Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
Please continue to pursue the three things mentioned in the newsletter last week - desperation, worship, and unity. This week, diligently pray for your loved ones who need to be saved. Also, pray for those in our church family who needed special prayer on Sunday. Let's agree together that their needs be met. I encourage you to intercede on their behalf. It could be your prayer that breaks through for a miracle!
Your Generosity is Making an Impact
Franklin Graham Visits War-Torn Ukraine with 200 Millionth Shoebox Gift
Last week’s DC-8 airlift carried more supplies and personnel to assist in our continued work in the country. And, in addition, the flight also carried dozens prayerfully-packed shoebox gifts, including the 200 millionth, which Groff was excited to deliver, herself, to a young girl in need.
She remembers receiving her own shoebox gift as a child during a time she described as “rock bottom.”
“I was alone. I felt lost. That is where Jesus met me. He didn’t leave me there,” she said. “He showed me that He loved and cared for me through a simple gift—through a shoebox. These children are receiving the news of the Greatest Gift of All, the eternal love and hope of Jesus. I think about when I received my box and how it changed my life. That’s my prayer for these children. I want them to know Jesus and remember this special day for the rest of their lives.”
Graham and Groff, joined by news anchor Greta Van Susteren, greeted the 75 children gathered in one of our many Ukrainian partner churches. Franklin was able to remind the children of God’s love for them.
As the children began opening their boxes, Groff walked the milestone 200 millionth shoebox to a 8-year-old girl named Natalya, an orphan. That same shoebox had traveled across the United States with Groff who made stops at our ministry centers and at local churches to place specially selected items inside.
“This gift is for you from God,” Groff told the little girl, whose eyes brightened with surprise at the special attention. She immediately zeroed in on the bright-yellow wind-up flashlight included among the items. “He has picked everything in it especially for you.”
Graham said that the ongoing relief efforts of Samaritan’s Purse in the war-torn nation and our vibrant ministry through Operation Christmas Child are a testament to God’s power at work through many faithful churches in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
“The need here is incredible. We’re here to deliver these shoeboxes but also to meet with our church partners,” Graham said. “The war has destroyed so much of this country but the churches see this as an opportunity to reach out and to help their neighbors and do it in Jesus’ Name. We have several thousand churches in Ukraine that we’ve been working with for 30 years. I can’t control the politics but I can control who I help, and we help whoever God puts in front of us. The only hope for this world is Jesus Christ.”