The Love Behind a Shoebox Gift Surprised a Girl in Cambodia

October 14, 2019 • Cambodia

Boun Thorne got a glimpse of God’s love when she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift as a child. Watch the video.

Boun Thorne grew up in a boat village in the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia. In the aftermath of a terrible situation, she moved at age 10 to a safe house where she received Bible teaching and an Operation Christmas Child shoebox—her first gift ever!

Boun with a stuffed animal and a pair of flip-flops. Gifts like these opened her heart to hear more about God's love.

Boun with a stuffed animal and a pair of flip-flops. Gifts like these opened her heart to hear more about God’s love.

When Boun inquired why someone would send her a gift, a teacher at the home told her that it came from people who love her.

“Growing up, I never heard the words ‘I love you’ from my dad or my mom,” Boun said, “but then someone who lives far away—that I don’t even know—said they love me!”

Inside her shoebox gift, Boun found a yo-yo, her first stuffed animal, and a pair of flip-flops with plastic jewels on it. She often went without shoes as she worked on the fishing boats in her village, so having an extra pair of sandals was a special treat. These simple items accomplished something great in Boun’s life: they showed her a glimpse of her Heavenly Father’s care for her.

“God’s love is big and He’s so real! He can make the impossible happen,” she said. “He can make someone love me when they don’t even know me.”

Boun is one of 1.2 million children who have been blessed with an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift in Cambodia. Of this group, 84,000 boys and girls have also participated in The Greatest Journey, our follow-up discipleship program designed especially for shoebox recipients.

“God’s love is big and He’s so real! He can make the impossible happen.”

Find out more of Boun’s story by watching the compelling video at the top of this page.


Boun, who is now a Christian, today serves as an Operation Christmas Child spokesperson, sharing her testimony with churches and other groups to encourage them to get involved in the Samaritan’s Purse project. To inquire about having one of these representatives speak in your area, contact the Operation Christmas Child regional office nearest you.

You can bless children around the world by prayerfully packing shoeboxes full of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. National Collection Week is coming up, Nov. 18-25!

Learn how to pack a shoebox today!

SUPPORT
Through our Operation Christmas Child project, God has given us unparalleled opportunities to touch the lives of millions of boys and girls in over 150 countries. Many of these children have never received a gift and never heard the true meaning of Christmas—until they open shoeboxes filled with gifts from people like you. Some of these gifts are packed by young children or people on fixed incomes who simply cannot afford to include the $7 we request for international shipping and related costs. When you adopt a shoebox, you are partnering with them to deliver their gifts and show God’s love to a precious child.
Operation Christmas Child Through Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse is sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with millions of boys and girls in more than 100 countries each year. Many of these children have never before received a present or heard the true meaning of Christmas—until they open a gift-filled shoebox from a person like you. A requested donation of $9 per shoebox provides for collection, processing, and shipping, as well as Gospel materials for the child. If you or your church/group are packing multiple shoebox gifts, please consider making your combined donation here. Or, give to cover the cost for those unable to include $9 with their packed shoebox.

Note: If you would like to discover the destination of your shoebox(es), please give instead through our Follow Your Box page.


Operation Christmas Child 013477
Send a Shoebox: $9 | Send a Carton of 15 Boxes: $135
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