Gospel Message impacts OCC shoebox recipient, Yuri Lopez, many years later after receiving shoebox as a child

OCC shoebox recipient, Yuri Lopez, holds note that shoebox giver gave to her as a message of hope at six years old.

The gift of hope through Jesus Christ still remains for Operation Christmas Child shoebox recipient, Yuri Lopez: yesterday, today, and forever.  

Lopez, who grew up in 14 different orphanages in Honduras, had no hope, until she received an OCC shoebox at the age of six years old. One of the contents of the shoebox was a message of encouragement that greatly impacted her life, written out to her from the giver of her shoebox:

“Jesus loves you, and I love you too.” 

Lopez felt an array of feelings, ranging from happiness to crying with tears of joy, after she received her first OCC shoebox. She believes that God set apart a shoebox just for her in that He picked it out and set it aside specifically for her.        

“My shoebox was wrapped with Christmas wrapping paper, which was different from the other shoeboxes,” Lopez told Atlanta Christian Voice. “I screamed as loud as I could because I saw a set of ten colorful pencils. That day, I believe that God had a plan for my life.” 

“My shoebox was wrapped with Christmas wrapping paper, which was different from the other shoeboxes,” Lopez told Atlanta Christian Voice. “That day, I believe that God had a plan for my life.” 

The OCC shoebox that Lopez received contained a picture of the girl, who wrote her the note, school supplies, crayons and a coloring book, a toothbrush, hair products and a hairbrush. 

“Knowing that I had my own toothbrush for the first time was really special to me,” Lopez told Atlanta Christian Voice. 

Little did Lopez know that God would use this one experience that changed her life through something as small and simple as a shoebox many years later. 

At 13 years old, Lopez received a Bible from a pastor and his wife as a present. After receiving the Bible, Lopez made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. 

“I received a Bible when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at 13 years old,” Lopez told Atlanta Christian Voice. “The pastor’s wife gave it to me as a present. They told me that the Bible can answer many of life’s questions that I have.” 

In 2008, OCC came to speak at Bryan College, a university in Tennessee that Lopez was attending. It was in that moment of Lopez’s life that she could feel the Holy Spirit of God stirring her heart to join OCC and pack shoeboxes. 

“Since 2008, I’ve been packing shoeboxes,” Lopez told Atlanta Christian Voice. “I’m a minister for OCC, where I get the opportunity to go to different churches and organizations to share my testimony of what God is doing through me and OCC.” 

Lopez continues to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through her service at OCC and as a full-time minister at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

“It’s not about what is in the shoebox, but what goes beyond it,” Lopez told Atlanta Christian Voice.

For more information on OCC, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org.           



OCC Shoebox recipient, Yuri Lopez.





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Sarah Dickens
Sarah Dickens is the News Editor of Atlanta Christian Voice. Sarah has a B.A. in Mass Communication from Georgia College and State University and two M.A. degrees in Global Studies and Pastoral Counseling with a focus in Dobson Center Marriage and Family Studies from Liberty University. She is currently working on her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University and hopes to be licensed to practice counseling in the next few years. Sarah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she humbly serves the Lord, friends, and others at First Baptist Church of Atlanta. Her two greatest passions are ministering to children and serving on the missions field. After working on the mission field in Lebanon, Japan, and Uganda, she hopes to continue taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to other lands. Her favorite hobbies include blogging, ballroom dancing, making and creating art, and reading books by Christian authors while sipping a cup of tea from one of her favorite tea mugs. Her life verse from the Bible is Philippians 4:13, which states, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
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