|Source: OCC UK|
A seventeen year old boy living in a small village in Romania heard that there was going to be a Christmas gift distribution, so he went and received a gift filled box from Operation Christmas Child, along with the booklet explaining the birth of Christ. The story intrigued him and he would go to church where the gifts were given as often as he could and even attended summer camp put on by the church.
On the way to camp the Pastor asked the boy about his life at home. The boy shared with his new friend about his desperate home situation – that his mum was a prostitute and that his father found clients for her. He was ashamed of his family and knew their lifestyle was wrong.
Upon returning to his village from the summer camp, the young man boldly told his mother that he could not live as they did anymore. As it turned out, his pastor friend found a place for him to stay at the church. It was not long however before he began to feel burdened for his family and God gave him the strength he needed to go home.
His mum was the next person in his family to accept Christ. Due to the size of the village, it did not take long for everyone to know that the former prostitute was a Christian. The father however was very angry because his wife was not making money for him any more and he would have to find another line of work. He tried many times to kill the mother and son. One day he came home drunk and grabbed the woodchopper, closed the door and gave his wife and son one last minute to make a wish. They began to pray and God protected them that day, for the father simply turned and left.
The church family continued to meet and began to pray for this man. He soon became very ill and had to go to the hospital. The hospital called the family to come and get him as he was going to die very soon. The mother and the son brought the man home and the church began to pray. The prayers were heard and answered. The man stood up from his death bed the next morning –healed and changed!
A shoebox gift for a boy was the beginning of bringing life into a hopeless situation.