We shop with joy, filling the shoe box with things we think the child will need. A toothbrush and toothpaste, a pair of socks, pencils and sharpener, crayons and a coloring book, stickers and glue sticks. We pack it in neatly, as much as the little box will hold, add the label, and drop it off at the church.
What happens to the shoebox after that is rather a mystery, isn’t it? We know that the boxes are gathered at local churches and schools and taken somewhere.
A Collection Center, to be exact. There they are counted and boxed up. Eventually, they are sent overseas. How each box finds its way to the perfect child is one of the mysteries of Operation Christmas Child.
The Lord knows where each box will go. He knows each child who is waiting, and what he or she needs. There are so many stories telling the impact of one simple gift of a shoebox.
But how does all of this come together?
The constant prayers of the volunteers at each step of the gathering process, from the Collection Center, to the Processing Center, to the shipping… each box, each carton, is bathed in prayer for its journey.
The hands laid on cartons, and hands laid on pallet loads, on conveyor belts and semi trailers have one purpose: to ask the Lord’s favor and protection on this precious cargo.