As an expected 11 million shoebox gifts get processed and delivered by Operation Christmas Child to needy children all over the world, a worker with the ministry tells how she has come full circle with the organization.
Yyilya Shubina, who grew up in Central Asia, recalls receiving a shoebox filled with school supplies, hygiene items, and fun toys.
"My country at the time of my childhood was actually recovering from the fall of the Soviet Union, so many things were scarce or were impossible to get," she shares. "Therefore, receiving a shoebox gift as a nine-year-old girl was a very exciting event in my life – and to this day I very vividly remember just the emotion and the excitement about getting the shoebox gift."
Shibina tells OneNewsNow that the gift played a big role in her spiritual growth.
"Now looking back I can confidently say that God used something so simple as a shoebox gift to reveal himself to me," she states, "but also to plant one of the seeds in my heart for me, years later, to come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
Now she works full time with Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse. The movement is celebrating its 25th year. There's still time to send a shoebox online or drop one off at a processing center.