The following is written by Dana from Romania, the recipient of a Christmas Shoebox.
I accepted Christ when I was 12 years old, the same year I received my shoebox gift. That year, before Christmas, my parents to me and my brothers that they didn't have money to buy us Christmas presents. Christmas was about the only time we received anything, so this was disheartening.
One Saturday evening around this time, my siblings and I were at a church for a youth gathering. We were surprised to receive the shoebox gifts after the service. I remember going home and sitting in my brother's room on the floor, where we laid out everything we'd received in our shoeboxes. I was completely overwhelmed with joy. My favorite gifts were a toothbrush and soap. As a young girl, to have nice smelling soap and a nice toothbrush meant a lot to me.
Before I received my shoebox, I was having a hard time as a new Christian. I was trying to understand why our family was struggling and why God would allow it. Through my shoebox gift, God showed me that He is my provider. He provided the things I needed in my shoebox. Even though our family was struggling and discouraged, God still took care of us. I learned that God's provision is always on time, and He will take care of His children.
My parents always taught us the things of the Lord and about His plan for our lives. They taught us that He is all we need and He is our salvation. My shoebox gift helped me go from knowing that in my head to understanding that in a personal way. When you only have a little, a shoebox is a lot. I felt loved when I realized that someone selflessly gave it to me. God's love was wonderfully demonstrated because it was a heartfelt gift--nothing was asked in return.
Now, I pack shoeboxes every year with my husband and son. Operation Christmas Child is about so much more than a humanitarian project--it's about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. I pray that those who receive our shoeboxes feel as blessed as I did.
- Non-Liquid Hygiene Items
- Toothbrush (no toothpaste)
- Bar Soap (packaged or in a container)
- Adhesive Bandages (colorful ones can help a child be more willing to wear a bandage)
- Reusable Plastic Containers (cup, water bottle, plate, bowl, blunt-edged utensils)
Thank you everyone! Questions? Ask Ed or Marci.