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
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