An Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift is seen as evidence of God’s love and provisionAfter her daughter died and her son-in-law was injured in a car accident, Mila Wangit had an extra responsibility. She now had to raise her granddaughter.
The Filipino grandmother smiles when she talks about how 2-year-old Fregane meets her at the door holding slippers after a long day working in the garden, where she grows vegetables to earn a meager income.
Fregane often plays with neighborhood children, some of whom have toys and dolls. Mila watches as her granddaughter lovingly strokes a borrowed doll, examines its eyes, and pats it gently. Fregane often carries it around for hours. But when it’s time to go home, Mila also sees Fregane reluctantly return the doll to its owner.
“I just can’t afford to buy such things,” Mila said.
One day, Mila was invited to bring her granddaughter to a special event at the church in their village. Mila strapped Fregane to her back and began the journey. In the Philippines, women use a small sheet, knotted in the front, to carry children who are too young to walk long distances.
Mila did not know Operation Christmas Child gifts would be distributed that day. She listened as the pastor described the love of Jesus. The rows of brightly colored shoe boxes were tangible representations of God’s love for each child.
Mila had been praying that the Lord would provide for her granddaughter. As Mila and Fregane opened the large box neatly wrapped in green paper, a large teddy bear stared back at them.
“I was overjoyed when my grandchild opened the box and saw it was a doll,” Mila said. “She asked me to put it on her back immediately.”
Mila smiled as Fregane proudly walked around with her new friend.
“I am so thankful and grateful,” she said. “I want to bring my grandchild here so she will become a believer when she is older.”