Good News- Great Joy

May…newsletter….Operation Christmas Child……….


Elvina-and-The Chewing Gum

My shoebox helped me build my trust in the Lord.

Elvina received a shoebox in Ukraine at the age of 7.

One of my favorite gifts in my shoebox was chewing gum. It was my first experience with it. I

never knew that you could chew something for such a long time and it would not dissolve in

your mouth! I chewed it all day, and before I went to sleep I stuck it to the headboard. The next

day I chewed it again. When it lost flavor, I added another piece to it, and when the gum ran

out, I added jam to sweeten it. I chewed all this gum for about a month.

Then there was the doll. My parents couldn’t even afford to buy food for all seven of us kids, so

they couldn’t give us gifts-not even at Christmas or birthdays. But being a child, I always

dreamed of having a little toy.

My neighbor gave us a doll she found in the garbage that was ugly and had wire hair. When

my sister and I started fighting over her, my father got sick of it and threw it in the fire. It was a

tragedy to me.

I started begging my mom to buy me a doll. She said, “If you want that doll you will have to

pray for it. I cannot afford it.” I thought my mom would actually get it for me, so I made sure

she was around when I prayed. I would start, “Dear God…”and then look at my mom.

It was very cold in Ukraine when I received my shoebox. People were going door-to-door

giving the boxes away. The only thing I heard was that every child in the family would have one

of their own. So I grabbed a random shoebox and went to my room. I didn’t stay to listen to

their program. I opened the box hoping to find a doll. But when I went through the gifts, there

wasn’t one. I was so disappointed. I put it all back and ran to exchange it for another box but

they were already leaving. There was a lot of good stuff in my box but at the very top of my

sister’s box there was a pretty doll in a pink dress. I told her, “You took mine. I had been

praying for that one.” She didn’t want to give it to me, though. She was only two years older.

Then my mother opened the box for my little brother who was only 2 and found that someone

had put a little doll in there. She gave it to me. It was such a miracle! It was the first time I

realized that prayer was something real.

Later I had a lot of challenges getting to know God and trusting in Him so every time I had a

problem I prayed, “God, do you remember that box? A long time ago you heard my fake little

prayer and You answered it, so I know You can do much more.” The shoebox was something

very simple but It was the tool that helped me build my trust in the Lord and in prayer.

Receiving the shoebox also impacted my life as I was growing up. The prayer that was packed

into the box was what really mattered. When I was stepping back from my Christian life, it was

prayer that brought me back. Now I understand that so many people had been praying for

me, and that’s what helped me return to the Lord. The shoebox was that first step in my

faith when I realized that God is not just a fairy tale or not just a story that my parents

told me.  It was a miracle to receive something I’d been praying for in a unique way

through my brother’s box.

God is not just a hero in a book, but He is real and can do a lot of things in our lives-

even the little things.

Please be in prayer for what you can do to change a

child's life eternally Questions - see Jocelyn Schimpp

For more information;  contact the church office at 218-326-4929 or email