An OCC volunteer told us the story of 10 year old Ramonda. “As soon as she opened her box her hands went to the side of her head as if to say oh my goodness – look at all the wonderful stuff for me. Buried in the box was a beautiful new Barbie doll. As soon as she spied her doll she began to squeal uncontrollably with delight. Soon we were trying on all the jewellery and fake make up in her box. There was a little fake lipstick and I pretended to put it on to show her how you wear it and she immediately giggled and asked if she could kiss me goodbye. My heart melted with that kiss and hug”
“There are four children in my family – two daughters and two sons. My husband was tragically killed in a car accident in 2000. Ever since the children smiled very seldom, and the shoeboxes caused so much joy and many smiles that it made me cry because of joy and happiness that filled my heart. There were so many useful things in those shoeboxes for our family and children, for example, toys, sweets, soap, toothpaste and brushes, stationery, and so forth, for which please receive my thanks and appreciation on my behalf and my children’s.
Thank you very much for their smiles and joy – to you and to the Lord.”
The Perfect Gift
Adnan was abandoned by his parents when they got divorced. Now he is living with his grandmother in a tiny one room apartment. She does not have a job and their lives are very, very hard. Adnan is very talented footballer and he has dreamt of having his own ball for a long time. “I can’t express in words the joy when Adnan opened his Christmas box and saw a football. He inflated the ball and ran outside and played with his ball for hours”.
Tears of Joy
9-year-old Nemanja suffers from muscular dystrophy. He and his family are Serb refugees from Kosovo. Tears were streaming down his face as he looked over the gifts in his shoe box. Turning to his mother, he asked, “How could the boy that sent this shoe box know me? How did he know what I wanted to have? Everything he sent has made me so happy!”
Happiness that won’t be forgotten
We heard from a Romanian lady living in the UK who had received a shoebox as a young girl. “My sister is still in Romania and she works with very poor children from a few villages in Transylvania. She told me that some kids cut the rubber from tyres, make holes in it and then tie it up with wire to make themselves shoes. They too receive shoeboxes from Operation Christmas Child. I can’t begin to tell you the happiness those kids feel when they receive a sweet or a little toy. I will never forget, because I was one of those kids. On behalf of the little girl I was and all those kids who benefit from what you do – thank you!”
An Answered Prayer
“In the Solwezi district, 13 year old Kennedy has a little sister called Memory who is 11. For a long time, Memory had been praying for a doll, but their parents could not afford one. When she was given a shoebox gift she received her longed for doll. The whole family shed tears of joy to see the prayer being answered through a simple shoebox.”
God Is Faithful
Tatenda’s father had died when he was 4 years old and his mother had struggled for many years to make ends meet to pay for his school fees, clothing and food. His mother had taught him to trust God for all his needs and to continue to pray.
Two weeks before exam time, the 11 year old boy told his mother again of the school supplies he needed for the tests – two pencils, an eraser, a ruler and two pens. His mother nodded her head – ‘God is faithful’ she replied.
The following Sunday at church, the Pastor announced that visitors from Operation Christmas Child had come with special gifts for the boys and girls. Tatenda had never heard of this before so he was surprised to receive a shoebox. He opened it and shouted with joy at the sight of pencils, pens, a calculator and socks. He and his mother carefully looked at the rest of the contents of the shoebox – a watch, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, towels and sweets. Tatenda had everything he needed for the exams plus a lot more. Just at the right time God had answered their prayers..