Staff of Samaritans Purse and members of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth joined together for the collection of shoe boxes for the 2016 Operation Christmas Child international project.
Jerry Brown, co-coordinators for Southeastern Ohio of the Samaritans Purse, said the international effort continues to see growth.
“The District Superintendent for the United Methodist Church in this area has asked the churches to take Operation Christmas Child as a project this year, particularly since we do a lot with discipleship, because that is his emphasis for the churches this year, is discipleship Jerry Brown said. “So we have put a display, some churches have brought shoe boxes in, and some have already packed shoe boxes, and some will do it through their normal time, like this church here in one week will be packing 1,000 shoe boxes. A lot of churches were already involved in it, but we’ve had about six new churches that brought in shoe boxes, and so we are excited about that because they will go to children around the world.”
More than 100 countries will pass out shoe boxes all over the world. In addition to the shoe boxes, they will receive the gospel, as well as the opportunity to take a discipleship class, according to Jerry Brown.
Ruth Brown co-coordinator of Operation Christmas Child, said you would not believe how little things excite children in other countries.
“We are very excited about this because it does such a wonderful thing all around the world, in countries where children have to go to school without school supplies, and we are just excited about what this project does in spreading the gospel,” Ruth Brown said. “Also, we had the opportunity to go to Paraguay last summer and help pass out shoe boxes, and that was awesome. We saw a little boy who was so excited about receiving two pairs of socks, because his parents couldn’t afford socks.”
Deidra Libby, church relations coordinator for Southeast Ohio of Samaritans Purse, said it is all about sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ to children through Operation Christmas Child.
“I am just here today to help to collect the shoe boxes,” Libby said. “We just want to see more children reached for the gospel. I have been with Samaritans Purse for 10 years, and it has been a great time.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.