My children are part of a scouting group called Adventurers through our church. It’s scouting with a religious component. They earn badges and learn about the world all through the lens of a Christian worldview. It all boils down to “learning more about Jesus.”
That’s what I have to remind myself when I get tired of driving them to Knoxville for this club’s meetings twice a month. It’s easy to get swallowed up in details about logistics, uniforms, badges that must be sewn onto their sashes etc and forget we are simply doing this in order to learn more about Jesus Himself.
For their service project, they raise funds for Operation Christmas Child by standing at the church doors once a year. As people exit, they pass out prayer book marks and hold a platter out for donations. The program’s director has already made an announcement from upfront so people know why cute children dressed in Adventurer uniforms are standing at the door with collection baskets and book marks.
We also take then to the Dollar Store and allow them a small budget to buy items to stuff in the show boxes that go to children in Africa, South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. School supplies, small toys, hard candy, toothbrushes, combs, hair clips, you get the idea.
The final step is the OCC party we have with the Adventurer Club the following week. We make the boxes and then we stuff them. We fill out little introductory letters about the kids and we choose the labels – boy or girl, then age group. It’s really fun because we can actually track each box and see where it goes. One of the girls in our club even got a thank you note back from a girl who received the box.
Samaritan’s Purse has clears indications on contents. They have collection points and our director takes all our boxes there once we are done. Then, we get to pray for the kids who open the boxes and hope that our small gifts will make a difference in their lives.
Above all, it teaches our children that Christmas is not just about opening gifts. It’s also about giving gifts to loved ones and to people you don’t even know. They learn that giving is better than receiving. They do have a lot of fun doing it and they gain a perspective about how much they have when they watch videos of children who have nothing and rejoice at a shoe box filled with crayons, candy and small toys.