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Alina and a pair of pants

September 28, 2018 • Romania

God answered my prayers in a special way.

#shoeboxgiftstories is an ongoing series in which shoebox recipients share about the eternal impact of a simple gift.


 

Everywhere she turned, Alina Achimas found nothing but hardship and struggle. She grew up in a village in Romania living with her sister and grandfather.

“I always felt like I was missing love, and prayed to God for someone to love me, and to show me that He was real,” Alina says.

God answered that prayer on a cold winter night in 1996. Alina, then nine, went to her church where Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts were passed out to the children.

“Even though I did not have an earthly father to protect me and care for me, I knew in my heart that God was always with me. He answered my prayer for someone to love me because people in a faraway place had packed this gift just for me.”

 

“I kept my eyes on the boxes, wishing that I could get one but trying not to get my hopes up,” she recalls. “When one of the boxes was placed in my hands, I couldn’t believe it! I was amazed that someone from another part of the world loved me and packed this gift just for me.”

Alina had never received a gift before. She saw the shoebox as a gift from God, and she opened it to find a journal, crayons, a pink brush and comb and—best of all—two pairs of pants.

“My family was very poor and couldn’t afford to buy pants for me,” Alina explains. “I only had two dresses to wear throughout the year, even in winter. At school, kids often made fun of me because I had to play sports in my dresses. So God had answered my prayers in a special way. I could hardly wait to go to school to play sports after receiving this wonderful gift!”

Even more important than the gifts was the message of love that Alina received that evening.

“Even though I did not have an earthly father to protect me and care for me, I knew in my heart that God was always with me. He answered my prayer for someone to love me because people in a faraway place had packed this gift just for me.”

Alina is now a married mother of three living in Canada. She and her children pack shoeboxes every year for struggling children who need to know they are loved by Canadians and they are loved by God, who “shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, ESV).

“I pray that every child who receives a shoebox gift will come to know God’s unconditional, never-ending love in a personal way,” Alina says.

To help children make the connection between their shoebox gifts and the glorious gift of eternal salvation in Jesus Christ, we offer The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson evangelism and discipleship ministry, to as many shoebox recipients as possible.

In 2017 alone, nearly two million children around the world dedicated their lives to Christ after participating in The Greatest Journey. Praise God!

You can be part of God’s life-changing work around the world when you pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Please join us in this vital Kingdom mission. Lives are waiting to be changed.

READ MORE #SHOEBOXGIFTSTORIES

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