Home Children's Ministry Leaders Articles for Children's Ministry Leaders Operation Christmas Child: Shoebox Outreach Opens Doors and Hearts

Operation Christmas Child: Shoebox Outreach Opens Doors and Hearts

Operation Christmas Child
Source: Samaritan's Purse

Through the outreach efforts of Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey, communities are uniting and families are hearing the Gospel. Amazingly, once-closed villages are inviting Christians to talk about God’s love.

For nearly 25 years, a road divided Nyiela, a community in western Liberia. The town had separated itself into two distinct parts. The sides didn’t talk much or cross over, not even for clean water or medical care. Not even during the Ebola crisis. Tribal conflicts added to the divide.

A few years ago, things began to change when a local church hosted an Operation Christmas Child outreach event. Instead of holding the event at the church or on either side of town, they received permission to shut down the road between them for several hours and use it as neutral ground.

Children listen to the Gospel presentation. Source: Samaritan’s Purse

Parents lined either side of the road as more than a dozen children gathered, laughing and playing, not realizing the historic moment.

“We told them we just want to share the love of Jesus,” said Pastor Alphonso Dean, national coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Liberia. “We gave these gifts to their children with no strings attached. When we shared the Gospel, children from both sides of Nyiela raised their hands to receive Jesus.”

The Amazing Outreach of Operation Christmas Child

A community leader was amazed. “He told us, ‘These gifts are exactly what our children needed,’” Pastor Dean recounts. “This convinced them to let us come back and do another outreach event.”

Pastor Dean teaches children about God’s love for them. Source: Samaritan’s Purse

They distributed shoebox gifts to 150 additional children from both sides of town. Praise God that many of these children received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Plus, a number enrolled in The Greatest Journey 12-lesson discipleship program. Community leaders also donated two acres of land to build a church.

“The unity of the town has brought the children together, and now…together are receiving The Greatest Journey training,” Pastor Dean said. “The region around Nyiela has become a major place for us to work.”