Over the last few weeks, our students have partnered with Operation Christmas Child in various ways. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to provide God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. They do this by compiling Christmas gifts in their iconic green and red shoebox and shipping them all over the world.
One group of girls, from our secondary Connect Groups, decided to pack boxes outside of school. Freshman Brittany Funk shared her experience, “Being at Westlake is such a blessing in my life! One thing I have really enjoyed this year is spending time with my Connect Groups on Thursdays. I had lots of fun with some of my Connect Group friends participating in Operation Christmas Child remotely this year, by packing boxes for children in other countries who don’t have very much. I loved picking each individual toy and essential item for the children based off of their age and gender. I loved serving with my friends, knowing it will bring a smile to the children’s faces when they receive a box of God’s love.”
Our Preschool and Pre-K students and their families also participated by donating gifts and filling a total of 36 shoeboxes! Mrs. Lovelace and Mrs. Mensch talked with their students about children around the world who may never receive a gift or hear about Jesus. Students and their families were then invited to send in small toys and toiletries to pack in shoeboxes for other preschool-aged children. On “packing day”, the classes watched a video about the packing process and how shoeboxes are shipped around the world – via trucks, ships, even bikes, donkeys, and elephants! They looked at pictures of children receiving their packages with big smiles and excitement and prayed for the children who would be receiving the boxes. Then each student was able to add a gift to one of the shoeboxes.
A group of our high schoolers then went to a local OCC Drop Off Center to help pack boxes and load trucks for distribution. The Central Drop Off Coordinator for OCC, Michelle Bengini, said, “Thank you so much again for coming … with your crew; it was a real blessing to have you guys there. We packed a total of 815 shippers over 2 days with 12,143 gift-filled, gospel opportunities for the neediest children around the world.”
Our high schoolers took to heart what Paul said in Acts 20, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
This Christmas season, we pray that you cherish the times with your family, you reach out and display kindness to your fellow man, and where able, extend a helping hand or a gift, demonstrating God’s love in a tangible way.
If you’d like to learn more about Operation Christmas Child you can do so by visiting their website: https://sampur.se/37BU1dr