Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - by Merritt Jenkins, Lee University
About 650 Lee University freshmen, along with their Gateway class instructors and peer leaders, participated in the annual Pack ‘n’ Stack party, held in the Paul Dana Walker Arena, to pack shoeboxes filled with gifts for Operation Christmas Child.
Over the past 23 years, Lee has collected over 42,000 boxes for OCC. This year, Lee students packed a total of 1,512 boxes during the Pack ‘n’ Stack event.
“We are incredibly proud of our freshmen and transfer Gateway students for their commitment to going beyond the box and dreaming of how their gifts might impact the world,” said Alex Staup, coordinator of First Year Programs. “Particularly in the midst of a difficult semester, they chose to see a bigger picture and take to heart the mission of OCC to see children coming to Christ, being discipled, and taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Dave MacNeill, manager of Samaritan’s Purse, attended Lee’s Pack ‘n’ Stack event. According to Mr. MacNeill, after receiving shoebox gifts, children are invited back to participate in “The Greatest Journey,” a discipleship program. Through this 12-lesson course, which includes Bible stories and Scripture memorization, children learn how to follow Christ in their daily lives.
“As a result of the shoeboxes, 25,000 children have committed to be discipled through ‘The Greatest Journey,’ and 10,000 of those committed their lives to Jesus as Lord,” said Mr. MacNeill. “We know that Lee University’s participation in Operation Christmas Child has made a major impact in the lives of children, families, and communities.”
The Pack ‘n’ Stack party, which is organized for freshman Gateway classes, included 80 peer leaders, 35 Gateway instructors, and students involved with the Student Leadership Council at Lee.
Due to COVID-19, masks were required during the event.
The mission of Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child is to fill as many shoebox-sized boxes as possible with Christmas gifts to be distributed to children in need around the world.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/.