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Small shoebox has big impact through Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

First Baptist Christian School fourth-grader Brenna Wilde helped pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes November 15. The gift-filled shoeboxes are part of a mission outreach program through Samaritan’s Purse. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Inside a small red and green shoebox are several gift items, including school supplies, a stuffed animal, and even a toy or two. On the outside, the box doesn’t look like much, but its contents make an impact on children around the world.

Karrie Byrd, Operation Christmas Child drop-off team leader at First Baptist Church of Marble Falls, pointed out that it’s often the humblest people and the smallest items that God uses to change the world.

“Every twenty-eight seconds, on average, a child comes to know Christ through this mission,” she said. “That’s what is documented. That doesn’t include the children’s other family members, who learn about Jesus through their children.”

Operation Christmas Child, an outreach of Samaritan’s Purse, collects gift-filled shoeboxes from churches across the country and sends them to children living around the world who have not heard of Jesus.

“It just opens the door to the good news,” Byrd said.

After children receive the shoeboxes, a local missionary reaches out to them to share the story of Jesus through a 12-week Bible study, “The Greatest Journey.”

In Marble Falls, First Baptist Christian School students pack boxes every year, as they did on November 15. Byrd is right there explaining to them the impact they are making by simply filling the boxes with school supplies and few other gifts.

“It teaches them about mission work and sharing Christ with others,” Byrd said. “I really encourage them to pray for the child who receives the box.”

People of all ages across the country participate in the program through their churches. First Baptist-Marble Falls is a central drop-off location and will accept packed shoeboxes through Sunday, November 24. Learn how to pack your own shoebox online.

“We’ll even provide a box if they need one,” said Byrd, who has been a local leader in Operation Christmas Child for 18 years.

“It’s such an important mission,” she said. “I just love sharing the Gospel with kids all over the world.”

And, it works.

“Last year, 1,286 churches started from the shoebox ministry,” she added.

Not bad for a simple box.