Operation Christmas Child of Samaritan’s Purse has partnered
with the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of
the Dawn Treader, set for release on Dec. 10. Operation Narnia
encourages Narnia fans to join the effort to show the love of Christ to
millions of children around the world with shoebox gifts.
“We’re very excited to participate in the upcoming release
of the movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” said Franklin Graham,
president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We want children around the world to know the
true meaning of Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—and the joy and
hope that this brings.”
Randy Riddle, Operation Christmas Child’s domestic director
USA, says the partnership was a natural fit because of the film concepts and
themes. “We believe that any fan of C.S. Lewis and the themes that he’d write
about—forgiveness, adventure, redemption—are all things that will resonate with
those who enjoy reaching out to children in the name of Jesus Christ through
Operation Christmas Child. We just felt like it was a terrific match.”
Since 1993 Operation Christmas Child has collected and
distributed shoeboxes filled with small toys, hard candies, school supplies and
hygiene products to millions of children. The gifts can be delivered to more
than 3,000 drop-off locations nationwide, and the ministry coordinates
distribution efforts. The program’s National Collection Week runs Nov. 15 to
Last year, Riddle says, the ministry collected more than 8.2
million boxes. The goal this year is to distribute 8.5 million gift boxes in
more than 100 countries. He says they are hopeful and prayerful that the
partnership with the film will help reach those who haven’t yet heard about
Operation Christmas Child.
This program is also continuing Samaritan’s Purse’s support
of residents in Haiti, Riddle says, delivering more than 250,000 shoebox gifts
to children living in the still devastated area.
“We believe that these shoebox gifts will deliver the gospel
message to these children in a very creative and unique way and will remind
those children that they are not forgotten and that someone here in the United
States loves them and that there is a God who loves them and that He sent His
Son to die for them,” he explains. “This will hopefully, prayerfully be an
introduction for Jesus Christ for these children.”
He reiterates that although the ministry talks about a lot
of numbers, “it really is an individual gift to an individual child,” and for
some children, these gifts are the first they have ever received.
To learn more about Operation Narnia, visit operationnarnia.org.