Stories Of Transformation

Operation Christmas Child

As Pastor Gadi returned from distributing shoebox gifts to children in a village several miles from the capital city, he saw two boys standing on the side of the road selling nuts. He felt compelled to share the Gospel with them, so he pulled his car up next to their little table and bought a bag of walnuts. He asked if they’d ever heard about Jesus Christ, and both boys said they hadn’t. Pas­tor Gadi joyfully told them about the Gospel and gave them the two shoeboxes in his car, left over from an earlier outreach event.

“I believe you, mister, I believe that Jesus came to save me from sin,” one of the boys, Amir, said. Amir gave Pastor Gadi his phone number and asked him to call if he ever visited that part of their country again. 

A few weeks later, Pastor Gadi planned to travel back to the area, so he called Amir’s number to check in on him. An adult male voice answered. Pastor Gadi explained that he’d bought a bag of nuts from Amir and given him a shoebox gift, adding that he was just calling to see how the boy was doing. 

After a long pause, the man said he was Amir’s father and began to cry. “Amir was knocked down by a car when he was selling the nuts. We buried him a while ago.” Before the pastor could say goodbye, the father begged, “Please, do not hang up the phone! Can I invite you to come and visit my home and meet with the family?” Happy to oblige, Pastor Gadi visited Amir’s family the very next day—just three days after the boy’s death. 

“That day when he brought that box, he was shining,” said his grandfather. “I thought the Most High God touched him with His love. He was different.” 

The family asked Pastor Gadi to explain what was special about the shoebox gift. This gave him the opportunity to explain that they would see Amir again if they believed in the Greatest Gift, Jesus Christ. He invited each of them to pray and ask God to forgive their sins and become their Lord. 

Amir’s mother and grandfather accepted Jesus into their hearts, and immediately the grandfather poured over the Bible Pastor Gadi gave them. A few weeks later, they were baptized and joined the local church. “The Lord used this [shoe]box as the seed for a new life for the whole family.”