Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia

Today Andrew is writing about his work with Samaritan's Purse and an Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution he helped with in rural Banteay Meanchey province, Cambodia. Hopefully some of you packed shoeboxes this Christmas and can learn a little about what happens at the final destination. You can read about my experience at a shoebox giveaway on this post from last year. For more posts on his work with Samaritan's Purse, check out these posts. Enjoy! - whitney

Yesterday I had the privilege of joining with the team of visitors from Oxley College, Australia, to give shoeboxes to children in a rural village church. Although I have been in Cambodia working with Samaritan's Purse {SP} for nearly 3 years now, this is the first time I have been able to to participate in an Operation Christmas Child {OCC} shoebox distribution. I love how SP makes every effort to look for ways to integrate and work with local, nationally led churches - even the least of them. 

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia
The church building is so small and the only one for miles so it was 'standing room only' for some. Here the speakers give a short presentation to the villagers about the meaning of Christmas. 

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia
The shoeboxes were provided with love by supporting businesses, churches, and families in Australia.

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia
Only one shoebox is given to each child in their lifetime, with the goal of reaching every child around the globe.

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia
A small box, filled with small toys, given to small children in a small church in a small village in a small country brings big smiles to kids and adults.

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia
Waiting for the count of three, children gave a nervous laugh when 2 and 1/2 was slowly said.

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia
Then suddenly, at the count of three, they open their shoeboxes...and try to figure out what to do with everything they get from slinkies to teddy bears, jump ropes to schools supplies.

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia
The show is over pretty quickly, and kids are ready to take their new toys home and share them with their families and friends.

Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Cambodia

While it looks like its all fun and games, most of the work we do here is not quite as quick and easy. From building new schools to constructing BioSand Filters for families, from drilling wells to planting mushrooms, several years of hard work has gone into these communities as we work to help Cambodians facing huge challenges, especially in giving their children a healthy future.

If you have never been able to be a part of an OCC shoebox distribution, I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. Or maybe if you've been a supporter of OCC for many years, consider supporting the other projects we are doing in Cambodia - for the glory of God and the good of the village.

-Andrew