Shoebox gifts collected in the United States in 2014 will be delivered to 761,292 children in Mexico. Praise God that over 8,159,100 children have received a shoebox since 1995, when Operation Christmas Child began distributing gifts here.
- Mexico has 120.2 million people and is located in North America
- 27% of the population is 14 years old or younger
Stories from Mexico
At an Operation Christmas Child distribution in Mexico, a 13-year-old girl carrying a newborn arrived. It was soon learned that the teenage girl was the child’s mother. As the shoebox gifts were distributed, the staff watched with special interest as this young teenage mother opened and explored her shoebox. Not long after opening her box, the teenage girl broke down in uncontrollable tears – weeping. Not understanding the emotion, people approached the girl to discern what was causing such an outburst of emotion. Through an interpreter, the girl shared a story that stunned everyone. Five years earlier, this young girl’s aunt and uncle and their children had mysteriously disappeared. Apparently, in the region she lived in, known for kidnapping and murder, the sudden disappearance of a person usually meant death. So, for five lonely years, this young girl assumed her aunt and uncle had been murdered at the hands of criminals. However, as this young teenage mother explored her shoebox, she uncovered a picture of the family who had packed it. On the back of the picture, there was a mailing address where the family lived and could be contacted. Between gasps, and with tears streaming down her face, the teenage girl explained to the OCC staff that the couple in the picture was in fact her aunt and uncle. They were safe.
A local volunteer reported: “Dalila, an 8-year-old girl, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on her left eye. The doctors told her parents about the need for surgery to stop the tumor and reduce the effects of this illness. The girl was invited to a shoebox distribution by a boy from the church. She attended with her parents and listened to God’s Word. All of them responded to the calling to receive Christ in their hearts. We prayed for the girl, asking God to heal her. When the parents took the girl to the specialist to perform the studies necessaries before the surgery, the tumor had disappeared and nobody knew what had happened. The parents said it was a miracle from God. We give all the Glory to Jesus!”
How Great is God’s Love
A local volunteer reported: “Esmeralda is 6-years-old. She accepted the invitation to the shoebox distribution and, for the first time, she heard the story of Jesus as the “Greatest Gift” that we can receive and learned about the love of God. Then, we prayed for her and for other children who were also invited. Since that day, she’s been attending the church. The little we know about Esmeralda is that she was born to a drug addict mother, who left her with her grandmother. She lives in extreme poverty. The worst part is that six months ago she was abused by her uncle. We thank God for using this amazing ministry to show this little one a different kind of life, and how great God’s love is.”
A local volunteer reported: “Eduardo, an 11-year-old boy, was invited to a shoebox distribution by his friend. He shared that he was very sad because his parents had a fight and they didn’t live together anymore. He asked for prayer for his father to come back because he missed him. Eduardo attended the event and received Jesus in his heart. Several weeks later, he happily told us that his father had come back and that everything was going better. He is very thankful for what God has done in his family, and he now attends The Greatest Journey lessons.
Prayer Requests from Ministry Partners in Mexico
- Praise God for allowing OCC to operate throughout Mexico.
- Pray for the upcoming TGJ classes. Pray for the teachers and children who will be involved with the program this year.
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.
This year in Mexico, 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.
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.
To set up a recurring monthly gift—providing 12 children a year with the opportunity to become faithful followers of Christ—go to samaritanspurse.org/TGJ.
Watch children’s reactions as they receive their shoebox gifts!
Questions about Follow Your Box? Click here for answers.