NAMIBIA — The classroom was quiet as deaf Namibian boys and girls opened their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. There were no squeals of excitement or chattering, no shouting for friends to come and look at the fun gifts inside their shoebox.
The Operation Christmas Child outreach event marked the first time that most of the children had ever received a present.
Klaudia heard about the shoebox outreach events through Pastor Rizera and his regional team, who began reaching the Himba with the Gospel through Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey about six years ago. Their efforts have resulted in several churches being started among the Himba, who previously had a longstanding tradition of worshipping ancestors and spirits.
Kavari Venejona, Student:
My name is Kavari Venejona. I am in grade three. Before I started school, I looked after livestock. I never thought I would go to school. I have many challenges being deaf. I am very vulnerable. People attack me when I sleep because I can’t hear.
Klaudia Nampweya, Sign Language Teacher:
These kids, they are marginalized. So I took them in for them to be educated like other kids. It’s the love, a pure love from my heart. When you have that love and you see them being abused because of their hard of hearing. Sometimes their parents do not understand. They don’t see that these kids are like other kids. So that’s why I have the passion to take them in.
They are all the same. They are all equal. They should know.
Yesterday we learned about God and the creation. How we should love one another, and not to treat other kids badly. How God created birds and everything on earth. And how God created the sea. How happy children were to see Jesus.
The Greatest Gift booklet made me so happy. Even if I can’t read, there are pictures. I can see Jesus praying.
I was nervous at first, but when I received my shoebox, I saw that there are people who love me. I felt God’s love for me. Then I decided to follow Jesus.
For them to know that Jesus loves them and for them to know God deeper, for them to spread the Gospel to others, it started here today with the shoeboxes.
I want to tell my friends about God because God is good. I want others to accept Jesus into their life.
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.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Through this project, Samaritan’s Purse partners with the local church worldwide to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and make disciples of the nations.
CONTACT: Kaitlyn Lahm, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Global News Alliance, Shoebox Gifts Bring Joy to Deaf Children in Namibia
- Samaritan’s Purse, Official Website