It’s amazing what a little pampering can do for someone in pain.
“I started handing out pamper packs after experiencing multiple pregnancy losses and complications,” said Christina Oliva, a member of an Adventist church plant in South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. “I needed something new to put my energy into instead of being consumed by what my heart was aching for — another baby.”
As Oliva was processing her grief, she became aware that other people around her were also in pain, although it was for different reasons. Wanting to encourage these people, she began assembling and handing out pamper packs.
The packs contain items such as bath salts, soy candles, natural creams, herbal tea bags, and, most important, a card with an encouraging Bible verse. Some pamper packs were sent to the women’s refuge in nearby Kempsey; others were given out to Cooranbong residents, and still others to people in the South West Rocks area.
The pamper packs in Christina Oliva’s sharing ministry are put together with love and care for women going through tough times. [Photo: Adventist News Online]
Christina Oliva finds natural beauty products to include in the pamper packs that she shares in her encouragement ministry. [Photo: Adventist News Online]
“Giving out these packs was a way to reach out and share my faith, even though I was struggling with it,” Oliva said. “It was a way to remind people that even during our darkest days, God is still with us, and He does care.”
How could Oliva 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 products in the pamper packs,” Oliva said. “The ladies in Nappy Valley, in 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.”
Oliva’s church family has also been helping the pamper pack ministry to continue. A few of the women 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,” Oliva commented.
Eventually, Oliva had the second baby she had prayed for. “It was a huge miracle against so many medical odds — even the obstetrician was amazed,” she said. But that hasn’t diminished her pamper pack ministry, she added, and she encourages others to think about what God is calling them to do.
“Each person’s ministry will be different,” she said. “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 days of grief and be that need for someone else.”