Anabel Rosario Fermin, one of the beneficiaries of Operation Christmas Child, recently visited southwest Denver and told her story to local groups and churches.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization. The project entailed delivering shoeboxes filled with gifts to millions of children in need.
As the holiday season comes close, Fermin sought to encourage residents of Denver to help them with their cause.
She spoke of her first-hand account at two churches. One was at Waterstone Community Church on Oct. 1, and the other was at Crow Hill Bible Church on Oct. 2.
According to The Villager, Fermin invited them to participate in filling up more than 14,500 shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene products.
Operation Christmas Child Testimony
According to St. Mary Now, Fermin grew up as a pastor's daughter and lived a life of poverty in the Dominican Republic.
As they could not afford any luxuries, 10-year-old Fermin could only pray to God to give her a Christmas gift.
She stated that her father always told her that God is faithful. So, she put God to the test and prayed for a gift.
She couldn't receive one during Christmas, but she received a shoebox at her father's church during kid's day. She loved all the items in her box but especially remembered the picture and letter it contained.
According to Fermin, the only thing she could recognize in the letter was the word "love." However, she was able to know that God is indeed faithful.
Fast-forward to her time in college. Fermin's parents and older sister were killed in a car crash. This event made her question her faith.
However, her father's teaching of God's faithfulness came to her and assured her.
Fermin eventually joined Operation Christmas Child in 2015 and has since considered it a privilege to be of help.
"God will always place the right child with the right shoebox," said Fermin.
About her testimony, the regional director of the organization, Kevin Brown, stated that "a simple seed can turn into the most beautiful faith."
Operation Christmas Child
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has been delivering God's love in shoe boxes.
It started when the president of Samaritan's Purse, Franklin Graham, received a call asking if he'd be willing to fill shoeboxes with gifts to deliver to children in Bosnia.
Graham sought the help of the late Pastor Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte, and within weeks, they had about 11,000 gift-filled shoeboxes.
According to the organization, these gifts were able to communicate to the children and their families "the good news of great joy," which is a reference to what the angel had said to the shepherds about Jesus' birth.
Since then, the operation has continued and grown to reach children in more than 170 countries and territories.
From Nov. 14 to 21, centennial residents across Denver could drop their gift-filled shoeboxes off at the assigned drop-off locations.
Those who wish to participate can donate $10 online through "Follow Your Box," where they can receive a tracking label to discover if it has reached its destination.
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