Thank you for bringing Good News and Great Joy to a child living in Ukraine!
Your shoebox gift was one of 107,682 sent to Ukraine. 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 photos and stories below.
Location: Eastern Europe, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
Population: 43,952,299, with 16% under the age of 15 (source – CIA The World Factbook)
Photos by David Vogt
Nadia explains how living in a war zone has impacted her family, ‘It was 4 o’clock in the morning and as we all slept an explosion took place. The glass in the kitchen window was broken into small pieces. I called my son, screaming his name, “Dima! Dima!” We hugged one another and sat. Then my husband ran in crying, “Missiles! Missiles,” and pushed us out to the stair way. Then another explosion took place. The light went out. It was completely dark. We all were suddenly covered by dust and could feel it between our teeth.’
‘Before the war I had a good job in city Dzherzinsky regional electrical department. I got regular payments and we always had food to eat. When the war started everything changed. When I wake up in the morning I wonder if all my friends are still alive, or perhaps there was shooting, and somebody was killed. After the war started, I realized that I needed God and I came to the church. The most important thing is to believe that you are saved. When I come home after the service, I feel that I am filled with the energy and strength that I do not even think about shooting anymore; I have stopped fearing it.’
‘Through our church my children were able to receive shoebox gifts. Those pencils, markers, socks and toys – they all are so nice. And it is something we really cannot afford to buy at present situation. It was a great holiday for the children and for us too. We had a wonderful celebration. They told the children about Jesus and they learned what the meaning of Christmas is.’
Nadia’s daughter Carina said, ‘We sang a lot of songs and danced. I liked the pencils. I can use them at school.’
Pastor Anatoliy supports Nadia’s family and said, ‘The frontline means poverty, means destitution and hopelessness, and a shoebox gift is a real joy, real happiness for a child. Then he realizes, “somebody loves me, somebody cares about him, somebody thinks about me.” I would like to thank everybody who takes part in this ministry, those who buys gifts and gathers the gift boxes, ships them here and pays for that. You all are making priceless investment into lives of children. Thank you very much! Keep doing it!’
LOVE GROWS IN UKRAINE:
In a Roma village in Ukraine where jobs are scarce and many children are uneducated, God is using Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey in powerful ways.
A MESSAGE OF THANKS FROM CHILDREN WHO RECEIVED SHOEBOX GIFTS.
These children live in Moldova but represent children everywhere, including Ukraine who were given a box from the UK.
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 Ukraine 20 teams are working with 1,290 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 572,647 children in Ukraine 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.
THANK YOU for sharing Good News and Great Joy with children around the world!