Unexpected Gift

Angella received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled with presents. Since then, she’s led her Muslim family to Christ.

Christmas is all about the unexpected: an angel appearing to shepherds, a virgin conceiving, God becoming man.

On December 26, 2014, something unexpected and wonderful began among the Kulemba family of Malawi, a country in southern Africa. That day their 12-year-old daughter Angella received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift from the local church she had recently started attending.

The pens, pencils, eraser, notebook, and ruler she received blessed her Muslim family. Angella needed these items for school, but her parents did not have them or the money to buy them.

“It was a great relief to the family,” said Angella’s mother Dorothy.

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Angella reads the Gospel booklet to her family. All are now following Christ.

The flashlight inside the girl’s box also meant a lot, because the Kulembas do not have electricity in their home. But it was only a shadow of the Light they received from The Greatest Gift, a Gospel booklet available in 65 languages that local churches distribute with the shoebox gifts.

“When I read the book, it proved to me that truly God is there,” Angella said. “That encouraged me to start going to church. I started going alone because I thought my family may not be convinced and accept Christianity.”

The truths she learned at church began to change her. Angella said: “As I went to church and learned about the Bible, I was being transformed by the verses we learned. I felt sweet in my heart because I was filled with the Word of God. It surprised me in my heart to find out that Christianity is good and that God is present and real.”

Family Finds New Life in Christ
These were not things she experienced when she attended the mosque with her family.

“My family was not worshipping God,” Angella said. “I believed if I continued going to church things would change. I showed the book to my family and read it to them. They were touched with joy and acknowledged that believing in God is believing the best thing in life.”

Angella’s mother Dorothy said, “It didn’t take long for me to follow Angella after hearing the good things that were happening in Christianity and what Angella was doing in the church. Early on I was a Muslim, but, because of Angella, I am a changed person. I am now a Christian.”

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Angella with an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.

Through the witness of Angella and her mom, all 10 members of the immediate family are now attending church and have decided to follow Jesus. The young evangelist shared Christ with her neighbors as well.

Dorothy said, “Even the children surrounding our home were impacted because Angella read the book to them and shared the gifts she received.”

The Greatest Gift continues to influence Angella’s life.

“Each and every day she reads the book, along with her books from school,” Dorothy said. “The book has really impacted the whole family. Even Angella’s older brothers have changed because of the gifts and the book Angella received.”

Her heart overflows. “I don’t know how I can express my happiness, my gratitude,” Dorothy said. “I just want to thank you people for what you have done for Angella, giving her that gift. I really appreciate that.”

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Angella helped distribute Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts in July 2015.

In July of 2015, Angella had the privilege of giving other children and their families a taste of what she experienced. She distributed shoebox gifts to other children in need in her area.

Now a year since she received her own gift-filled shoebox, this child continues to point others to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Prayer Request
Please pray for the distribution of Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts now and in the months to come. Pray that many children and families will gladly receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ways you can help


Pray that every child who receives an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift will hear and know how much God loves them.


Help Samaritan’s Purse go beyond the shoebox and expand assistance to children, their families, and their communities. Donate Here