By Faye Gaston
On September 24, 2021, the Women on Mission (WOM) of First Baptist Church conducted a session to pack gifts in shoeboxes for "Operation Christmas Child" sponsored by Samaritan's Purse. The ladies packed the shoeboxes in an assembly line from several tables covered with gifts for boys and girls in different age groups. The gifts included toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. When packing shoeboxes, prayers were offered for the children who would receive the gifts.
First Baptist Church at 105 North Prairie Street in Union Springs is the drop-off location for Bullock County during "National Collection Week" in November 15-22, 2021. Phone the church office before drop-offs are made. A large truck will transport the shoeboxes to a location to ship them to many countries.
Individuals, churches and groups of all sizes fill shoeboxes each year to give to children in need around the world in more than 100 countries. Thousands of volunteers prepare shoeboxes for international shipping by Samaritan's Purse that is a 501(c)(3) trusted tax exempt Christian charity.
These shoeboxes reach millions of children, some in the most remote areas of the world. With the gift of the shoeboxes, a booklet is offered that is titled, "The Greatest Gift", Jesus Christ. Before the shoeboxes arrive as Christmas gifts, a volunteer National Leadership Team trains pastors and community leaders to share the Gospel about Jesus Christ to the children.
These leaders learn how to host events to reach the children to implement "The Greatest Journey", that is a follow-up discipleship program for Christianity. With invitations to graduation from this program, parents, siblings and friends often believe in Jesus Christ and become active members of a local church. Families are reached for Christianity, churches grow, and new churches are started. Communities are transformed.
For information about obtaining shoeboxes and the lists for gifts, phone First Baptist Church on week-day mornings at (334) 738-2840.