LAMAR—More than 400 shoeboxes were dedicated to the service of our Lord and sent on their way to children all over the world through the ministry of “Operation Christmas Child” thanks to the efforts of Lamar United Methodist Church.
The shoeboxes were celebrated during worship Sunday morning, Nov. 13, with about 70 people in attendance.
The joy of collecting the items for next year began on Monday, Nov. 14.
All throughout the year, sister and brother team Paula and Bobby Coker lead the charge along with the Missions Committee, watching for sales and talking to businesses about buying in volume and selling at discounts, searching for deals and steals to ensure that each box is filled with items that will hopefully bring children joy.
Each box this year contained a flashlight, age-appropriate art/school supplies, small toys and stuffed animals, a health kit and toothbrush, as well as an outfit, underwear and socks. Many contained a new pair of shoes. Some received small tools, clotheslines and other items that might benefit their families, as well as kits to build birdhouses and feeders.
Skillful packaging and shrink wrap allows for the boxes to be packed tightly and filled with love. All of the gifts that are collected throughout the year are coordinated and packaged and placed on tables in the basement gathering area for packing.
The whole church is invited to come to one or more of multiple packing parties where the boxes are prepared during a blessed time of fellowship and thanksgiving for all that the Lord has provided for them to share with those who will receive them.
This is a significant ministry of the church. Those who are not able to shop or pack contribute by putting together the boxes or helping to cover shipping costs.
Organizers said it is a blessing to see God’s people work together doing what all are called to do loving God through loving and caring for neighbors.