Operation Christmas Child: Global Connect Conference

2nd May 2023

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Last month, thousands of Operation Christmas Child volunteers and staff gathered together to celebrate 200 million shoebox gifts. Hear from Michael W. Smith as he prepares to lead worship and from faithful volunteers who serve by packing shoeboxes, covering the ministry in prayer, and inspiring more people to get involved.

Show Notes

Kristy Graham, host of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, interviews Michael W. Smith, one of Christian music’s most beloved musicians and a great friend of the ministry. Smith recently led worship at Operation Christmas Child’s Global Connect Conference. He has traveled the world with Samaritan’s Purse—handing out shoebox gifts, serving people after disasters, and leading worship.

Smith shares his anticipation in celebrating the milestone of 200 million shoebox gifts alongside thousands of volunteers who dedicated their time and resources to serve the Lord in this way. He and Kristy Graham discuss how God continually exceeds our wildest imagination.

In the hours leading up to this celebratory worship night, podcast correspondent Melissa Strickland talked to volunteers waiting in line for the concert. One of them shared how she has desired to attend a Connect conference for years, but this was the first one that she was able to attend in person. She encourages anyone listening to attend next year.

“It’s really neat just to be able to see the people that are on that side of the shoebox and be able to say, ‘Thank you for being our hands and feet.’” – Operation Christmas Child volunteer from Alabama

As team members from more than 100 countries praised God for millions of shoebox gifts over the last 30 years, they were already dreaming of the next milestone.

“I just love the enthusiasm and commitment from our Operation Christmas Child volunteers. The shoeboxes are a tool for the serious work of bringing the Good News around the world, but it all starts and ends with joy.” – Kristy Graham

The episode closes with two volunteers serving on the prayer team. Prayer is vital to every project at Samaritan’s Purse. Even in the midst of joy and celebration, people are hurting so it is important to be intentional and prayerful.

“To literally watch God move in people’s lives on the spot has been phenomenal. It makes the trip absolutely worth it, and I would do it again and again and again.” – Operation Christmas Child prayer team volunteer

Please join us in praying for more opportunities to share the Gospel, for the right shoebox gifts to reach children in need, and for our volunteers who are faithful year after year.


Celebrating 30 Years of God’s Faithfulness
Serve as a volunteer with Operation Christmas Child
Listen to Mission of Hope: Delivering the 200 Millionth Shoebox to Ukraine
Meet the little girl who received the specially-packed 200 millionth shoebox gift

Latest media

On The Ground Podcast

Both Sides of a Shoebox Gift


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