Photo and story courtesy of Samaritan's Purse. For more info on the ministry, visit here.
Dania Yadago and her family lived in three Middle Eastern countries before they finally made their way to the United States through the United Nations Commission for Human Rights. Dania and her family lived in severe poverty with days when they did not have anything to eat.
Because there wasn’t much that Dania’s parents could afford, if they wanted something, the only thing they could do was to pray for it. This particular year, Dania’s family had a very specific need. They needed a radio to help them hear the news in their country. That year, Dania’s family prayed for a radio. When they received their shoebox, Dania and her brother were thrilled with excitement to go through the special gifts that this box held. They were ecstatic that someone who they would probably never meet on this side of the world, thought of them, prayed for them and sent them a tangible act of love. What excited them the most was that everything in their shoebox was new! Dania treasured every item that they received – colored pencils, crayons, coloring books, hard candy, puzzle books and soap. She especially loved the smell of soap.
Every night Dania would open her shoebox, take each item out of the box, count them, and then put them back in the box. She was so afraid to lose them. Sometimes she was afraid of using her items because she didn’t want to run out of them.
But that wasn’t all there was to the shoebox. See this video starting at 1:22 as Dania shares her very touching story.
As Dania and her family carefully went through each item in their gift, they shrieked in disbelief as they pulled out from inside of their Operation Christmas Child shoebox a fully functional radio – A very specific answer to a very specific prayer! That day, Dania learned that with God all things are possible. She learned that there is power in prayer. Because of this, Dania now fights every battle, celebrates every victory and makes every plea on her knees.
Dania graduated from Salem College with a major in education and a minor in music. She loves Operation Christmas Child, and today she serves full time with the ministry as the Speakers Bureau Specialist. She is passionate about packing shoeboxes and sharing her love for the Lord and for this ministry whenever she has an opportunity.
Please enjoy this short devotion from her.
“Holding Down the Rope” by Dania Yadago
‘There are only two ministries in missions.
You’re either called to go down into the well
or you’re called to hold the rope for those that go down.’
I still clearly remember the day when I was seven years old and my parents held my brother and me, and they told us that we were going back to our home country - our birthplace - after living six years outside of it. When we asked why they answered ‘we are going there to tell people about Jesus.’
As I grew older, I realized that my parents were called to be missionaries, and they wanted to share the good news with the lost. I lived nine years in my country witnessing how difficult- yet rewarding it was to share the Gospel and see people give their lives to Christ. Looking back I reflect on what we’ve been through as we went ‘down the well’ to share the good news, however, it would’ve never been possible without the people that were supporting us from the outside and ‘holding the rope’ for us as we got deeper and deeper into that well.
The ministry of Operations Christmas Child is focused on the Great Commission. Over the years, missionaries - including my family when we were back home - have used Operation Christmas Child to share the Gospel with the lost, even in hard to reach areas like where I come from.
We might not be going down the well at this moment, but we definitely play a big role in supporting missionaries by holding the rope for them as they go down the well, or are already down.
We are holding the rope when we share our stories and motivate people to pack shoeboxes.
We are holding the rope when we pack shoeboxes ourselves.
We are holding the rope as we give from our time to share God’s faithfulness throughout our lives.
We hold the rope as we become a voice to the voiceless children/future shoebox recipients by giving our personal testimony.
Someone had to hold the rope for the people who brought the shoeboxes to us. Now it is our turn!
Let’s keep holding the rope and never let go of our brothers and sisters who truly need our prayers, support, and the shoeboxes to share the good news and great joy!
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Matthew 9:37-38