Monday, February 25, 2013

A Shoebox Distribution Video from December 2012 in Mexico

I love the distribution videos.. and this one comes from Canada and a team that distributed Operation Christmas Child boxes in Mexico just this last December! Enjoy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Operation Christmas Child Craft Idea- Simple Backpack

I have shared a variation of a backpack before, but the instructions on this are VERY clear and the result is so cute that I couldn't resist. And a backpack is a real blessing for most children. This will allow them to carry the items in their shoebox or school supplies.
Cute, right????

Find the full instructions at

Friday, February 22, 2013

Christ's Love going into the Middle East in Shoeboxes!

I found this video today... it was recently posted but is obviously a repost from a different year at a college, but it is a lovely full circle story by Huda El- Betjali about how SHE received a shoebox and first heard of Christ and a bit more about the program. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Craft Day here in Klamath Falls for OCC

I am in the beginning stages of planning a crafting day for Operation Christmas Child here in K-Falls... and I wanted to take a minute to share the vision and then invite comments and suggestions.

I am hoping to have a crafting time around every 2-3 months where we can gather and make things for our Operation Christmas Shoeboxes and extras to be provided to area packing parties for Operation Christmas Child.

I will supply materials for a variety of projects but may ask for people to bring additional items for use such as scissors or hot glue guns if they have them available. People would also be able to bring items to show or share that they have made so that we may learn from one another. The crafts would vary in difficulty but NONE are going to be ones that require you to be particularly crafty. :) A willing heart is really the only prerequisite.

I am tentatively considering a Saturday perhaps the first in May??? The last Saturday in April might work as well. And would consider morning or afternoon?? If you prefer not to have it on a Saturday please let me know that too.

Ideas I have for possible crafts include:

Jewelry making  (various kinds)
Ribbon twirlers
Decorated notebooks (probably wait til summer or fall when I have discount supplies for this)
hair clips
sock puppets and/or finger puppets
peg dolls
toy tops
egg shakers

You can look at the craft tab or at pinterest for more info on some of the above. 

Please share here in the comments or by email ( lambofhisflock @ gmail . com ) if you are interested in coming and if one of the days would work for you and if so what time.

Also share if you have other ideas for crafts.

I would love to meet with those of you who love Operation Christmas Child... and work together to make items with love and prayer for these precious children.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Eternal Significance

This is a link to a post from an inspirational OCC blogger... I read the blog Life Inside the Box regularly and see God working in so many ways over and over again through her work, through OCC, and through her actions of stepping out in faith. I loved it so much that I had to share it with you and I hope you do go over and read it... and that it inspires you to trust God to work in your life through your works and words and to make an eternal difference whether you see it or not. And know that God is working through your shoeboxes too... whether you volunteer or pack a single box, God IS working through you.

You can find this blog and see new posts by watching my sidebar.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Samaritan's Purse video, South Sudan

This is not an OCC video... but it is another part of what Samaritan's Purse does and it ALL comes down to what the one worker in the video said... that we do this because we love them.. and we love them because Christ loves us.

I pray that this video will bless you as it has me.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

This Week's OCC Shoebox Deals

The biggest shoe box deals this week are through Valentine's Clearance... wherever you go check for items on sale. Great possibilities include plush, hard candy, pencils, cups, small toys, etc. Right now most stores are doing 50% off, but in the days to come (supposedly 75% off on Monday for our Walmart) many stores will go even deeper in savings.

But there are other deals too. (The below deals run Sunday the 17th through Saturday)

Staples has some free after Easy Rebates this week.

