Twenty-eight percent of Peru’s 29.5 million people are 14-years-old or younger. In the 2012-2013 season, 219,703 shoe box gifts will be delivered to children in Peru, which first received the gifts in 1996. Since then, 1,460,056 children in Peru have received a shoe box gift.
Operation Christmas Child offers a follow-up discipleship program to our ministry partners in conjunction with the shoe box gifts. This year in Peru, these Bible lessons will be offered to 70,000 children who receive a shoe box gift. Click here to learn more about The Greatest Journey: http://www.thegreatestjourney.org.
The Greatest Journey begins when children are freely offered Gospel storybooks along with their shoe boxes. The Greatest Gift booklets—printed in over 70 languages—contain colorful illustrations that explain the Good News of Jesus Christ in a simple, engaging style.
After receiving a shoe box gift, boys and girls are invited to participate in the voluntary Bible study course produced by Samaritan’s Purse. The 12-lesson set guides children through a study of who Jesus Christ is, what it means to follow Him, and how to share this exciting message with others.
To help these boys and girls continue to grow in their faith, we also want to provide them with their own copies of the Greatest Gift New Testament. This special edition also includes select Old Testament stories, a dictionary, and a section that encourages the children to memorize Scripture.
Spiritual Impact Stories
Now I Know
A local pastor reported: “Six months ago, Yoner’s mother passed away because of lung cancer. We were praying for her and helping her because she was separated from her husband. She gave her life to Christ, then died a month later. It was hard for Yoner to let her go because he was left behind without his mother’s love. We organized a Vacation Bible School and invited him to our church. I had a special relationship with him. I told him about God’s love, and how He suffered and gave His life for us to give us salvation and eternal life. At that moment, he decided to accept Jesus. After praying, he was more encouraged. When he received his shoe box, he had joy and thanksgiving. He came to me and told me: ‘Thank you, pastor, for this big gift so beautiful. Now I know God loves me. I’ll keep on coming to Sunday school and I’ll bring my siblings.’”
Restoring the Church
A local pastor reported: “I’m amazed and thankful to God for the answer to our prayers. Our church split, leaving a small group of people to continue the work the Lord entrusted us. Even though we only had one teacher, an assistant teacher and 12 children in our Sunday school, we still participated in the OCC shoe box program. First of all, we invited the children from the community. Later on, a group of youth decided to be part of the program as teachers. Then, we organized the event and 214 children attended the church, where all of them accepted Christ and were blessed with the shoe boxes. Currently, more than 100 children are attending the church and 55 are studying The Greatest Journey lessons. Also, more parents have joined the church.”
An Eternal Impact
“My name is Tomas and I am 9-years-old. My mom was sick and weak. I didn’t attend church because my mom didn’t let me. One day, there were classes starting in the church school. I was excited to see so many children, so I went there without my mom’s knowledge. I liked it a lot because they were doing crafts and I learned the story of David. I went to classes all week, and I received Jesus in my heart. The pastor asked me to go to church that Sunday and to bring my mom. There, my mom heard about God and accepted Christ. I saw her very happy and smiling for the first time in a long time. I was happy for her and for my gift box. A week after the classes my mom passed away, but I know that God took her. She suffered a lot and was always crying when she went to the hospital. I was told her illness was very painful. I know she is in heaven. The pastor said she received Jesus on time, and she is saved! I know I’ll see again her someday.”
Pray that God will allow the development of new regional volunteer teams among indigenous communities.