Gift-filled shoeboxes, The Greatest Journey transforming lives in struggling African nation.
Thanks to the generosity of Canadians like you, Samaritan’s Purse has provided physical and spiritual help to thousands of people in the west African nation of Guinea-Bissau.
Since 2010, we’ve distributed almost 200,000 Canadian-packed Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to children in 10 regions of the country, which struggles with poverty, political instability, and widespread corruption.
At one shoebox distribution event, we met Sergio, who loves to play soccer. His preferred position is goalkeeper, and so he prayed to God to someday have a pair of goalkeeper gloves. To his great delight, when he opened his Operation Christmas Child shoebox, there was a pair of goalkeeper gloves. Sergio almost burst with happiness and gratitude!
At another distribution event, Davi was very happy with all the toys he received, but didn’t understand why there was a hammer in his box. He thought the boxes were only for toys. But his father was a carpenter and did not have a hammer. So Davi was happy to give the hammer to his father, who was very touched by the generosity of Canadians.
The Greatest Journey
As in most countries where we distribute shoeboxes, we provide the resources and training to enable our Guinea-Bissau church partners to offer The Greatest Journey evangelism and discipleship program to as many shoebox recipients as possible.
We are careful in scheduling shoebox distributions and The Greatest Journey classes because during three months each year in Guinea-Bissau, most people in rural communities are busy harvesting cashews, one of their country’s main exports.
Our local church partners schedule distributions and classes during the other nine months of the year to ensure as many people as possible can receive the help and hope that come from Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey.
We praise God that since 2010, almost 10,500 children have graduated from The Greatest Journey and received a New Testament in their own language.
The 12-lesson program gives these children eternal hope in a country where young people struggle to get a good education. Most teenagers must quit school and work to help support their families. But even if they do get a good education, stable year-round jobs are hard to find.
Through Operation Christmas Child, God often provides Samaritan’s Purse with other opportunities to assist communities and families. In Guinea-Bissau, we partnered with church members to rebuild a storm-damaged school that not only educates children during the week, but serves as a Sunday school and church on weekends.
“Thank you so much for time and care to come here and help us,” said pastor Alberto Sa, the school’s founder. “The damage from the storm made it impossible for us to use the school, so we are very thankful to have help repairing it.”
Whether it’s repairing a school or teaching the Good News to receptive children, we “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17, ESV).
You can be part of this vital work when you link arms with Samaritan’s Purse through your prayers, through donations, or through packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Pack shoeboxes online year-round at PackaBox.ca