Luciana attends a Christian school in Paraguay called Heaven's Kingdom. She discovered how to be with Jesus forever during an Operation Christmas Child distribution event.
“Do you understand what this gift means?” 19-year-old Chantal asked Luciana after translating a note into Spanish. Eight-year-old Luciana had just received a shoebox gift from a family in the United States.Get Involved: Pack a Shoebox
The Holland family from Morganton, N.C., had written: We made this box of gifts just for you because we want you to know that Jesus loves you! He has a special plan for your life. He will always love you. Our family cares for you. We are praying for you!
“This family loves me because Jesus loves me,” Luciana responded. “I want to receive Jesus into my heart.”
Chantal was amazed by this response.
A college student from Iglesia Centro Familiar de Adoración (Church Family Worship Center) in Asunción, Paraguay, Chantal served as a translator at an Operation Christmas Child outreach event this past June at Heaven’s Kingdom Christian School in San Lorenzo, Paraguay.
This was the first time Chantal had participated in a ministry project.
“When Luciana said she wanted to pray to Jesus right then, I cried,” said Chantal. “It was such a special moment. I prayed: ‘Thank you, God, for this opportunity to pray with Luciana.’”
Ready to Receive Jesus
Though Luciana hasn’t grown up going to church, she’s heard about Jesus regularly at Heaven’s Kingdom Christian School, locally referred to as “Heaven.” Luciana had been asking her teachers how to be with Jesus in heaven.
“When I heard them explain how to do that, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said Luciana about her teachers’ presentation of The Greatest Gift booklet during the outreach event. The presentation focused on Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
Teacher Cynthia Gialeano told the students, “We have to ask Jesus to forgive our sins and have clean hearts so we can give our hearts to Jesus. Jesus is the greatest gift we can receive. He is the most beautiful present. You can share this with your fathers and mothers through a little book we are going to give you to share at home.”
Luciana did just that. She and her father read from The Greatest Gift booklet, as well as from The Greatest Journey 12-week discipleship study that was taught at Heaven’s Kingdom.
“I know that, one day, my father and my family will receive Jesus into their hearts,” Luciana told Chantal. “But, now, I know I have Him, and that’s the best gift I can share with them.”
The Hollands had included a mailing address in their shoebox note, so Luciana wants to write to them with the help of her parents.
The contact information also enabled word to reach the Hollands about who received one of their shoebox gifts.
“For a child to come to know Christ is why we pack shoeboxes,” said Rachel Holland. “I’m excited that we will see Luciana in the real heaven one day.”
- Pray for Luciana as she grows in her newfound faith and shares it with her parents.
- Pray for her parents to be receptive as Luciana talks about her faith and reads with them about Jesus being The Greatest Gift a person can receive.
- Pray for the teachers at Heaven’s Kingdom Christian School as they continue to share the Gospel with children and their parents.
“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10, NKJV).