Go out into all the world, starts with you
That tug on our hearts conveying a quiet call from God is something that we all tend to pack away to the back of our closets. It’s a lonely road that is thought upon but hardly ever acted upon. For Dave and Jill Cooke of Wrexham, Wales that same quiet call turned into a testament of victory. With over 135 million children reached through their ministry, the Cooke’s journey illustrates that when you follow God’s lead, doors will open.
Three years after the Cooke’s Christmas shoebox program was founded, it merged into a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse and has since ministered to children in more than 150 countries and territories. Every year nationwide, churches, families and groups join together to fill shoe boxes with toys, school supplies, clothing, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. The shoe boxes are then gifted to children worldwide by pastors and missionaries who share the message of Jesus Christ and salvation through the distribution.
National collection week for Operation Christmas Child runs November 14-21 and the ministry hopes to collect enough shoe boxes this year to reach another 12 million children. With the help of 150,000 volunteers nationwide over 4,000 shoe box drop off sites are available throughout all 50 states and in Puerto Rico. You can find a local drop off location and shoebox packing instructions on https://www.samaritanspurse. org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/.
The journey doesn’t have to end when you drop your shoe boxes off either. Participants have the opportunity to follow boxes online and to see first hand where they are delivered to and the impact that is made.
Samaritan’s Purse shares the following mission statement, “As our teams work in crisis areas of the world, people often ask, “Why did you come?” The answer is always the same: “We have come to help you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Our ministry is all about Jesus—first, last, and always. As the Apostle Paul said, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5, NIV). Locally you can become involved and contribute to Operation Christmas Child at Murdo’s Community Bible Church.