Back in early December a group of students and parents had the opportunity to travel down to the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) processing facility. There are 9 of these types of facilities in the united states that take your operation Christmas child boxes  and get them ready for shipment around the world.

Our team filled up two processing tables and we worked on boxes for about 5 hours on that Saturday. The process is a really fascinating one, we open up boxes and check the contents, there are a number of items that are not suppose to be in the boxes. Liquids can freeze and make meses, money can cause trouble in the village where the recipient lives, toothpaste can be mistaken for candy, glass items could break in travel, and violent toys might be taken the wrong way. We go through the boxes that have been donated by people all over Colorado and sort out these items. We replace them with a bunch of other toys that OCC has in stock. We tape up the individual boxes and then put them in larger boxes. The goal in packing them is to squeeze as many small boxes as we could into larger boxes. OCC do a really good job of stewardship with the resources they have and this cuts back on shipping. Many times during our shift we heard the “bell ring” when our packers could fit 16 small boxes into a larger box (this is much harder that you might think!). We also scanned the boxes for those people wanting to know where their box went.

The boxes that we were processing that day were being shipped to Mali Africa. None of our team was familiar with that place so we all were looking up  details on where it was and what it was like. What a surreal feeling it was to know that a child in Africa would be opening the box you just taped shut.

Our volunteer coordinator in charge of our groups told us a story while she taught us the job. She talked about a family who had been volunteering earlier in the year that was from Burma. Apparently years ago an OCC team handed out boxes in their town and the girl in the group got one. It changed the course of her families life, not only did most of them come to faith in Jesus due to the generosity and the accompanying teaching and discipleship OCC does, but she ended up coming to America to study because of it and her family emigrated gradually with her. They all chose to come volunteer at the facility to see the place where the box that impacted their life so greatly came from!

Over the course of the year Operation Christmas Child processes 11 million boxes at the nine facilities in the United States, and they have other facilities around the world as well. They travel all over the world delivering those boxes and sharing the good news of Jesus. They are a fantastic ministry wing of Samaritans Purse.

Thank you to each of you at Aspen Ridge Church and elsewhere that donated boxes to this cause and kids around the world. It is so rare to have a processing facility in “our city” and be able to go serve in getting the boxes ready. This is a great service project and opportunity for families to serve as well (you need to be 13 years old),  they facilitate groups of almost any size. It might be worth considering setting up a group or joining ours next holiday season!

Kreg Kastelz
Associate Pastor of Student Ministries

Pin It on Pinterest

Supported By WP Login Support