By Barbara Harrington
ABERDEEN – It’s better to give than to receive.
But, when River Bend Baptist Church members sent out shoeboxes at Christmas, they in turn received a gift that was pretty special.
The church sent 101 shoebox gifts for needy children. Letters were sent out with the boxes. One of those children receiving a box wrote back recently to Roy McHenry, pastor of River Bend.
The child, 9, from Ghana, West Africa, asked to be forgiven for not having written sooner. His name is Emmauel, and he said “it is a great honour and enjoyment and a blessing for me to keep on communication with you.” He told about his parents and his ambition for the future, something typical of boys all over.
“As for me,” he wrote,” my aim is that I want to be a Footballer in the future, so I want you to help me finished my education in this Basic and Senior level.”
He thanked Bro. McHenry and member s of the church for their gift and wished them Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. “I hope when you receive this letter you will be found in the best of heath and under God’s blessing,” he said. “I am still staying faithful, humble to the word of the Lord in pray for you.”
Emmauel asked for other things as well, Bibles, books, calculator, calendars, pens ‘n’ pencils, colour pens.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham, president. Different organizations and churches collect gifts, which are placed in shoeboxes to be sent to children around the world. Of the 101 boxes sent by River Bend, 38 were done by church youth. Suggested items for packing in the shoeboxes are school supplies, such as pens, pencils, sharpeners, crayons or markers, writing pads and other items; toys, such as small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, jump ropes and include extra batteries for any items needing them; hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, comb, washcloths; and other things such as hard candy and lollipops, mints, gum, T-shirts,socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, watches and flashlights, with extra batteries.
A note is also one of the items to be included. In Pastor McHenry’s note, he wrote, “We send it with our love.”