Why I Volunteer with Operation Christmas Child

January 11, 2018 • United States
Jill Cobb is the Operation Christmas Child area coordinator in Springfield, Missouri.

Why do I have an Operation Christmas Child T-shirt for every day of the week (literally)? Why do I veer down the clearance aisle every time I go to the store just to pick up milk? Why do I share this amazing ministry with whoever will listen, whenever God gives me an opportunity? Why do I volunteer year-round with Operation Christmas Child?

This is why.

All the Children of the World

Pull up the Operation Christmas Child Facebook page or Samaritan’s Purse website and watch a video (or three) of children receiving shoebox gifts. You will not be the same! It is incredible how God uses simple, gift-filled shoeboxes to embrace children with His love and the hope of Jesus.

This summer, traveling in a remote corner of West Africa, God allowed me to meet children who received shoeboxes earlier in the year, as well as a Greatest Journey teacher, and see firsthand the powerful impact of shoebox gifts. Every shoebox matters, because every child matters to God.

Jill Cobb and shoebox packers pray for the children who will receive their boxes.

Jill Cobb and shoebox packers pray for the children who will receive their boxes.

God’s Calling

When Jesus said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,” He was also talking about you and I making disciples now. Operation Christmas Child is one way that Jesus calls me to be hands-on with the Great Commission. Isn’t it amazing that God entrusts us to share the Gospel? What an honor to help introduce children to Jesus through shoebox gifts. This is the work described in Ephesians 2:10 that God planned in advance for me to walk in.

My Co-laborers

Operation Christmas Child has connected me in an even greater way to the Body of Christ. I love my shoebox family on our year-round area team. We pray for each other, build each other up, and have so much fun serving Jesus together. I have never heard such carrying on in a church van as we laughed and enjoyed sweet fellowship during a recent trip to the Dallas processing center.

It is a privilege to lead and to learn from such amazing Jesus followers. At the 2017 Global Connect Conference, one of the greatest experiences of my life was sharing the Lord’s Supper with people from so many nations, tribes, and tongues. I now have faces and names on my mind and heart of brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

My Children

My husband and I deeply desire to imprint the Great Commission on the lives of our children. Operation Christmas Child is a family mission for us. To see my 10-year-old son with tears on his cheeks watching Operation Christmas Child videos and asking to come to team meetings so he can hear what God is doing, or listening to my sweet 7-year-old daughter pray night after night for the children who have received our shoeboxes to know Jesus and invite Him into their hearts—this is why.

It’s all for Jesus, and ultimately, He is why.

So, tomorrow, I will wear another OCC T-shirt and invite others to pack shoebox gifts. Will you join me?

Operation Christmas Child Through Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse is sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with millions of boys and girls in more than 100 countries each year. Many of these children have never before received a present or heard the true meaning of Christmas—until they open a gift-filled shoebox from a person like you. Some people are not able to give the $10 per shoebox we request for shipping and related costs. By adopting a shoebox, you can partner with them to deliver the Gospel and help "bring salvation to the ends of the earth" (Acts 13:47, ESV).

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Adopt a Shoebox: $10 | Adopt a Carton of 15 Boxes: $150