Friday, November 22, 2013

GIVEAWAY | "Operation Christmas Child" by Franklin Graham

It's National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child (November 18-25). Since I'm encouraging all of you to give a little, I thought I'd give one of you something too! How about a copy of Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts by Franklin Graham.

(You can read about my family's involvement with Operation Christmas Child and how you can help here.)

About the Book
It was a simple idea that became the worldwide ministry of Operation Christmas Child—to minister to children in war-torn and famine-stricken countries.  In just two decades it has inspired everyday people to provide more than 100 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in 130 countries. This beautiful book weaves the moving, God-saturated story of the ministry’s beginning with the soul-stirring, Christ exalting stories of lives that have been forever changed by a simple shoebox.

Operation Christmas Child is filled with full-color photos of children whose smiles help tell what is a thoroughly hopeful story. Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham provides insight as the incredible stories of life transformation are told.

Proceeds from the book go to support the ministry it seeks to celebrate and honor.

Sneak Peek from the Book
In an excerpt from his new book, Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts, Franklin Graham talks about the beginnings of what has become a worldwide ministry that has delivered over 100 million shoeboxes to children in over 130 countries.

BIG TROUBLE, BIG TASK, BIG THANKS

Days before Thanksgiving my secretary came through the door with a look on her face that I knew very well. “Do you remember that man from Britain that called you back in the summer asking for shoeboxes? He’s on the phone asking when you’ll be sending them—he’s leaving for Bosnia soon,” she stated with an air of “You’re in big trouble!” I had forgotten about it and now the Christmas season was fast approaching.

I picked up the phone. “Mr. Graham, how many shoeboxes have you collected?” I couldn’t let him down. His cause was worthy, so I said, “David, we’re working on it; I’ll get back to you.” He was thrilled and I was, well, in trouble.

“We’ve got to collect some shoeboxes—fast!” I said. We threw some ideas around and then called Ross Rhoads, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. As always, Ross was glad to help and said, “Tell me what to do.”

“Get a shoebox and fill it with some little toys for kids—maybe some toothpaste and a toothbrush, a hair brush, and sock,” I suggested. “Take it to the pulpit on Sunday and show your congregation. Ask if they will help us collect shoebox gifts for the kids in Bosnia. And by the way, tell them to put a note inside with their picture so the child will know who the box is from—maybe some of the kids will write back.” Ross enthusiastically agreed. Then I called Sean Campbell, our executive director in Canada. “Sean, see what kind of response you can get from a church up there.”

I hung up and forgot about it again, until a few days after Thanksgiving. My secretary walked into my office and announced a call from Ross with that “you’re in trouble” look on her face. “Ross needs to talk to you.”

Picking up the phone, I heard his voice filled with troubled excitement. “Franklin, you’ve got to send someone down here to pick up all of these shoeboxes!”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, we’ve got shoeboxes stacked up in the gym, in the foyer, and in Sunday school rooms—they’re in the way.”

“So you’ve really been able to collect a few hundred boxes?” I asked.

“A few hundred?” Ross answered. “How about eleven thousand!” I was stunned. Ross had a big church, but eleven thousand in two weeks? He said, “Franklin, this is obviously something the Lord has blessed.”

Reflecting years later, Ross said, “All I did that Sunday morning was to show the congregation a shoebox Carol had packed and asked them to do the same. That afternoon, a member of the church with the Bible Broadcast Network (BBN) interviewed me and gave me the chance to tell about the project. We did not solicit for boxes nor was the church address given. Over the next several days, however, people began bringing shoeboxes to the church and deliveries were made daily by the post office and courier services. The church was known for ‘sending help,’ but ‘receiving’ was not something we were set up for.”

I said a great big thank you to Ross and then placed a call to David and reported the big news. Immediately, I sent my projects director (now vice president of projects and government relations) Kenney Isaacs to Charlotte to assess the situation. He called and said, “Franklin, you’re not going to believe this. People are really excited!”

This response was so overwhelming that Ross suggested I come on Sunday, December 12, to preach and thank the congregation.

HYPHENATED BY THE TURN OF THE CENTURY

That was twenty years ago. Two decades have passed—hyphenated by the turn of the century. Not every generation experiences living from one millennium to another. We have now surpassed that milestone and have come into the second decade of the twenty-first century, marking one hundred million shoebox gifts collected and delivered, representing an even larger number who have heard God’s message. When I look back on this project—Operation Christmas Child (OCC)—I think of the Scripture that says, “Oh, what God has done!” (Num. 23:23)

The Lord has blessed this outreach in numbers—monumental numbers. But more important, He has blessed it by changing hearts, one at a time. And in the twentieth year of Operation Christmas Child, we delivered the one hundred millionth shoebox!

There are miles of smiles that tell stories about changed lives, miles of oceans away. But it all started with:

One phone call
One request
One shoebox
One church
And one message about the Christmas Child
For one heart at a time

We pray that the heartbeat of the Gospel will stir the hearts of hundreds of millions more.

Come with us on this journey as we tell you about one profound truth that changes one life at a time.

Giveaway
Enter to win a copy of Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts by Franklin Graham. Giveaway open to US residents and ends December 14. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

 
*** All participants must be 18 years or older. The winner will be contacted via email. Once contacted the winner has 72 hours to respond with the required information. If the winner does not respond within the timeframe specified, another winner will be chosen. I am not responsible for shipping mishaps. Void where prohibited. ***

10 comments:

  1. This is such a simple concept that has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. I wholeheartedly support this easy, doable gift idea.

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  2. This has got to be great. I have heard of this group. And know Franklin reputation for good books. My Sunday School class picks a needy family in our church neighborhood I would love to win it. Please add my name to the drawing. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  3. It sounds like a real good read and think it would make a great Christmas gift.

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  4. One of the ways that my family gives back is by being a part of HopeFest Phoenix with CityServe. We do not live in Phoenix, but we drive up to participate in a day long event that provides clothing, food, medical exams, dental care, eye exams, lots of information and more for the less fortunate in the area. The best part is participating in feeding everyone who attends. It is a great way to spend the day. We also sponsor children through Compassion International. We started out five years ago by sponsoring one child, Mishel and now we sponsor Kezia. Seeing the changes that have taken place is amazing. I hope one day we can meet our sponsored children. Mishel is in Ecuador and Kezia lives in Rwanda. We also participate in diaper drives for our local community pregnancy center. Thank you for sharing about Operation Christmas Child and the chance to win this book. KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. We made 10 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We also give to local food pantry and visit older friends and family and give them plates of Christmas goodies.

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  6. Sadly we were unable to do a shoebox this year, but that has been something we do every year! I absolutely love it and can't wait to get my son involved doing them next year!

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  7. Heard about this on the news recently. wonderful! Would be an inspiring read

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  8. Our donations go to many. It does the hear good to help out.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! Thanks for letting me know what you think!

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