The Greatest Journey Begins to Draw a Family to Christ

Many prayers and a lesson about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection prompted a hostile father to become a “man of peace.”

Aunt Ilsa* is much loved by her village nestled in the mountains of Central Asia. This 60-year-old retired teacher operates an educational center that offers English and dance lessons to the community. In addition, she hosts Operation Christmas Child outreach events to distribute shoebox gifts and share about God’s love. Afterward, boys and girls are invited to participate in The Greatest Journey—the 12-lesson discipleship course designed to teach them how to follow Jesus and share Him with others. The impact extends well beyond boys and girls to their parents and the community as a whole.

After one outreach event at her center, a boy ran home and joyfully announced, “Hooray, Daddy! Jesus is our Lord!” This angered his father, who is a spiritual leader in a non-Christian religious tradition.

“Shut up and never go back to Aunt Ilsa’s educational center again,” he said.

Hooray, Daddy! Jesus is our Lord!

Aunt Ilsa couldn’t hold back her tears when she heard about the exchange. Since she also serves as the prayer coordinator for the Operation Christmas Child Regional Team, she quickly contacted her network of friends and asked them to pray and fast for the situation with the boy's family.

Receptive to Truth

The Lord looks on the heart, not the face, Jesus taught me to look directly into the heart of a person. He Himself plants the seed of His Truth in the heart of a sinner gently!
Aunt Ilsa

The next week, the boy's father came to the center and asked to observe a lesson about Jesus. Aunt Ilsa gratefully welcomed him to a class of The Greatest Journey where she talked about Christ as the Greatest Friend. The man listened attentively as she shared how He died on the cross and rose to life three days later as described in Matthew 27-28.

Afterward over steaming cups of tea, Aunt Ilsa and the father talked about the weather and morals before he cleared his throat and said, “Thank you very much. You are teaching these boys and girls the right things.”

Although most of this man's family strictly adheres to another religion, Aunt Ilsa believes all of them will come to Christ as their hearts open to the Word of God.

“The Lord looks on the heart, not the face,” Aunt Ilsa said. “Jesus taught me to look directly into the heart of a person. He Himself plants the seed of His Truth in the heart of a sinner gently!”

This leader has now become a “man of peace” in the community. “When I talk now with the father at parents' meetings, we discuss spiritual questions,” Aunt Ilsa said. “He agrees that only Jesus holds the keys to death and hell.”

Join us in praying that this family and this community would embrace the life God offers through His Son Jesus Christ!

Since 2009, more than 26.5 million children have enrolled in The Greatest Journey around the globe and 12.5 million of these boys and girls have reported decisions for Christ. As each one shares what they learned in the course with family and friends who in turn follow Jesus, the growth of the body of Christ is exponential!

*Name changed for security