Operation Christmas Child


Location: Between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, bordering Turkey, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Population: 4,933,674, with 18% under the age of 15 (source – CIA The World Factbook).

Thank you for bringing Good News and great joy to a child living in Georgia! Your shoebox gift was one of 16,073 sent to Georgia from the UK this season.

We thank God for the thousands of children that have received shoeboxes here since Operation Christmas Child began distributions. While we are not able to provide pictures or information on the specific child who received your individual shoebox, we hope you will be inspired by the photos and stories below.

Stories from Georgia over the years

‘So much happiness and joy’

“Our village is very poor and many children are not able to go to school as they do not have suitable clothes to wear.  When the children of our village received shoebox gifts, there was so much happiness and joy.  Nobody had ever done such a thing for us before!  Thank you to every person who participates in this good work.  God bless you!”  Nana – Ministry partner in Georgia

A family’s hope restored

Two twin brothers lost their father during the conflicts. For a long time after, their mother never saw the grieving boys smile, laugh, or play. Until that is, they were invited to an Operation Christmas Child outreach event. Their mother shared that the boys sat listening intently and she could finally see them smiling, laughing, and playing as they enjoyed their gifts. The love of Christ touched their hearts, and the family was blessed in a special way.

Temo’s Lamb

Temo holding his toy lamb

Temo, now the discipleship coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Georgia, vividly remembers his first contact with the project.

Temo Galustian was 14 years old when his grandmother, Galina, invited him and his sister to her church for an Operation Christmas Child event.

“It was a beautiful place, not because of the outstanding architecture or decorations, but because of the gift boxes,” Temo said. “We heard about the loving God and received our shoeboxes with wonderful things and toys. We were filled with joy and happiness. In my box, there was a musical lamb with a sticker on the bottom with Operation Christmas Child logo and the lyrics: ‘Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so.’”

As he grew up, Temo drifted away from church but found himself occasionally whistling this familiar tune.

After some time and with his wife’s encouragement, Temo felt drawn back to church and decided to give his life to Jesus.

Many years later, Temo rediscovered the lamb and taught the song to his children Alexander and Anastasia. He had tears in his eyes, as he was reminded of God’s love for him through a simple gift.

Nanuli’s Shoebox

Eight-year-old Nanuli had a tough start to life and was abandoned by her parents. She was delighted to receive a shoebox gift at an Operation Christmas Child outreach event and excited to explore her unexpected gifts, but that wasn’t all. She also received the life changing news that Jesus loves her and will never leave her. Local partners reported that it was such a joy to see how this small box was able to bring such light into this girl’s life.

No one left behind

Local ministry partner and teacher, Sopo, was determined no one in her local community would miss out on the opportunity to take part in The Greatest Journey programme. She has a heart for the hearing-impaired and deaf community and set up special accessible sessions for them to attend. One of her students, a 17-year-old boy named Akaki, was keen to share what he had learned with younger children in the hearing-impaired community and attended extra training sessions to learn how. He is gaining experience as an assistant teacher and looks forward to teaching his own class one day.

Lives changed through The Greatest Journey

Nona, 26, lives in a small town in Western Georgia, which was badly damaged during the civil war. She still remembers the day she received a shoebox gift and how it made her feel. She said, “There were three bracelets, a doll, socks, some pencils, pens and crayons and many other things. It encouraged me a lot.”

Many years later Nona became a volunteer ministry partner for Operation Christmas Child, giving out shoebox gifts and inviting local children to hear more about Jesus through The Greatest Journey.

Nona shares how the classes are having a big impact on the children’s lives:

“Sadly, one boy’s father committed suicide a few months before the lessons. He never spoke about it but I know The Greatest Journey was a big comfort for him.”

“A girl named Anano was born into a Christian family, but they had stopped coming to church. After the girl’s graduation they now come to church regularly. Jesus touched Anano’s heart and it definitely changed the whole family.”

Celebrating Christmas in Georgia

Our Local Partners

Operation Christmas Child invests in building National Leadership Teams made up of trained local volunteers and staff within over 100 countries. These teams then work alongside many Regional Leadership Teams who in turn train local church leaders and teachers. In Georgia four teams are working with 114 ministry partners (teams of volunteers in local churches) to make Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey possible each year!


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!