#shoeboxstories is a series by shoebox recipients who give a first-hand account of the eternal impact of a gift delivered in Jesus’ Name.
My shoebox caused me to take my relationship with Christ seriously
Devon received a shoebox at a church in Grenada at age 12.
My gift was very unique because the person took the time to wrap the box in fabric.
What stood out to me were all the toys. My mother was a single parent with four children. She made tremendous sacrifices for us but she wasn’t able to buy such things. When I received my shoebox, it was the first time I received a gift at Christmas.
“To receive a gift like that from someone I had never met really impacted my life in such a marvelous way.”
The Slinky was fascinating. We loved to send it down the steps and we played a lot of games with it. It was a simple toy but it was my favorite. There was also a ball that lit up when you bounced it, so we would play with that at night.
To receive a gift like that from someone I had never met really impacted my life in such a marvelous way.
The shoebox led me to become more grounded in the church where I received my gift. Within the year, I decided to do children’s ministry and began teaching Sunday school. Following that, I got involved in youth leadership.
I became president of the district youth council, and then vice president of the national youth council. This helped me to become well known in my country. Because of this I was able to become a senator—the youngest senator in the history of Grenada at the age of 22.
All this began with the shoebox that caused me to take my relationship with Christ seriously.
While serving as a senator, my denomination asked me to assist with starting a church in one of the very troubled communities of Grenada, and to become a senior pastor.
“This was my opportunity to give back to children what I had received with my shoebox.”
It would be nearly impossible to continue in parliament as a senator. I had to decide whether I would make myself available to serve God at that level. Having received that shoebox and remembering what God had done for me I was able to make the decision. I decided to devote myself full-time to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33).
I continued with my youth development work in Grenada, and also assisted with youth revivals in the region. One of the countries we went to was Trinidad. There I came across a church that was doing an Operation Christmas Child distribution. I was elated! It brought back the memories of receiving my shoebox. I thought, How can we get Operation Christmas Child in Grenada?
A couple of years later, Operation Christmas Child came to my country. I applied to be the national coordinator. This was my opportunity to give back to children what I had received with my shoebox.
“I received a tool to transform my life!”
When I was moving last year, I found that shoebox. It was amazing that it was still around because a hurricane in 2004 destroyed 90 percent of the homes in Grenada. And my shoebox survived!
Now I use it to show children that I am serving with the Operation Christmas Child national leadership team in Grenada and just like them I received a shoebox.
It wasn’t just a gift—it was a life-changing experience. I received a tool to transform my life!
Operation Christmas Child delivers great joy to millions of children around the world through shoeboxes lovingly and prayerfully packed with gifts that will bring delight to a child. In the hands of local churches, every gift-filled shoebox is a powerful tool for evangelism and discipleship—transforming the lives of children and their families around the world through the Good News of Jesus Christ! After receiving shoebox gifts, boys and girls are invited to enroll in The Greatest Journey, our 12-lesson discipleship program where children learn what it means to faithfully follow Christ and share their faith with others.
Samaritan’s Purse is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity. All contributions designated for specific projects shall be applied to those projects, and we may assess up to 10 percent to be used for administering the gift. Occasionally, we receive more contributions for a given project than can be wisely applied to that project. When that happens, we use these funds to meet a similar pressing need.
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