Junction City First Baptist Church, 3860 U.S. 127 South, will host an Operation Christmas Child kickoff event for the Danville area at 7 p.m. today. The guest speaker will be Timur Nesbitt, who has experienced the benefits of Operation Christmas Child firsthand.
After being abandoned at birth, Nesbitt grew up as an orphan in central Asia. At age 13, he received an Operation Christmas Child shoe box — the first gift he had ever received. Inside the box was a yo-yo, candy, school supplies, a letter and photo from a boy in Texas who packed the box.
“The shoe box reminded me of Jesus’ love for me, that he forgave me of my sins and that I should forgive my parents for what they did to me,” Nesbitt said. “When I forgave them, God set me free from the bitterness.”
Three years later, Nesbitt was adopted by an American missionary family from Iowa. He learned about OCC and told them he had received a shoe box gift. Now a student at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Nesbitt plans to return to his birth country to serve as a minister.
Operation Christmas Child is coordinated by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to people around the world.
The OCC Danville area is comprised of nine counties: Adair, Boyle, Casey, Garrard, Marion, Mercer, Lincoln, Taylor and Washington. In 2011, 18,755 shoe box gifts were collected in the Danville area, and the area has a goal of collecting 25,000 shoe box gifts this year, according to Kathy Kendrick, area coordinator.
Junction City First Baptist Church is the collection center for the Danville area during National Collection Week Nov. 12-19. For more information, contact collection center coordinator Jaime Kendrick at (859) 324-0741.