Operation Christmas Child
Since 1993, more than 168 million boys and girls in over 160 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.
Veronica Miranda received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift when she was 13 and lived in an orphanage in Mexico. The gift made her realize how much God loved her. Now, she packs shoeboxes to send to kids in need because she knows that every box matters.
Almira Bradford learned how much God loved her when she received a gift-filled shoebox while living in an orphanage in Central Asia. Soon afterward, an American couple adopted her. Looking back, Almira realized that God put the shoebox in her hands at just the right time.
Marvellous Okonne was separated from his family as a child and lived in an orphanage for a time before being reunited with his loved ones. When he was 8 years old, he received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox and knew for certain that God loved him and would never leave him.
Justin Thomas grew up poor in Southeast Asia, and a prayerfully packed Operation Christmas Child shoebox was the first gift he ever received. Through the shoebox, the love of Jesus Christ became real to him and gave him a desire to continue going to church to learn more about God.
Samaritan's Purse recently delivered gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to the Village of Light School for the Blind in Togo, West Africa. Josephine, 12, was one student encouraged by a shoebox gift and, along with her classmates, took part in The Greatest Journey.
Grace Imanariyo grew up in a Christian home in Rwanda and received an Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoebox when she was 10. She shared the gifts with her friends and neighbors, which provided her with many opportunities to tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, Grace is a recording artist in Rwanda and shares God’s love through music.
Bryce Pablo received an Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoebox in the Philippines when he was 4 years old. It inspired him to learn more about God and then to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with his family, who gladly received the Gospel.
After losing her parents and sister by the age of 10, Alyona Eakes moved to an orphanage in Ukraine where she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. She described it as a "chest of gold" because everything smelled new and it contained a stuffed lamb which she loved. "The shoebox gave me a little extra hope," she said.
When Lorena Surducan received a shoebox gift as a child in Romania, she was amazed that God heard her prayers and gave her the doll she always wanted. This was just one of many examples of His provision in her life. Today, she packs Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts for other children around the world.
When Nancy Muwanas-Arias received a shoebox gift as a child in the Middle East, it contained a photo of the couple who packed it. On the back, it read: "May God protect and watch over you is our prayer." Moved by their love for her, today Nancy and her husband and son pack shoeboxes for other children in need.
Kwale and his mother were praying that God would provide new shoes for him, so he could return to school. God used an Operation Christmas Child shoebox-with a new pair of shoes that fit Kwale-to answer that prayer. The shoes, however, were just the beginning of the blessings that the Lord had in store for Kwale and his family.
She grew up as an orphan in Guatemala and received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift with great joy! Adopted by a U.S. family shortly after she received her shoebox, Jaki has become a gifted musician and testifies to God's amazing grace at work in her life in many ways.
Giftlin Rajarathinam helped her parents distribute Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes at an event in South Asia when she was a kid and received one of her own. It was a big spiritual encouragement to her and her family. Now, they live in the U.S. and pack shoeboxes with their church for children in need around the world.
Pawku Ju grew up in Southeast Asia. At the age of 4, her village was burned amid a civil war so her family moved to a refugee camp in Thailand. There as a 7-year-old, she received a gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoebox containing a dress that fit her perfectly. "It made a huge impact in my life," she said.
Evangeline Franzon grew up poor in the Philippines. As a girl, she received an Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoebox. It was the first gift she had ever received and made her realize that she was loved. Now, she lives in the U.S. and packs shoesboxes with her family for kids in need around the world.
Growing up in Central Asia, Yuliya received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox as a 9-year-old. God used a stuffed puppy, an Etch a Sketch, and a prayerful note in ways that only became clear to her years later when she began following Jesus Christ.
As a 14-year-old in Cameroon, Azima Ndimbe received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift full of school supplies and hygiene items. But her favorite items inside were a teddy bear and a note from the person who packed it. This simple gift impacted her whole family and community.
Elena was born into an abusive home in the former Soviet Union. By the age of 8, she lived in an orphanage and felt very unloved. But there she received a shoebox gift and The Greatest Gift Gospel booklet. "Because of that shoebox, I got adopted not only into my earthly family but into my heavenly family," she said.
Ted was put in an orphanage in the former Soviet Union at the age of 3. By the time he was 9, he felt hopeless. But one day, he received a shoebox gift that brought him joy. When he later received Christ into his life, he likened it to the hope he received when he opened that shoebox--his first gift ever.
Krystal Cortez grew up in a Christian home in Nicaragua. At the age of 11, she rejoiced to receive a gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Later as an adult, when she volunteered at a processing center, she realized, "The shoebox represented his love and his faithfulness in my life."
