On Friday we traveled over to Querétaro to observe one of the Bible churches using the Operation Christmas from Samaritan’s Purse as an outreach event. We were curious about how such an event would work and what is involved in carrying it out. After observing it, I think we may be able to use this idea in San Juan del Rio in the future.
Back in the USA, I recall having helped prepare shoe boxes with gifts and even delivered them to a drop-off point in the Chicago area one year. This was the first time we’ve ever seen an actual distribution point overseas.
The event actually began weeks ago when our co-workers attended a 3 hour training seminar that was required to become a part of the program. There are strict accountability rules and their church needed to be strongly committed to carrying out the distribution which was more than just handing out shoe boxes of presents, but rather included an entire 3 hour program for children and their families/parents with songs, skits, games, snacks, crafts, and a story-time that included the Gospel message. There was also a Gospel presentation at the grand finale when all the parents were to be in attendance and then the boxes handed out. It seemed a well-organized outreach event from the Samaritan’s Purse side of things and the New Birth Bible Church did an excellent job for managing their responsibilities, hosting such a large crowd, and sharing the love of God and the Gospel message.
They were praying for 150 children (as they requested 150 boxes) but ended up with 84 children in attendance. However, the church members put together another outreach event in a different location for today and were hoping to get as many of the boxes out as possible. Of course, the Gospel presentation is the great motivation for carrying it out. I haven’t heard how it went today.
We were on a tight schedule yesterday as far as the evening went, so we ended up leaving about halfway through the program. I did grab a few photos from Facebook posts of others so you can get an idea of the entire event.
If you’ve ever wondered about the “Operation Christmas” and all those shoe boxes, it does appear that it really does work and does give a solid Gospel presentation (at least it did in this case) along with the giving of the gifts.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why this event was on January 4th and not closer to Christmas: here in Mexico the cultural date for giving gifts is “The Day of the Kings” which is January 6th. The tradition here is that the Magi arrived on the 6th to deliver their gifts to Jesus and so that is the date when children receive gifts in Mexico.
Well, Mexican children, perhaps. Ours received them on Christmas Day in keeping with our home culture and the fact that it’s quite practical to actually receive one’s toys with time to enjoy them over the holiday break! So, while Mexico celebrates the Day of the Kings tomorrow, we’re praying in follow-up to the Gospel presentations yesterday and today for it to be a real Day of the King who came not to receive gifts but as the Giver of eternal life through His imperishable gift…his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave!
Happy Day of the Kings to you…and more than that…Happy Day of the King of Kings!