he 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.