Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Post / Operation Christmas Child--Hits Home

This post is a guest post by a friend I've made since moving to Petal. She and her family attend our church & her husband, Nan, shared his story with the church last Sunday night. 

I have always loved Operation Christmas Child, but after hearing this story, this ministry that I've always thought of affecting "over there", now hits a LOT more close to home. Literally.

Y'all read this & then go pack some shoeboxes!


It's the early 1990’s.  A small village in the mountains near Lake Yojoa, Honduras.  There is a young boy of about 8 years and his name is Renan.  He lives in a small house with dirt floors.  No electricity.  No running water. He is the youngest boy of 10 children and shares a small room containing two twin beds with his five brothersHis father, don Lucio, runs a small store from their house selling things like eggs, sugar,chips, and coca-cola.  His mother, doña Moncha is a mid-wife and the pastor of the small church next door.

Sometimes Renan and his siblings are the only ones who show up to church, but their mother preaches anyway.  She knows the importance of sharing the Word, because just some years before she saw how real Jesus was.  


Moncha was a young wife and mother.  She spent her days caring for her children and small home.

Her husband worked in the sugar cane fields.  When Lucio wasn’t working (and sometimes even when he was) he was drunk.  

One day Oscar, one of their sons, was invited to a house church nearby and because his father wasn’t home Moncha allowed him to go.  She knew Lucio wouldn’t approve, but she let him go anyway.  Oscar went several times to the house church and soon knew he needed this Jesus they were talking about.  

He could hardly contain his excitement and pleaded with his mother to go with him the next time he went.  And when that time came, since once again her husband wasn’t at home, she agreed to go.  And went several times after that even though Lucio told her not to.  She soon accepted Christ as her Savior.

It had been a few days since she had seen her husband last.  He was more than likely passed out somewhere from drinking too much.  It was just a fact of life she had accepted.  So, when it was time for the church meeting she didn’t hesitate to go.  After they left, Lucio came home to find his house with no one home.  He was drunk and enraged.  He knew exactly where she was.  He walked down the street planning what he would do to her.  He told himself that he would go in where they were meeting, drag her out by her hair and beat her in the middle of the street for all to see.

But, God had other plans for Lucio that night.  He walked into that church meeting a drunk and angry man.  He came out redeemed by the blood of Christ.  

And there began their family’s walk with Jesus.  You can see why doña Moncha would preach even if no one but her own family showed up.

So Renan grew up knowing about Jesus, but he, as a young boy, had yet to experience Him.


It was almost time for school to start and young Renan desperately wanted to go.  But with so many siblings that were already in school, his parents didn’t have the money to buy him the supplies required to attend school – a notebook and a pencil.  He begged anyway.  His mother told him that they should pray about it and that God would provide a way.  

And so they prayed every day.  For many days.  Renan awoke most days just knowing that this was the day it was all going to happen.  But many days passed and he still didn’t have a notebook and pencil.

One day his sister came home telling everyone that she heard there would be some missionaries in the village the next day to pass out gifts to the children.  Renan was so excited. He had never received a gift before.  Not for Christmas.  Not for his birthday.  He could hardly sleep that night thinking about what it would be like to get a gift.

He woke up early the next morning and got ready.  He put on his best clothes.  And he was so excited it didn’t even bother him that day that he had no shoes to wear.  

He and his sisters arrived early to where the missionaries were coming.  Once they got there and passed out the gifts Renan just looked at his box.  It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  It was wrapped in paper that had a little man with drums on it.  Someone came along and asked him why he hadn’t opened his gift.  He told them that he didn’t think he could tear the paper because it was too pretty.  But they finally convinced him to open it.  And when he did he found it was the moment he had been waiting for.  Inside his box was a pack of crayons, a coloring book, some scissors, a notebook, and some pencils.  In that moment Renan knew he was going to school.

He ran home to show his mother the gift and tell her that he could go to school.  But in all the excitement Renan was a little confused.  He asked his mom who they knew that would give him this gift.  She reminded him of the prayer they had been praying for God to provide a way for him to be able to go to school.  She told him that this gift was God’s provision; it was the answer to their prayer. And that someone somewhere loved Jesus so much that they sent this gift for him.

Because of that gift, because of the answer to his prayer, Renan knew there must be something more to Jesus than just the stories his mother read to them.  Because of that gifthe wanted to learn more about Jesus.  Sometime later he gave his heart to Jesus.


My name is Nita.  I met Renan in that village in the mountains near Lake Yojoa, Honduras 11 years ago.  We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and we have two beautiful daughters.  We now live in Mississippi on my family’s old farm. Renan has been in the United States for 9 years and works at an electrical company.  I am a home school mom to Ema and Rosa.

Although the gift Renan received as a young boy in Honduras wasn’t through Operation Christmas Child he has had the opportunity over the past few years to travel and share his story all over the United States with Operation Christmas Child.  The meaning of the gift he received and the meaning of those more than 100 million shoeboxes Operation Christmas Child has distributed all over the world is the same – Jesus loves you.  So simple, yet it is the greatest message we will ever tell.

Renan with his sisters and an MK the day he got his shoebox.

Renan with his mother at home.  He was probably about 12 in this picture.

don Lucio and doña Moncha in 2012.

Renan sharing about Operation Christmas Child on American Family Radio in 2012

Perdomo Family 2012

Renan sharing his story at Samaritan’s Purse staff devotionals in 2013

Ema and Rosa at Operation Christmas Child offices at Samaritan’s Purse in Boone, NC 2013

Ema and Rosa with the shoeboxes they packed in 2013

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