As children around the world receive Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts and are invited to learn more about Jesus Christ through The Greatest Journey discipleship program, many parents are curious to find out what their children are learning. This is especially true if the adults themselves know little about Him. Soon, whole families are studying the Word together and discovering how to follow Jesus.
That was the case recently in Toluca, Mexico, when 86 shoebox recipients started The Greatest Journey, led by members of a local church.
Many of the children’s parents had heard the church’s Gospel presentation during the Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution and also were interested in learning more. So, 22 of the parents accompanied their children to The Greatest Journey classes—all sitting together in a field to hear Bible stories each week.
The 12-lesson classes also offered the parents and their children an opportunity to improve their reading skills. For low-income families in this agricultural area, school can be a luxury.
Through reading the Bible stories, the children and their parents learned that Jesus died for their sins as God’s Greatest Gift and arose from the dead, offering salvation to those who believe in Him as the one and only Savior.
The kids’ excitement about Jesus kept spreading to the parents, and vice versa, so that by the time the children graduated from The Greatest Journey in April, each receiving a Bible and a graduation certificate, the parents participated in the ceremony too.
As the children read skits about Jesus, the parents acted them out for the audience. Children from the local church, one of our Operation Christmas Child partners, recited the Great Commission—Matthew 28:19-20—during the graduation. Then, facing The Greatest Journey graduates, they led them in a cheer: We will go make disciples!
This church has now formed an ongoing Thursday night Bible study designed for the adults and children to grow in their understanding of the Gospel. They also host Saturday activities for the children as well.
Pray that these children and their parents will continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
The Greatest Journey is an exciting evangelism and discipleship program designed to teach children how to become faithful followers of Christ and to share their faith with others. We offer the program to children who have received Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Boys and girls who complete The Greatest Journey course receive graduation certificates and New Testaments in their own language. We’re able to provide all the study materials, a graduation certificate and New Testament for only $6 per child.