Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child




Churches in the Flag Pastorate support Operation Christmas Child by collecting items to be put into the Christmas Shoeboxes throughout the year.

 Operation Christmas child

I want to begin by thanking you all for your wonderful generosity in continuing to bring things for the shoeboxes. I was delighted to take so many items to Lancaster for Ann Bowman to put in her store room. As we unloaded the car boot, Ann’s smile said it all. “What, more things?” she exclaimed, “Please thank Garstang ! All the things you have brought are just what we’re short of!”  


On Wednesday 24th October we were joined by the new North West Co-ordinator Ian Cook gave us the latest news from Operation Christmas Child. Ian shared with us some of the materials they offer children receiving shoeboxes including the booklet "The Greatest Journey" an introductory course to becoming a Christian run by the local churches involved in shoebox distribution.

The picture shows Ian Cook and Pauline Greenwood with some of the many shoeboxes donated by Lancaster URC and Garstang URC.

Afterwards, we enjoyed tea and cake, whilst writing Christmas cards to put in the shoeboxes.

Shoe box packing 

We will be packing the shoe boxes with presents on Saturday, 10th November at Bowerham Church Hall. Starting at 10 o'clock.

 (Usually it only takes an hour)

Thank you once again for all your generous gifts.

 With every Blessing,





I really can’t believe that it is August again and we will be going to Lancaster at the end of the month to start wrapping shoe boxes. As soon as I have a date from Ann Bowman I will let you know. It is always a good morning with lots of talk and laughter and of course tea, coffee and special biscuits. Amazingly enough we do manage to get all the shoe boxes covered! But – and it’s a big but this year – I have less than half a dozen shoe boxes! I have been promised some from “Whites” but if you have any please could you let me know.
I know we all like to hear good news stories, so here are some from Operation Christmas Child.

This is Princess. When she received her box she was so shy that she couldn’t open it with all the other children. She ran outside and sat on her mum’s knee. As she opened the box her eyes grew wide with excitement, and a big smile spread over her face. She said: “ I don’t know who sent this box but they are my friend for ever." 
In Burundi a teacher whose class received gifts said:  

There was a girl who really wanted someone as a pen friend. She prayed hard about it. When she opened her gift, there was a letter from a girl about her age. With tears in her eyes she told me excitedly, “God has answered my prayers.”

So please continue collecting for the boxes as the simplest of gifts can make a difference to children’s lives!                     

I'll end with a quote from Nelson Mandela; "History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children"                        

Thank you once again,



Operation Christmas Child is one of the outreach activities of Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief and development organisation that works through local churches to proclaim and demonstrate the love of God amongst communities in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Shamira and Shakira’s story


We grew up in rural Jamaica sharing most things, not because we’re twins but because it was a necessity for our family to make ends meet.

Our parents had us in their late teens. Our mum and dad worked hard—our mum at home and our dad in sugar cane fields.

Both Christians, our parents had faith that the Lord Jesus would provide for our needs. Every morning, they gathered us together for devotions.

To enable both of us to have something to write on at school, our father cut a small notebook in half. He also broke a pencil in two and sharpened the lead with a knife.

We wished we could have full-sized notebooks and pencils like some of our friends. Our wish came true when, at the  age of 8, cardboard boxes with a shoebox plane printed on them were delivered to each classroom in our school.

We rejoiced when we learned that they contained  gifts for us. One of us received two full-sized notebooks! We shared what was in our shoeboxes so we would each have one. We also received our first calculator—a small, grey one we still love to use.

There were also pencils and pencil sharpeners, as well as crayons, colouring books, and personal care items, such as combs, toothbrushes, washcloths, and soap in our boxes.

One of our younger brothers still has the flashlight he received .,

We had learned the story of the Good Samaritan in Sunday School. So, when we saw Samaritan’s Purse printed on the tape that held the shoebox closed, we knew that Good Samaritans had sent us these gifts.

Through the shoebox gifts, we learned that you don’t have to be close neighbours in order to help each other. These gifts came from strangers.

The boxes of gifts ultimately reflected the goodness of Christ, showing us that the Lord graciously provides for us. We felt God’s love for us as we received them.

We are both now at University training to be teachers but we will never forget the joy and hope that we felt when we received our shoeboxes. Thank you so much to our unknown friends!








Operation Christmas Child