Genocide survivor tells CIU students how Operation Christmas Chi - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Genocide survivor tells CIU students how Operation Christmas Child made a difference in his life

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

An inspiring personal account of hope in the face of immense tragedy kicked off Operation Christmas Child collections at Columbia International University Tuesday morning.
 
Operation Christmas Child is a program through Samaritan's Purse International Relief that provides donated gifts for children in 130 countries. The gifts come in a shoe box.

The speaker at Tuesday’s kickoff, Alex Nsengimana, was personally and positively affected by the program after surviving the mass genocide in Rwanda 15 years ago.
 
He lost his entire family and ended up in an orphanage where he received one of those shoeboxes.
 
"When I received my shoebox, I went through my shoebox and I found this red and white thing, and I didn't know what it was, so I actually ate the candy cane with the plastic on it, because I didn't know what it was. But, that brought a smile to my face and reminded me that someone cared," said Alex.

After making his way to the United States and living in Minnesota, he now works for Samaritan’s Purse and a ministry in North Carolina. He says it’s encouraging to be able to give back after the impact the program had on his life.
 
“When they receive that gift, they have something to cling to, something very tangible. It reminds them that someone loves them and that’s
very special, because as a little boy, all I needed was love,” said Alex.
 
CIU students will be competing to see which dorm hall packs the most boxes. The school will be holding a packing party October 6th.

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