Giving God the Glory for OCC Miracles
from a blog by Kim Rowland, Community Relations Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child
About 80 volunteers from more than 20 countries in the Americas and Caribbean gathered in Panama for training, fellowship, and spiritual renewal. I attended the conference to gather stories about children who receive shoe box gifts and participate in The Greatest Journey discipleship program. I left with just a fraction of the millions of stories that could be told. But more importantly, I left with a renewed sense of wonder and reinforced belief that this project belongs entirely to God.
In Honduras, a remote community that received shoe box gifts gave a parcel of land to the church that distributed the gifts, asking them to build a church there.
In the Bahamas, a boy prayed for a black shirt and black hat for Christmas. His mother could not afford the gifts, but two months later he received those exact items in a shoe box.
In Costa Rica, five children who lived and worked in a landfill have been sponsored and are now able to go school—all through a shoe box gift and Biblical discipleship lessons.
In Uruguay, four children arrived at a shoe box distribution without any shoes, and each of the gifts they received contained a pair of shoes. The father and many people in the neighborhood accepted Christ when they saw the power of these simple gifts.
In Argentina, churches that never before worked together are now united in partnership because of the gifts.
In the Dominican Republic, 7-12 churches are planted each year after shoe box gift distributions are held in different communities.
In Venezuela, a girl who received a winter hat, gloves and a scarf in her box exclaimed, “How did God know I would need these? I am moving to the mountains where it snows!”
There are countless more stories, but just one is enough to reassure me that this is God’s project. Each of the volunteer leaders was quick to emphasize that it was God, not them, who was responsible for the incredible transformations they are seeing in their countries.
Editor’s note: Pray for the continuing impact of the shoebox distribution