Nestled in the mountains of the Pichincha province of Ecuador, Pastor Segundo Santacruz leads a large church that meets in a very small building. “Amor a la Vida” (Love for Life), as the congregation is called, reaches out to the Quechua community around them in a variety of creative ways. They provide food for their neighbors as well as virtual education for the children through a single laptop computer. All of this is financed through a very limited church budget and through Pastor Segundo’s salary at his second, secular job. In addition to these exciting efforts, they also recently hosted an Operation Christmas Child outreach event in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse.
Hearing Stories in a Way She Could Understand
When 12-year-old Romina attended this special event, she listened intently to stories from the Bible including how Jesus calmed the storm and raised Lazarus from the dead. She was excited to hear these stories communicated in a manner that made sense to her.
“I had already heard those stories from the Bible and had not understood them,” she said. “The way they explained them today was much better and I could understand them.”
Romina was quiet and observant during the presentation, watching carefully as Operation Christmas Child volunteers shared the message and distributed the surprise of shoebox gifts!
“How they talked and treated me gave me confidence,” said Romina. “I felt that if I could trust Operation Christmas Child, I could also trust Jesus.”
As a result of what she’d heard and observed, she gave her life to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Just the Right Surprise
Romina had also recently taken an interest in drawing and decided the way she could learn would be to have some fine-tipped, colored markers. She had seen them online but had no idea how she could obtain them in her remote village of Carabuela. Romina asked her mother for these specific art supplies, but she informed her daughter that there was no way she could afford them.
Disappointed and not knowing where else to turn, Romina lifted up the desire to God in prayer.
To her delight, when she opened her shoebox gift at the outreach event, she found a pack of fine-tipped, colored markers sitting right at the top of her box! They were just the kind for which she’d prayed! Also, inside the box was a ball and a pink stuffed animal, as well as other toys and a notebook for drawing, but she loved the markers best of all.
Romina remains grateful for the markers she received and for Jesus’ continuing presence in her life. Now in addition to her drawing, she dreams of becoming a singer when she grows up, so she can sing for God.
National Collection Week is coming up, Nov. 15-22! Please pray for even more shoebox gifts to be packed in order to bless more children like Romina.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Kerkez
Video courtesy: ©Samaritan's Purse