Hermann Finch received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox as a 10-year-old in Zimbabwe. "It was just an amazing feeling to hear that people were willing to give to me even though they didn't know me," he said. This simple gift contributed to him becoming a believer two years later.
Delia Ordenau grew up in communist Romania where she and her mother often went without food or electricity. When she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift, she was reminded that God does love her and will provide for her. Now, Delia lives in the U.S. and the restaurant she owns with her husband is a drop-off location for shoeboxes.
Marina Bianco grew up in the former Soviet Union with a troubled life at home. Yet in an orphanage at the age of 6, she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox that showed her that God cared for her. "To this day, I feel the love of God because of a simple shoebox gift," she said.
Desire Nana grew up poor in Burkina Faso in West Africa. When he was 8 years old, he was blessed with an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. The impact it had resulted in him starting a kids ministry when he was 12 and later teaching the discipleship program The Greatest Journey in nearby villages.
Yuri grew up in an orphanage in Honduras and felt hopeless. She felt hope for the first time when she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox that contained a note that said "Jesus loves you!" That note continued to reassure her of God's love whenever she faced difficulties in her life.
Nadia Karnatova grew up in Ukraine in a family of nine children. Her father pastored an underground church and struggled to provide for his family. When Nadia received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, she rejoiced over the doll inside. "I want to encourage you to pack a shoebox because not only will that put a smile on a child's face, but you will also answer a parent's prayer," she said.
Siblings Nadia Karnatova and Vladimir Prokhnevskiy received shoeboxes while growing up in Ukraine. Their father pastored an underground church and Nadia said, "My mother could not give us a gift, but Jesus did through Operation Christmas Child." The sister and brother rejoice at how this answered their prayers and taught them about God’s unconditional love.
Vladimir Prokhnevskiy received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift as a 9-year-old in Ukraine. He especially appreciated that this—his first gift ever—had no strings attached. He encourages families to pack shoeboxes because, "You never know what one shoebox can do to a child."
When Dania Yadago was a girl living in the Middle East, she and her family prayed for a radio in order to keep up with the news. Soon afterward, Dania received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox that contained a radio. The gift bolstered their faith and encouraged them that God is in control of all things.
Luis from Peru was told that he wouldn't amount to anything, but through an Operation Christmas Child shoebox and The Greatest Journey discipleship program, the Lord transformed his life. Now he's studying to become a missionary and training teachers to disciple other children.
Vladimir Kenny's mother passed away when he was 9 years old. He eventually wound up in a Christian orphanage where at the age of 11, he received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The New Testament, coloring books, and especially the toy car inside his gift gave him a glimpse of God's love.
Natallia Cherashneva received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox around the age of 11 in the former Soviet nation of Belarus. In this world where blacks and greys were predominant, she said, "Crayons were too bright to be true." She encourages people to pack something colorful and unique in every shoebox to make children feel the special touch of God's love.
Olesea Makarets received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox as a child in Moldova. Amazed by the colorful markers she found inside it, she said, "Receiving a shoebox showed me that Jesus, that powerful man from the Bible, is actually real." She encourages people to continue packing shoebox gifts for other children.
Dana Thomaston grew up poor in Romania. Her parents told her how much God loved her, but it was difficult for her to believe since they had so little. But then she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift and it made her realize that she can always trust God no matter what the circumstances are in her life.
Natasha Ivanova was born and raised in Belarus were she became disabled as a result of the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Although forced to attend a special school far away from her family, at this orphanage she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. She kept the gift for years and later said that it helped her "know that there was a God who made me for who I am and loves me unconditionally."
Zhenya Waybourn grew up in an orphanage in the former Soviet Union. There he used a public bath house where 30 children had to share one bar of soap. When he received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift, Zhenya was moved to tears to find his very own bar of soap and a washcloth inside. Today, he includes letters to children in the shoeboxes he packs and encourages others to do the same.
Denis Gomez grew up loving the movie "Toy Story" in Honduras and longed for a Woody doll from the film. But his parents could not afford to buy one. When he was 8 years old, Denis received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox with a Woody doll inside. It amazed him and made him realize how much God loved him to direct that shoebox specifically to him.
Mariya Snizhko was born in the Ukraine in 1991, the same year the Soviet Union fell. Even though her parents worked full-time jobs, they didn't receive their paychecks. As a result, there was no money available to buy the art supplies she loved. Yet when she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift around the age of 11, the markers, crayons, and colored pencils inside showed her in a powerful way that God loved her.
