GOOD NEWS. GREAT JOY.
Your shoebox gift was one of 48,264 that have been delivered to children in SWAZILAND. 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: Swaziland has a higher prevalence of HIV and AIDS than any other country in the world. Estimates indicate that about 26% of the population are HIV positive. This is impacting the demographics and family structure leaving an increasing number of child headed households. There continues to be a stigma attached to AIDS. The average life expectancy is around 49 years. Many Swazis live in chronic poverty and food shortages are widespread.
POPULATION: Around 1.3 million and 40% of the population are under the age of 15.
“I am 12 years old. The boxes were good. I loved them because in some of them were things to wear in winter like gloves, scarfs, hats, and socks. The sweets were delicious.” – Shoebox recipient.
“OCC has brought a unity among the pastors and Sunday school teachers of the different church umbrella denominations, which is a new thing in Swaziland.” – OCC Local Ministry partner.
SWAZILAND ARCHIVE CLIPS:
FROM HAMPSHIRE TO SWAZILAND
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 Swaziland 4 teams are working with 689 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 7,600 children in Swaziland 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.
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