GOOD NEWS. GREAT JOY.
Your shoebox gift was one of 17,491 that have been delivered to children in MACEDONIA. 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 stories and photos below.
COUNTRY INFORMATION: Macedonia has been a crossroads for refugees fleeing from the crisis in Syria, transiting through Greece and then Macedonia on their way to central Europe. The border crossing from Greece to Macedonia has been the site for confrontations between refugees and border police. Samaritan’s Purse has been part of the response to aid refugees in this area, providing basic needs of clean water, food, clothing, backpacks as they travel onward.
Shoeboxes given out to the Roma community
The children received their gifts gleefully and ran out of the church like the wind to show everyone! I went outside to see what would happen next, and was surprised by what I saw! They were throwing the boxes in the air, catching them in their hands, shouting with joy and laughing. Then they sat on the kerb and opened the gifts. There were shouts of joy everywhere. Right then, a passer-by came walking down the street. He stopped to observe what was happening and was so amazed, he asked: “What’s going on? Why all this joy?”, I am sure that he had never seen such joy! He turned to me and asked: “What did you do?” I explained about OCC and the programme we had in the church. He smiled broadly. Then he put his hand in his pocket, pulled out 1000 dinars (around $20) and said: “Take it, for the church. The church really gave a lot of joy to me today, as well!” -OCC National Leadership Team member.
Handmade with Love
This young man loved the hand knitted hat and scarf he received in his shoebox gift. He came to the distribution event wearing a hat (at – 8° no one goes out without one) but he went home wearing two!
In Ahmed’s shoebox he received a lovely book of photos from 3 year old Tommy in the UK, showing him how his shoebox was packed. In one photo, all the toys are laid out in front of Tommy. Ahmed enjoyed matching the toys in his box to the ones in the picture. His favourite thing was the yo-yo.
National Leadership Teams
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 Macedonia 3 teams are working with 47 ministry partners (teams of volunteers in local churches) to make Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey possible each year!
THE GREATEST JOURNEY
Each shoebox gift delivered by Operation Christmas Child is a tangible expression of God’s amazing love. But a shoebox is just the beginning. After receiving a shoebox gift, children have the opportunity to enrol in The Greatest Journey – 12 fun and interactive Bible lessons, where they get the chance to discover who Jesus is and how to begin their own journey of faith. At the end of the course they get to experience a graduation ceremony where they receive a New Testament in their own language.
The Greatest Journey is taught by local volunteers who have been trained to deliver the programme. It is offered free of charge, without obligation and with the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. Over 1,200 children in Macedonia have enrolled in this programme since it started.
You can be a part of helping us “go and make disciples of all nations” as Jesus commanded. Sign up for a monthly gift of £5, and each year you will give 12 children study materials, a New Testament, and the opportunity to share their faith with family and friends.