November 21, 2022
East Texas Baptist University participated in its seventh annual Operation Christmas Child, an outreach program organized by Samaritan’s Purse. The ministry involves filling shoeboxes with small toys, school supplies, and other items that are sent to children all over the world as a Christmas gift and a tangible reminder of God’s love for them.
“Operation Christmas Child is a very easy way to bless a child from another country with a gift that not only brightens their day but gives them the Good News of Jesus Christ,” ETBU Director of the Great Commission Program and Director of Global Education Lisa Seeley said. “Our ETBU students are always willing to participate in this fantastic ministry. They get to give to the least of these while having a great time buying cute, funny, educational, or sports related gifts for little children. I am always blessed to see what big hearts our ETBU students have for others.”
Prior to the boxing of the gifts, University faculty, staff, and students shopped for kids between the ages of two to fourteen, picking out toys, clothes, and various necessities to gift the children. In total, the University Community collected a record number of more than 300 boxes.
“Operation Christmas Child is a really cool opportunity for all of us to give back to individuals around the world,” ETBU Men’s Soccer Head Coach Chad Cox said. “Living in the United States, we are super blessed by how we get to celebrate Christmas each and every year, so it's a nice way to give back and make others feel the same love we receive during the holiday season.”
During National Collection Week, all twenty-three of East Texas Baptist’s athletic teams gathered to put the boxes together. The student-athletes had the opportunity to pray over the boxes and for the kids who would be receiving them.
“It means a lot getting to serve with my team because it brings us all closer and shows what we can accomplish together,” ETBU junior business administration major Zachary Schmidt said. “I think these Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes will have a big impact on the kids who receive them.”