I focus here on Operation Christmas Child.. and sometimes Samaritan's Purse, but there are so MANY ways to do for others. Human nature is to do for ourselves, but the higher calling is to do for OTHERS. This is Christ's call for our lives. Galatians 5:14: The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Today as we remember Martin Luther King, Jr.... let us remember to do for others. Our family. Our literal neighbors. Our brothers and sisters in Christ. Those in need in our own communities. And those in need around the world. The need is great.
Christ said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan's Purse are just 2 ways to partner with those who go into the world to bring in the harvest. To show God's love.
Whether you help through these programs or otherwise.... HELP. And in giving and caring be blessed!
I thought I would share a few more of the impact updates from churches around the world.... be encouraged. (And don't forget there are so many more stories at the IMPACT tab above.)
TajikistanOleg, Evangelical Baptist church minister, Kurgan-Tube city.
We were driving a long way, higher and higher into the mountains. Who may live here? – we thought. There are only stones…But then the village appeared. I do not think the people here have ever heard the gospel. Poverty and very primitive life conditions. We told them about Jesus and after this gave presents. Incredible – what the reaction was! The hearts were wide opened. Thank you, OCC, for the key to the hearts of children and adults, Jesus enters them! The gifts give the opportunity to go to whre no one spoke about Jesus before. Thank you!
HaitiThere was an 11-year-old girl whose father was a voodoo priest. She received a shoe box during a distribution at a church. She received Christ during the service, and she went home and read “The Greatest Gift” booklet. When her father’s clients would come to see him, they had to wait in the courtyard if he was with someone else. While they were waiting she would talk with them herself and pray with them. Many of them received Christ and were healed and their problems were resolved. When the father would come out and see that the people were gone, he would ask what happened to them. She told him that she had healed them herself. He was incredulous because he hadn’t taught her the voodoo craft yet. She told him that it wasn’t voodoo; it was the power of Jesus Christ. The father got angry and kicked her out of the house. The pastor took her in, and over the next couple of months the child’s mother became a Christian, and her brothers and sisters too. The father hasn’t yet converted, but he stopped practicing voodoo because the area has really been changed. That’s one of the things about Samaritan's Purse. It’s not just about giving the boxes so the children can receive presents. Giving the boxes actually evangelizes more than you guys think. That’s one of the blessings in Haiti. With Samaritan's Purse helping out with the shoe boxes, it really has helped us bring in souls.
Kazakhstan (2008)Our family lives afar from city where no work is. In summer the children fish and help in our house. But it is very difficult in winter. They can only clean the snow off. Sometimes the children don’t visit school as they have no winter shoes. When church people visited our home, we had no coal and woods to warm the house. I didn't want to invite them to the cold home, but they said God had prepared the gifts for the children. To be honest only when I heard about the gifts I let them come in. They told about God’s love and I had only one question in my mind "Where was God when we lived in such poverty?" They told a lot about Jesus and promised to come the next day with the gifts. I didn’t believe them. But we were very surprised when the next day these people came again and they has something with them as they promised. They brought the gifts for the children, coal and woods, food and things for the children. The children were happy. There were so many things they needed in their boxes: soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes; and they were so glad to get the pencils and coloring books they had dreamt of so long. The elder boy got a torch. The younger one got a little car with the bench board. We kindled the oven, laid the table and began to watch "Jesus" movie. I understood that if it were not God these people would never come to us. That day I repented and received Jesus as my Lord. Now I have assurance in my children’s future.
We thank the American children who expressed their care for us through these gifts in spite of the crisis.