Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

Shoebox gifts bring the gospel to Nicaraguan children

About Nicaragua

Nestled between Honduras and Costa Rica in Central America, Nicaragua is a land of massive lakes, tropical forests, and towering volcanoes. It’s a nation of caring, loving people, but also of widespread poverty. Generations of Nicaraguan families have struggled to meet even basic needs.

The impact is profound for Nicaragua’s 1.6 million children. In addition to the challenges of daily life and lack of opportunities, many children face life separated from parents, who have no choice but to travel to other countries for work.

Into these situations, a simple shoebox gift like the one you packed can be a powerful, life-transforming message of hope.

 “I also received the best gift…”

“When I received the gift, I was the happiest child because I had asked for many things my parents could not buy me,” a young boy named Keyner said after receiving a shoebox gift.

“God even improved my school year because I got some clothing in the box. I also received the best gift in my heart, that is Jesus Christ. My life has changed a lot because I’ve known the Word of God through The Greatest Journey. Thank you,” Keyner said.

Operation Christmas Child delivered shoebox gifts in Nicaragua for the first time in 1996.

The Greatest Journey

As boys and girls like Keyner lift the lids of shoebox gifts across Nicaragua, they will experience excitement, joy, and opportunities to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ—but that will be only the beginning.

In the weeks following a shoebox outreach event, churches that partner with Operation Christmas Child will invite children to participate in The Greatest Journey. Through this 12-lesson follow-up discipleship program, children learn to faithfully follow Christ and share Him with others.

In 2009-2010, the first children in Nicaragua participated in The Greatest Journey. Since then, tens of thousands have heard the Gospel and been discipled.

The Greatest Journey in the past ten years in Nicaragua

  • 8,739 local Greatest Journey teachers trained
  • 229,233 children enrolled
  • 48,518 children reported decisions for Christ
  • 45,602 children committed to praying for and sharing their faith with friends and family

“I will tell them how I met Jesus…”

While attending an outreach event at the Galilee Church in his community, Adrian (pictured left) eagerly participated in the activities and was especially interested in hearing the story of Jesus. At the end of the event, he was surprised to receive an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.

“Look how many things came out,” he said excitedly. “I did not have toys, but now my friend Jesus has sent me many. I’ll never forget this because it’s the first time I’ve received something like that.”

When the church invited the children to participate in The Greatest Journey, Adrian couldn’t wait. “I will come with all my brothers,” he said. “My mom told us she will bring us and I am very happy about that. Where we live, many children do not know Jesus and I will tell them how I met Jesus and how he is now my friend”.

Through your shoebox gifts and The Greatest Journey, children across Nicaragua are coming to know Jesus. He declared, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life” (John 5:24, ESV).

As you continue to pack shoeboxes and pray, God will work through you to reach many more. Remember, you can pack shoeboxes online year-round.

Ways you can pray for Nicaragua:

  • Pray for the churches partnering with Operation Christmas Child as they are trained and prepare to host outreach events and distribute shoeboxes.
  • Pray for the training of The Greatest Journey teachers.
  • Pray for children to experience Christ’s love and for their hearts to be open to the Gospel.
  • Pray for the country as it is experiencing political unrest.  The unemployment rate is very high, and many families are suffering.
Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

Please donate $12 for every shoebox you prepare. Your donations will help cover project costs, including shipping (make one combined donation for multiple shoeboxes). Consider making an additional donation to help Samaritan's Purse go beyond the shoebox and expand assistance to children, their families, and their communities. Samaritan's Purse does not provide receipts for the value of gift items included in a shoebox.