Staples Photo Supreme Paper, 50 pk $14.99
Buy 1, Submit for $14.99 Easy Rebate
Pay $14.99, Submit for $14.99 Easy Rebate

Bic-Matic Grip .7mm Mechanical Pencils, 5 pk $4.29
Buy 1, Submit for $4.29 Easy Rebate
Pay $4.29, Submit for $4.29 Easy Rebate

Dollar Tree has some good coupon matchups

Speed Stick Power 1.8oz Sale $1.00
- $1/1 Speed Stick Power, excluding 2 oz and .5 oz 02/03/2013 SS Insert (exp 02/23/2013)
FREE with coupon

Olay Bath Bar Sale $1.00
- $1/1 Olay bath bar, body wash, or in shower body lotion, excludes trial size 01/27/2013 P&G Insert (exp 02/28/2013)
FREE with coupon

Crest 4.6oz Sale $1.00
- $0.75/1 Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel, 4 oz+, excludes Cavity, Baking Soda, and Tartar, trial size 01/27/2013 P&G Insert (exp 02/28/2013)
Final: $0.25 

Fred Meyers stores have 50% off Hot Wheels other than the basic single one, meaning that 5 packs are also half price. They also have a lot of clearance in the toy sections with an additional 50% off lowest marked prices. 

Finding Sister on a Shoebox

This is a story from Operation Christmas Child UK... and made me smile SO big. I hope you enjoy it as well.

The Little Girl Who Became Famous

In 2011 writer Anne Coomes and photographer James Fletcher went to Montenegro to gather stories and images during montOperation Christmas Child distributions for the 2012 campaign. James took a winning photograph of this lovely little girl with her delightful smile. We used the image in much of our literature for OCC 2012 and within the leaflet – thus reproducing it literally millions of times.  As it was on the underside of the 'Girl' sticker the photo was on every girl's shoebox.

Faith Spinks from the SP UK office had an interesting trip to Montenegro recently. She says, "I had the privilege of meeting the little girl whose picture is featured on the OCC bangtail.  Her family is Roma, Muslim and originally from Kosova.  But her father brought them to Montenegro a year and a half ago and they have had an incredible journey. Astred, the father, told me that before he came to Montenegro he was a bad guy: 'I was using drugs, a big liar, and playing games.' "

MONTWhen they arrived at a refugee camp in 2011 they met a friend who invited them to Church.  At first he said no because he was a Muslim.  But later Astred became sad at his behaviour to his family and accepted God into his life. He was away working when his little girl Bleona received her shoebox that year. As a result of the shoebox this Bleona's mother also became a Christian and the family now pray and attend church together. Each night Bleona prays for all their family back in Kosova that God would look after them. 

During the 2012 shoebox distributions in Podgorica a young boy was astonished when he found a photo of his 7 year old sister in the box.  He showed his father who was so excited to see the image, but could not understand how this had happened.  Bleona remembered that a foreigner had taken her picture when she received her shoebox – but she had been so excited by her gifts that she had forgotten all about it.

Bleona (pictured above with her photo on the OCC leaflet) is so happy and excited to see her picture and keeps asking her father “Why did they choose me?”  The father says that at first he tried to count how many shoeboxes his daughter was on.  He is amazed to think of his daughter’s photo in all the shoeboxes across the camp, but then also the many all across Montenegro and even beyond that.  He is excited that God is using his daughter’s photo to encourage others to do shoeboxes and so many more children will be blessed with a gift.  He hopes that through the photo and his story that many will be encouraged.

He is a very thankful man and said “My life was black but now I am in the light.  I hope that all people would turn from bad ways and follow Jesus’s way because he is the best way.”

Faith says, "As I left, I was just overwhelmed with all I had seen and heard.  I felt so privileged to have met this family and sharedmontfamily in their lives.  In the following days, the thing that really struck me was the father’s attitude, his responses to his family’s circumstances, to the people around him and to the discovery of his daughter’s photo on so many shoeboxes.  His responses could have been so different!"

Photos: James Fletcher & Faith Spinks

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quick Sew Hair Bow

This is a simple idea using 2 scrap pieces of fabric, and if you have a sewing machine is a quick project that is so perfect for the shoeboxes. There is even a ready to print pattern.

Too cute!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Greatest Journey and Baptism in Haiti... hope and life reborn!

I couldn't wait to share this video and this blog post from Samaritan's Purse. God is our hope. He is the hope of the world. And those of Haiti. And He is working through the Greatest Journey and Greta Home.

February 13, 2013

Baptisms on the Beach

Children at the Greta Home and Academy in Haiti are baptized after confessing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior
Thirty-nine boys and girls walked onto the sand of Jax Beach, their voices joined together in song: “Lead me to the water so I can be baptized.”

