Texas Woman Shares Faith & Hope from Samaritan's Purse Christmas Shoebox

(Screengrab Samaritan's Purse Facebook Video)
Read time: 2 minutes 18 seconds

Founded in 1970 by Robert "Bob" Pierce, Samaritan's Purse has been meeting the practical needs of millions around the world for decades.

Now, "Operation Christmas Child" is set to give out its 200 millionth shoebox. At least a few of these boxes filled with love, hope and toys for children will be given out by a once-orphaned woman from the Ukraine whose life was changed by the very same gift.

According to Samaritan's Purse website, Pierce's goal for the organization was "to meet emergency needs in crisis areas through existing evangelical mission agencies and national churches." And it has been doing exactly that.

Elizabeth Groff was born in the Ukraine and grew up in an orphanage with no family at all. She was bereft of love, hope and comfort, and no vision for her future. Until one day when she received a shoebox from Samaritan's Purse that changed her life.

Groff explained the impact the box had on her life in an email to Fox News Digital:

"There was nothing I had to prove to receive this shoebox gift, nothing I had to do to earn it. Through this act of unconditional love, I was washed suddenly in a bright hope. God wasn't going to abandon me; He was meeting me right there at rock bottom."

Receiving the shoebox opened her heart to the Lord's lovingkindness and birthed a mission in her heart to help other children like her receive that same feeling of love and care. But not only does Groff want to bless other children with toys to let them know they are loved; she wants to tell them about the amazing love of Jesus.

"There are so many children out there just like me who have never heard of Jesus or experienced His everlasting love," she said. "I know the impact a single shoebox can make. It absolutely changed my life. There's no greater reward than being able to serve through this ministry."

As she prepares for this momentous milestone of love, hope and giving, she is filling the box not only with toys, but with prayer for the child that will receive it.

As reported by Samaritan's Purse, "Elizabeth's adventure will culminate when she finally delivers the celebratory 200 millionth shoebox to a young girl in Ukraine affected by the ongoing war."

Groff says, "I pray that this child realizes and understands that they aren't alone. With everything going on Ukraine, it must be so difficult for them. I want them to know that there is the hope of Jesus."

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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