Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple “shoebox” gifts from Operation Christmas Child.
Many churches and other organizations have contributed to this noble cause. After all, what’s more gracious than to give? The Minnetonka Seventh-day Adventist Church has been contributing for many years and gladly sees its gifts growing year after year. A simple idea of packing a shoebox with gifts for children in need; a pencil, perhaps a pair of socks, a toy, or a little stuffed animal to broaden their smile at the time when we celebrate the birth of our Lord. We value this element in our Christian lives and find this a wonderful way to “Go and do likewise” in helping those who have nothing.
Heidi Abramovich and Rita Dedeker headed up this year’s challenge, and with your help, produce 143 well packed and delivered boxes. They came up with the idea of using a uniform package, the plastic box and cover, and a generous church member covered the cost of the boxes for the entire congregation. This proved an easier conduit to place the gifts as well as see what was in the boxes.
Steve Odenthal and Rita Dedekerʼs announcements showed their enthusiasm and developed excitement as the number of boxes contributed each Sabbath continued to grow, culminating on November 16, when Pastor Jason Salyers led the congregation in a dedicatory prayer.
The youth, under Pastor Vanessa Pujicʼs guidance, checked all the boxes to make sure all were as required and prayed over them before the delivery to the drop off site. If these gifts are as impressive to the recipient as were the prayers made over them they will be a hit!
The organizers wish to express a big “thank you” for being a part of this program. And, in case you are curious, the congregation packed and sent almost 40% more this year than last, and hopes to match that increase next year! Stay tuned.
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