“I started handing out pamper packs after experiencing multiple pregnancy losses and complications,” says Christina Oliva, a member of an Adventist Church plant in South West Rocks (NSW). “I needed something new to put my energy into instead of being consumed by what my heart was aching for—another baby.”
As Christina was processing her personal grief, she became aware that there were other people around her who were also in pain, although it was for different reasons. Wanting to help encourage these people, she began assembling and handing out pamper packs.
The packs would contain items such as bath salts, soy candles, natural creams, herbal tea bags and most importantly a card with an encouraging Bible verse. Some pamper packs were sent to the women’s refuge in Kempsey, others were given out to Cooranbong residents and still others to people in the South West Rocks area.
“Giving out these packs was a way to reach out and share my faith, even though I was struggling with it,” says Christina. “It was a way to remind people that even during our darkest days, God is still with us and He does care.”
But how could Christina keep her ministry sustainable as a stay-at-home mum with a husband studying in college? She prayed about it.
“I began making my own organic health and beauty products—rooibos chai tea mix, body butter, lotion bars and charcoal face mask—and selling them to finance the ingredients and/or products in the pamper packs,” Christina says. “The ladies in Nappy Valley (Cooranbong) became my best customers!”
“Sometimes the pamper packs contain products I’ve made myself, high-quality natural products I’ve purchased or a mix of the two. I’ve also used some of the profits to buy natural baby essentials and a Bible-themed board book.”
Christina’s church plant has also been helping the pamper pack ministry continue. A few of the ladies who have received pamper packs now attend the church plant’s monthly friendship group. “It’s a wonderful way to reach out to our community,” comments Christina.
God ended up sending Christina the second baby she had prayed for. “It was a huge miracle against so many medical odds—even the obstetrician was amazed,” she says. But that hasn’t diminished her pamper pack ministry. And she encourages others to think about what God is calling them to do too.
“Each person’s ministry will be different,” she says. “It’s something you’ll be passionate about, something that God directs you to. Be a blessing to others. Think about what you’ve needed in your own days of grief and be that need for someone else.”