Each child had made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, and were declaring this decision to the world as they prepared to enter the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean on a warm Saturday in February.

They were from the Greta Home and Academy, a safe haven where orphaned and needy children receive the care of mentors, quality education, and spiritual support. The facility, built by Samaritan’s Purse in Léogâne, was named after Greta Van Susteren, host of On the Record on the Fox News Channel, for her advocacy of the Haitian people after the 2010 earthquake.

Pastor Samuel Jean-Louis, who leads Sunday morning services at the home, read from Romans 6:3-7 as the children took off their shoes and prepared to be dipped into the ocean waters.

“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Twenty-six of them prayed to receive Christ as their Savior through The Greatest Journey , the follow-up discipleship program to Operation Christmas Child. The others took that step of faith through church attendance or devotions at the Greta Home.

“We have found joy in teaching them about God,” said Pastor Kenol Despinasse, teacher of The Greatest Journey curriculum. “These children will be our successors and will bring the Gospel to the world after us.”

Jeff Moise, 14, was among the new believers. He was living in a tent with his mother, brother Duckens, and his sister a year after the earthquake. His father died of an illness when he was very young, and his mother struggled to provide for her children. She made the difficult decision to take the two boys to the Greta Home.

He decided to be baptized through the influence of the Bible lessons at the home.

“When I look at what Jesus Christ has done in my life, I wonder how He could love me so much to put me in this home,” he said.

He and his brother were both baptized by Pastor Pierre Julien, leader of Samaritan's Purse ministry programs in Haiti.

After coming out of the water, Jeff said, “Today is a great day because I am living a new life.”

Valeze, 16, was another one of the children who was baptized. He also did not have a father active in his life and lived in poverty. He often went to school hungry because there was no food at home. He didn’t have the books or supplies needed to do his studies.

At the Greta Home, he receives everything he needs to grow and learn. Pastor Kenol led him to Christ through The Greatest Journey lessons. Since then, Valeze has been helping lead morning devotions and praying with and encouraging the other children.

“I hope that my life will be a success,” he said. “I don’t want to do bad things. I want to do good work in the world and follow Christ.”

The day before the ceremony, Valeze encouraged another one of the boys, Kenylove, to be baptized too. Through his influence, Kenylove decided to join the other children in this important step.

Pastor Pierre said baptism is not just about being obedient; it’s a symbol of what takes place in the heart and is a public declaration of being united with Christ.

“I believe these kids are the future of this country,” he said. “If we invest in them and plant the seeds of God’s love in their hearts, raise them with a Christian worldview, and teach them the Word of God, they will truly become the leaders this country needs. So we believe we have an opportunity to develop the next generation of Christian leaders that will take Haiti to new heights.”

Penny Fairo, Executive Director of the Greta Home and Academy, has already witnessed major change in the lives of the children. Not just physically through nutritious meals, but also socially with the other children and spiritually.

“It’s been really wonderful to see how different they are now from when they were living among the rubble that was here after the earthquake,” she said. “It’s been quite a change.”

After the baptism ceremony, the kids sang songs together, prayed, and then jumped into the ocean for a swim.

As the sun began to set, Penny led a closing prayer.

“Lord we thank you for this day, that we could share this beautiful time with you. We know the angels in heaven are celebrating.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coming Soon to a Store Near You.... VALENTINE'S CLEARANCE!!!

This is one of my favorite holiday clearances for the shoeboxes!

If you are out shopping check out selection to be ready for the sales! Most stores will have good sales starting the day after Valentine's.. and the choices should be GREAT. Cute stuffed animals holding hearts.... pencils and toys covered in hearts... candy sales!

Walmart has small plush in the perfect size for the shoeboxes that are soft and sweet and adorable that are 2.97 now and should be 50% off on Friday. If you are gutsy you can try and hold out for 75% off but be aware that at that price they fly off the shelves. I found some that I found TOO cute and will grab at 50% off... and then I will really go all out if I find them marked down further.

Michaels should have great sales soon too.... with much wider selection of items.

