BENIN, AFRICA — Nine-year-old Gladys flashed a big smile as she recounted the day she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.
It all started with a friend’s invitation. “You have to go to my church,” her friend, Kemi, told her. “There are good things going on, and I want you to hear the Word of God.”
Just a few days earlier, Kemi had attended an Operation Christmas Child event and heard the Gospel. She received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She now wanted Gladys to experience the same joy she’d found.
Gladys Hounhoui – Shoebox Recipient:
My name is Gladys Hounhoui and I am nine years old. Before I received my shoebox, I was not obedient to my parents. If they asked me to do something, I wouldn’t do it and I’d argued with them. That was my life before I received my shoebox.
My friend Kemi told me I needed to go with her to church. She said that there were good things happening in her church, and she wanted me to hear the Word of God. Her church was teaching them about God and how to pray.
Kemi Raissa Tohetonde – Shoebox Recipient:
Gladys and I have been friends now for about 5 years. Gladys is my best friend. I wanted to teach her about the Word of God, and when she came to my church, she received a gift box.
The day I received my shoebox, I felt a big joy. For a long time, I had asked my Mom for a blanket, and when I opened the shoebox, I found a blanket in it! That was amazing to me and to my mom. When I came home, I showed it to my mom, she said it was great. I told her about Jesus. Now me, my mom, my grandma, and Kemi go to church together.
Kemi Raissa Tohetonde:
I feel happiness for Gladys, because now we get ready and go to church together.
At church, they talk about the Kingdom of God, and now I understand that God has a Kingdom, and I put this in my heart. I am certain of one thing: God is my Savior.
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, Children in Benin Hear the Gospel through Simple Shoebox Gifts
- Samaritan’s Purse, Official Website