Our Sunday School’s Operation Christmas Child adventure began when we packed Christmas boxes last November as our service project. We used our offerings to purchase toys, toiletries, and school supplies and had a packing party, enclosing a handmade Christmas card in each box and registering them so we could track their delivery. We were excited to learn that our boxes traveled to Rwanda, Africa, and found many great videos and articles on the Operation Christmas Child website, giving us a clear vision of our part in the outreach to Rwanda.
One of the most exciting videos showed Alex Nsengimana, a young native of Rwanda whose family was killed in the country’s deadly genocide in 1994. Alex was sent to an orphanage, and there he received an OCC box when he was seven years old. This was his first opportunity to hear about Jesus, and it began his faith journey. He became a Christian, came to the United States, was adopted by an American family, and after college in the U.S., began his work with Operation Christmas Child in Rwanda. He ultimately met the man who killed his family, now in prison, prayed with him, and offered his forgiveness.
We contacted Alex, and he sent us a wonderful video greeting, thanking us for sending our boxes to Rwanda.
This link shows Alex delivering boxes to children in the same orphanage where he received his box as a young boy:
All children receiving boxes are invited to attend a 12-week Bible class called The Greatest Journey, and many come to faith along with their families. Many churches have been established through the Operation Christmas Child Bible course. Our children will be going through that same course in our classes beginning in March, so we will learn firsthand how our contributions teach children about Jesus.
Our Sunday School is excited about continuing our Operation Christmas Child giving, and we are saving our offerings to buy a goat for a Rwandan family – that goat will provide income and food and multiply as the goat’s offspring is given to other families. Here is a link to the livestock donation program.
Click here for more information about their Animals, Agriculture & Livelihoods program.
Later this year we will be visiting a new Samaritan’s Purse distribution center in Glen Ellyn and also a large packing warehouse near O’Hare where thousands of boxes are prepared for delivery to hundreds of locations worldwide – 1.6 million boxes in 2018.
Operation Christmas Child is a year-round ministry and offers many service opportunities for high schoolers and adults, including mission trips. Operation Christmas Child was established in 1970 by Samaritan’s Purse, led by Franklin Graham. Please call the church office for more information about this exciting ministry (708.354.1690).