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The Greatest Journey Fuels Church Planting

Until a few months ago, nine-year-old Soeyka had never heard about Jesus. Her family, like most in her rural Cambodian village, is Buddhist. Soeyka is learning about Jesus in The Greatest Journey classes at a church in her village that’s two hours south of the country’s capital, Phnom Penh. Through this discipleship course, developed by Samaritan’s Purse for children who receive Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts, Soeyka and 30 other children are learning the truth of God’s Word.

The local pastor, Sokneang, had been leading a small congregation in a nearby village when he felt called to start a new church in a place without one. He described the discipleship course as “a great tool I can use to mobilise people here to know Christ. Many children are interested to come and learn.”

Before participating in The Greatest Journey and Operation Christmas Child, the church had fewer than 20 adults and children, and the village showed little interest in attending. But things are turning around.

After seeing their children receive shoebox gifts at the church, parents in the village were intrigued and desired to know more.

“They wanted to know why we have done this kindness and are loving on their children,” said Pastor Sokneang.

And when their children were eager to come back to the church for The Greatest Journey, parents were even more interested. About 50 children and 40 adults are now attending  church. As the children hear God’s Word taught, they’re telling their parents what they’re learning.

Pastor Sokneang prays that The Greatest Journey will help this new congregation bring the hope of the Gospel to the impoverished community.

“Children from The Greatest Journey will bring a better future,” he said. “Not just for my church, but for Cambodia.”

The number of children enrolled in this latest season was 8,645 higher than the previous season, an increase of 28.31%, and we give God the glory.

Although many children do not graduate, most of them will have been taught the Gospel message. By lesson four, they have learnt about creation; separation from God caused by sin; reconciliation with God by the coming of the Saviour; and the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. Children are invited to make an informed decision as to whether they wish to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour.

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As the statistics above show, not every child makes a commitment as there is no coercion for them to become a Christian.

If you would like to donate and support other children like Soeyka, please click below.

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