This year 96five will be a drop-off point for Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child! Your shoebox gift can have an incredible impact on a community overseas…
Shoebox gifts are opening doors for a church in Mongolia to start fellowships of new believers in neighbouring villages.
Batnorov, Mongolia, is home to only 5,500 people, though an incredible 400,000 head of cattle graze here. Located closer to Russia than the country’s capital of Ulaanbaatar, it is known to Mongolians as the birthplace of Ghenghis Khan’s best friend, Boorchi.
However, it’s not because of cows or famous friends that there’s been celebration in heaven (Luke 15:10) over this area in recent years. It’s because nearly two dozen people have come to faith in Jesus Christ. A church formed in Batnorov after a congregation in the neighboring village of Berkh brought Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts and the message of the Gospel to this Buddhist area. Enkhjargal Gombosuren, the lead church planter, said,
“When I planted a new church, the greatest tool and support was the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child project.”
From Shoebox Gifts to a Yurt Church
A few years ago, Enkhjargal had asked the Batnorov school principal Taivanjargal Gombosuren for permission to give shoebox gifts to the school children. Taivanjargal agreed and welcomed the members of the church in Berkh to their recreational hall for a special ceremony.
Aynagul Akhai, a part of the delegation from the church, remembers that many parents came along with their children and asked, “Why are you giving away free gifts?” She gladly explained that the shoebox gifts “came through prayer to show God’s love” as they shared the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Recalling the parents’ reactions to these shoeboxes overflowing with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, she said, “What really struck them was that the kids always found in the shoebox what they always wanted.” Taivanjargal agreed. “Each box was packed in a different way,” he said.
“The shoeboxes really touched children’s hearts and the adults who attended were so impressed.”
In addition to the Operation Christmas Child outreach event, members of the church also shared a Gospel film. Through these combined efforts, around two dozen people came to faith and began to be discipled as they met together weekly to study God’s Word in a Mongolian yurt.
They are among the estimated 36,000 believers in a nation of 3 million people. This is one of three churches in Khentii Province that the congregation in Berkh has started in part through Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey.
Reaching the Neediest Children
To those who pack shoeboxes and support The Greatest Journey, Munguu said,
“Please know that the gifts you are sending reach the neediest children. Without you and your support, the door wouldn’t be open.”
She is encouraged that Christians around the globe join in the responsibility of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Mongolia. Enkhjargal added, “Even though we live in different countries and different continents, we belong to one family and one God. Thank you for reaching out to Mongolians.”