GOOD NEWS. GREAT JOY.
Your shoebox gift was one of 24,258 that has been delivered to children in a middle eastern country. We thank God for the thousands of children that have received shoeboxes here since Operation Christmas Child began distributions.
Due to the political and religious sensitivities within some of the countries we deliver to, and for the safety of our ministry partners living in these restricted areas, we cannot divulge the names of the countries.
One of our international representatives described the power of these simple shoebox gifts:
“In the very restricted environments, we can’t have local believers out being vocal about their faith. A shoebox becomes a key to a closed door. I desire to be involved in the work of love. In the remote areas where people have nothing, where people are dirt poor, this box gives them hope. This is love. True love. This opens the eyes of the people. Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light that leads to life (John 8:12).’ Through Operation Christmas Child, God has given us the opportunity to penetrate the darkest places in this world.”
Here are some of our favourite photos from other locations:
Stories from Hard-to-Reach Areas
(Country names have been removed for security reasons)
Gift of Peace
Sisters Stella and Sarah were frequently fearful due to the bombings in their neighbourhoods. They came to school but remained separate from the other children and were always cowering at their desks. After they received their shoeboxes they found a new hope and renewed happiness. They now they play with the other children and take part in class lessons.
Hope After Terror
The following story illustrates the impact of these special boxes in one hard-to-reach area.
On August 3, 2014, Amal’s life changed forever. Militants surrounded the 14-year-old girl’s village and forced with a choice of convert or die, her family fled for their lives. As they ran, Amal and her 12-year-old sister, Kamila, became separated from their parents and were captured. The sisters were taken to a house along with 102 others.
Fearing what might await them, 20 captives planned to escape. But before they could go, four girls were taken by the militants’ leader and three boys were executed. Shouts and cries erupted from the group as they witnessed this horror. Knowing that they could be next, the 20 hostages made their escape. They ran from the house where they were being held. Tragically, not everyone made it.
“They shot at us and they slaughtered my little sister,” Amal said. Still in visible shock from her only sibling’s death, Amal said without emotion, “I couldn’t do anything. I only cried and ran.” The escapees travelled 18 miles by foot before Amal was reunited with her parents.
They found a home in a crumbling building once used to store military supplies. A Samaritan’s Purse church partner gave them blankets, mattresses, and pillows. Church members told Amal about a special event. Samaritan’s Purse was delivering Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts at the community centre. Amal was one of 125 children that gathered. As the sun was beginning to set through the windows, each child received a gift-filled shoebox along with a copy of The Greatest Gift – a small booklet telling bible stories. The celebration gave this small group a glimpse of the true meaning of Christmas.
Amal said she was “very happy” when she got her gift-filled shoebox. Her favourite item was a notebook she can use for drawing. This gives her a tiny reminder of life in her old town when she went to school and as she said, “I wasn’t in need of anything.” Her hope now is to finish her schooling and to see all hostages freed.
Join with us in praying for children around the world like Amal who are suffering in similar ways.
Shoeboxes bring hope and joy to children across the globe in over 130 countries. Watch the reaction of these boys in Trinidad as they receive a gift to remember:
Thank you for sharing Good News and Great Joy with children around the world!More Questions On Follow Your Box Read More Inspirational Stories