Recently Portsmouth resident Virginia Cook was honored for her ten years of volunteering with Operation Christmas Child (OCC).
According to www.samaritanspurse.org, “Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, is the world’s largest Christmas outreach of its kind. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 124 million children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, and other crises in more than 150 countries and territories. We partner with local churches to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who receive shoebox gifts and offer a 12-lesson discipleship program, The Greatest Journey, that helps boys and girls learn what it means to follow the Lord and share their faith with others.”
Since she started her work with OCC, Cook has been a strong advocate for the program and it’s importance.
Over her ten years of service with OCC, Cook has served in many capicities which included, relay center coordinator, area coordinator for southeast Ohio and as a regional area coordinator,” Cook said.
During her work as a regional area coordinator she’s working with three teams of volunteers out of Huntington, Parkersburg and southeast Ohio.
She currently serves OCC as a regional area strategist, which has her doing similar work as a regional area coordinator, but in a more in-depth capacity.
When asked to reflect on her ten years of volunteer service to OCC Cook said, “it does not seem like ten years, it’s went by in the blink of an eye. To me this (OCC) has been the greatest adventure of my life. I’ve seen God at work through OCC here in our area and overseas,” Cook said.
Since beginning her work with OCC Cook has traveled internationally with the organization twice to help deliver shoe boxes. In 2015 Cook traveled to Colombia with OCC to deliver some collected shoe boxes.
In reflecting on her work with OCC, Cook said, “It’s been a tremendous adventure to see what God is doing to this ministry and I really believe it’s because people who serve in it, take everything to the lord in prayer and I feel like that’s the only way to live. It still amazes me that these simple gifts can introduce a child to Jesus. What we’re seeing now around the world, is that the children are leading the adults and they are evangelizing them.”
She said do this work for OCC is a privilege.
For more information or ways to volunteer with OCC call Cook at 740-935-4468 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter.