Shoebox gifts collected in the United States in 2015 will be delivered to 24,264 children in Belize. Praise God that over 217,292 children have received a shoebox since 1998, when Operation Christmas Child began distributing gifts here.
- Belize has 347,000 people and is located on the eastern coast of Central America
- 35% of the population is 14 years old or younger
Stories From Belize
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 shoebox gifts reported: “The Operation Christmas Child outreach was very special to us. Our church is in an 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, 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 shoebox 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 breakthrough 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 shoebox gifts.”
Another pastor said: “Some of our children from the Sunday school who had invited their friends to the shoebox 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.”
Prayer Requests from Ministry Partners in Belize
- Pray that churches and people will be more active in sharing the Gospel with others.
- Pray for the children who receive the boxes and their families.
The Greatest Journey
Your shoebox is just the first step to transforming a young life for eternity. Every shoebox gift delivered by Operation Christmas Child is a tangible expression of God’s love. It also presents an opportunity in more than 100 countries for our church partners to invite children into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through our follow-up discipleship program. The Greatest Journey is a dynamic approach to discipleship—including 12 engaging Bible lessons—that local trained teachers are using to instruct the next generation of believers on how to become devoted followers of Christ and boldly share their faith with others. Worldwide, 4.7 million children have enrolled in the program since 2009.
This year in Belize, these Bible lessons will be offered to 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. Nearly 9,000 children in Belize have enrolled in this program since it started, and more than 1,000 have graduated.
Will you help us “go and make disciples of all nations” as Christ commanded? Sign up for a monthly gift of $6, and each year you will give 12 children study materials, a New Testament, and the opportunity to learn what it means to devote their lives to sharing the Good News of eternal grace through Jesus Christ.
Watch children’s reactions as they receive their shoebox gifts!
Questions about Follow Your Box? Click here for answers.