Operation Christmas Child is an organization based in the U.S. that gives shoeboxes filled with gifts to children for Christmas. Inna Creek was among the many Russian orphaned children who recalled being mingled into a room and provided a shoebox that was filled with gifts.
At that time, she had no clue that the shoe box would end up changing her life. Although she was only 10 years old, she vividly recalls that day as if it was yesterday. She said that during her stay at the orphanage, it was the only time they had received something like that.
The Children at the orphanage were also informed about Christianity and were told that praying to God would lift their burdens. Creek took this to heart and did exactly as she was told and asked God to help her and her sister to be taken in by a Christian family in the U.S.
She said that she strongly believed that God heard her prayers and when only a few years passed, she and her sister were adopted by a South Carolina based family where they even got to strengthen their faith in God.
Only last year, Creek managed to visit the orphanage that she resided in as a child and while Russia no longer accepts donations from Christians or missionaries, she was still allowed to say something to the children in the orphanage as well as perform various small renovations.
It’s managed by Samaritan’s Purse, which is an evangelical Christian international relief center located in North Carolina. In 2016, the organization managed to send more than 11.5 million Christmas gift boxes to children in over 100 countries.
Alison Long, who is the Utah based coordinator at the organization, said that the project is a way whereby different communities are able to share the love of God despite their different situations. She also added that anyone from any group, community or other organization is allowed to participate in the project.
Operation Christmas Child currently aims to collect over 25,000 shoeboxes which have been filled with small gifts for children who are needy from Utah all around the state this year.
What an amazing way to share the love of God and bring joy to children this Christmas. People who are willing to donate are normally encouraged to send a photo of themselves together with the gifts and also write something small to the recipient of the shoeboxes among other personal things that tell the recipients something about themselves.
The organization has gone on to develop greatly since 1993 and offered opportunities for the children to learn more about Jesus Christ and understand how he can help them in their lives and the lives of those around them.
More details about the organization and how to take part in the upcoming fundraising events can be found on their website at www.samaritanspurse.org or on their Facebook page titled Operation Christmas Child Northern Utah.