It may be hard to think about Christmas when it is 98 degrees outside but September is the time of year that we begin to focus on our SPLASH outreach project! Operation Christmas Child is a program under Samaritan’s Purse that LBC has participated in since 2010. Each year thousands of boxes are packed and shipped around the world to bring Christmas to those who have never experienced it. Not only does it provide a gift to children who have very little to call their own, it is an avenue to share the story of Jesus to those who have never heard it.

In SPLASH, we have chosen this program as our outreach focus. Throughout the year, children have the opportunity to bring money to church and place it in the children’s offering containers in SPLASH. Each year that money is used in a special way…whether to assist in the shipping costs, purchase needed items or add extra special items such as a teddy bear. In September and October we ask the congregation to partner with us in purchasing supplies for the shoeboxes and helping with shipping costs. Then we take time during SPLASH to teach the children about this opportunity to share with other children…not only gifts but also the gift of the gospel. Then we create an assembly system where the children can pack boxes to be sent around the world. In addition, we take time to teach the children about the different countries that our boxes go to and why boxes go to children in that country.

This year we are asking the congregation to partner with us by picking “tags” off of our OCC Christmas Tree that will be on display at the entry way of the worship area. The items we need to pack the boxes have been placed on ornament tags. Some examples of a tag would be: 1 dozen bars of soap or 1 dozen pencils or 1 dozen tennis balls. We will be collecting items during September/beginning of October, packing boxes at the end of October and beginning of November, and delivering boxes to a regional drop-off location in mid-November. From there, Samaritans purse takes them around the world.

If you would like to assist the children in packing boxes or be involved in this project in any way, please contact michelle.crouse@lakebaldwinchurch.com.