Full Circle Speaker Okonne To Speak On His Christmas Child Shoebox Experience

Marvellous Okonne, an Operation Christmas Child Full Circle speaker, is coming to Sidney to share how receiving an Operation Christmas Child box changed his life and continues to remind him of God's love and care for him on Saturday, March 18 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

According to flyers about the event, Okonne is the youngest of four children. He grew up in a part of Central Africa where Christians are persecuted for their beliefs and his family had to resettle in another area because of their faith. His parents had a hard time finding a source of income and soon found they could not afford to send their children to school.

At the age of eight, he received a Christmas Child shoebox. According to Karen Huskamp, "Marvellous knew if God could give him a shoebox, that He could help get him to school." In May 2022, Okonne graduated from Belmont Abby, a Catholic liberal arts college, North Carolina. In March 2023 he was already in Ashland, MT, on a mission trip with college so Karen felt he was a good choice to come speak.

This is not the first Full Circle speaker that Shepherd of the Valley has invited to speak. In May 2022, the church asked Kimheang Vance to speak about her experience receiving a shoebox. It was the first time that they had invited a Full Circle speaker. They had a community meal before the talk and there was a large turnout from the community. This time, there will be no meal but there will be coffee and fellowship after Okonne's talk.

Shepherd of the Valley is a yearly drop off point for Operation Christmas Child. Karen said, "Receiving a shoebox is a life-changing thing. It is encouraging for those who pack boxes and exciting to hear a first-hand account." Samaritan's Purse funds the travel expenses of their Full Circle speakers to encourage people to pack shoeboxes. The event is free and open to the public.

Karen said, "I am hopeful that people will come out, listen to his story, and learn more about Operation Christmas Child."

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is located at 211 E. Holly St., just west of Tractor Supply. For more information call 406-433-7479.


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