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boy hold shoebox on head

The Middle East

Many shoebox gifts packed in the UK are now bringing joy to children living in the Middle East!

These shoebox gifts are helping to show the love of Christ, planting seeds, and building goodwill between communities of all faiths and none in the Middle East. However, while political and religious sensitivities continue within parts of the Middle East, for the safety of our ministry partners living in restricted areas, we are unable 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.

Some of Our Favourite Shoebox Photos From Around the World

Children rejoicing as they enjoy their shoebox gifts West Africa!

Shoeboxes for Ukrainian Refugees in Poland

Shoebox Joy in Trinidad!

Stories From Around the World

Middle East: Amira’s Shoebox

Amira longed for a baby doll to play with, but her parents couldn’t afford to buy her one. When she attended an Operation Christmas Child festive outreach event in her remote Middle Eastern village, she was overjoyed when she opened her shoebox and discovered the exact doll she wanted. “I was so surprised and picked up the doll and hugged it tight to my chest,” she said. Amira then participated in The Greatest Journey and invited Christ to be her Saviour and Lord. Now, three years later, she teaches other boys and girls about Jesus using the Gospel materials she received.

“I want to share the treasure that God has given to me and help kids build a strong relationship with Him. I praise the Lord that He continues to use gift-filled shoeboxes to display His great love!”

Central Asia: Zarina’s Story

Central Asia: 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.


East Africa: A Miraculous Transformation

Ian, 11, received a shoebox gift that had been built online. He recently had been discharged from the hospital with an extremely serious health condition. Doctors had little hope that he would ever be well. He could not walk by himself, but he wanted to attend a local Operation Christmas Child outreach event and requested that some friends carry him to it. When he arrived, our ministry partners prayed for Ian. He then received a gift-filled shoebox and was overjoyed when he discovered a football inside, even though he wasn’t yet well enough to play with his friends. During The Greatest Journey discipleship course, Ian accepted Jesus Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Today, Ian’s health is remarkably improved. He is again walking and playing football with his friends. Ian gives all the praise to God and is now a strong witness for Christ in his neighbourhood.

Middle East: Manar’s Story

Manar grew up in the Middle East and was overjoyed when he received an Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoebox as a boy. Now, as an adult, he packs shoeboxes with his church to share great joy and the Good News of Jesus Christ with boys and girls around the world.

Central Asia: 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

Central Asia: 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

*Names changed.

boy on a donkey holding shoebox

Thank You for Packing Shoeboxes