Thirty-six percent of Belize’s 334,000 people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2013-2014 season, 15,456 shoebox gifts from the United States will be delivered to children in Belize, which first received the gifts in 1998. Since then, 182,393 children in Belize have received a shoebox gift.
Children are freely offered Gospel storybooks along with their shoeboxes. The Greatest Gift booklet—printed in over 70 languages—contains colorful illustrations that explain the Good News of Jesus Christ in a simple, engaging style.
Operation Christmas Child offers a voluntary follow-up discipleship program to children who receive a shoebox gift. This year in Belize, these Bible lessons will be offered to 9,465 children who receive a shoebox gift.
These 12 lessons guide children through a study of who Jesus Christ is, what it means to follow Him, and how to share this exciting message with others. Click here to learn more about the discipleship program and materials: The Greatest Journey.
To help these boys and girls continue to grow in their faith, we also want to provide them with their own copies of the New Testament. This special edition also includes select Old Testament stories, a dictionary, and a section that encourages the children to memorize Scripture.
Spiritual Impact Stories
The Gift of New Life
A local OCC volunteer reported: “Many of the children attended the distribution event with their parents. We presented the Gospel to the children through a drama showing Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus. The drama was very powerful, and several children accepted the Lord. The gift boxes were distributed, and the parents were encouraged to read the Greatest Gift of All booklets with their children and to continue to send them to Sunday school. It was a blessed and rewarding day. To God we give the glory.”
A Special Gift
A Sunday school teacher at a local church that distributed shoe box gifts reported: “The Operation Christmas Child outreach was very special to us. Our church is in a area where children are greatly in need due to poverty and broken homes. One little girl who attended the event, her name is Shahara, she was very happy. She told me ‘I like what I got.’ This girl is facing a difficult time–in March a fire almost completely destroyed her home and she and her brother lost most of their clothes, school supplies and toys. To see the joy on her face when she received her box and saw the special gift that was just for her was a great encouragement to me. Their family is still in need of a home and furniture and healing, but this reminded us all that God answers prayers and motivates us to keep praying.”
God Answers Prayers
A pastor whose church delivered some shoe box gifts said: “I was so happy to see the joy on the faces of the children when they received their own special gifts. Many of these children have never received anything like that, because we minister in a poor community. I was especially watching one girl, Tatiana, to see how she would react. She has just recently lost a sister who died, and has been very sad. We were all praying that the event would be a special break through for her, and it was. She was so overjoyed with her gift, she broke out in big smiles. God answers prayers. Thank you for the shoe box gifts.”
Another pastor said: “Some of our children from the Sunday School who had invited their friends to the shoe box distribution were eager to tell their friends about their best friend, Jesus. It was a blessing to see the children take on ministry to other children. One of the children even brought the picture that came in his box of the family that sent the gift for the church to pray for the family. It showed me that God can work in many ways, and that he is using the children.”