Forty-one percent of Togo’s 7.1 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2013-2014 season, 115,920 shoebox gifts from the United States will be delivered to children in Togo, which first received the gifts in 2000. Since then, 734,904 children in Togo 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 Togo, these Bible lessons will be offered to 15,000 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
A local volunteer distributing boxes to orphans said: “Among the children that I have recently taken in charge was one who was all the time very dirty and naked. I bought him the only clothing he has. The day of the distribution, he was among the children that I gathered. I prayed with them and asked them to pray and ask God to fulfill their needs with the gifts they were about to receive. When he received and opened his box, he found five t-shirts. He was so happy and he called me to come and see! I was so happy that the need of this orphaned small boy was fulfilled through this gift box! What also touched me was that, some days after I distributed the gift boxes, as I was passing in the district, people started asking me when I will come again for my Bible studies. They’ve never shown any interest for these studies before. OCC has met the need of a needy orphan, and has opened the way for the Good News of the Gospel in the heart of unbelievers!”
Another volunteer reported: “A child found a hammer in his shoe box, and showed such joy and gratitude that the distribution team sought to understand why the child was so happy. The child’s father explained that out of all of his children, this one was the only one who was interested in his profession as a carpenter.”
Sharing the Good News
Pastor Fetor helped with distributions at a primary school and orphanage. After the distribution events, the school principal and his staff called the pastor and informed him that the school has a free hour time for the pupils on Friday afternoons. They asked him to come and teach the Good News of the Gospel every week during these times.
Partnering with Prayer
A pastor who helped distribute the Operation Christmas Child gift boxes said: “I distributed the gift boxes in a school. I asked the principal to identify the most needy and handicapped students, and after I shared the gift boxes and the “Greatest Gift of All” booklets, the principal asked me to be the foster-parent for the school, and to intercede for the teachers and the students because the school was in a spiritual warfare. Spiritual attacks were causing accidents and sicknesses among the children at the school. I have known the principal for years and he knew that I am a pastor, but he has never asked me such a thing.”
More than 200 students went to his church for fasting and prayer for their exams, which has never happened before!