PACIFIC ISLANDS, PALAU — Rengesuul Yobech sat in the shade of a spacious open-air gymnasium at Peleliu Elementary School in Palau on a sweltering late-February afternoon earlier in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. The school’s 76 students were assembled there, eager to receive gift-filled shoeboxes at the first Operation Christmas Child festive outreach event to take place on the western Pacific island nation. The sight of the excited children reminded him of his own childhood growing up in Ngiwal, an isolated seaside village on the northeastern shore of Palau.
This is my home. This is where I was born. This is where I was raised. And home is always home. We have an island that is beautiful, that people are longing to go see. And that is what makes me proud to be Palauan.
This is the village that I grew up most of my life. This is the road that we used to play. This is the trees that we used to play hide and seek or play with our friends after school in this little jungle behind me. People are friendly. They just want to be your friend.
Yesterday, we did an Operation Christmas Child distribution here in my village called Ngiwal. The gifts is a tangible way of communicating to kids the love of Christ. Jesus loves them, and the love that He has for them, nobody can take it away from them.
We hardly see anything like this happening with our village. And for Operation Christmas Child to come throughout Palau, giving us the gifts and the lessons of The Greatest Journey, brings so much joy and hope.
We want all the children to hear Christ, build upon this rock that is just on His word because they really are the ones that will carry the message of the cross into the future.
Palau is very small. It’s only 20,000 population. But yet Samaritan’s Purse took their time to come to Palau and be able to be part of what God is doing in Palau. They put their thoughts and their resources to these tiny islands, and that speaks a lot.
I’ve seen how people take time to pray and take time to write that note. I want to say thank you, because your sacrifice and your commitment will not go in vain. I think you will touch many lives, and I know it will touch the lives of the children of Palau.
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
CONTACT: Melissa Nystrom, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Global News Alliance, Operation Christmas Child Is Bringing the Hope of the Gospel to 1,000 Pacific Islands
- Samaritan’s Purse, Official Website