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Column Dr. Kemp Mabry
Gift of Christmas in shoebox
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    The first time I heard of Samaritan’s Purse, I was immediately reminded of the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the New Testament.
    Samaritan’s Purse is an International Relief Organization headed by Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, serving in 130 countries.
    Within hours of a natural or national catastrophe, Samaritan’s Purse can be on the ground with relief supplies, workers, equipment and materials. They even have temporary housing which will stand when the ground shakes in an earthquake!
    They go where there is human need, without regard to the ethnic, cultural or economic status of the people in dire straits just as the Good Samaritan did in the Parable.
    Perhaps most widely known is the Operation Christmas Child, the shoe box ministry in which thousands of donors fill shoe boxes with Christmas gifts appropriate to particular age groups.
    People all over the United States and in other countries fill shoe boxes in the fall and send them to collection sites throughout the country.
    Statesboro churches and other groups have participated in the shoe box ministry in recent years. Our collection site has been a church in Metter.
    Shoe boxes are collected in mid November in order for them to be organized and sent on their way for children who will not receive any Christmas gifts or may not have even heard of Christmas. This year, National Collection Dates are Nov. 13-20.
    Into each shoe box (or same size plastic box) is place a leaflet in the language of the child to receive the gift. The leaflet tells the story of Jesus. I asked for a leaflet in French. It is written words faithful to the record in the New Testament.
    When workers in countries where stricken people are not professing Christians are asked, “Why are you doing this?”, the answer is, “For the love of Jesus Christ!”
    Samaritan’s Purse publishes “Prayer Points”, a regular report on activities in six or seven different countries in each issue, with the request for prayer by the supporters of Samaritan’s Purse.
    For more information, contact the International Office of Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.
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