The ministry, which delivers shoeboxes to children around the world, has reached more than 146 million children since 1993. Franklin Graham heads Samaritan’s Purse, which operates Operation Christmas Child in more than 150 countries and territories.
Some of our volunteers at our regional collection site received an unexpected blessing when a woman and her children dropped off a shoebox. She had seen publicity about the shoebox collection and recalled that during her childhood in her native country she had received a shoebox at Christmas. Her gift of a shoebox brought it full circle and allowed her to share the love of Jesus with a child like her.
This Thanksgiving Day my thoughts turn to Africa where Robert Mugabe who was forced to resign this week as president of Zimbabwe at the age of 93. During his tenure, he transformed the country from sub-Saharan Africa’s breadbasket into a country that cannot feed itself.
That’s how tragic his rule has been for the people of his nation. His 37-year tenure was initially marked by outreach to the west, but, as sanctions mounted after he seized farms and triggered huge inflation, he embraced communist countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, also ruled by equally ineffective leaders.
Zimbabwe citizens will not celebrate our Thanksgiving today, but you can bet they are thankful that Mugabe’s rule is no more.
The contrast between his shameful leadership and that of the late Nelson Mandela in South Africa could not be starker. Mandela built bridges between people in South Africa and then gracefully stepped aside after eight years when he could easily have been president for life.