Children in Colombia receive their shoebox gifts


Shoebox gifts collected in 2018 will be delivered to hundreds of thousands of children in Colombia. Praise God that 2,386,398 children have received a shoebox since 2002, when Operation Christmas Child began distributing gifts here.

  • Colombia has 48 million people and is located in South America
  • 24% of the population is 14 years old or younger

Good News. Great Joy.

Stories From Colombia

Faith Moved Mountains
From the hills of Tennessee to the mountains of Colombia, Faith Russell’s shoebox dream reached new heights. Read this story of Faith from Bogota.

The Desire of Their Hearts
Luis, a 7-year-old boy, started crying as soon as he opened his shoebox and saw a white shirt. He then shared that he wanted a shirt just like that one but his parents couldn’t afford it, so Father God bought it for him just like he asked for. Since that moment, his family began believing in God and has begun attending church.

Jerusalen, an 8-year-old girl who had leukemia, was blessed with a shoebox. Her parents had stopped attending church because they were very sad and discouraged because of her illness. She really wanted a jump rope, even through she could not be very active due to her illness. As soon as she opened the box, the first thing she saw was a jump rope. She forgot about her illness and jumped all around, enjoying her rope. Her whole family began attending church again.

Eliana, a 14-year-old girl, lives in a town where many of the houses were destroyed by a landslide. She was getting ready to start the school year without any school supplies or a backpack because her parents didn’t have jobs. She invited a friend to go to church, where they heard the Gospel and received a shoebox. In her box, Eliana found many school supplies for her studies. She also found a backpack at the bottom of the box, which is what she wanted most. Today, she is part of the youth group at that church and goes out every weekend to share the Good News of Jesus with other youth.

Another church organized an event to share The Greatest Gift of All and distribute shoeboxes to children. They enjoyed a drama and a message. When they distributed the shoeboxes, all the children from the community were very excited to open their shoeboxes and see what was inside. A little girl from one ethnic group, the Mocana, had very old underwear. She opened her shoebox and found one dozen pairs of underwear. She told her mom, who–through tears–told the pastor that her daughter didn’t have any more underwear to wear. She thanked God and the church for the gift. Now, the whole family attends the church.

Going to God’s House
Estefany and Nayelis are two sisters, 4 and 7-years-old. They live in Colombia in a hut. Their father is a drug addict, and he can’t provide for their basic needs, like clothes, shoes, socks, or toys. They were invited to attend a shoebox distribution. The girls were very alert during the Gospel presentation and were smiling with joy. Several times they thanked the Sunday school teacher for inviting them to the event. They received the greatest gift of all: Jesus in their hearts. When they received their shoeboxes, they cried and jumped for joy. God gave them the dresses, socks, stuffed animals, and dolls their parents couldn’t buy them for Christmas. Now, both sisters attend every single event from the church, and they are the first ones to arrive. Every Sunday, they knock on the door of the lady who brings them to church to tell her they are ready to go to God’s house.

God Shows Up in the Mess
Dan Scott witnesses how God works through unplanned events during an Operation Christmas Child distribution in Colombia. Read more

Prayer Requests from Ministry Partners in Colombia

  • Praise God for the new regions that are implementing OCC during the upcoming season.
  • Pray there is a great harvest of children from both the distributions events and TGJ.

The Greatest Journey

Your shoebox is just the first step to transforming a young life for eternity. Every shoebox gift delivered by Operation Christmas Child is a tangible expression of God’s love. It also presents an opportunity in more than 100 countries for our church partners to invite children into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through our follow-up discipleship program. The Greatest Journey is a dynamic approach to discipleship—including 12 engaging Bible lessons—that local trained teachers are using to instruct the next generation of believers on how to become devoted followers of Christ and boldly share their faith with others. Worldwide, 14.9 million children have enrolled in the program since 2009.

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. Over 905,000 children in Colombia have enrolled in this program, and over 668,000 have graduated.

Will you help us “go and make disciples of all nations” as Christ commanded? Sign up for a monthly gift of $6, and each year you will give 12 children study materials, a New Testament, and the opportunity to learn what it means to devote their lives to sharing the Good News of eternal grace through Jesus Christ.

Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.(Matthew 9:37-38). God is answering those prayers through The Greatest Journey, the discipleship program Samaritan’s Purse offers for boys and girls who receive shoebox gifts through Operation Christmas Child. We train teachers and supply local churches with everything they need—including Bibles for graduates. Through The Greatest Journey, over 3.8 million children have prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, and 4.2 million have promised to prayerfully share the Gospel with friends and family.
The Greatest Journey Jesus reminds us that the Kingdom of God is filled with people who have childlike faith. “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). We praise God that more than five million children have made decisions for Christ through The Greatest Journey. When they graduate, we present them with the New Testament in their own language so they can continue to grow in their faith and share Jesus with friends and family members. Your gift of $6 per child will enable us to train local volunteer teachers and provide all the materials for the 12-lesson course, including the graduation Bibles.

OCC—The Greatest Journey 013943
Suggested Gift: $6, or $6,000 for a thousand children


Watch children’s reactions as they receive their shoebox gifts!

Questions about Follow Your Box? Click here for answers.