A Christmas wish for food

Operation Christmas Love delivers joy just in time for Christmas

"The most I can ever imagine giving my kids for Christmas is a piece of bread on the Christmas table..."

Viorica is the mother of three lively boys, nine-year-old Dumitru, seven-year-old Vasile, and two-year-old Grigore – and she and her family live in deep poverty in Cantemir, Moldova.

Bread has become a luxury to them, like so many other foods, because of the rise in prices and the parents’ struggle to secure well-paid work.

The family live in a small, old house that lacks basic living conditions. They don't have a bathroom, and instead of a shower, they use a basin filled with warm water. The house is not connected to any water or gas supply. They use firewood for cooking, and they carry water in buckets from the village well.

The family all cram together in the same room. The children’s play area is under the table. Here each toy is carefully stored, and Viorica has put some blankets on the floor to keep it cozy.

When lunch is ready, the children gather round to eat. Usually, Viorica gives the children porridge for lunch, but they often ask her, “Mum, are we ever going to have meat again sometime?”

Help bring joy to a family in need this Christmas

Grigore and his stuffed monkey, one of his favorite toys
Grigore and one of his favorite toys, his stuffed monkey

The mother is worn down by the struggle to meet her children’s basic needs, her face expressing worry and frustration that she can’t give them the food they want. She feels that her boys have been exposed to the harsh reality of poverty from too young an age.

This Christmas, she and her husband are especially worried about their financial situation because of the way food and firewood prices have soared. Despite the difficulties they face, she and Grigore support their children as best they can, and the family atmosphere is loving and friendly

However, Vasile, Dumitru and Grigore feel a sense of difference from the other children they know from the village and from school, and Dumitru – who is the eldest – does not have much hope for the future.

He said sadly, “To be honest, I don’t know what I want to become when I grow up.

Mission Without Borders (MWB) in Moldova firmly believe that these boys do have a future – and that with support and encouragement, it will be a bright one. Vasile, Dumitru and Grigore are each enrolled on MWB’s child sponsorship program, and are receiving ongoing support from Boris, the local staff member, who visits them regularly, encourages them in their schoolwork, and offers them practical help.

A bag of potatoes feeds a the family for a month
A bag of potatoes helps feed the family for a month.

On his latest visit, Boris had a wonderful surprise for the whole family: something that would fill their food cupboards and give them joy just in time for Christmas.

He brought them Operation Christmas Love boxes, which are each filled with food and treats and some literature that explains the true meaning of Christmas – how God sent his Son as the most wonderful gift of all. Every family member was overjoyed, and the boys eagerly helped to unpack every item. Viorica was full of thanks, saying that she had little food left and Boris had visited them at just the right moment.

Boris said, “I find it heartbreaking seeing families suffer, but it especially hurts me to see children get stuck in the circumstances they were born into. The OCL boxes are a great help to the families, especially during this difficult winter season – and difficult time in general: unemployment, high prices, low wages... The families benefit greatly from receiving these boxes and they feel loved and cared for by God. We can accomplish something wonderful for the glory of Christ if we work together!”

Viorica said joyfully, “You have no idea what it means to us when Mr. Boris comes to visit us, and he is never empty-handed."

Brothers Dumitru and Vasile
Brothers Vasile (left) and Dumitru

For many families living in poverty in Eastern Europe, Christmas is a time when all they want is food. Operation Christmas Love meets the needs of families and elderly people so that on this special occasion they can sit down and eat together, knowing that they are loved.

With the help of our supporters, we can reach many more children living in poverty this Christmas. Give a gift today and share hope with a family in need this season.

Many families in Moldova cook outside
Families often depend on outdoor fires to heat water and cook meals in Moldova as they don't have dependable appliances in their homes.



Give hope and dignity.