I am ready to SHOW the LOVE with VALENTINE'S ITEMS... are you????

Friday, February 8, 2013

Making Notebooks - Simple Matchbook Notebook Tutorials

There are many variations of the matchbook notebook online.... all are simple.. and the possibilities are endless. If you have free paper (or almost free paper) from Staples rebates, or lots of scrap paper around this could be a great way to add a notebook or 2 to your shoeboxes!

I first saw this version with a paint sample notebook... really too small to be useful for schoolwork, but so cute and easy.

I loved the idea so I went searching. And found this simple tutorial with template. It makes a notebook with 3 1/2" square pages. 

And I loved this idea so much1 It is simple to do, could make it as simple or fancy as you like, and would be a great way to use that free paper for the shoeboxes. 

Then I thought, 3 1/2 inches square is still small. What about if it were made with 12 inch cardstock? The dimensions could be scaled up to a 5 1/4 inch square paper. That is a nice size notebook. The method is simple enough I think it would be an easy matter to make one in any size you had cardboard for.

Want to make it with free cover? How about using cereal boxes or other upcycled materials for the cardboard? It is colorful and free. And could be matched with a pencil holder too? 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gloves Can Be an Answer to Prayer in the Shoeboxes

As I posted yesterday, gloves and hats are on winter clearance at Walmart here in Klamath Falls and soon will be on sale in many stores... I am often asked if we should send gloves and hats and scarves when so many of our boxes go to warm climates. My answer is YES if you feel lead by all means, pack them.

First, we do not know where our boxes go ahead of time, but GOD DOES! Second, even in the warm climates, the temps can drop at night and the people there do not have heat and are not acclimated to the cold. Third, the children definitely experience joy in them. And they can be practical in other ways as well.. to protect hands, for instance. So buy as you feel lead.

This story was posted yesterday on OCC facebook page... and I had to share:

Jamil was 6-years-old, living in a small orphanage in Kenya. He had learned in Sunday school that if you pray for something hard enough, God would provide it. What he wanted most in the world was a pair of gloves for the cold weather. He prayed everyday for months and could not understand why they were not at the end of his bed when he woke in a morning or why they did not appear in church when he went to Sunday school. But he did not stop praying for them. Then the shoeboxes came. As Jamil opened his box, he found a maroon striped scarf and a pair of maroon gloves. He told everyone that it was his best day in his life.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Operation Christmas Child in Latvia

I found the below in a blog on the site and I couldn't help but share it. You all know how I love Operation Christmas Child... what you may NOT know, unless you have read all my posts, is that I have a particular soft spot for Latvia. My mom was born in Latvia.  And so I rejoiced when I first read about their first graduation of the Greatest Journey about a year ago now. Latvia had been under Soviet control for half a century while the church was driven under ground... and NOW Operation Christmas Child is partnering with churches to bring the gospel to children! Because of my personal love for the nation and people of Latvia, I have made Latvia a personal prayer focus. And so ... anyway, back to the blog. On this lovely blog post about Operation Christmas Child from 2010 the author shared:
One of the kids I nannied for a few years ago had received a shoebox in the children’s home she had lived in Latvia.  She told me that the hair things were the best part!  Of course, she was a typical pre-teen girl!
The boxes go to real kids, with real lives, pains, joys, and need.  This girl I nannied for was adopted and helped me pack some boxes in 2008, she was, of course, really excited to help me!
And isn't that the point?? Around the world there are children who are hurting, in need, in orphanages, in war torn areas, in poverty, in darkness... REAL CHILDREN... and these boxes bring joy and hope and love and light into the lives of these children. Thank you for giving!

And when you pack for a girl, put in things like hair accessories or play jewelry or other pretty things so that they know they are beautiful and loved and precious.

PS if you want to learn more about the first Greatest Journey program in Europe that occurred in Latvia you can read more about it at

Winter Clearance!!

Winter Clearance has begun!

Now is the time to watch for good deals on items such as hats and gloves.

