CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | February 2024 EDITION
Children In Need Around The World To Receive 413,000 Gift-Filled Shoeboxes From Canadians
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Published February 2022



Provided by: The Christian Churches Network of London

2021 total includes boxes packed online through PackaBox.ca option available year-round

Frank King at Samaritan's Purse Canada has faithfully kept the Christian Life in London readers informed about Samaritan's Purse Canada activities. In this edition. Frank updates us on the success of the 2021 Shoebox campaign.

Despite the continuing challenges posed by COVID-19, Canadians lovingly packed 413,875 shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items during the 2021 Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign that recently ended. That’s an increase of more than 40,000 over 2020’s total.

Of the 413,000 gift-filled shoeboxes from Canadians in 2021, Ontario residents packed 149,647 shoeboxes, an increase of 14% from the previous year. Londoners contributed 3,096 packed shoeboxes for the 2021 initiative.

Distribution of the shoeboxes around the world has already begun. During the next few weeks, children in Central America and western Africa will be receiving shoeboxes packed by caring Canadians.

The 413,875 boxes donated in 2021—including tens of thousands of boxes packed online at PackaBox.ca—were part of a worldwide total of 10.5 million collected in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, South Korea, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand.

“In a year filled with uncertainty, we praise God for the opportunity to continue reaching children around the world with gift-filled shoeboxes that bring so much joy,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “These gifts provide a tangible expression of love and open doors for sharing the life-changing hope of Jesus Christ.”

Many children who receive shoebox gifts will also enroll in Operation Christmas Child’s 12‑lesson discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. This voluntary program teaches children about the Christian faith. Since 2009, more than 23 million children have participated in the program. Every child who graduates is given a New Testament in their language.

Year-Round Option:

Thousands of Canadians are taking advantage of Operation Christmas Child’s internet option that enables them to pack shoeboxes all year round at PackaBox.ca. Canadians can choose shoebox gift items while also uploading personal notes and photos.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered almost 200 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 170 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine.

Samaritan’s Purse Canada:

Operation Christmas Child is a program of Samaritan’s Purse Canada, a Christian relief and development organization that takes its name from Jesus Christ’s biblical story of the Good Samaritan. Like that Good Samaritan, who found a beaten man and helped restore him, we aid victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. Besides Operation Christmas Child, our initiatives include providing safe water, vocational skills, and agricultural supplies and training to families in the developing world. Learn more at SamaritansPurse.ca.

HOW THE GOSPEL IS PROCLAIMED
As children in need receive their Canadian shoeboxes, Samaritan’s Purse will proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in three ways:

1. When it is culturally appropriate, we present the Gospel to all children at shoebox distribution events. Many parents or guardians attend these events and also hear the Good News.

2. We offer children The Greatest Gift, a colourful storybook that shares the message of salvation. The booklet (available in more than 80 languages) shares 11 Scripture stories and invites children to follow Christ. Shoebox recipients can take The Greatest Gift home to share with family and friends.

3. When possible, we invite each child who received a shoebox to participate in The Greatest Journey, our 12-lesson evangelism and discipleship program. After finishing The Greatest Journey, children attend a graduation celebration where we give them a certificate and a New Testament in their language. It is often the first copy of God’s Word the child or their family have ever owned.

We praise God that during the last 12 years, He has used The Greatest Journey to bring more than *12 million children to faith in His Son*. In many cases, God works through these children to bring their parents and siblings to faith in Christ.

Questions? Concerns? Please contact me and I’ll do my best to help. Thanks, as always, for your consideration. We appreciate it. :-)

PS: Ontario residents can still pack shoeboxes for children in need. Just visit www.PackaBox.ca and do it online! :-)






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