Operation Christmas Child

Central Asia

Thank you for bringing joy to a child living in Central Asia!

Your shoebox gift was one of 65,668 sent from the UK to a country in Central Asia.

Your shoebox gift is 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 your shoebox was sent to.

Please know that even though we are not able to disclose exactly where your shoebox gift went, we are confident that it will bring great joy and hope to the precious child receiving it, both now and for many years to come.

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

Happy scenes of shoebox joy as these delighted boys and girls explore their gifts in Liberia…

3,2,1… Good News and great joy in Benin!

Share the joy! Watch as this girl in Bosnia opens her shoebox gift and is thrilled with what she finds inside…

Stories From Around the World

Central Asia: Almira’s Story


Albania: Shoeboxes For Afghan Evacuees

Samaritan’s Purse is providing relief in multiple ways to Afghan evacuees who are staying in Albania. We are operating a primary care medical clinic, distributing needed items for babies and young children, and offering trauma healing support. Sharon is a UK volunteer who has been supporting this important work in Albania. While there, she also had the opportunity to take part in an Operation Christmas Child outreach event. She shares her experience with us below:

“I recently had the privilege of attending an Operation Christmas Child outreach event for 600 children who had come to Albania with their families as evacuees on flights out of Kabul, Afghanistan. The local church was hosting the event at the complex where they were all staying.
I helped out with the 5-9-year-old group. The children piled into the place with their parents, who sat at the back while the boys and girls all gathered nearer the front. Some were slightly anxious by what was going to happen and kept checking that their parents were still there. Then the music started and an Albanian dance troop of similar ages came in dancing to local music, followed by other children from the area who played and sang some English and Albanian songs. Local partners also shared a message of God’s love and the Good News of the Gospel in a child friendly way via an Afghan interpreter. The children were then told they were going to receive a special gift from the United Kingdom.
I helped the volunteers from the local church distribute the shoeboxes. The look on their faces was pure joy and astonishment, that this was a gift just for them. All the trauma and anxiety of recent times seemed to drift away. Once they had their gifts, they ran to their parents to show them while clinging tightly to that shoebox. Both the parents and the children were very happy.”
– Disaster Assistance Response Team Volunteer Sharon.


Moldova: A Family’s Joy

Artiom (2) and Stas (8) both have conditions which limit their mobility and require frequent hospital visits. Operation Christmas Child local ministry partners recently visited the boys and 30 other children, at a mobility rehabilitation centre in Moldova. They reported that the shoebox gifts brought great happiness and joy to the children and they and their families enjoyed hearing the Good News of the Christmas story.

Eugenia (Artiom and Stas’s mother) said that boys’ medical costs meant she had not been able to buy them any presents, and she described the shoebox gifts as “sent from heaven”.


Asia: A Lasting Hope And Joy In Difficult Circumstances

Five years ago, Chhaya* and her family left their native village and moved to the capital city, in search of a better life. Now, as Chhaya turns 12, sadly the family’s living conditions are no better than before. The already overcrowded city meant that they ended up in a single rented room in an area of high deprivation.

Chhaya’s parents both work as labourers, but their income is barely enough for the family of six to survive. With her parents working, Chhaya is often left to take care of her siblings and is unable to attend school. At times when she would see other children go to school while she worked at home, she would feel sad and hopeless.

Two years ago, an informal school was started in a small hut in her neighbourhood, by one of our ministry partners. Chhaya was able to join this school which provided free books and education. The teachers also gave Chhaya a message of hope and told her that Jesus loves her. She learned many songs, and she found much joy and encouragement in these.

One day during her normal classes, Chhaya received a special surprise – a Samaritan’s Purse shoebox gift! It was a moment of great joy and afterwards she said, “It was the very first time in my life that someone sent me a beautifully packed box full of gifts. I am so happy.”

Chhaya was delighted to learn more about God’s Greatest Gift to us at Christmas time and the Good News of new life and hope in Jesus. It deeply touched her to know that she was loved, cared for and special to God and to the people who packed her shoebox gift.

*Name changed.


Philippines: Evangeline’s Shoebox


Belarus: Gifts of love

“Salvation in Christ church in Minsk, Belarus organised a distribution for the students at a local technical school for children with disabilities. Thirty-five children rejoiced greatly, when they opened their gift boxes. All those children were going through many hardships. Thanks to Samaritan’s Purse, they experienced the moment of joy and happiness. The children, who often experienced rejection, accepted everything with opened hearts and rejoiced. Volunteers learnt so much from their childlike faith and love.”

– Local Church Partner


The Middle East: Nancy’s Story

A Glimpse Of The Joy Your Shoebox Gifts Bring

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!