What Operation Christmas Child meant to our daughter
Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes can be found at many local locations. The main drop-off location is the Wolf Creek Community Church. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
After reading the Letter to the Editor regarding Operation Christmas Child, I felt compelled to write.
Our adopted daughter lived in an orphanage in Russia and received a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child once a year. It was the only gift she received all year. When the children in the orphanage saw the truck coming it was the happiest day of their lives. Our daughter, Katrina, talks about how much joy she felt when opening her box.
Now she is on the giving end and does not miss the opportunity to make up boxes to send, no matter her financial situation. She tells us the best things to pack in our boxes - the basic essentials like socks, underwear, a new shirt. One of Katrina’s dreams in life was to have more than one pair of shoes. Another was to have a bubble bath and clean sheets the same night. Can we even imagine that?
I visited the website of Operation Christmas Child and saw the following on the frequently asked questions page:
“Is this project forcing religion on the child who gets a gift?”
“Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child seek to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way through each shoebox gift. One of our core values is to never be manipulative. We work in and through local volunteers in each country that understand their context and are respectful to the people they serve. At the same time, we do seek to share the Gospel wherever we go, which can be challenging at times. In some regions, we are not permitted to distribute literature, but we are still grateful for the opportunity to bless the children with gift boxes carefully prepared by people who love children. Boys and girls do not have to do or say anything to receive their gifts.”
Katrina is one of those children who received a gift box first hand once a year for the five years she spent in the orphanage. I just had to tell others what it meant to our daughter!
-Cynthia Bourn, Lacombe, Alta.