International (MNN) — It's that time of year again. School is almost back in session!
Buckner International is helping kids get off to the right start.
"This time of year, not just in the state of Texas but all around the world, school supplies [are] at a very low potential," says Buckner's Mike Julian.
That's why Buckner is collecting school supplies, as well as shoes and socks, for kids they support.
"Instead of giving a hand out to the client that we're serving, it kind of gives them a hand up," says Julian. "It doesn't supply everything, but it gives them a starting point."
Buckner's Humanitarian Aid division provides a variety of resources for children and families in need, on both a domestic and international scale. Julian says their efforts are grouped into five main categories: food, clean water, clothing, health, and educational supplies.
By meeting physical needs in these areas, a door opens for the Gospel.
Julian gives this example: "Because a child in Uganda received flip-flops, his mom and dad went to the church that delivered those flip-flops the following Sunday, and the Lord called them to cross a line of faith."
And they weren't the only ones. Julian says a total of 200 flip-flops were sent to Uganda through Buckner's Shoes for Orphan Souls program. Ten families came to the church, and half of them, including the family mentioned above, surrendered their lives to the Lord.
By donating something simple, like a notebook or a pair of shoes, you can create a Gospel ripple effect.
"It's been really neat to see folks respond to the call…and seeing that open the door for the Gospel," says Julian.
The first step is discovering what's needed. After purchase, items are sent to the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid in Rowlett, Texas, where they're sorted and prepared for shipment overseas.
Through the generous hearts of givers and the hard work of volunteers, Buckner is active around the world, "kinda' meeting the basic physical needs, and eventually that opens the door for the Gospel," Julian says.
Click here to see how you can help. Pray that simple items like school supplies and footwear will show kids the abundant love of God.