Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes touch millions of lives
By HARLAN KIRGAN
MORGAN CITY — Ted Foreman was a 9-year-old boy in a Russia oprhanize when he received a shoe box from Operation Christmas Child.
“I was shocked that someone would love me enough to pack this gift for me,” he told about 50 people at an organizational meeting for the program held at the First Baptist Church of Morgan City Thursday.
“At that moment I felt like I knew there was something more to life,” he said of the shoe box full of gifts that included a notepad, pencils and wash cloth.
Four years later Foreman said he and his two sisters were adopted by an American couple. He now tells Operation Christmas Child volunteers about how receiving the shoe box of gifts changed his life.
Robin Richard, collection center coordinator at the First Baptist Church, said the church has a goal to pack 1,000 boxes and collect a total of 3,500 boxes. The volunteers will pack the boxes Nov. 12 to 19.
“This is an awesome ministry,” she said. “This is God’s ministry. It is not our ministry.”
Richard said she is involved with the project all year long.
“It is so much more than just packing a shoe box,” she said. “It is a wonderful way that we can reach children with the Good News that they have a Savior that died on the cross for their sins.”
Mark Cooper, the Texas-Louisiana regional director for Operation Christmas Child, said the program expects to collect and deliver more than 9 million boxes this year. The program also expects to top more than 100 million shoe boxes delivered since it started in 1993, he said.
“The shoe box is the mechanism that we use to show children around the world that we love them and that God loves them and also gives us an opportunity to show the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.
The shoe boxes contain simple items such as school supplies, toys, hygiene items, clothing and possibly, a personal note.
About 250 churches are involved in this area, from Houma to New Iberia and Morgan City to south of Baton Rouge, he said.
The Rev. Nathan Rush, pastor of First Baptist Church, praised Operation Christmas Child as a ministry.
“It is an excellent opportunity for our people to be involved in missions,” he said. “It gets them into a program and allows them see the impact of what they are doing and it is hands on. It is not just throwing money at a problem, it is doing something productive and being useful. I love that about the program and it has been a phenomenal success through the years.”
Want to help?
Call The First Baptist Church of Morgan City at 985-384-5920.