Operation Christmas Child 2017 Begins!

Monday, November 13, 2017

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National Collection Week 2017 is here!

All around the world, tens of thousands of Operation Christmas Child volunteers and thousands of ministry partners are prepared to receive love-filled, prayer-covered shoebox gifts to share with millions of needy children.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2017 marks our 9th year of involvement in this incredible ministry project of Samaritan’s Purse. Like so many OCC volunteers, Terri and I got started by packing a simple shoebox gift in November 2008. Today, we kickoff our 3rd year as a OCC Central Drop-Off. In 2015, after serving as the Richardson area’s Relay Center for six years, we transitioned to the even bigger responsibility of serving as a Central Drop Off. Terri and I have learned a lot about our amazing God and our faith has grown through this ministry project. In 2015, Terri fulfilled the dream of a lifetime in going to Tanzania and taking part in several shoebox distributions. We have been blessed tremendously through seeing God at work through this wonderful project giving millions of children worldwide the opportunity to hear about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)

Packing a shoebox gift is loads of fun and brings great joy to your household, family table, small group, Bible study, or prayer group. Packing shoeboxes with others is a rewarding experience and a powerful blessing. When you pack your shoebox gift, pray over it once you’ve got it all done. Prayer is a vital ingredient in the process. Include an encouraging note and maybe even a picture of yourself. Be sure to pack a WOW item!

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If you live in North Dallas and surrounding Dallas North area please bring your shoebox gifts to us at Trinity Bible Church 400 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75085 during any of the following collection times:

Monday thru Friday    10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday     1:00 pm – 5:30 pm
2nd Monday    10:00 am – 5:30 pm

 

We look forward to seeing you!

Rainer and Terri Bantau

#IPackedAShoeBox

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NIV)

How to Pack a Shoebox Gift

My Monday Morning Cup

I have come to believe if you don’t see God, you’re just not looking. Terri and I are constantly reminded of God’s presence in and around our lives through precious gifts He reveals to us. Sweet T and I were honored to attend the annual Union Gospel Mission Dallas Praise Banquet along with a couple of our ministry cohorts-Matt and Laurie. We joined in fellowship with several hundred people joined together in the mission to end homelessness in Dallas and to share the hope of the Gospel with men, women, and children coping with life pulling the rug out from under them. We heard testimonies of a good God, merciful and mighty, changing lives and transforming outcomes. Our involvement in ministering to the men and women of UGMD has shown us first hand that God is alive and active in the midst of our fallen world.

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“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:13 (ESV)

On Sunday morning, we kicked off our church’s annual participation in the ministry of Operation Christmas Child (a project of Samaritan’s Purse), an incredible movement that uses simple shoe-box gifts packed with love and covered in prayer, to impact the Kingdom for the Gospel. Sweet T and I have been blessed to be involved in this global project for nearly 10 years. Through OCC, we have witnessed God perform mind-boggling things, repeatedly and abundantly.

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We are reassured daily that God exists because we see Him at work all the time, all around us. We count ourselves incredibly blessed to serve as vessels for His story to unfold in our community and all over the Globe.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

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10 Years Ago Today…

Ten years ago today, on October 7, 2007, Terri and I stepped out in faith and rededicated our lives to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We made our renewed profession of faith in a public baptism at a small, local church we had started attending several weeks before. A couple of months earlier we had taken a horseback ride up a mountainside near Taos, New Mexico. Neither of us are exactly sure what happened up on that mountain, but a spiritual transformation took root. Perhaps our spirits were overwhelmed by soaking in the majestic grandeur of God’s creation. Our souls were certainly hungry for God, even though we didn’t know it at the time we’d planned our trip. Yet, while we were yet sinners, God was faithful in His pursuit of us.

The decade since we set out on our faith journey has been a rollercoaster ride of high highs and low lows. There have been incredible, inexplicable highs–like Terri and I getting married, my being ordained as a minister, and the joy of performing several weddings. But to be sure, it hasn’t been all wine and roses. No, there have been dark moments like getting the left foot of fellowship, burying a good friend’s wife and 13-year-old daughter and our 24-year old niece in the course of a few months, and having to say goodbye too soon to another great friend and co-laborer in Christ earlier this year. Yes, there have been difficult valleys to traverse and hard mountains to climb. But through it all, God has remained faithful in seeing us through the difficult times. His comfort has been immeasurable; His love beyond amazing.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

Terri and I have both marveled at how God has used us to share the Gospel all throughout the DFW metroplex as well as in different parts of the World. Through our involvement with the ministries of Operation Christmas Child, Terri had the joy of sharing the love of Jesus in Tanzania and through our home church she also had the opportunity to minister to the people of Barranquilla, Colombia.  We even had the opportunity to take a Bible study tour in Israel in 2012. God has left us speechless and breathless numerous times throughout the past decade.

Through our stewardship in leading our church’s outreach to Union Gospel Mission, we’ve had the privilege of sharing God’s Word and praying with a multitude of men and women to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.

And to top it all off, most Sunday mornings I have the honor of helping lead our congregation in worship.

While taking up our cross and following Jesus hasn’t been the easiest road, it has been indescribably thrilling. For that, Terri and I are truly thankful. We look forward to the next ten years unless of course our Lord returns beforehand. Then we’ll celebrate singing His praises in Heaven.

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30 (ESV)