Praising God for 30 Years of Operation Christmas Child

Since 1993, God has used Samaritan’s Purse to deliver over 200 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to children in need and disciple 50 million of these boys and girls.

When Franklin Graham agreed to fill shoeboxes with toys and other fun items for children in war-torn Europe in 1993, he had no idea what the project would grow to become. Over the past 30 years, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 200 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts, thanks to a church and volunteer network in the U.S. and around the world that is hundreds of thousands strong.

In addition to bringing great joy to millions of boys and girls in need, every gift has been accompanied with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Many children have been invited to follow-up discipleship through The Mailbox Club and The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson program designed especially for shoebox recipients. We praise God that over the last three decades 50 million children have been discipled. In the past 14 years alone since The Greatest Journey was launched, over 17 million children have made decisions for Christ.

Jargalmaa: One Among Many

People in many parts of Mongolia have yet to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but a young couple is praying for this to change. Jargalmaa and her husband, Munkh-Erdene, together with their two children, are working to establish a church in a southern Mongolian city, and two of their primary methods in this process are Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts and The Greatest Journey. They have a vision for these simple tools because of how God dramatically used a gift-filled shoebox in Jargalmaa’s life.

At age 7, Jargalmaa rejoiced to receive her first gift ever, especially appreciating the pretty stationery and hair clips she found inside.

Ahora, como adulta, Jargalmaa todavía guardar recuerdos tiernos de aquel día. “Recuerdo perfectamente la emoción que tenía la primera vez que abrí la caja. También encontré una carta en mi caja de regalos, que decía: ‘Eres sumamente valiosa para Dios; él te ama’. Ese fue un mensaje importante para mí. Aún hoy lo tengo muy cerca de mi corazón”.

Esa simple carta influyó a Jargalmaa porque ni sus padres ni sus abuelos le habían dicho nunca que la amaban. Sin embargo, ahora sabía que Dios la amaba incondicionalmente.

Jargalmaa soon attended The Greatest Journey and learned that God created the world and everything in it—a very new concept for her. As she continued attending church and learning more about God's Word, Jargalmaa knew she wanted to commit her life to following Jesus Christ. “I decided to accept Him as my Father and Savior.”

Through Jargalmaa's testimony, two of her close friends soon became believers as well as her father, sister, younger brother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

“Receiving a shoebox, I felt the joy and the value God puts on my life,” Jargalmaa said. “I understood that everybody in the world is valuable to God.”

“I understood that everybody in the world is valuable to God.”


Jargalmaa is one of 200 million shoebox gift recipients and 50 million children discipled, but millions more boys and girls around the world need to discover God's love for them, just as she did. God can use you to help change the lives children like her simply by packing a shoebox! National Collection Week is coming Nov. 13-20, 2023 when more than 4,500 sites will be open across the country to receive your prayerfully packed gifts.

Read more on the early years of Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child by the Numbers

200 Million+
Shoebox Gifts Delivered

50 Million+
Boys and Girls Discipled

17 Million+
Decisions for Christ

1.7 Million+
The Greatest Journey Teachers Trained