Above and below, part of Baltimore’s group. Lower right, part of Southern Region’s group

The weekends of December 4th and 10th saw ninety youth and adults from the Covenant Brethren Denomination travel to the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox processing centers in Baltimore MD and Boone NC to help process thousands of shoeboxes. Both groups enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship and excitement. Once in each hour, work came to a standstill so that workers could take time to pray over the shoeboxes, asking God to use them to bring people to Jesus.

The Baltimore group was made up of people from the Central Allegheny Region, and Region 4. The group going to Boone was made up of people from the Southern Region.

The processing of boxes followed a systematic procedure. Each box was opened and any money for shipping that had been sent with the box was removed. Then each box was sent to the next station where workers checked for anything that should not be in the box. If any items were removed, those items were replaced by appropriate items from the filler bins. The filler bins contained extra toys and supplies that people had sent for that purpose. After the contents had been checked, the boxes were moved to the taping and scanning stations. Once scanned the individual shoeboxes were packed in large box for shipping to their destination. The process moves very fast.

Most of the Southern Region Group

About 70,000 boxes are processed daily at the Baltimore facility, somewhat less at the Boone facility since it doesn’t have as many processing tables. There are usually ten people on a processing table, each with their own job. Baltimore has room for thirty tables. Boone has only seventeen tables. Workers were encouraged to take breaks as needed but most of the groups took few breaks.

Most of the Baltimore group stayed over Saturday night. We met in a hotel conference room on Sunday morning and had a wonderful time of singing, sharing and worship with a challenge from Craig Howard, the team leader. Scott Kinnick was the team leader for the group going to Boone.

A number of participants requested that this activity would become an annual event. Everyone in attendance was blessed. We hope many more will plan to attend next year, especially youth from around our denomination.

Most of the workers processed shoeboxes as described above. Five of the Baltimore workers from Fairview CBC were assigned to keep the filler boxes filled. This was a huge and very important job, but they did it with a smile.

These were great trips, and the CBC had another part in our partnership with Samaritan’s Purse. Over 1,000 churches were started last year just as a result of the Operation Christmas Child ministry. We are excited that CBC is expanding its mission in this ministry. Come join us next year!

Craig Howard – CBC Publications Committee