USA (MNN) — Looking for new ways to get your church involved with a ministry project? Why not try the incentive of breaking a world record? It certainly worked well for one Baptist church in Houston, Texas.
Every year for the past ten years, South Main Baptist Church has collected shoes for Buckner International Shoes for Orphan Souls. Over the years, the church has collected over 70,000 pairs of shoes for children worldwide. This August's drive alone resulted in more than 10,068 pairs of shoes.
Of course, this year there was a bit of an extra catch to the donation. As a creative way to get people involved just a little more than they might normally be, the church set out to break a shoe-related world record. The church "SoleChain" project goal was to have enough shoes to create the longest line of shoes in Guinness World Record history. They needed at least 10,000 pairs of shoes to do so. Their goal was surpassed.
In the middle of the shoe chain, the church wrote (with shoes) the message: "Send shoes. See smiles. Save souls."
Many South Main members have been on trips with Shoes for Orphan Souls and have had the privilege of watching the countenance of a child transformed when presented given his or her first new pair of shoes. "I remember their dirty little feet, holes in their shoes, their little faces…and all of a sudden they're jumping and laughing," says South Main's Gillian Cooke, who ventured to Russia to deliver shoes with Buckner ten years ago. "Sounds of joy."
These joy-inspiring gifts will bring hope to thousands of children as they receive the opportunity to both ward off disease and experience comfort by wearing shoes. Each child who receives a pair of shoes from Buckner will also hear about Jesus Christ and learn about who it is who has inspired so many to be so generous.
If your church would like to get involved in a Shoes for Orphan Souls shoe drive, visit shoesfororphansouls.org or call 1-866-774-SHOE. Who knows…your church could be the next world record breaker and the inspiration to thousands of needy children.