As Nicki helpfully reminded us a couple of days ago, Christmas is just around the corner! Before long we will be caught up in the busyness of present-buying and preparations, and so can I encourage you to take some time now to make a difference to someone less fortunate this Christmas? The charity Samaritan's Purse (based in the UK and the USA ) runs a campaign each year called Operation Christmas Child:
"Operation Christmas Child sends a message of hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes. The gifts are given regardless of nationality, political background or religious beliefs to children requiring nothing of them, their families or communities in return. Wherever it is culturally appropriate and in partnership with our local partners, we make a booklet with Bible stories available to children in their own language."
Maybe you could make this a special project with your own children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews. You could go together to buy some gifts and then have fun decorating and filling a shoe box, teaching a valuable lesson about caring for others and showing them the love of Christ in action. The Samaritan's Purse website gives you full details of how to prepare your gift and where to drop it off. You can also read some stories about where previous shoe boxes have gone. If you teach Sunday School, then the website even gives you a possible lesson plan so you can encourage your class to be involved.
Let's take this opportunity to show God's love to our neighbour and to make our children aware of how fortunate they are compared to many others throughout the world.