Above: Kojo’s life was impacted by a box of gifts, when he was a little boy growing up in Ghana.
If you’ve ever packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, you’ll know the joy of sending a little happiness out into the world at Christmas time, to help a child in need.
But maybe you’ve wondered whether your shoebox has a lasting impact. Rest assured, the memories and the spiritual change that your little box of gifts sets in motion, can last a lifetime.
For Kojo from Ghana in West Africa, it was a yo-yo, toy cars and pencils that helped build a bridge to knowing God’s love.
He grew up his family of nine, in a one-room clay house, just getting by with little money or food, and surviving his school days without lunch. He doesn’t regret the struggles of his childhood, though: “I am grateful for the challenges and financial difficulties I faced as a child, though, because they made me rely on God,” he said.
Kojo was 12 when a team came to his school to hand out Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, and teach about Jesus. It was that day he received Jesus as his saviour.
“God used my shoebox to plant a seed in me,” Kojo said. “I started going to church every Wednesday and Sunday…I made the Lord my number one priority. I don’t have the yo-yo anymore. I don’t have the toy cars or the pencils either, but I have one thing that has not changed… that’s the Lord Jesus Christ.”
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It was a special moment when Kojo came to the USA years later, as an adult, to attend university—and went to a church that happened to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. He realised his journey had come “full circle” and he was now able to bless others in the same way he was blessed.
Kojo will soon finish his studies and hopes to live a life that brings a positive impact to others.
“My plan is to be a pharmacist in order to contribute to God’s mission in the world,” he said.