The Webster County Relay Center at First Baptist Church of Eupora took 306 cartons containing 5,433 shoeboxes to be shipped to needy children throughout the world for Operation Christmas Child.
Shoeboxes at FBC Eupora’s Relay Center were collected from churches and families throughout Webster County.
Shellie Herring, one of the organizers for the FBC Eupora Operation Christmas Child Committee said this project is special to her for many reasons.
“First of all, the Lord called me to this ministry about nine years ago and I can serve no matter where we go,” Herring said. “This is the simplest way to reach children with the gospel without ever leaving town. The Lord called us to go to the ends of the earth and that’s exactly what this ministry does. It gives hope to children who feel unloved and forgotten and introduces them to Jesus. It offers salvation. It brings people together in churches and communities and builds lasting, Godly relationships. It changed my life! God uses us sinful people to accomplish His will, what a privilege and blessing for us!”
In previous years, Walthall Baptist, and then First Baptist Mathiston served as the Webster County Relay Center. FBC Mathiston stepped down this year and Herring had already requested for FBC Eupora to serve as a Relay Center.
“Last year, they said we didn’t need one (because FBC Mathiston was operating as the Relay for Webster County),” Herring said. “So (when Mathiston decided to make a change), they called me and asked if we were still interested this year. Of course we were! You have to guarantee them that you will do at least 1,000 shoeboxes to qualify as a Relay and we do! This way, our church gets to meet everyone that does boxes in our area. We also get to pray for the people who bring them and the children who will receive them. It is a privilege for us and brings us one step closer to the children.”
Herring said this is a ministry where volunteers work all year long, even on the local level.
“There are no breaks,” Herring said. “It truly is Christmas all year at FBC Eupora! We have volunteers making outfits, sewing kits, fishing kits, reusable hygiene items for girls, etc. When a volunteer hears of a need for these children, we add it to the list of items that goes in the box!”
She said she feels it is the Lord’s will for churches to do this ministry to reach children around the world.
“Not a penny that is given goes to us or anything else,” Herring said. “It covers some supplies that we buy in bulk and the shipping; therefore it all goes to the children. We get the opportunity to change children’s lives for eternity by being obedient to the Lord’s call. Can you give me a reason why we all shouldn’t fill a box?”
Rev. Travis Gray of FBC Eupora said Operation Christmas Child has a way of reminding people of what Christmas is all about.
“It is about giving the greatest gift of all to precious children,” Gray said. “We take so much for granted and miss so many opportunities to be a blessing to others. One little shoeboxes can put big smiles on little faces but an even bigger smile in little hearts.”
Gray said so many volunteers have given many hours of their time to help create an opportunity for lives to be changed for eternity.
“All of our efforts are for one purpose – for little children to come unto Him,” Gray said. “Thanks to all who have made OCC possible with Jesus being at the top of the list.”
For more information about the OCC Committee at FBC Eupora, contact Herring by Facebook message or call the office at (662) 258-3491.
See a portion of this article in the Dec. 1, 2016 edition of the FBC Eupora newsletter at br-newsletter-12-1-16