Read-Worthy Reviews – December 7th

We just couldn’t wait to post our next batch of reviews! Snow fell in our town this morning and we’ve been humming Christmas tunes all day…so it’s time to talk about Operation Christmas Child! Several of our Nuts About Books reviewers took some time with their families to fill a box this season…read about their experiences below!

Also, there is a brand-new historical fiction novel from Jane Kirkpatrick that you’ll definitely want to check out…readers are calling it a compelling and touching story of overcoming hardship and discovering love.

Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse)

Ready-Worthy Reviews - December 7th - OCCOperation Christmas Child is a hands-on project that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoeboxes packed by Canadians. It is one way to remind children suffering as a result of war, poverty, famine, disease, and disaster that they are loved and not forgotten.

Each shoebox is filled by Canadians with hygiene items, school supplies, and toys, and is given to children regardless of gender, race, or religion. When culturally appropriate, copies of a book entitled The Greatest Gift, which has been translated into 130 different languages, are offered to children after the shoeboxes have already been distributed. Learn more about the journey of a shoebox.

Following the shoebox distributions, local churches and ministry partners are equipped with a 12-lesson Bible study course, titled The Greatest Journey, which introduces interested children to Jesus, shows them how to receive Him and follow Him, and equips them to share their faith with family and friends.


“Did you know that Samaritan’s Purse actually delivers those Christmas boxes all year round? They do! And if you’re like me you missed the deadline for dropping off your box…However…You can go online and ‘fill a box’ right there! How cool is that? They have made it super easy to get involved in this beautiful ministry…” – Lani from All This Crazy Grace

“…I remember participating in packing a shoebox as a child – it was so much fun to pick out things for another kid somewhere on the other side of the world. Thing is, I have just as much fun doing it now! Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. Let’s keep that number growing!…” Country Mouse

“…As a father, I love that Operation Christmas Child gives families the opportunity to take the focus at Christmas time off of getting presents, and instead thinking about those who are in need. Families can spend quality time together doing something fun and helping be a blessing to others. So let me ask – what are YOU waiting for?…” – Jeremy from Christian Fiction Addiction

“Packing shoe boxes before Christmas has been a tradition in my family for many years, and I am thrilled to highlight this great initiative…It excites me to think of the children all over the world who will have a happy Christmas because of these boxes that are lovingly packed just for them…If you have never packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, please consider doing it this year. And I promise – you won’t regret it.” – Along the Way

“Make sure to check out Samaritan’s Purse this Christmas season. We are so blessed … time to spread the joy and bring a smile to a child’s face this Christmas. It’s super EASY and FUN. Get a shoe box. Fill it full of fun and useful items (the website give some good suggestions) and then drop the filled box off at pick-up location. Check out more information HERE.” – Amanda from Cozy Writer’s Den

All She Left Behind (Jane Kirkpatrick)

Read-Worthy Reviews - December 7th - All She Left Behind

Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s is an unforgiving place–especially for a single mother. To support herself and her young son, Jennie finds work caring for an older woman. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman’s widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal–but the road forward is uncertain.

New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites you to leave behind your preconceived notions about love and life as you, along with Jennie, discover that dreams may be deferred–but they never really die. Based on a true story.


“Jane Kirkpatrick finds the most interesting true-life heroines to highlight in her fictional biographies. Lesser known women who have lived exemplary lives. Women who define the pioneering spirit. Women like Jennie Pickett…An intelligent woman with a learning disability that made reading difficult who becomes a doctor? That’s something to shout about in this day and age but in the late 1800s it’s inconceivable…Captivating, compelling and mind boggling. If you enjoy biographies of strong women who make a difference while overcoming insurmountable odds then this is definitely the book for you.” – Kav from Best Reads

“Jennie’s life in the late 1800’s really touched my heart in so many ways. Her struggles over the years are heartbreaking, yet she tackled life with perseverance and determination…I think what resonated with me the most is that the character of Jennie is real and believable. She lived a hard life, she loved with her whole heart, and she trusted people. All of this didn’t guarantee an easy time for her…However, she also found love and contentment in rather unexpected ways. This is one of the best books I have read recently and I highly recommend All She Left Behind.” – Along the Way

 Special thanks to Samaritan’s Purse Canada and Baker Publishing Group  for providing these resources for our reviewers.

December 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Read-Worthy Reviews – December 7th

Operation Christmas Child: More than a Shoebox

Ottawa pastor shares his story of seeing miracles in simple gifts given to children around the world

WATERLOO – October 19, 2016 – This year, Operation Christmas Child has set an audacious goal: for Canadians to exceed last year’s blockbuster number of more than 730,000 shoeboxes packed from coast to coast.

The greater goal is this: for Canadians to see these shoeboxes as far more than a simple gift. When covered in prayer, these shoeboxes can represent a miracle for over 700,000 children living in poverty. Pastor and Christian Radio station manager Bill Stevens is sharing his personal story of seeing these gift-filled shoeboxes answer prayers and bring hope and joy to many impoverished children and families around the world.

Operation Christmas ChildStevens witnessed how profoundly Operation Christmas Child recipients were impacted during a pastors distribution trip to Uruguay in April 2012.

Noting the opportunity for a shoebox to be a miracle for a child, Stevens recalls “ I watched a little boy jump with excitement after opening his shoebox to find a stick of deodorant. Turns out he had been praying for deodorant for weeks because his dad smelled badly in prison, which kept him from hugging his dad. Deodorant was the solution and an answer to prayer!”

Stevens asserts that these shoeboxes are more than gifts and are answers to children’s prayers; they lead to life-changing miracles. Stevens says, “In several instances we saw miracles when the contents matched

[the child’s] expectations but the real miracles came when child after child gave their life to Christ.

Canadian school teacher and recent distribution trip participant Julie Koekman agrees. “The shoebox distribution is just the introduction to Jesus for kids who don’t know him,” she said after hearing a Gospel presentation that’s almost always done before the children receive their boxes.

For those who want to contribute to impacting the lives of over 730,000 children by packing a box, Operation Christmas Child National collection week is November 14-20.

Canadians are also encouraged to prayerfully pack a box online until December 21st. With a simple click, online boxes can be packed and even customized with an upload photo option at Those interested in hosting a packing party can receive free event materials by registering their party at Those having packing parties are encouraged to share photos using #OCC_Canada and #ilovepackingshoeboxes.

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About Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child started in 1990 and was adopted by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian Organization run by Franklin Graham in 1993. Operation Christmas Child look to communities and churches for people to pack gift-filled shoeboxes and volunteers to sort and distribute these boxes to hurting children all over the world. To date, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed over 135 million shoebox gifts worldwide.

About Samaritan’s Purse
Samaritan’s Purse Canada has been doing essential relief and development work in Jesus’ Name all around the world since 1973. Based on the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, Samaritan’s Purse provides aid to hurting people—victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution, regardless of their religious faith, race, gender, or socio-economic standing. Partnering with local churches, they provide initiatives that give communities basic necessities, just as the Good Samaritan partnered with the innkeeper. They continue to nurture these partnership, and monitor the effectiveness of our work, just as the Samaritan arranged with the innkeeper. Please visit for more information.

October 19th, 2016|Tags: |Comments Off on Operation Christmas Child: More than a Shoebox