Two farmers — Matt and Kristel Stone — are blessing children with Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. They’ve opened their farm in northeastern Ohio for packing events. And not only is doing so honoring the legacy of a lost loved one, but it’s helping spread the Gospel, too!
Farming is a difficult but necessary profession. Farmers heavily invest in terms of time and money into their fields, hoping to yield a worthwhile and financially successful return. Sometimes, due to the weather conditions, patterns and other factors beyond one's control, that's not always the case.
Regardless of the ups and downs of farming, Matt and Kristel consider themselves privileged to continually see the work of God in their profession.
"It feels like you can see God's hand on the farm in every aspect," Kristel said. "Just through planting, through caring for the animals, through the land, through looking out our front window and just seeing, like, God's handiwork. To me, it's a really clear picture of how God works."
Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Fulfill A Legacy
Now, the two farmers are seeing the work of God in an entirely different way. Matt's mother was involved in Operation Christmas Child. She helped to deliver packages to children who truly needed them, and according to Matt, it was an experience that forever changed her heart and life.
Her volunteer work with Operation Christmas Child so impacted Matt's mother's life that one of her dying wishes was for that mission to continue. She asked Matt and Kristel to get involved and help share the Gospel with those in need.
Responding faithfully to that request and call, Matt and Kristel have opened their farm to volunteers. In the years since, Matt, Kristel and an army of volunteers have packaged thousands of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Kristel is sold out and committed to Operation Christmas Child. She states that her volunteer work has given her the opportunity to minister to others, particularly those who volunteer in her barn.
"And I will share this mission about Operation Christmas Child with you," Kristel said. She continued, "And tell you about where this box will go and what difference it will make. And in the meantime, I get to show them what Jesus has done in my life because I learned how serving, laying my life down is where all the transformation begins."
"And he said to them, ‘There is much grain ready to be cut, but not enough workers: so make prayer to the Lord of the grainfields that he will send works to get in the grain." – Luke 10:2
WATCH: Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Bring ‘Great Joy In Ohio’
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Featured Image Credit: Samaritans Purse