The amazing journey of a shoebox begins with you and results in evangelism, discipleship and multiplication. From children to seniors, people pack shoeboxes to bless children in need around the world. It’s also a great way for parents to teach their kids about giving. Year-round volunteers support these efforts across the country. Long before shoeboxes arrive in more than 100 countries, volunteer National Leadership Teams train pastors and community leaders who want to share the message of the Gospel and bless children. The leaders learn how to host child-friendly outreach events, and how to implement The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program. In many places, they also offer “The Greatest Gift,” a Gospel story booklet Samaritan’s Purse developed for shoebox recipients. As a result of what they learn in The Greatest Journey, boys and girls grow in Christ and share with friends and family. The students also invite others to their graduations where the Gospel is shared. This often brings parents, siblings, and friends to accept Christ and become active members in the local church. Families are reached, churches grow, new churches are started, and communities are transformed.
It all starts with each of us! Now is the time to start packing shoeboxes! Information is available in your mailbox at church. Every filled box is an opportunity to reach a child with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Box labels are available at the display in the narthex. There is also a cash donation receptacle available to leave your donation of $9.00 per box for shipping. If you prefer not to pack a box but would still like to participate in the project, donating towards the shipping costs is very appreciated! Filled boxes and shipping donations will be accepted thru Sunday, November 15th.
Each Sunday, the children collect “Noisy Offering” during the worship offering time. The collection of coins from churchgoers and the clinking sound made in the large metal bowl as the children drop what they’ve gathered bring smiles to both the children and the adults. This year the children of MLC Sunday School decided to begin sponsoring two children in need through the Compassion International Program with the funds collected thru the Noisy Offering.
Compassion International works in 25 countries around the world, partnering with local churches. At the Compassion Child Development Center ran by the local church and volunteers, a sponsored child is provided with Bible studies, health screenings, health and hygiene educations, games, community service opportunities, counseling, and school fees. The center staff will also provide meetings and parenting education for the parents or guardians of the sponsored child.
Our Sunday School children are sponsoring Milkah from Kenya and Lawrence from Uganda. They look forward to the relationship they will be building and the encouragement they provide Milkah and Lawrence who are half-way around the world! The Sunday School children also remember Milkah and Lawrence in their prayers!
MLC has been a long time supporter of the local BackPack programs at Johnson-Brock Public School and Johnson County Central School. The BackPack Program’s mission is to help alleviate child hunger in southeast Nebraska by providing hungry children with nutritious and easy to prepare food at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. Martin Luther Church regularly supports the BackPack Program at different times of the year by designated offerings, proceeds from our annual consignment sale, and special projects; as well as by members’ volunteer time.
The “Sewing Ladies” are another proud organization of the church. They meet weekly except during the summer to sew, tie and/or quilt pieces of fabric together into beautiful blankets that are then sent through Lutheran World Relief to people in need, to local charity organizations, and to local care homes. These past several years, the ladies have graced our young people graduating from high school with blankets to take with them wherever they may venture, remembering along the way the warm memories of growing up in the Martin Luther Church family.