Each year we hear about the collection of shoebox with toys and gifts for needy children, but rarely do we see what happens after we drop off the box.
Operation Christmas Child delivers those boxes all over the world. It has a specific ministry of reaching out to children in crisis.
A Collinsville woman, Brenda Mowdy, just returned from a distribution trip to Africa.
"We're not really meeting physical needs, which is what the rest of Samaritan's Purse is doing, but we're going in and letting children know that they aren't forgotten in the midst of all that," said Mowdy, area coordinator. "Because sometimes in disasters, the children are kind of lost in that. They don't really receive any specific ministering, and so Operation Christmas Child does that, just to give them hope."
Mowdy says her missionary work also changed her perspective on what it means to be joyful.
"That biggest thing that God showed me is that, I went over there feeling so sorry for these children and for these people," Mowdy said. "And I went in and God showed me in the midst of their needs, these people have I joy I never expected. I never expected. But they were so happy to see us, and I think that's what I took away. No matter what our circumstances are, the joy that we can find, and so I think that's the main thing I took away from it."
Operation Christmas Child will hold its national collection week Nov. 12-21. You may get more information about the local chapter by calling 601-737-5768 or clicking the link below.