We can not fully understand how the Lord uses a seemingly small gesture on our part with gift-filled shoeboxes to have a big impact by opening doors and opening hearts and receiving God’s love. In fact, it is also possible to receive Christ Himself through the Samaritan’s Purse Discipleship.  We are thankful for your support of the Christmas Initiative.

A report from Operation Christmas Child

Reaching the Unreached

In Gabon, the Baka people live on the margins of society and have typically been outside the reach of the Gospel. 

But that began to change when shoeboxes were given out in a remote village. All 354 children in the community turned out for the festive outreach event—and all the adults, too! Everyone listened carefully as they heard the Gospel for the first time and discovered how much God loved them. At the end of the presentation, all of the children—and all of the adults—prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior! The village chief, who also gave his life to Christ, was so impressed with the event that he set aside some land for a church to be built. Praise God!

We also saw God work mightily among several other unreached people groups. The village of Gongonbili, where the Lobi people live in Burkina Faso, was considered a “no-go zone” for the Gospel, due to its reputation for violence against outsiders and its open hostility to Christianity. But “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) and local leaders allowed shoeboxes to be given out to the area children.

“The parents were delighted that someone had thought of bringing gifts to their children and showing them the love of God. They even asked for prayer for themselves,” a ministry partner said. “Today, over 30 adults and 50 children attend a new church that was started in the village. God broke into this no-go zone, and now it’s a go zone for the Gospel!”

We invite you to view this year's highlights in the Special Report to get a glimpse of how God expresses His love through simple shoeboxes. You will enjoy discovering some dynamic stories, including how everyone in remote a remote village in Gabon gave their lives to the Lord after a festive outreach event.