The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Faith feature: Donations open for Christmas program


November 7, 2018

Jamie Cushman

Pastor Wayne Boydstun fills up a shoebox with toys and a plastic cup on Monday.

CLOVIS — Come Christmas time, a little shoebox can go a long way.


Starting Monday, Parkland Baptist Church in Clovis will once again be accepting donations for Operation Christmas Child in which shoeboxes filled with gifts like toys, school supplies and clothing will be sent to children in need all across the globe.

According to the website for Samaritan's Purse, the Christian humanitarian organization that organizes the project, Operation Christmas Child, has shared shoebox gifts and the Gospel with 157 million children in 160 countries since it began in 1993.

Wayne Boydstun, pastor at Parkland Baptist Church, said the church has been a dropoff location for the project for the past 13 years, collecting around 2,500 shoeboxes last year from Curry and Roosevelt counties and the West Texas area.

"The small gift they give is a tangible way to show a child somewhere around the world God's love," Boydstun said. "It's something physical they can see that somebody that doesn't even know them, has no idea who they are, put together this shoebox just for them and God is the one that links both ends together, the giver and receiver."

He said the shoeboxes are filled with a wide variety of toys like cars, stuffed animals, and miniature basketballs and footballs to name a few, along with clothing and school supplies like pencils and notepads.

Gifts that are not accepted include any food or liquids, or military-themed items like camouflage or toy soldiers.

"Most of these kids live in areas where they see things like that for real all day, every day," Boydstun said.

He said in addition to the toys, each child will receive a Gospel booklet in their native language and the partner churches that distribute the gifts provide follow-up discipleship classes.

"We believe in their ministry and what they're doing," Boydstun said of Operation Christmas Child. "We believe that this is one way children around the world can not only receive a gift for Christmas but they can receive the message of the Gospel."

Boydstun said starting Monday, volunteers will be at the church from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day to collect donations, and then from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 19 before the shoeboxes will be brought to the collection center in Amarillo.

He said the gifts are collected in 20 different countries and then distributed to all areas of the world, with much of the local contributions going to Mexico and countries in South America.


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