Once again this past Christmas season Community of Joy Church participated in “Operation Christmas Child,” sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, a relief organization led by Franklin Graham. In addition, our youth group joined forces with other Lutheran Brethren youth groups (a total of over 200 teens) to prepare shoe boxes for distribution at a regional distribution center in the Twin Cities. It was indeed a special time for all who took part. The entire effort reached some 8 million hurting children all over the world who received gift-filled shoe boxes. According to Franklin Graham, “Not only will these be the first Christmas presents many of them have ever received, but this will also be the first time many have heard the true meaning of Christmas – God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world from sin.” Graham urges us to pray for the girls and boys who have received these boxes, trusting God to reveal his saving grace to them and their families.
What else does Samaritan’s Purse accomplish in the course of a year? Graham reports that in 2007 Samaritan’s Purse:
- helped feed 10,000 families in the flooded city of Villahermosa, Mexico.
- provided emergency aid to survivors of a killer cyclone that devastated Bangladesh.
- provided relief to earthquake victims in Peru, a volcano in Ecuador, a drought in Niger, flooding in Nepal, hurricanes in the Caribbean, wildfires in California, a tornado in Kansas, and many more calamities.
- airlifted $8 million of medicine and relief into flood ravaged North Korea.
- fed hundreds of thousands of hungry people in Africa and Latin America.
- taught Bible-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs to almost a million youth in regions of the world greatly impacted by this pandemic.
- provided life-giving heart surgery to more than 60 children.
- constructed nearly a hundred churches and provided food and medical supplies to thousands in war-torn Sudan.
What an outstanding record of humanitarian aid ministered in the name of Christ! I heartily recommend prayer and support for this valuable Christian ministry. For more information check out their website at http://www.samaritanspurse.org