Operation Christmas Child

I’m sure you have heard of Operation Christmas Child , a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian organization.

But you may not have heard of Oksana Nelson, a young woman from Russia who has a story to tell about Operation Christmas Child.

Her full story can be found on The Blaze, but to whet your appetite for that story, I want to introduce you to Oksana.

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She was a resident of a Russian orphanage when she was a small child. She had clothes, shelter, and food to eat. But she did not have the human touch of love that all children (as well as all adults) need.

When she was 9 years old, she received a shoebox filled with small trinkets and hygiene items from someone in the United States. It was the first gift she had ever received in her life. That gift told her–in her own words–“that I am special, I am loved.”

Oksana_NelsonThe shoebox also contained biblical messages, and from them she learned to pray, and that changed her life.

She was eventually adopted by an American family, and she is now 23 years old in school in Nashville, Tennessee working on her Master of Business Administration.

Oksana is also a national spokesperson for Operation Christmas Child.

Churches and schools are the main supporters of this “Shoebox” program, but that may not be for long. A couple of schools have backed out this year because of the separation of church and state issues.

I guess it’s up to us to take up the slack.

The deadline for this program for Christmas 2013 has passed, but next year, when people in your church approach you to fill a shoebox or two, ask for more. So often when we do good deeds, we have no way of knowing whether the right people were helped in the right ways.

Oksana is living proof that this good deed was planted in fertile soil.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Harry Livermore

Harry Livermore spent a lifetime teaching English in high schools and junior colleges in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. He now writes for and is editor of the Valdosta Magazine. Harry and his wife Janice live in Valdosta, GA. They are members of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Valdosta. Harry has two sons, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren who live in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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