Last night, we gathered together some pretty amazing teens for our annual Operation Christmas Child shopping trip. If you aren’t familiar with the program, basically the goal is to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children that then get shipped all over the world. Some of the children that receive these gifts have never gotten a Christmas gift, so it’s an incredible opportunity for our teens to do something great for others.
After a quick explanation, we loaded up our church van and bus and drove out to Target. It’s always funny seeing the looks on the faces of the employees as we walk our big group of teens in. Granted what they don’t know is that we do give them a big “don’t be a hooligan” speech beforehand, so for the most part, they are all usually amazing.
The one on the left is still technically a year away from officially being in our youth group, but as you can see, she tends to blend right in these days.
Part of the fun for me that night, was watching our teens figure out what gifts they wanted to buy for their box. Kudos to these ones for being responsible and even using the price checker.
Also, kudos to Target, who happens to have some pretty nice lighting for the many pics I like to take during our annual shopping trip.
Our teens did an incredible job! They were so excited to share the gifts they found.
After they finished shopping, they returned to the church to pack up their boxes.
They also had the opportunity to include letters about themselves that would go to the child who would receive their box.
Gifts were bought for both big and little ones. And again, I smiled thinking of the joy that would come from the gifts that would be received. Even better for us is knowing that with each gift, the children would also get the chance to learn about Jesus and His great love for them.
Sometimes it’s easy to give teens a bad rap. Because they’re, well teens. But in our lives, we often get to see their awesome side.
And on that particular night, we got to see the selfless side.
The giving side.
And the side that took time to put other’s needs above their own.
And all because of a simple shoebox.
A huge thanks to these kids for the 23 boxes that they put together for Operation Christmas Child 2018. We love you and are so proud to call you our own!