The Concho Valley Operation Christmas Child volunteers will be hosting two events -one in Ballinger and another in San Angelo, featuring Yuliya Shubina, who as a small girl received a OCC shoebox gift. Now as a young lady she is telling her story of how Operation Christmas Child, a simple shoebox gift and God changed her life.

The Concho Valley Operation Christmas Child volunteers will be hosting two events -one in Ballinger and another in San Angelo, featuring Yuliya Shubina, who as a small girl received a OCC shoebox gift. Now as a young lady she is telling her story of how Operation Christmas Child, a simple shoebox gift and God changed her life.

She will be speaking at the Ballinger First Baptist Church Family Life Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 13. She will also be speaking at the at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church San Angelo on Tuesday, September 12. Everyone is invited.

Her desire is to encourage residents as they kick off the upcoming collection season to fill more than 6,500 shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—contributing to the global project goal of reaching 12 million children.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Our mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.

Yuliya Shubina received a shoebox gift in Central Asia that connected her to a caring friend halfway around the world and was one of the seeds that brought her to faith in Christ. Shubina’s father brought her a shoebox gift from missionaries who were distributing the gifts to local children. There were many gifts inside, including a letter from the girl who had packed the shoebox. Shubina and the girl exchanged letters for many years afterward, and when Shubina came to the United States to finish high school, she was able to meet her pen pal in person. Today Shubina serves with Operation Christmas Child to tell the story of God’s faithfulness in her life.

During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week Nov. 13 – 20, Area residents can drop off gift-filled shoeboxes at First Baptist Church in Ballinger.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

 Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.