#ShoeboxStories: Timur and the Toothpaste



#shoeboxstories son series de historias de beneficiarios de cajas de regalos que cuentan de primera mano, el impacto eterno de un regalo enviado en el nombre de Jesús.



The Toothpaste

Timur received a shoebox at an orphanage in Central Asia at age 13.

When the local Christians came into the orphanage with the shoeboxes, I thought, What is that? I’d never received a gift. My birthday was a normal day. We didn’t celebrate Christmas.

They brought a bunch of shoeboxes and all 500 kids got together in a gymnasium.

The guests shared the Gospel, saying, “’For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son and we’re going to show you that through shoeboxes. You don’t have to dance. You don’t have to perform. We give them to you for free.”

I was already a believer so I understood that this was the major difference between Christianity and other religions.

" I ran around the orphanage saying, ‘Christian toothpaste! Christian toothpaste!’"

They started passing out shoeboxes and we were so excited! I started ripping open my box and then my eyes grew wide.

The first thing I saw was toothpaste. I saw the word Crest and thought it said Christ so I thought, Oh! Christian toothpaste! I was so excited I ran around the orphanage saying, “Christian toothpaste! Christian toothpaste!”

In Central Asia they had this boring white toothpaste made by the Soviets. It didn’t taste very good so I wanted to check out the white, blue, and red American toothpaste. I found a toothbrush in my box, put the toothpaste on it, and started brushing. I thought, Oh, I have a birthday party in my mouth! You guys make awesome toothpaste! So I celebrated by eating it and got sick the next day.

Another thing in my shoebox was a lot of pencils. You got one pencil a semester in the orphanage. If you used it up or someone stole it or you lost it, you were without a pencil. When I saw the pencils in my box, I thought, I’ll have leftovers for college!

My other favorite was white socks because in the orphanage you got bad quality socks that would always stink and have holes in them. When I received good quality socks I thought, Wow! They’ll last me so long and they smell good. I really, really liked those socks.

“I wondered a lot how Christians who didn’t know me were willing to give me a gift.”

Through the shoebox I felt loved. Someone took the time to put in those items that became my favorites. I wondered a lot how Christians who didn’t know me were willing to give me a gift.

I once hated everything about Christianity and the cross. I even persecuted a new orphan that was a believer. I started punching him because he said Jesus is the only way to heaven.

One day I had the opportunity to steal food from the cafeteria with other orphans. We invited the new kid and he said, “I cannot do it.”

“Why?” I asked.

He said, “If you’re in Christ the ‘old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). I can’t do that anymore because Christ has changed me.”

That really got my attention. I said, “Tell me about this Jesus that you worship.”

He said that Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, came in the form of a man and lived a perfect life. He went to the cross and took the judgment we all deserved. He didn’t stay on the cross but on the third day he rose again. And He’s coming back again in judgment.

I thought, This is the most foolish thing I’ve ever heard.

God began working on my heart and showing me that I am a sinner. When I saw the crucified Christ on the cross He became beautiful. I repented from my sins. I started running to the cross and I embraced it. God changed my life radically.

“ The gifts are a tool that opens the door for believers to share the Gospel.”

God calls us to love one another and through the shoebox, I saw that practically from believers I’d never met before. They understood that God was generous in giving His Son Jesus to us—the Greatest Gift of all—so they wanted to be generous as well by taking the time to pack shoeboxes and send them to people in need.

Receiving one of those boxes changed my attitude. I realized, It’s not about you. Be generous with others.

The gifts are a tool that opens the door for believers to share the Gospel. God used a simple shoebox to reach many of my friends in the orphanage. They came to Christ by hearing the Good News and receiving a shoebox.

I had been telling them about the Gospel. I had sown the seed. Other believers came with the shoebox and they watered and God gave the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). I saw all that working together and it was very encouraging. Many came to Christ through it.

Desde 2017, dulces y pastas dentales no son permitidas en las cajas de regalos debido a las regulaciones de las aduanas. Pero permanecemos confiados que tu regalo aún deleitará a un niño necesitado.

Operation Christmas Child envía mucha alegría a millones de niños alrededor del mundo a través de amorosas cajas de regalos y por las que se han orado fervientemente, con regalos que deleitan a un niño. ¡En las manos de las iglesias locales, cada caja de regalos es una herramienta poderosa para el evangelismo y discipulado, transformando las vidas de niños y sus familias en todo el mundo, por medio de las Buenas Nuevas de Jesucristo! Después de recibir una caja de regalos, los niños son invitados a registrarse en La Gran Aventura, nuestro programa de discipulado de 12 lecciones donde ellos aprenden lo que significa seguir fielmente a Cristo y compartirlo con otros.