Operation Christmas Child 2017 Begins!

Monday, November 13, 2017


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!


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


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

God Faithfully Meets Our Needs

God always seems to supply our need. That is our experience. Terri and I have seen the Lord faithfully supply different needs time and time again. We have repeatedly witnessed God faithfully meet our needs and supply the needs of others.

While I have been in Marshall looking after Mom, God has used me to teach Sunday School classes at my Mom’s home church. During a difficult time, I needed to stay grounded in God’s Word and her Sunday School class needed a fill-in teacher for a few weeks. We have spent the last two weeks examining how our natural desire to be in control impacts the supernatural gift of faith God has given us by His mercy and grace. Control, we have determined, is the opposite of faith because faith calls us to let go and let God.

Terri Talks OCC

Terri has been attempting to come down to Marshall to visit us for several weeks. Each time we put a visit on the calendar, something came up. Finally, this weekend, Terri was able to come down. I was thrilled to see her. I was also thrilled to find out that Operation Christmas Child had a speaker scheduled to attend my Mom’s home church this morning. So was Terri. We were looking forward to hearing how OCC was working at Summit.

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
            It will not return to Me empty,
            Without accomplishing what I desire,
            And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11 (NASB)

After Sunday School, we made our way over to the Sanctuary. We checked the bulletin. Sure enough. An OCC speaker was scheduled to speak at Summit Sunday morning. Worship service started. We prayed, we sang, we gave, and we celebrated. Finally, it was time for the OCC speaker to share about what God was doing through millions of shoebox gifts people had packed all over the world.

Well…something happened and the scheduled speaker was unable to attend. And then, calling an audible, Pastor Randy (Mom’s pastor) said “No worries. There were two people present in the Sanctuary who could readily talk about OCC.” And Pastor Randy invited one of the church members and my wife Terri to come up and share about how God was working through Operation Christmas Child. And Terri, without hesitation, walked up toward the front of the Sanctuary and without hesitation shared about how she had personally witnessed our Lord do great things through love-filled shoebox gifts when she had been on several distribution trips in Tanzania a couple of years ago. Summit faithfully supported Terri financially to help meet the costs associated with the trip. What an opportuntiy to pay back those who stepped out in faith to support her! You could have heard a pin drop. People listened intently and Terri did a marvelous job sharing her love for Jesus.

As her husband, I could not be more overjoyed by wife’s response to God’s call in that moment. If you know Terri, you know she dreads public speaking. But she did so remarkably well—the light of Jesus really shone brightly through her as she summarized her experiences with OCC since 2008.

Some folks may consider all of this “luck” or “chance.” But as believers, Terri and I recognize God’s hand in orchestrating these events, no less on my Moms first Sunday back in church since her fall. God’s Word, Scripture teaches us, does not return void. God is always faithful to supply what we need when we need it most. Terri and I are grateful that we have had many opportunities to see God at work. We are humbled by how many times God has worked through us to help those who God loves in their moment of need.

Yes, there is a God. Yes, God is always at work,everywhere, all around us. Yes, God is faithful and trustworthy. He remains true to His promises. Yes, God works through His people whom He has called for His purpose. And no, you don’t need to be perfect for God to use you. Terri and I can attest to that.

God is great. Great is our God.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8 (ESV)

Over 11 Million Reasons to Celebrate!

Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

Terri and I were ecstatic to learn the final tallies for National Collection Week 2016!

We hope you will join us and our Operation Christmas Child partners in praising the Lord for 11,485,662 shoebox gifts packed in 2016!

11,485,662 children =11,485,662 Gospel Opportunities

We are overwhelmed with joy by the staggering number of boxes filled by people just like you all around the world. Our God is immeasurably awesome, far-exceeding our imaginations and wildest dreams! God is GOOD!

Shoebox gifts collected in 2016 by country:
United States – 9,121,799
United Kingdom – 872,104
Canada – 664,525
Germany – 388,673
Australia & New Zealand – 346,592
Spain – 41,107
Finland – 37,144
Japan – 13,718
Total: 11,485,662 Gospel Opportunities

In the days ahead, we ask that you would continue to pray for each child that will be receiving these love-filled gifts, that they would feel God’s love, and most importantly that each child would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

God bless all of you in our North Dallas area that packed a shoebox gift and all the volunteers that made collection week happen. You were each invaluable in collecting the 7, 342 shoebox gifts we received locally. Thank you to our home church, Trinity Bible Church of Richardson, Pastor Jeff Miller and the entire staff and leadership of TBC. Your unbelievable, unwavering support has and is tremendous.

Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

Eternally Grateful,

In Christ,

The Bantau’s