Becoming a Follower of Christ

December 9, 2014 • Republic of Georgia
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A young boy in the Republic of Georgia is one of 1.1 million children who have given their lives to Christ after taking The Greatest Journey

Hope can be hard to find in places like Vaziani, the site of an abandoned Soviet military base in the Republic of Georgia. Dilapidated apartments rise out of the barren ground that’s been stripped of its trees for firewood and surrounded by trash and ruins from the 2008 civil war. Parents are gone all day as they struggle to make a living from selling scrap metals or shoes. There’s no local evangelical church.

Becoming a Follower of Christ

Three months after receiving a shoebox gift, George graduated from The Greatest Journey. During the discipleship program, he accepted Christ.

So what brings a dimpled smile to the face of 11-year-old George Babladze? It’s the Good News he has discovered through The Greatest Journey, the discipleship program developed by Samaritan’s Purse for children who received shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. The classes give the children of Vaziani the opportunity to learn about Jesus and make Christian friends.

Give to The Greatest Journey

“I’m now interested in getting to know more about Jesus, and I am actually waiting for lessons to know what will happen next,” George said. “Before, I wasn’t interested in that at all.”

George has faced many difficulties growing up in a tough area. The children are rough with each other, and only his father has a job. His biggest fear is that his apartment building will one day fall down on top of him. But after hearing the story of David and Goliath, George found new strength.

“This story taught us to always have faith in God,” George said. “[David] was sure that with God, he can fight against Goliath, and this taught us that if God is with you, no one will overcome you.”

George is among more than 1.1 million children in more than 80 countries who have made decisions for Christ through The Greatest Journey. Now he is eager to share the Gospel with his family and friends. Although George’s father attends church on his way to work, his mother is not a Christian. After class, George returns home to tell his mother about the things he is learning.

Becoming a Follower of Christ

Ani, a third grader in the Vaziani community, received a shoebox in June and began attending The Greatest Journey class.

In the coming year, through Operation Christmas Child, we want to offer The Greatest Journey to 2.7 million children. We have translated the materials into 54 languages and trained 200,000 teachers to lead discipleship lessons.

The Greatest Journey costs just $6 per child, including class materials, teacher training, and a New Testament given at graduation. These lessons provide children with the opportunity to become faithful followers of Christ.