Year-round volunteers raise prayer for the outreach of Operation Christmas Child
Vic and Cathy Varela, prayer mobilization co-coordinators for South Orange County, California, contact churches to relay Operation Christmas Child prayer requests and organize monthly prayer meetings with a team of 11. In November and December, they also pray with people at shoebox collection sites as well as over the processing center in their area.
“Overall, it’s communicating and committing to prayer those things that are brought to our attention,” Vic said.
Vic is retired from 33 years in pharmaceutical management. His products helped children, so he was pleased to find a place to volunteer that tapped into that passion. He uses his business background to train other volunteers in 30-second to 2-minute presentations about the Samaritan’s Purse project.
Born and raised until age 10 in Colombia, Vic is excited about the opportunity to be able to give back to children in South America.
“It’s great to be a conduit to get God’s message to children,” he said.
Vic also uses his Spanish to communicate with Hispanic pastors about Operation Christmas Child.
“God’s blessed me beyond measure, so I am able to give back,” Vic said. “Every time I see a video of a shoebox distribution, it reignites my passion for this project.”
Cathy has multiple sclerosis, but it doesn’t stop her from volunteering.
“I always wanted to go on a mission trip, but I can do this,” she said.
She’s delighted when, in response to prayer, new churches commit to serving as collection centers or volunteer positions are filled. She also loves seeing children receive the Gospel and being transformed by God as a result of The Greatest Journey, the discipleship program Samaritan’s Purse developed for boys and girls who receive shoeboxes.
“It’s not just a gift,” she said. “It’s so much more.”
Early in their 35 years of marriage, Cathy never thought she could serve in a leadership role.
“I think I can’t do that, but then God equips,” she said. “When you’re willing and commit to pray, it’s amazing what He will do.”
This article is part of our January series highlighting year-round volunteers who serve through Operation Christmas Child.
Click here to find out more about volunteering with Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse project.