Have you ever experienced a life-changing moment when you knew you’d never again be the same?!
That’s exactly what happened to me when I had the chance to distribute Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes many years ago.
In 2003, I was invited to serve at a church in overseas. For the safety of of missionaries currently serving there, I can only tell you in was in an undisclosed country.
One of the many highlights of the trip was being able to pass out Samaritan’s Purse shoeboxes to the children living there.
Here I am (on the left) being escorted to the area where the children were waiting. And yes, that’s raw sewage running down the middle of the street.
When we arrived in the church and I saw all of the beautiful children, I was quickly moved to tears.
I asked one of our interpreters, “How do you say ‘Jesus loves you’ in Arabic?”
She responded “Jesus be hebec” (my spelling…not sure how you really spell it….)
And that afternoon, as I knelt in the dirt in 110 degree heat in a sweaty room jam-packed with kids (I should mention I was 4 1/2 months pregnant) and passed out the OCC shoeboxes…. I shared with each and every beautiful, precious child “Jesus be hebec, Jesus be hebec”
With tears streaming down my face, I knew at that moment that this was what I was created for!
I would surrender my life to share with anyone and everyone, no matter where God would take me, all about Jesus and His great love.
It is a defining moment in my life I will never forget.
In the picture below, I am helping show the children what to do with the various items from the shoebox (sometimes challenging when we could only use our actions, and not words because of the language barrier). This little girl was given powder, but had no idea what to do with it.
In both instances, I experienced first hand the impact that these simple, inexpensives shoeboxes have on children —and their families— around the world.
And as I’ve journeyed with Christ followers who call these undisclosed countries home, they tell me how they see the shoeboxes as God’s provision and answered prayer to help build relationships with others in their communities with whom they would not normally have access.
This holiday season, the Bultema’s will be once again be packing OCC shoeboxes. I’ve found this one way to put our faith in action, while teaching compassion, kindness, and generosity.
Not only that, but we’re also packing boxes through GEMS Girls’ Clubs!
GEMS has set a goal of 6,000 boxes in honor of our 60th birthday.
Learn how you can join us here. We’d love your support!
Every box has the opportunity to impact the life of a child for the Gospel. Woot woot!
I’m super excited to pack our shoeboxes, and hope you and your family will join us too.
It’s not too late.
You can pick up your plastic shoeboxes and shoebox gifts at your local Hobby Lobby just in time for National Collection Week on November 12-19!
For more shoebox packing ideas and to find your closest drop-off location, visit here.
What’s your favorite thing to put in a shoebox?
If you could distribute shoeboxes in any location, where would you like to travel, and why? I’d love to hear from you!