Samaritan's Purse - Operation Christmas Child - Shoebox AppealOperation Christmas Child is the world's largest children's Christmas project, bringing joy into the lives of underprivileged children since 1990. Last year, nearly 1.2million shoeboxes were packed with gifts and goodies and sent from the UK to children who need them most in some of the toughest parts of the world, including Haiti. In most cases the shoebox will be the only Christmas present that child will receive.
Our Benefice is again supporting the Shoebox Appeal - it is an excellent way in which we, as Christians, can make a real difference to the lives of very underprivileged children. As we approach Christmas, we give thanks to God for the greatest gift - the gift of His only Son to our world and to us individually. Supporting the Shoebox appeal is a very practical way of giving thanks to God for the gift of unconditional and unending love in Christ, by passing on some of that love to a child who is a lot less fortunate than us.
Please consider supporting the Shoebox Appeal. Information leaflets, containing full details, are to be found at the back of all the churches. Please then pass your completed Shoebox to me or to a Churchwarden for passing on to me. The deadline for handing in the completed Shoeboxes is the Benefice Service at Ousden on 30th October, as they need to be taken to a collection point at the beginning of November.
Thank You from KyrgyzstanLast year our shoeboxes were sent to Kyrgyzstan. Imagine not being able to send your children to school just because you cannot afford stationery! For one mother in Kyrgyzstan this was a reality. She had two teenage daughters, but neither of them could attend school because they could not afford pens and paper. But this all changed when the two girls received shoeboxes from Samaritan's Purse, complete with brand new school supplies. The mother was thrilled. "I'm so thankful to the people who did the shoeboxes because now I can send my children to school because they have school supplies, without these they couldn't go to school."
The Children's SocietyAs we think about helping underprivileged children, let us not forget the invaluable work of the Children's Society, another charity regularly supported by our Benefice. The Children's Society works with some of the most vulnerable and needy children in our own society - many of them living on the streets of our cities and daily facing multiple dangers. Usually they have been subjected to one or more forms of abuse and find it difficult to trust adults again. The Children's Society offers safety, security and someone to talk to, as well as the opportunities towards a new and happy future.
For a number of years Ruth Castles was our Benefice Co-ordinator for the Children's Society and we are most grateful for all that she did. Ruth has now moved into Bury and so we urgently need a new Benefice co-ordinator. This only really involves work twice a year - receiving the collection boxes once a year, counting the contents and sending it off, then returning the boxes. The other thing is ordering materials and publicity for the annual Christingle service. Please think and pray about whether this is something you could take on and, if you can, please let me or a Churchwarden know as soon as possible.
Rev'd Stephen Abbott