Adrian’s childhood in Costa Rica was not one any of us would have wanted.
He was just five when his parents separated. Beyond the heartache, grief, and confusion, the split also caused considerable financial hardship for the now-broken family. Many of the things his friends had were simply out of reach for Adrian.
But he did have faith in God, attending church from age six. And that made a tremendous difference. “Our struggles helped me to trust more in God,” Adrian recalled. “They helped me to build more my foundations in the gospel of Christ.”
At age eight, something else happened to solidify his faith in Christ. His church invited him to a special event where, to his joy and surprise, he received a gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoebox packed by a generous Canadian like you.
“I thought about all the effort that person made to collect so many little things,” Adrian said, smiling at the memory. “I remember a letter in my box from a girl [who packed my box].”
Flash forward 18 years. Adrian is now an adult and still attending the same congregation. He’s also involved in the church’s Operation Christmas Child ministry and seeing how Canadian gift-filled shoeboxes, and The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship lessons, are bringing joy and the hope of Christ to children.
“I saw how, during discipleship classes, God impacted a young girl so much that the teacher told her grandmother that she would talk to other children about all the lessons she learned.”
As he thought about the program’s eternal impact, Adrian recalled that special day he received a shoebox and said the flood of emotions that came with those memories “help motivate me to serve the Lord with much more love.” Praise God!
Bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, Costa Rica is home to more than 1 million children under 15 years old. Despite having a poverty level lower than many Latin American countries, around 20 percent of residents continue to live in poverty.
It’s to these boys and girls that an Operation Christmas Child shoebox means so much. Your gift-filled shoeboxes and The Greatest Journey evangelism and discipleship program are giving them physical and spiritual hope through the Good News of Jesus Christ. In the midst of their trials, they are learning that God—and people like you—know and care for them.
As you continue to pack shoeboxes and pray, God will work through you to reach the hearts of many more children. Remember, you can pack shoeboxes online year-round. And thank you for giving tangible gifts of God’s love to children in Costa Rica!
Please donate $10 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.