Operation Christmas Child - a success

Every year the Christmas rush begins, presents are purchased, trees are bought, guests are invited, and Santa Claus is coming to town. For many of us, Christmas has become the family-centred festival of generosity that Charles Dickens envisaged.

Yet, if as Dickens said, ‘charity begins at home’ it is also true that it doesn’t end there. This Christmas many people are reaching out beyond Leamington Spa and Warwick in love.

Operation Christmas Child, run by the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, has partnered with schools (every child matters), scout and guide groups, churches and even hospitals throughout our area to deliver Christmas gifts to children living in poverty across the world. Those taking part have purchased little presents such as toys, educational supplies, and hygiene items to send in brightly wrapped shoe boxes.

It has been wonderful to speak to church leaders and teachers across our town to discover the breadth of this initiative. It is amazing to think of the over 700 gift boxes that will be sent from our towns bringing joy to boys and girls throughout the world.

Last year Operation Christmas Child delivered nearly 1.12 million gift boxes to children across 14 countries of the world. From the rubble of Haiti to the rural villages of Romania and many places in between, children received gifts sent with Christmas love. Faces lit up, children rejoiced, and the good news of Christmas was celebrated. So, in the words of one of Dickens’ most enduring characters, ‘A Merry Christmas to everybody. A Happy New Year to all the world’. - James Church, minister of Radford Road church and Lillington Free church.

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