Int’l (MNN) — What do shoes have to do with the Gospel?
In places like Guatemala, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Mexico City, and Texas, shoes mean hope. They represent love and a blessing.
Buckner International delivers shoes on mission trips through their ministry called Shoes for Orphan Souls. Giving shoes is an avenue for ministry and for the Gospel to be shared.
Shoes for Orphan Souls has giving over 3 million pairs of shoes to children in need. This was a millstone and a testament to the Lord’s provision, says Ashley Williamson with Buckner International.
Williamson says a new pair of shoes is something many of us take for granted. But many people have never had a pair of shoes, or they don’t have shoes that fit properly. A lot of children will wear a pair they find or a pair handed down from their siblings.
Kids who go barefoot are likely to get cuts and scrapes from broken glass; they are also susceptible to contracting many foot-borne diseases such as hookworm. Some of these diseases can lead to cognitive and physical development issues.
Shoes for Orphan Souls not only gives new shoes to children, but they also give hookworm medication for kids who may already have the parasite. Williamson says this protects kids’ physically and opens the door to education.
Williamson says she hears stories from moms in Guatemala who have to alternate between which of their children attend school each day because they had to rotate the only pair shoes the family owns. Many schools require children to wear shoes. The fact that children miss school because they do not have a simple pair of shoes is a reality for kids around the world.
Donating shoes is a blessing to the ministry. Going on a trip with Buckner to experience the joy of seeing a child receive a pair of shoes of his very own offers a unique blessing for you.
It also opens doors to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ with them.