Operation Christmas Child helps combat the emptiness an orphan felt.
When people tell Karabo Maretlane he’s lucky, he says, “I’m chosen.”
Karabo grew up in a village in the southern African nation of Lesotho. When he was 5 years old, his father died and his mother left him with his grandmother. As this elderly woman raised him, she taught him how to read, write, and follow God. But Karabo’s grandmother died when he was still young and, shortly afterward, his mother died as well. Loneliness set in like never before as he realized he was an orphan.
Karabo’s uncle soon invited him to come live with him in the city. It was there that a friend invited him to an Operation Christmas Child outreach event where he received a box full of gifts just for him.
“That shoebox filled one of the holes in my heart,” he said.
Today Karabo is part of a family again and he encourages others to pack shoebox gifts for other kids around the world: “If you hear the voice of God, do not harden your heart” (paraphrasing Hebrews 3:15).