About a dozen kids and young teens in La Carucieña, Venezuela, sit outdoors in a circle as they study God’s Word through a Project Philip Bible study just for them. The dirt backyard is small, barely large enough to fit the group, much less the worn and rusted metal patio chairs.
La Carucieña is a violent area that only seems to grow worse during the current crisis. These young people often arrive hungry, so when possible, the leader gives them a glass of milk and a piece of bread to ease the hunger pangs. Though times are tough, these young people are finding hope in Christ.
Last year, 15-year-old Nordenys joined this backyard Bible study. She already has finished all the children booklets and received a Bible of her own. Now, she’s working on the Project Philip Bible study for youth.
“The Bible studies changed my life and gave me direction. We’ve all learned a lot,” she shares with a smile. “We are grateful to God for you.”
The Faith of One Woman…
During Graciela’s Project Philip training, the leaders challenged each person to search for someone to share the Gospel with. One day, while leaving church with her family, she met Ana, a lovely 93-year-old woman in a wheelchair, and her nurse. “After that, I began visiting them every Wednesday to study God’s Word,” Graciela says.
Ana told Graciela (pictured above) that she had never heard about the life of Jesus where she grew up. But when she began studying God’s Word, Ana gave her life fully to Christ at 93 years old and never looked back.
…Grew the Faith of Many
Graciela says with a smile, “Ana loved listening to the promises of God for eternal life because they gave her hope.” Ana was so moved by what she was learning that she shared it with her children, grandchildren, and nearly anyone she encountered.
Even as her health worsened, Ana still seized every chance to tell people the Good News, whether it was the doctor who visited her home or the neighbors she saw on her strolls with the nurse. At 96, Ana went to be with her Lord, but Graciela sees Ana’s legacy of faith.
Her nurse was far from the Lord, but today is on the path with Christ, thanks to Ana. She now attends church with her family. One of Ana’s daughters also accepted Christ.
Graciela says tearfully, “Ana, a specific person I did Project Philip with, influenced many people for Christ. Age and sickness are nothing when there is a will to serve God. How can I not thank the Lord for the life of that woman?”
ACHIEVING A DREAM
A New Strategy
Recently, however, Eugene’s hopes and prayers were answered. He met a fellow believer who told him about Project Philip Bible studies. Soon Eugene and several others received training to become Philips (Project Philip Bible study leaders).
“It was fantastic!” he exclaims. “I learned how to make contacts for the church and approach people on the streets.” He is especially grateful for the Bibles and Bible study materials that are crucial to growing churches in strength and in numbers.
A Growing Church
Though once tiny, the church is now growing! Since the Project Philip Bible studies began, membership has increased to 60. The group quickly outgrew the tent. Members recently gathered their money to rent a bigger space in a building nearby, where they now meet.
Eugene beams, “Our growth is because God is using Project Philip Bible studies to touch hearts in the area. It is a perfect strategy for the development of the local church. Thank you!”
Praise the Lord for a couple who recently began a Project Philip Bible study of 10 people in a Muslim dominated city in north-central Albania. May many come to understand the truth of the Gospel.
May the Lord provide safety and open hearts as Project Philip Bible studies begin in the most violent prison in Peru. Pray for many prisoners to experience the transformation of Jesus Christ as they study God’s Word.