Fifty percent of Niger’s 16.3 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2012-2013 season, 75,760 shoe box gifts will be delivered to children in Niger, which first received the gifts in 2005. Since then, 181,518 children in Niger 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
Happy in Jesus
After receiving a gift box at a local church, Zakari enrolled in the Operation Christmas Child discipleship program to learn more about Jesus. “I am very happy about the lessons,” he said. “They have taught me many things about knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I am grateful for what I have learned.” This year many more children will receive a gift box from Operation Christmas Child and will have the opportunity to participate in the discipleship program.
A Change of Heart
After a shoe box distribution, an imam asked his children to go to church every Sunday, even though for a long time he had harbored hatred towards Christians.
One local pastor reported that 20 children who received shoe boxes have started to go to church, and five others have given their lives to Christ after the shoe box distributions.
Pray that each shoe box gift would be used as a tool to share God’s love.