Operation Christmas Child

Nigeria

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon
Population: 203,452,505, with 42% under the age of 15 (source – CIA The World Factbook)

Thank you for bringing Good News and great joy to a child living in Nigeria! Your shoebox gift was one of 20,163 sent to Nigeria from the UK in 2019.

We thank God for the thousands of children that have received shoeboxes here since Operation Christmas Child began distributions. While we are not able to provide pictures or information on the specific child who received your individual shoebox, we hope you will be inspired by the photos and stories below.

Stories From Africa

No One Left Behind – Nigeria

This little boy has a health condition which meant he was not able to get to the Operation Christmas Child outreach event in his area, so instead the local ministry partners came to him! He was delighted to receive his shoebox gift and excited when a ministry partner said she would return each week to give him the opportunity to also take part in The Greatest Journey course if he would like to. The photo below shows him proudly holding his graduation certificate and New Testament Bible after completing all 12 sessions.

 

Shoebox Joy in Vanyanpah – Liberia

Vanyanpah village in Liberia is so remote that it does not have a road to it. Around 300 people live there and when our ministry partners first visited, there was no school or church.

Dian reports, “The Town Chief led us around his village, where the homes are constructed of mud bricks.  He showed us a nursery of oil palm trees, and coffee and cocoa beans drying in the hot sun.  Vanyanpah had only recently got a well for clean water.  Previous to that, the villagers went to two streams in the bush for their drinking and washing water.”

 

Dian and the team registered about 40 children for an upcoming Operation Christmas Child event and returned the following week.

“We explained to the children and their parents that Jesus loved them and had not forgotten them,” said Dian.  “Children in Vanyanpah do not have balls, dolls, toy cars, school supplies—in fact, this day was the first time they had seen so many wonderful things.”

“Most quickly looked inside their box and then suddenly closed it up like a clam that shuts its shell,” she continued. “Why?  It’s because the children are so overwhelmed by what they have just seen and are afraid that if they open up their box again, they will lose things inside. When they realised that everything in the box was only for them, they were overjoyed.  There were brightly hand-knit hats to keep them warm at night and on cold days… which are so appreciated when there are cold mornings or when they are shaking from malaria.  There were balls, dolls, stuffed animals, face cloths, toy cars, gliders, bracelets, necklaces, stamp sets, packages of crayons, pencils, coloured pencil crayons, markers and notebooks.  There were little makeup mirrors, skipping ropes, maths sets, and jewellery-making kits.  In some boxes there were letters and photos of donors.”

Shoebox gifts act as a door of opportunity to share God’s love and the hope of new life in Jesus with these precious children.  Some students who work with Dian received Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes when they were younger and told her that they still keep the letters and photos of the donors who sent their boxes, many years later, and they thank God for them.  Some even say that the shoebox turned their life around and made Jesus real to them by showing he cares for them.

For the people of Vanyanpah the shoeboxes also opened another door when they asked the visiting team to return to start a new church. After much thought and prayer, Bobby (who was filling in as the team’s driver but usually teaches computing at the university and is an Associate Pastor at Mount Nimba Baptist Church in Yekepa) announced that he would return and help them conduct their first church service. The community were overjoyed!

Operation Christmas Child really does take God’s love to the ends of the earth!

Photos by Dian Wood.

A Heartfelt Thank You From Malawi, Africa.

Our Local Partners

Operation Christmas Child invests in building National Leadership Teams made up of trained local volunteers and staff within over 100 countries. These teams then work alongside many Regional Leadership teams who in turn train local church leaders and teachers. In Nigeria, 5 teams are working with 270 ministry partners (teams of volunteers in local churches) to make Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey possible each year!

Thank You

Thank you so much for packing a shoebox gift and sending love and hope to a child in need. Your generosity makes such a difference!