Forty-three percent of Kenya’s 43 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2012-2013 season, 83,336 shoe box gifts will be delivered to children in Kenya, which first received the gifts in 1995. Since then, 360,617 children in Kenya have received a shoe box gift.
Operation Christmas Child offers a follow-up discipleship program to our ministry partners in conjunction with the shoe box gifts. This year in Benin, these Bible lessons will be offered to 11,200 children who receive a shoe box gift. Click here to learn more about The Greatest Journey: http://www.thegreatestjourney.org.
The Greatest Journey begins when children are freely offered Gospel storybooks along with their shoe boxes. The Greatest Gift booklets—printed in over 70 languages—contain colorful illustrations that explain the Good News of Jesus Christ in a simple, engaging style.
After receiving a shoe box gift, boys and girls are invited to participate in the voluntary Bible study course produced by Samaritan’s Purse. The 12-lesson set guides children through a study of who Jesus Christ is, what it means to follow Him, and how to share this exciting message with others.
To help these boys and girls continue to grow in their faith, we also want to provide them with their own copies of the Greatest Gift 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
A Changed Life
Nine-year-old Dickson used to be violent and would destroy other children’s books at school and in Sunday school. Dickson used to attend Sunday school, but nothing much could change his destructive attitude. After getting a shoe box gift, he got saved duringThe Greatest Journey lessons. Now, Dickson has changed. He goes to church early and arranges the class before others come. He also helps the teacher with any tasks available.
From Shoe Box to Shelter
Bishop Martin said: “Our 40 boxes were distributed to children’s churches in Kakamega. The response was very touching because no one has ever done that for the children here. The parents of the children were very much touched, and one of the parents decided to give money to build a permanent children’s Sunday school three-roomed house. A parent who is not even born again gave money to roof all three rooms. This was a historical event to the children and parents.”
Love Goes Round the Globe
A local pastor whose church distributed shoe box gifts writes: “We wish to express our sincere gratitude for the kind gesture your ministry extended to us. The gifts you sent us were received in good order and have been of great help in ministry to our children. Through our Sunday school ministry we were able to distribute the gifts among the children in our congregration. Some of the children were very needy, especially of school stationery, which was part of the gifts. These items went a long way in satisfying the need for the older children, while we got wonderful toys for the younger ones. Every letter that was sent to us was read out loud and appreciated. It was also an opportunity for our Sunday school teachers to teach our children about giving, and the love of our God that has caused them to received these gifts from other brethren. May God shower you with His love, joy and protection as you continue in His service. Your love goes round the globe.”
Pray for wisdom and understanding for the volunteer National Leadership Team coordinator as she trains for her position.