Just a few short months ago, I received a note via twitter with this image attached. She said, “A long time ago you sent me a gift. I just wanted to say thank you.” It was a short note that I had quickly added to my Operation Christmas Child shoe box over ten years ago. The recipient, a sweet young lady named Meryl had found me. I was completely baffled. I had never heard from someone who had received my shoe box before, and now, here stood a sweet young lady who just wanted to say thank you, even after so many years. She was graciously willing to share her story with me of the powerful impact of a simple gift.
I’m from Lima, Peru. I’m 23 years old and I’m a teacher. I live with my parents and I have an older sister named Sandibell. Thanks God I have a nice relationship with my family. I attend to Way of Life Church (Iglesia Camino de Vida) and I serve in children’s ministry.
I received it in a Christmas event for children which took place in my church, in which the Pastor’s wife told us that she had a special surprise for us and then she gave every child a OCC shoe box. She also told us that those gifts were sent with love from USA through the Operation Christmas Child Ministry.
When I received the OCC shoe box I was 12 years old and I felt happy and thankful. I also felt surprised that someone who didn’t know me and didn’t speak the same language than me could send me a Christmas present from a far country. I remember when I opened the box I found your letter; at that time I didn’t speak English so I asked a friend to translate me the letter, and there is a part in your letter that touched my heart, which reads as follows: “May you see the love that Jesus has for you through this gift that I send with all my love and prayers.”. I could definitely see God’s love through your gift and it made me feel special. Thank you!
To receive the OCC shoe box showed me one more time how wonderful is the love of God that touches people’s hearts to bring joy to children and make an impact in their lives as well as your gift did in my life. It encouraged me to continue sharing more about God’s love and mercy.
I always wanted to thank you for the gift which was a blessing to me. A few months ago I found your letter among my things and I decided to look for you in order to get to know you and thank you for the nice gesture of sending a gift which God had designated it was for me.
I consider that OCC is a ministry of blessing to many people, not only for children who receive the gifts but also for people who send them because they have the opportunity to make many children smile, show them more about Jesus love and more about the wonderful plan He has for each of them.
I was so blessed and encouraged to hear Meryl share her story. I am motivated once again to partner with this ministry!
How can you get involved?
Pack a shoe box. The holidays are upon us, and the perfect time of year to minister to the hungry, lost, and hurting. We have a wonderful opportunity to send a simple shoe box gift through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child to a needy child around the world this Christmas. It is as simple as gathering a shoe box, collecting some fun goodies and treats, and sending the message of God’s love to the nations. OCC is one practical, hands-on way to participate with your family in cultivating a love for giving, and receiving unimaginable joy in return this Christmas! Learn how to pack a shoe box and find a drop off spot in your area. Collection week is November 14-21, 2011!
Please watch this video describing the mission of Operation Christmas Child:
Pray! Whether you can give a shoe box or not, don’t neglect to participate with this ministry through the power of prayer. Pray for the country, community, and family that will receive these shoe boxes. Pray for the Lord to redeem and change the lives of these children around the world. Join the prayer network.
Track your package! OCC has a awesome new feature of following your shoe box which allows you to see where your shoe box goes. Make your shipping cost donation online and receive a special tracking label to attach to your shoe box and be amazed how God directs it.