Approximately 17 years ago, Second Baptist Church of Hamlet began preparing, collecting, and delivering Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes as requested by Franklin Graham’s Samaritan Purse headquartered in Boone, N.C. That first year 35 boxes were contributed. Each year since then, the numbers have increased.
On Sunday, Nov. 20, Second Baptist delivered 332 boxes — the Day School’s 202 boxes and the church’s 130 boxes — to First Baptist Church in Laurinburg. The goal for this year was 300 boxes.
The Girls in Action, who study and promote missions along with their leader, Millie Vickers, and numerous members of the congregation, helped to load the huge stack of boxes into the church bus. Adult leaders who greatly assisted the Girls in Action throughout this project are Alyssa Bailey, Elaine Cockman, Ashley Hill, Denise Lynch, Mandy Martin, Amy Perry, and Amy Tatum.
During the morning worship service, a special time of dedication of the shoe boxes was led by Pastor Chris Hawks and Deacon Chuck Edmonds. Many individuals reported praying over their boxes as they packed and prepared them for shipping to more than 145 countries around the world.
This Christmas season more than 8 million shoe boxes will be prepared, collected, transported, processed, packed onto cargo planes, and delivered to children all around the globe, many of whom will receive no other gift for Christmas. With each shoe box goes an invitation to hear the story of Jesus and attend a class where Bible stories appropriate for children are shared and taught. Whole families may come to accept Christ as a result of this effort, say organizers.