Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lead me to the cross

During the fall time, I stay very busy traveling around the state of South Carolina sharing my experience of receiving Operation Christmas Child shoe box as a 14 year old girl in a small country of Belarus. In the past several years, I have spoken during the church services and Sunday school classes encouraging people to make shoe boxes, because God does use them to show His love with His children around the world.

One particular Sunday evening I was asked to speak to younger children at AWANA about making the shoe boxes. I agreed, but was very nervous about it. You would think that as many times as I have shared my testimony, this time it would be a piece of cake, but that was not the case. I have never shared my testimony with children before and was not sure how to tell my story in the way that they would understand.

I began to pray, “Lord, give me Your words. Father, I pray that through this speaking engagement, you will get all the glory, honor and praise, all while conveying Your message to these children.” Admitting that I was nervous was easy and I had amazing adults who bathed me in prayer as I began to speak.

God always amazes me and that evening was no different. Every time I share my testimony He is faithful in delivering His promise that He gave us in Matt 10:19-20, “Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say. For it will not you, but the Spirit of Your Father will speak through you”. That evening He spoke through me capturing children’s attention and curiosity.

After I concluded my story with the Bible verse, it was Q & A session. Hands went up everywhere as I tried to answer all of their questions. And let me tell you something, kids asked exactly what was on their minds. I giggled with adults at some of the questions and comments that kids shared but loved every second I was surrounded by curious minds.

One question that a young boy asked me took me by surprise. As he raised his hand high making sure that he is noticed, I asked him what he wanted to know. He looked at me and without hesitation asked, “Are you a missionary?” Silence filled the room as 60 eyes looked my way without blinking, waiting for my response. Kids were not the only ones looking my way; adults also looked at me and wondered what I was going to say.

I too wondered for a second what I was going to tell these children. I mean, I always considered a missionary to be a person who answered God’s call and moved to a different city, state or country for that matter, to share the gospel of Christ with others. However, that is not what came out of my mouth the night I stood in front thirty some people.

“I am a missionary”, I answered boldly looking into the eyes of a little boy. “But it is not because I was born in a different country, that I consider myself a missionary. You don’t have to live in a foreign country for God to use you. In Matthew 28:19 God says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations”, God wants us to tell about Him every day to people that we come in contact. By sending a shoebox, you can be a missionary in China, by inviting your friends to come to your church; you can be a missionary in America. God uses ordinary people like you and me to do extraordinary things”. At that time I knew that I was not clever enough to come up with the answer, and I thank God that He gave me the words to share with the young child.

As I was driving home, I couldn’t stop smiling because the children blessed me. God also reminded me that night, that He can use a sinner like me, an ordinary foreigner to be a missionary every day to people that I come in contact. When I am at a gas station, God can use me to share a word of encouragement with the stranger. When I am at a grocery store He can use my extra change to buy groceries for a woman, whose credit card is not working. When I am at work, He can use me to love on my co-workers. When I am at home, He can use me to serve my husband. No matter where I am, God can use me to be a missionary… and He can use you too!


  1. Wow, Oxana! We're so excited to hear your story here! We fill the shoe boxes through our church and the kids love it but it seems like a distant concept to them. I just told Meghan about you this morning and she was thrilled that a real-life person that she "knows" was one of those children! Thank you soooo much for sharing this. I will be telling my children's pastor and his wife about you and they will be encouraged!

  2. Oxana, you are one very special lady. I am so blessed that Abba allowed our paths to cross. Thank you for sharing this precious testimony to God's greatness.

    Our church participates in this shoe box ministry every year. What an encouragement it is to actually hear from someone who was on the receiving end of the box!

    God's richest blessings on you,

  3. Awesome post! You are such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.