Désiré and the Yo-yo

Désiré and the Yo-yo

God used a simple light-up yo-yo to remind me of His love.

I remember walking every day to school when I was young. Most of the time I went without any lunch because my parents couldn’t afford to feed all of us a lunch. I was one of seven children, and we lived in a very poor area of West Africa.

It was hard to even earn enough money for food, and nobody had money for gifts at Christmas. My parents did not buy things like toys or even many books to read.

When I received my first gift, it was in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, and it was a real blessing for me. We also listened to a presentation of the Gospel, and I received a copy of the Greatest Gift booklet. Though I had already accepted Christ a couple years earlier and grown up in church, I was excited to read that book over and over to learn more about Him.

I couldn’t wait to see what was inside my shoebox, but I also looked forward to what God was going to do in my life.

We did not open our boxes at the event. We wanted to share the experience with our family. When I got home I opened the box up and saw all those wonderful gifts. There were toys and books, and what I especially enjoyed was my yo-yo. It was a special yo-yo, because at night it would just light up my dark neighborhood.

I wasn’t just excited about having new toys and new things, though. I was also excited because I was surprised to receive a gift from people I didn’t know and might never meet. Honestly, I had never received a gift in my life, and I never expected it.

So, when Operation Christmas Child told me that people from the other side of the world cared about me, it helped me to experience even more thankfulness for God’s faithfulness toward me. Who would ever think that God would use a simple light-up yo-yo in a shoebox to remind me of His love? I think back to that Saturday morning and to all the ways God has continued to be faithful to me since then. God has even used me to share His love with others in my country.

A few years after receiving that shoebox I began another journey I didn’t expect. When I was 12 years old I started a children’s ministry in my neighborhood to teach others about Jesus Christ. Since then I’ve been able to share the love of God throughout my neighborhood and in many villages in West Africa.

More recently, I’ve been involved in evangelism and discipleship as part of Operation Christmas Child. As I’ve taught The Greatest Journey discipleship program throughout my country, I have seen God change the hearts of many children. I’ve seen nine churches started as a result of Gospel seeds planted through The Greatest Journey project.

Today I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I attend Bible college and am learning to be an even better teacher of God’s Word.

I am so grateful to the many, many people who pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, because through one of these simple gifts God opened more of my heart to Him and to telling others about Him.

And thank you for praying for God to work through Operation Christmas Child and for praying for kids to become disciples and disciplemakers like He made me.

Désiré with his yo-yo Désiré as a child Désiré with puppet

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