December 21, 2023

Sharing Jesus' Love with Others at Christmas

Written by: Becca Green, Next Gen Director

Thank you to everyone who filled a shoebox for a child in need! This year Gateway Church collected 241 shoeboxes full of toys and supplies for Samaritan’s Purse and their Operation Christmas Child project. OCC partners with local churches in more than 100 countries to distribute gifts to children in need and tell them about God’s Greatest Gift - Jesus Christ. Many of our families at Gateway Church have been packing shoeboxes to send to children around the world for years. We are grateful for your generosity each year! 

New this year, Gateway Church was also an Operation Christmas Child central drop off location for churches and individuals from our area. Rich and Sherry Shultis organized a team of volunteers to help with the collection of the 2,835 boxes that were dropped off at Gateway Church during collection week. They also helped with getting them all packed into larger boxes to ship to the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. We had 33 volunteers throughout the collection week who helped receive the boxes, prayed with those who dropped off boxes, and then packed them up into semi trucks for shipping. As a central drop off location, other Ohio collection centers also brought their boxes to Gateway Church to load onto the semi-trucks. There were a total of 7,535 boxes shipped off to Samaritan’s Purse headquarters at the end of the collection week. Thank you to all who helped that week! 

Here is a video from Samaritan’s Purse to see how the shoeboxes impact one village.  

Another way we shared Jesus’ love with others this season was through Christmas caroling. Our Kidway families and Youth Life Groups went caroling at the beginning of December. Some of our youth went to The Heritage to carol to the residents there. Due to a covid outbreak at Birchaven, only a few of the Youth Life Groups were able to carol that weekend.

For our Kidway caroling night, we had about 50 adults and children show up to sing at the Judson Palmer Home on December 6. The residents were so excited to see and hear all the kids who helped sing. We had small gifts to give to each resident at both The Heritage and The Judson Palmer Home and were able to spend time visiting with some of the residents. 

That same evening, a few families also went to our North Main Campus to sing at the houses nearby. The excitement that the kids showed doing this small act of kindness was contagious and much fun was had by all! We hope you and your family are able to continue to share Jesus’ love with others in creative ways throughout the rest of this Christmas season!

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