Through The Greatest Journey discipleship program, children and families in Botswana are experiencing the power of the Gospel.
Banyana saw the young girl playing along the dusty road in Molepolole, a city just a couple hours west of Botswana’s capital Gaborone. Banyana rolled down her car window.
“You need to come to church,” the veteran Sunday School teacher told Queen.
“I don’t have good clothes,” Queen said. “They are going to laugh at me.”
“You don’t need good clothes to come to church. They will not laugh at you. You need to come hear the Word of God.”
For many years, Banyana and a number of teachers have been inviting children in Molepolole to Operation Christmas Child shoebox distributions at Bethsaida Christian Church. In this way, children and their families tangibly experience the love of the local church embodied in simple gifts packed and delivered with much love and prayer.
For some children in Botswana, the items in the shoeboxes are the first gifts they have ever received. These shoeboxes filled with school supplies, hygiene items, small toys, shoes, and clothes pique the curiosity of children and their families as they learn that they were sent by God’s people thousands of miles away.
This in turn opens their hearts and minds to God’s love.
That’s how Queen, her parents, and her family were first introduced to the Good News of the Gospel. “I was so happy,” Queen said. “It’s not every day that I get to have a present. I didn’t have a toothbrush. I have it now. I got it from the church.”
Not long after receiving her shoebox, Queen experienced the eternal joy and hope that comes from receiving Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. Through our 12-lesson discipleship course—The Greatest Journey—she learned that God created her and demonstrated His love for her by sending His Son.
Placing her faith in Christ has transformed the way Queen looks at life and the way she treats people around her. “I used to insult others, but now I have changed,” she said. “By listening to what God says I know what it means to be a kind person.”
Queen wants to one day serve as a Sunday School teacher so she can share God’s Word with others. “I want to help my friends by teaching them about God and what He has done.”
A Family Changed
Queen’s testimony has also impacted her family. Queen’s mother, grandmother, and siblings started attending church after seeing the transformation in her life.
Her family has even started studying the Bible together. They use The Greatest Journey lessons in their home to learn more about Jesus, and they pray in the morning together and again before they go to sleep.
“Some children go to church because of their parents, but Queen didn’t have parents who went to church,” Banyana said. “Now, parents are coming to church because of the power of God in the life of their children.”