TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Some people think it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, especially the program Samaritan’s Purse.
For nearly 50 years, Samaritan’s Purse has been providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Their “Operation Christmas Child” provides a shoe box filled with personal hygiene items and toys for those in need.
KLTV 7 spoke with a Rwandan man who escaped the 1994 genocide and received a shoe box when he was a child. KLTV 7’s Jamey Boyum spoke with him when he visited a Longview Church.
Alex Nsengimana drew a crowd of caring East Texans when he went to speak at Calvary Baptist Church in North Longview to promote “Operation Christmas Child”. In 1994 he and his family were on the run and he was nearly killed.
“I looked to the ground and realized that that noise that missed my head was a bullet that missed my head because I slipped in a cowpie. And that’s what God used to save my life. I never thought that years later I would be telling people that God used a cowpie to save my life,” Alex said to the crowd.
But things would get worse before they got better.
“Both my grandmother and my uncle, the people who were taking care of me were killed during that war, and I would run from family to family. By the end of the genocide I was put in an orphanage. And while I was in this orphanage, that’s when Samaritan’s Purse, the mother organization of Operation Christmas Child brought shoe boxes to us,” Alex recalled.
He said that was the first time most of the children had ever received a gift, and that shoe box was filled with hygiene items and toys that the orphanage could not afford to supply.
But the shoe box contained:
“All these fun items that brought us so much joy, and we’re reminded that God loved us and we were not forgotten. At a time when we had lost all hope God used Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes to remind us that we’re special,” Alex revealed.
Alex said the orphanage had a hard time just providing food, but workers at the orphanage took advantage of the shoe box situation.
“We can find food for these guys while they are playing with their toys, and then the orphanage director didn’t stop there though. They would also use the shoebox to share with us about the greatest gift of all; to remind us that even though we had gone through all of this there was still hope,” Alex added.
And now Alex is compelled to pay it forward by spreading the word.
Click here if you’d like more information about how you can contribute shoe boxes to children in need.