Christmas isn’t cancelled! Many things we were looking forward to in 2020 have been cancelled (from the Olympics to school graduation celebrations). Children around the world, especially those in contexts of poverty have struggled with the isolation and not being with their friends. But Christmas isn’t cancelled and together we can bring fresh joy, and hope of new life in Jesus to children through shoebox gifts.
This year Lyminge Church (and school) will once again be collecting shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (OCC). The national collection week is 9-16 November so please get collecting items and packing those boxes. The pre-made boxes and the labels/leaflets can be collected from the church, which, as you know, is open every day from 0900-1700. If other churches in the benefice can collect boxes we can either collect them from you or (hopefully) you can deliver the boxes to Lyminge.
You can offer hope and joy to children like 8 year-old Athena through a simple shoebox gift. She received a shoebox gift in an impoverished area of the Philippines and said, ‘Everything was beautiful and I was so happy. What I liked most in the box was the doll. I am so grateful that they gave me a box.’ Her family expressed their gratitude and explained that through the shoebox they had decided to attend a local church and were now delighted to be part of the church family there.
A simple heartfelt gift, packed with love and fuelled by prayer can mean so much to a precious child and their family.
If you’d like to understand more about the Christmas box operation, there’s a helpful video here: https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ , as well as several other resources and lots of ideas on the website. You can even pack a Shoebox Online: www.shoeboxonline.org.uk - that way you can still join in and have fun choosing items to go into a shoebox and OCC will buy the gifts, pack and send shoeboxes for you.