Here at Apex, we always take joy in buying toys and necessities for children all over the world for Operation Christmas Child every year. However, last year the Wing family was especially excited about one specific box they put together as a family. The Wings went to Target together to purchase the perfect gifts for this box. They picked out various items, but as a special gift they bought a soccer ball. Joyfully, they thought about how this box would reach just the right child. While being shipped to Samaritan’s Purse, the shipping label of the box was damaged; because of this, the box arrived late for the shipment to Africa it was intended for. Providentially, a former Apex staffer, Hannah Bolvi, who now works for Samaritan’s Purse recognized the torn label as an Apex one. Hannah reached out to Apex and she discovered it belonged to the Wing family. A new destination for the box was charted. This box would now go to Guyana along with a missions team, a team Hannah was a part of, to be delivered.
To get to Guyana, this box had to take three airplanes, an hour-long ride in a mini bus, two hours on another bus, ninety minutes by boat, and two more hours by van to reach the village. Guyana is heavily influenced by Indian and British culture. Cricket, not soccer, is the sport of choice for most. When Hannah realized the special package she carried contained a soccer ball, she was disappointed. This box was now in a place where it would likely be unused. As she watched the boxes being handed out, she saw the Wing’s box handed to a boy named Camathan. She watched him sit with the package, and before he had opened it she sees a sight that took her breath away. Camathan brought his feet out from underneath his chair, and he was wearing soccer shoes. He opened the box to see this big soccer ball, and he isn’t disappointed- he is ecstatic! While Hannah spoke to Camathan, she discovered he is the only boy in the school who plays soccer. The other boys in school actually tease him because he prefers soccer over cricket. The one boy, in this one village, who prefers soccer over everything else happens to get this one “mistake box” containing a soccer ball! The amazing part is this boy gets a soccer ball as a Christmas gift, and it is used by God to show him how much He knows the desires of his heart. God gave him a gift he wouldn’t have been able to get for himself, and this gift was was picked specifically for him. Every other boy in the village would have been disappointed with a soccer ball. Camathan was thrilled!
Hannah shared this story with the Wings afterwards, and she said, “God doesn’t just love the children of the world, He loves each child individually, deeply, and personally.” It is amazing how God loved this one boy personally. He rerouted a soccer ball, across oceans, to a remote village, in a school where he is the only one who loves soccer. And after he gets this gift, he and all his friends are invited to hear the Gospel through a discipleship program. Phil Wing shared, “This special gift sent on this special route opened this boy up to hear the most special News he could ever hear. It is amazing to think what God would do to reach this one boy so that he might have a more open heart to the Gospel.”
Operation Christmas Child is one of the many partners Apex is on mission with to reach the world for Jesus. Hundreds of Apexers participate in Operation Christmas Child, however most never get to see the fruits of their work; but they can trust their gifts are being guided by God’s hands, directly to the hands of a specific child. Every box, along with the message of the gospel, will go to just the right child to soften their heart to Jesus. The Wing family is so grateful to be a small part of God’s work in the life of Camathan, and humbled they were able to hear the story of the adventure their box took to carry God’s message of love to one little boy.
“People need to hear God does very special, very specific, very intimate work in the lives of people. He will do anything to reach one person. This story makes me think of the Good Shepherd, and how He left the ninety-nine to seek out the one. He came to seek out this one little boy in a village where no one else liked what he liked, and he just so happened to get this one “mistake box” that had a torn label, torn by divine appointment, and ended up in his lap.” It is true we serve a God who does not make mistakes, and when he reroutes our plans it is always to intersect hearts with the Good News.
Author: Julie Swain