Delivering Christmas

When you’re considering donating money or goods to an organisation, one of the first things you probably consider is whether your donation is making it to the people who really need it and whether it’s doing what it needs to do. It’s fairly natural to want to know that when you want to make a difference in the lives of other, you’re actually achieving what you set out to do.

Over the next few days I’ll have the amazing opportunity to look at the work of Samaritan’s Purse and in particular, Operation Christmas Child.

Late tonight I’ll be heading to the airport to begin a journey that will take me to Brisbane and the on to Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea (PNG), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands (the western portion of the island is a part of the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua). It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in a region defined since the early 19th century as Melanesia. The capital is Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, with over 850 indigenous languages and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under 7 million. It is also one of the most rural, with only 18% of its people living in urban centres.

The majority of the population lives in traditional societies and practice subsistence-based agriculture. – Wikipedia

I’m going to Papua New Guinea to help distribute some of the thousands of shoe boxes collected this year for Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is a unique project of Samaritan’s Purse that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes.

It provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple but hands-on project that has the power to transform children’s lives.

In 2009, our teams in Australia and New Zealand delivered over 300,000 gift-filled shoe boxes to South East Asia and the South Pacific. Globally, Samaritan’s Purse distributed an estimated 8.5 million shoe boxes to children in 105 countries.

As each shoe box gift is delivered, it is treasured by the child that receives it, and is a lasting reminder that he or she is precious to God.

One of the most exciting aspects of the trip will be a visit to an area that has previously received shoe boxes. That means that I won’t only be letting you know about the smiling faces of the children who receive gifts this year but I’ll be able to see first hand the effect that a simple gift can make for those who have less than most of us.

I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to keep you up to date during the journey but I’m sure to let you see the results once I’m back home. I’ll be taking photos and some video which I’ll share with you as soon as I can.

While you’re preparing for Christmas, please spare a thought for the many thousands of children around the world who’ll be receiving a gift for the very first time thanks to the generosity of those who have prepared shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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