility and how do we practice it? On the Sunday after I returned home, a pastor at my church taught about humility by defining the original Hebrew word for humble as used in Exodus 10:3. So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?’” (NIV)

The Hebrew word “anah” means “be humbled.” But in Hebrew, words are associated with specific physical imagery that is often a better definition of the word. The pastor said this particular word is associated with being bent over, bowing down, becoming low. Even more specifically, it means tilling the soil or taking care of the ground.

Humility is looking down to the dirt, and taking care of it, helping turn it into a source of life where things flourish and grow. Humility is doing the work, and giving God the credit when the work flourishes.

I feel incredibly blessed to be on staff at Samaritan’s Purse, working with the Operation Christmas Child community relations team. Each year, we collect millions of shoe boxes filled with simple gifts, and deliver them to children across the globe. And each year, the work of the relatively small staff is supplemented by hundreds of thousands of volunteers worldwide, many of whom—in the midst of their regular, full-time jobs—work year-round to help collect and distribute the boxes.

In early May, about 80 volunteers from more than 20 countries in the Americas and Caribbean gathered in Panama for training, fellowship, and spiritual renewal. I attended the conference to gather stories about children who receive shoe box gifts and participate in The Greatest Journey discipleship program. I left with just a fraction of the millions of stories that could be told. But more importantly, I left with a renewed sense of wonder and reinforced belief that this project belongs entirely to God.

In Honduras, a remote community that received shoe box gifts gave a parcel of land to the church that distributed the gifts, asking them to build a church there.

In the Bahamas, a boy prayed for a black shirt and black hat for Christmas. His mother could not afford the gifts, but two months later he received those exact items in a shoe box.

In Costa Rica, five children who lived and worked in a landfill have been sponsored and are now able to go school—all through a shoe box gift and Biblical discipleship lessons.

In Uruguay, four children arrived at a shoe box distribution without any shoes, and each of the gifts they received contained a pair of shoes. The father and many people in the neighborhood accepted Christ when they saw the power of these simple gifts.

In Argentina, churches that never before worked together are now united in partnership because of the gifts.

In the Dominican Republic, 7-12 churches are planted each year after shoe box gift distributions are held in different communities.

In Venezuela, a girl who received a winter hat, gloves and a scarf in her box exclaimed, “How did God know I would need these? I am moving to the mountains where it snows!”

There are countless more stories, but just one is enough to reassure me that this is God’s project. Each of the volunteer leaders was quick to emphasize that it was God, not them, who was responsible for the incredible transformations they are seeing in their countries.

“It’s something that comes from God’s heart,” said Silvana Piccirillo, a volunteer in Uruguay.

Through Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey, God allows us—the staff, volunteers, and everyone who packs a shoe box—to be Jesus’ hands and feet and demonstrate His love to people around the world. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will use this project to work in the lives of children, families, and entire communities around the world.

Staff and volunteers alike may feel at times that collecting 6.5 million gifts in the United States and 9.1 million gifts worldwide is a daunting task. We may feel intimidated when we think about delivering the gifts to communities so remote that they never receive outside visitors—like the one in Honduras where cartons of shoe boxes must be carried on shoulders during a four-hour hike through the mountains because the trail is inaccessible even by 4WD.

But we can rest assured, because we know one thing for sure. God can do this, and more. We will do the work to the best of our abilities. And we humbly will give God the credit when these miracles are accomplished.

June's Happenings here in Klamath Falls

Hi to my local readers.. this month marks the beginning of Summer activities, and we are excited to be doing more this month!

We are only 2 weeks away from Praise in the Park! YAY!!!

I hope many of you will be able to make it, that all will be blessed in this celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ here in Klamath! Operation Christmas Child will have a booth in the ministry section. If you are there, please do stop by. Hopefully the weather will be lovely and all who attend will be blessed.

Also, starting this month is 3rd Thursdays downtown. OCC will be there also. We will have a table with info PLUS we will be selling some handcrafted items and baked goods to raise money for Operation Christmas Child. Come enjoy all that goes on downtown for 3rd Thursdays and say hi!

We hope to meet many OCC supporters, and we look forward to sharing about Operation Christmas Child with many many more people throughout the area with these events.

Finally, I will be giving a talk at KCC this month about shopping and crafting year round, and sharing some stories about Operation Christmas Child and how God is working. If you have a group or church that would like us to come visit and talk about any number of topics about Operation Christmas Child, just let us know. We LOVE to share about this ministry!!