Mariya, an aspiring artist in Ukraine, needed basic art supplies to continue pursuing her creative talents, but her parents were unable to afford them. So, she prayed...
Note: For five years we have had the special opportunity to send Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts from Canada to children in Ukraine. We began this effort in 2014 to respond to the conflict that broke out in the country that year.
It has been a blessing for Operation Christmas Child Canada to be a part of this work in Ukraine. Ukraine will continue to receive shoebox gifts from the United States, but shoeboxes collected in Canada will no longer be sent to Ukraine. This will allow us, as Operation Christmas Child Canada, to continue to focus our efforts, and shoeboxes, in the regions entrusted to us—West Coast Africa and Central America.
Mariya Snizhko dreamed of becoming an artist even as she grew up in a Christian home in Ukraine. Art was a way for her to express herself and escape the various challenges in her life, which included being bullied at school. Her parents couldn’t afford basic art supplies, so Mariya prayed that God would provide them instead. And her prayers were answered with the arrival of a simple shoebox.
Inside the prayer-filled package from Operation Christmas Child were crayons, paint, and brushes, “more art supplies for me than I could have ever imagined,” Mariya said. “It humbled me to know how much God truly cared for me to provide those art supplies that allowed me to grow and mature and express myself.”
Today, Mariya is an art teacher in an inner-city school in Cleveland, Ohio. “There are millions of children around the world that still need hope,” she says. “God is able to use those simple things that you put in a shoebox to answer prayers and to encourage them that God is able to paint a beautiful masterpiece in their life, as well as He has done in mine.”
For the past 25 years, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, has partnered with local churches in more than 100 countries to distribute gifts to boys and girls in need and tell them about God’s Greatest Gift—Jesus Christ.
Be a part of blessing children around the world by prayerfully packing shoeboxes full of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. Learn more about packing a shoebox.