A mother's worry for her family is dissipated when help arrives.

“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 lives in a small, old house that lacks basic living conditions. They don't have a bathroom; 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 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. Each toy is carefully stored, and Viorica has put some blankets on the floor to keep it cozy. 

At lunchtime, the children gather around to eat. Viorica usually serves them porridge, which they frequently comment about. "Mum, are we ever going to have meat again sometime?" they ask.

Viorica appears worn out as she struggles to fulfill her children's basic needs. Her face reflects her worry and frustration as she is unable to provide them with the food they desire. She feels that her sons have been exposed to the harsh reality of poverty at a very young age.

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

However, Vasile, Dumitru, and Grigore feel different from the other children they know from the village and school, and Dumitru – who is the eldest – has little 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 believes that these boys have a promising future – and that with support and encouragement, it will be bright. Vasile, Dumitru, and Grigore are each enrolled in MWB’s child sponsorship programme. They receive ongoing support from Boris, the local staff member, who visits them regularly, encourages them in their school work, and offers them practical help.

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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, 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 thankful, saying Boris' visit came at a crucial time as they were left with very little food.

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Boris shared, “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 families during this difficult winter season, especially with the challenges of unemployment, high prices, and low wages. The families benefit enormously 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."

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 bring hope and joy to many more children and families living in poverty this Christmas. Will you join us?


42 000

Operation Christmas Love boxes are planned for distribution to families, individuals and the elderly across our six field countries, including 10 000 to those in war-torn Ukraine.

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Give hope and dignity.