Christmas Begins this Sunday

As you probably know, in December last year I visited Papua New Guinea with a media team from Australia and New Zealand to look at the work of Samaritan’s Purse and in particular, Operation Christmas Child.

This Sunday I’ll be telling the story of that visit as Thornlie Church of Christ, 319 Spencer Road, Thornlie, launches their Operation Christmas Child campaign for 2011. The morning service begins at 9:00 and I’ll be showing a short documentary as well as talking about what I experienced.

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

While we were in 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 was a visit to an area that received shoe boxes last year. We saw first hand how the simple gifts given last year have opened opportunities that have changed the health and well being of the entire community.

If you live in the Perth area I really hope that you’ll be able to join me.

By the way, you can click on the photo in this post for a closer look.

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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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