Mariya and Her Art Supplies

Mariya and Her Art Supplies


Mariya Snizhko dreamed of becoming an artist even as she grew up in a Christian home in Ukraine.

Art was a way for her to express herself and escape the various challenges in her life, which included being bullied at school. Her parents couldn’t afford basic art supplies, so Mariya prayed that God would provide them instead. And her prayers were answered with the arrival of a simple shoebox.

Inside the prayer-filled package from Operation Christmas Child were crayons, paint, and brushes, “more art supplies for me than I could have ever imagined,” Mariya said. “It humbled me to know how much God truly cared for me to provide those art supplies that allowed me to grow and mature and express myself.”

Today, Mariya is an art teacher in an inner-city school in Cleveland, Ohio. “There are millions of children around the world that still need hope,” she says. “God is able to use those simple things that you put in a shoebox to answer prayers and to encourage them that God is able to paint a beautiful masterpiece in their life, as well as He has done in mine.”

For the past 25 years, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, has partnered with local churches in more than 100 countries to distribute gifts to boys and girls in need and tell them about God’s Greatest Gift—Jesus Christ.

Mariya with her shoebox

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