A Little Girl’s Tears of Joy – Over Pens, Pencils, Erasers and Socks

By: Clare Bruce

It’s amazing the difference a few simple little gifts can make in the life of someone who’s living in poverty.

The small toys and school supplies you pack into a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, may not seem that significant in the big scheme of things. But when a child in need opens their box at the other end, the impact can be so profound that it’s felt for years to come.

That’s the kind of difference it made for Sharon, a young woman from India who received an OCC shoebox of gifts 12 years ago, when her family was struggling to live from day to day.

Now living in Melbourne to attend university, Sharon talked about her memory of that day as a seven-year-old child. She sobbed as she recalled just how much her gifts meant to her.

Punished for her Poverty

“It was a hard time for us,” Sharon recalled. “My parents had left their government jobs to do God’s work. It was like we were hit from the top, to the bottom. There was no financial support, no support from the family, all our relatives had abandoned us.

“There were days when we didn’t even have proper food; there were days we didn’t have proper clothing. We were not in a position to pay school fees, so I used to get punished in school.”

After spending a happy summer holiday doing ministry with her parents in India’s slum areas, Sharon was reluctant to return to school.

“I was scared to go to back, because I was in need of stationery, bags – I needed everything except the uniform.”

Sharon Kesari
Above: Sharon, now, age 19.

A Prayer for Pens, Pencils, Erasers and Socks

Sharon told her mother about her fears, and her mother simply encouraged her about God’s faithfulness – and urged her to pray.

“So I started praying,” said Sharon. “I prayed, ‘God, I need pencils, I need erasers, I need sharpeners, I need notebooks, I need pictures, I need socks’. I asked Him for everything I needed.”

Two weeks later, Sharon was invited to special presentation at her church, and on arriving, she saw a big pile of brightly-wrapped shoeboxes.

“I knelt and cried and prayed, ‘Thank you God for meeting my needs, and answering my prayer.”

”I didn’t know what was in the boxes; I thought that they were some kind of gift, but I didn’t know I was going to receive it,” she said. “They made us sing a song, and do a prayer, then they gave each child a box, and did a countdown—then told us to open the boxes.

“In that box I found everything I needed. I had prayed for pencils, I had prayed for pens, I had prayed for notebooks, I had prayed for pictures, erasers, sharpeners, socks – there was each and every thing I asked for.

“I knelt and cried and prayed, ‘Thank you God for meeting my needs, and answering my prayer.”

Once she learnt that the gifts were from supporters overseas, Sharon prayed for them, too.

“I knelt again and prayed ‘God, thank you for making OCC do this. Bless the child who prepared this for me and make him do more boxes so he can give to more children.”

Find out how to pack a shoebox of gifts for Operation Christmas Child.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

About the Author: Clare is a digital journalist for the Broadcast Industry.