Twin sisters Shanika and Sherika Moss grew up poor in Jamaica and lacked basic school supplies. But when they each received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox they discovered the boxes were billed with much-needed school supplies and reassured them that God loved them.
Livia spent 10 years in an orphanage in Romania where her biggest dream was to have her own hair clips. Her prayers were answered when she found a whole package of them in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. She thanks people for packing shoeboxes because they bring joy to children like her and allow them to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yuliya Shubina grew up in a country in Central Asia that had little access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift, she said it was a personal expression of God's love to her. The stuffed puppy and especially the letter she found inside it overwhelmed her with His care. "Thank you for packing shoeboxes and making stories like mine possible," she said.
Timur grew up in an orphanage in Central Asia where he received one pencil for each school semester. When he opened an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift, he rejoiced to find a whole package of pencils! He said, "Thank you so much for packing shoeboxes and sending them overseas so little kids can hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
After her mother died, 16-year-old Marina became her grandmother's sole caregiver and was quickly overwhelmed. But an Operation Christmas Child shoebox connected Marina to her local church. There she discovered the love of God and the support Marina and her grandmother so desperately needed.
Zarina Jensen grew up in an orphanage in Central Asia where she had to share everything. When she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift, it was the first thing she could call her own. She loved the journal and especially the stuffed bumble bee inside because it showed her that God hadn't forgotten her.
Luis grew up in a poor family in Panama and didn't have school supplies, so his mother prayed that God would provide them. When Luis later received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox it was filled with school supplies. The experience taught Luis to trust God for all of his needs.
Alex Nsengimana, a genocide survivor, returns to his orphanage in Rwanda to give out shoebox gifts like the one he received as child. Watch more of his story of how God used a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child to change his life at www.samaritanspurse.org/alex
Meet CJ, a child who found shelter and salvation at a local church during the deadly Typhoon that struck the Philippines in November. Watch as Operation Christmas Child reinforces this young man's faith by sharing God's love with a simple shoebox gift.
With no money for school supplies, Luis and his mother prayed. God answered with an Operation Christmas Child shoebox full of the exact items he needed. But, as a teenager, Luis was lured into a gang. Could the simple gift and his mother's prayers lead him back to God's plan?
Thanks to The Greatest Journey, Danniella now shares the Good News with other children in her community. Every Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift is an opportunity to touch a child with the love of God, and every Greatest Journey graduate is equipped to share that love with others!
Izabella McMillon, a mother of preschoolers, received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift when she was a child in Romania. Today she and her husband enjoy teaching their kids about giving by packing shoeboxes together as a family. She knows firsthand the power of a simple gift!
Emelissa grew up in the Central American nation of Honduras that was devastated by a hurricane in 1998. A year later, however, she received hope in the form of an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. Among all the special treasures inside it, she especially appreciated the letter and photo it contained. This planted a seed in her heart that led her to later accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
Alex grew up in Rwanda and his grandmother and uncle were killed in the genocide. He then went to live in an orphanage where he received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. This planted seeds of hope and love in his life that later prompted him to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. In 2010, Alex returned to his orphanage to distribute shoebox gifts to other orphans.
Kojo grew up in a family of nine in Ghana that had very little resources. When he was 12, Operation Christmas Child representatives came to his school and told him about God's love. Afterward, he received a shoebox gift filled in part with a yo-yo, toy car, and pencils. Still moved today by this act of generosity, Kojo sings, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
At age 2, David received a shoebox gift in Romania. His family lived in poverty, so the toy car he found inside the box was a particular bright spot in his life. Today, David encourages people to pack shoebox gifts for 2- to 4-year-old children because God can use them to work mightily even in these young lives.
Behind the giggles and songs of Andrea and her siblings, there is a darkness that dwells in her home. The darkness of addiction, abuse and despair is an unwelcome inhabitant there. Watch this video and find out why Andrea says, "Now I can face life and the challenges it brings me in the way that David from the Bible did against Goliath."
Experience the impact The Greatest Journey is having on children after they receive their Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. Meet one girl from Cameroon whose entire life has been transformed since learning about the love of Jesus Christ. http://www.samaritanspurse.org
Meet Alex, a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda who received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift as a child. Watch as he distributes gifts to children in the Rwandan orphanage he grew up in, while also forgiving those who killed his family.
Watch one of the most moving stories of an Operation Christmas Child recipient from the Former Soviet Union having her whole life changed over what she found inside her shoe box. Find out what simple item had the biggest impact on her life by watching the video!