The gift of love on Christmas day

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Oksana Nelson's story is a remarkable one of love and hope. This story began over a decade ago with a Christmas wrapped shoe box.

Now, many years later,this 21-year-old, originally from Russia, is on the giving end of things as part of the Operation Christmas Child. She also speaks on their behalf whenever she can to churches, schools and groups.

Today she was at of Our Lady Queen of Heaven telling the students her uplifting story, but she will be at other Southwest Louisiana churches this weekend.

Nelson tells her story of growing up in an orphanage and how strangers can transform the life of a child. She also speaks about how Missionaries taught her about God, and how eventually she was adopted by a loving family with she was ten years old.

When she was a little girl she lived in an orphanage in Russia and knew nothing of loving, caring parents. But when she was about eight she received a Christmas box with basics including a toothbrush and toothpaste. For her it was a sign of hope and love as she had never before had her own toothbrush.

Oksana was adopted by an American family at age ten and now shares her story to promote service to others and Operation Christmas Child-- which sends boxes to children all over the world. "It was my first gift that I ever received as a young child and not having a family, not having anyone to love and to turn to receiving this gift really showed me that there are people in this world who care about you and there are people in this world who care enough to send you a gift and give you that little piece of love that you never had before," she said.

Oksana will tell her moving story at several churches this weekend starting at 6:30 tonight at Temple Baptist in DeRidder. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday she'll be at the Dwelling Place, 1800 E. College Street in Lake Charles.  At 10:15 a.m. she'll be at Maplewood First Baptist on Maplewood Drive in Sulphur.  For more information on her visit and Operation Christmas Child  click here or to get involved in local efforts

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