by: Erin Keller
If you hear the words “Operation Christmas Child,” chances are that Jean Ingram is the speaker. Jean is the voice of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) in Guthrie and surrounding towns, and she is passionate about the mission of the organization: evangelism, discipleship and multiplication. She says, “You see that being carried out even in what we (the local church) are doing. First of all, it’s to evangelize and to tell people about the Lord. It’s not just about a box or the gifts. Then discipleship means that the kids are being discipled afterwards to learn how to be a follower of Christ, and the multiplication happens when they take it into their homes. I see multiplication happening in Guthrie because we are able to share it. Everywhere we can say, ‘Would you like to hear about it?’”
Jean says she’s a “country girl from Deatsville, Alabama.” Her parents were devout followers of Jesus, and the ladies in their little church who influenced her the most were the ones who loved God’s Word. “They taught me just to love Jesus. I don’t remember when I didn’t love him,” she says.
She became a special education teacher and taught for three or four years, but she says God’s call on her life was to do fulltime work for the Lord one day. After she and her husband, Al, moved to Pensacola, Florida, she volunteered at the church and eventually was asked to lead the children’s ministry, which she did for 25 years, until she and Al moved to Guthrie to be closer to their grandchildren. She had packed shoeboxes for years, but once in Guthrie she jumped in and is now a year-around volunteer and is the Prayer Mobilization Coordinator for this area. Jean also teaches in the Community Kids ministry here at Community. “I know how important it is to reach little kids for Jesus. I love them. I love playing with them…. God says you’ve got to use your gifts no matter where you are…. My purpose is to prepare, not just myself, but other people around me. How many people will I take to heaven with me? That’s what life’s about.”