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Operation Christmas Child kicks off season

Ministry shares Christmas hope

Operation Christmas Child, the Christian children’s charity, a subdivision of Samaritan’s Purse, had a kickoff event Thursday evening at Flohr Lecture Hall on the campus of Shawnee State University. The South East Ohio OCC, spanning 10 counties, sponsored this gathering. The counties are Athens, Gailia, Jackson, Meigs, Hocking, Ross, Pike, Vinton, Lawrence and Scioto.

“The main purpose of this event is to kick off our giving season and have gospel opportunities,” Gaylene St. Leger Cox, South East Ohio media relations coordinator, said.

Contemporary Christian band Ninth Hour performed from 7 p.m. to 7:25 p.m.

Next Todd Edwards, Great Lakes Regional manager gave a speech entitled “Why does OCC exist?”

The Keynote speaker was John Holden, International field ministry and Discipleship manager. In 2009, Holden supervised organization of 4,410 distributions, delivering shoe box gifts to approximately 882,000 children in 15 countries in south and east Africa. Holden’s speech was entitled “Power of a Simple Gift”.

Next Marshall University student Courtney Bell presented information about a mission trip she recently took to Uganda through Operation Christmas Child. Edwards also discussed his distribution experience and show a video about an Ugandan boy.

OCC is the largest children’s ministry in the world. The organization was founded in 1993 and has served 85 million children in 130 countries.

In 2010, South East Ohio donors contributed 23,618 of the 608,022 shoebox gifts from the Great Lakes Region, comprised of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and West Virginia.