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child hugs cuddly toy

Central Asia

Many shoebox gifts packed in the UK are now bringing joy to children living in Central Asia!

These shoebox gifts are helping to show the love of Christ, planting seeds, and building goodwill between communities of all faiths and none. However while political and religious sensitivities continue within Central Asia and for the safety of our ministry partners living in restricted areas, they have asked us not to disclose details about the specific country receiving these gifts.

Your lovingly packed shoebox gifts make such a difference! We’ve shared some of our favourite videos, photos, and stories from the wider Asia region of children who received shoebox gifts just like yours.

Some of Our Favourite Shoebox Photos From Asia

Stories from Asia

Timur’s Story

Timur grew up in an orphanage in Central Asia where he received one pencil for each school term. When he opened an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift, he rejoiced to find a whole package of pencils!

A Family’s Joy

Eleven-year-old twins Emina (left), Medina (right), and their little sister Adina, 6, received shoebox gifts at a local church in Mongolia. Their dad is a truck driver and their mother works in a cafeteria to support the family. Among all the exciting items in her shoebox gift, Medina especially enjoyed the notebook, because she loves to keep a journal. For Emina, her favourite thing was a pencil case, because it had the image of a teddy bear on it, while Adina was delighted with her new cuddly toy cat!

The girls also enjoyed learning about creation and hearing of God’s love for them.

*Names changed for security

Siblings with shoeboxes

Zarina’s Story

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 cuddly toy bumble bee because it showed her that God hadn’t forgotten her.

Saliha’s Kite

Saliha* enjoyed a surprise beyond anything she ever imagined as she opened her Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. The young teenager lifted the lid of her overflowing gift box to discover all sorts of fun things, including her favourite item—a kite! She looked forward to flying her new treasure to see it dart and twist high in the sky, but, unfortunately, she had no one close with whom she could share her joy.

Saliha was born into a traditional family in Central Asia, and her parents divorced when she was very young. Most of the time, her mother worked abroad to support her and her younger brother, so Saliha lived with her aunt.

During a difficult time, God used that kite in Saliha’s shoebox to show her that God had not forgotten her.

“After I received the gift, I started going to church every week,” Saliha said. “I think that I immediately accepted Jesus into my heart. It happened very quickly—I did not have any doubts.”

Soon the people who introduced Saliha to her newfound Saviour became extremely dear to her. She no longer felt alone. Read more

illustration of girl playing with kite
Young boy on a donkey holding shoebox

Shoebox Joys for Shepherd Boys!

A local ministry partner had the opportunity to share the Gospel and deliver gift-filled shoeboxes to shepherd boys herding their family’s flock!
“The boys got excited because no one ever gave them gifts,” Yusif said. “In this region, even young boys have to work hard to survive.” He explained that parents expect much of their children, entrusting the care of large flocks to them, despite the threat of wild animals and people with evil intent. “The Lord sent us into their reality to say that He loves them,” Yusif said.  Read more


Reaching the hard-to-reach areas

Our Local Partners

One local partner shared that:

"Both children and adults felt God’s love and were filled with joy. They were thankful and happy. Distribution of the gift boxes helped our church to build stronger relationships with the community."

Thank You  

Thank you so much for packing a shoebox gift and sending love and hope to a child in need. Your generosity makes such a difference!