Klamath Area Walmart has their 2 packs of kids gloves at 50 cents, and hats at 50 cents as well. They are going fast. If you check them out, I found more on the end of the clothing rack than on the separate standalone for hats and gloves. Hats might go down further as last year I bought them at 25 cents each... but gloves are already getting picked over.

Other area stores will be marking them down soon too! Keep a sharp eye out and you might find a great deal. Let us know if you do!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Drumroll please!.....

This year, from around the world, from 8 countries, 9,039,060 shoeboxes were collected through Operation Christmas Child!!! This surpasses our goal of 9 million and blows us past the 100,000,000 mark this year! Praising God for EACH shoebox. And lest you think we have done enough.. it is a drop in the bucket. There are 1 BILLION children living in poverty... and over 20 years OCC has given out 100,000. Over that 20 years, children have grown and lost the opportunity to receive a shoebox and hear the gospel of life. The need is overwhelming... but EACH shoebox makes an eternal difference. This year, YOU can make an eternal difference. Pack a shoebox, or many, and rejoice in what the Lord will do with your gift.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

More Operation Christmas Child Stories from the Philippines

OCC Philippines
Thirty-four percent of the Philippines’ 103.7 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2012-2013 season, 462,136 shoe box gifts will be delivered to children in the Philippines, which first received the gifts in 1998. Since then, 2,234,322 children in the Philippines have received a shoe box gift.

"I am Mency, 8 years of age. Thank you for the shoes and socks that I received. Please know that there is a hole in the sole of my shoes that I was using every day. I prayed that Jesus will replace my worn out shoes. I was overjoyed when I opened the gifts box, I found a beautiful pair of shoes that fit exactly to my feet. Not only that, it also contained socks, toys, etc. Thank you very much, you make me so happy."

 "I'm Clearry, 5-years-old. It's my long desire to have a whistle, since my mother always told me to call my father in to the farm during meal time. I thank God, because I received a whistle that looks like the head of a duck. Now I have something to use to call my father."

Twin girls arrived a shoe box gift distribution in the Philippines. They stood in line to receive their gifts, which were being distributed according to age and gender but had not been opened since being shipped from the United States. When the girls opened their boxes, the items in them were identical and letters inside the two boxes explained that they had been packed by twin girls in the U.S.!

A Gesture of God's Love and Grace "I am the mother of Lance and Christina Mae. Our family belongs to a very low income through farming. It is difficult for us to provide all the needs of our two kids. But being a Christian, we just trusted God. With the help of our pastor, we were linked up with the Samaritan's Purse OCC program. My children were blessed with the shoe box gifts. The contents provided their school supplies, recreational and own personal necessities. May the Lord return a hundred-fold blessing to the donor whom God used as channel. It is truly a gesture of God’s love and grace toward needy people like us. Thanks to all the people who are involved in the OCC program."

The below is a story I have shared now with people in the area before... and love to share. Our God is in every detail!

A boy in a cancer ward at a hospital in Manila, Philippines had his right leg amputated. He got a shoe box with shoes in it. The volunteers were sad that he got shoes that he couldn’t fully use, but they continued giving boxes to the other children in the ward. The boy in the next bed had his left leg amputated. He got socks in his box. So the two boys were able to share—each got one sock and one shoe!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Packing Opeation Christmas Child Shoeboxes with Kids

This is how I started out... maybe you did too.... packing shoeboxes with my kids for Operation Christmas Child. I wanted my children to have a heart for others. To love. To give. To participate in the Great Commission. And packing the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes really did help my children to develop their heart for others. I saw it each year in their desire to give more and more.

And so it pleases me to share this video discussing this very thing!

And also to share a blog on the topic.. 

Of course when I visited the blog I couldn't help but notice all the other wonderful ideas on there.... I bet you will too.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Matthew West and Operation Christmas Child

I found this radio interview with Matthew West from 2011 and I found it so encouraging..... I wanted to share it with you. Matthew West is STILL very involved with OCC. He has done free concerts and was part of the 100 millionth shoebox celebration. His heart is for this ministry.. as is mine.

And because I know you probably are like me and now you want to see the videos from the trips he talked about in the interview.. here are some Matthew West Operation Christmas Child videos.