It’s Shoebox Time!
1. What is Operation Christmas Child?
Each year, Loma Vista Community Church encourages our congregation to participate in Operation Christmas Child. OCC is an effort through World Vision/Samaritan’s Purse. People in our church fill a Christmas Shoebox with age-appropriate toys, supplies, love and a $7 donation. This shoebox is then shipped to a Distribution Center where the box takes a ride in a sea-crate to a destination in a 3rd-World country. Children in countries across the world receive these gifts, along with the Gospel presentation in the child’s language.
Here are some of our numbers since Loma Vista began working to bring the Good News of the Gospel with Operation Christmas Child:
2012 = 46 Boxes
2013 = 52 Boxes ~ Sent to the Philippines
2014 = 44 Boxes ~ Sent to Peru
2015 = 38 Boxes ~ Shipped to undisclosed location; country hostile to Christianity
2016 = 42 Boxes
2. Why should I participate?
First, OCC is an easy, beautiful way to put other people’s needs above our own. We can get caught up in our everyday trials of life and not open our eyes to basic needs of people around us or around the world. OCC is a simple way to get out of ourselves, and offer up a gift that cannot be repaid.
Second, most of our children will receive multiple Christmas presents this year. Children naturally think about their needs and wants and need to be taught to prefer and love others. OCC is an excellent opportunity to take a child to the store and give them the funds to shop for someone else. I guarantee, filling up a little shoebox will open your child’s eyes to their own personal blessings, but also connect them in a deeper way to the poor around the world. Even very young children encounter that moment when you realize the things they most want can't fit into a tiny shoebox AND that this little box is the only gift this child will receive. Packing a shoebox is an experience your child will never forget- and always be excited about year-after-year.
Third, one of the reasons I fell in love with OCC years ago was its commitment to the local church. Shoeboxes are not put on doorsteps. Instead, shoeboxes are delivered to local churches where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proudly taught. Children travel to the local church where, upon arrival, they not only receive a Shoebox, but also prayer and the Gospel Message. Story after story records children (and parents!) receiving not just a Shoebox that day, but receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior. OCC also equips the local churches with follow-up discipleship materials to continue the spiritual growth that began with a shoebox.
3. How do I pack a Shoebox?
We have forms to pack a shoebox at Vista Café on Sunday mornings and at the offices, or download your own, “How To Pack A Shoebox Form.” Check out Samaritan’s Purse website for additional information or, watch this video, LVCC Packs a Shoebox, to see some of our own kids packing Shoeboxes.
4. How do I follow my Shoebox?
Following your Shoebox is easy! You can put your check/cash into the box itself or get a little more tech-savvy and pay for your box online by following this link, “Follow My Box.” When you choose to follow your box, you will receive an email from OCC in December or January letting you know where your box was delivered and sometimes even a video of the boxes being distributed. It's fantastic! Make sure you print out your barcode and tape it to the outside of your box so you stay informed as to the whereabouts of your box. If you pack more than one box, be sure you have a barcode on each box.
5. What do I do with my box?
Bring your packed Shoebox (with your $9 donation per box inside or barcode if you're following your box) to Loma Vista Community Church on Collection Day: November 12th. We will pray for the boxes during the service before delivering them to the San Joaquin Valley Headquarters.
If you have additional questions or need extra help, be sure to talk to Mendy @ Vista Café on Sunday mornings!
Have fun packing those boxes and we’ll see if we can beat our 52 Shoebox Record on Collection Sunday: November 12th!
In His Name,
Operation Christmas Child Team
Pastor Connie, Mendy and Deanna