The Greatest Journey is a ministry to children which has been conceived and developed by Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, embodying both organisations’ purposes of evangelism, discipleship and training.
The mission of The Greatest Journey is to help local churches overseas reach as many children as possible with the Gospel, to establish them in their faith in Jesus Christ and to equip them to pray for and share the Gospel with their family and friends.
The Greatest Journey is a series of 12 lessons containing exciting Biblical content exclusively delivered and presented by trained volunteers from local churches, with training and all resources needed provided free of charge, at their request. Through this programme local believers are being empowered and enabled to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with children in their own communities. The programme has been implemented in 54 countries around the world and is being delivered in 21 languages.
The Greatest Journey is a voluntary follow-up course, primarily for children who have received shoeboxes through Operation Christmas Child, enabling them to interact with the Gospel, through Bible stories and Bible teaching. The goal is for children to get to know Jesus, to follow Jesus and tell others about Him. By the end of 2011, over 700,000 children had enrolled on the programme. Of these 388,000 children had ‘graduated’ from the programme with over 260,000 of them making decisions for Christ. These children are now praying for, and sharing their faith with their friends and families.
The Greatest Journey is designed for children who are old enough to read, who are unchurched and who have received a gift-filled shoebox through Operation Christmas Child; lesson plans can be adapted so that even children who are not able to read can participate in the programme.
Programme materials The comprehensive Leader’s Guide, which prospective teachers are given as part of their training, introduces the use of memory verses and other engaging activities to teach children how to receive Jesus as their Saviour, follow Him each day and share their faith with others. Children completing The Greatest Journey are awarded a personal certificate and many will receive a special copy of the New Testament in their own language, which also contains Old Testament stories, colourful illustrations, more memory verses and other learning aids. In many countries around the world, Bibles are rare, or hard to obtain; these Bibles become instant treasures, not only to the children receiving them but to their friends and families as well.
As part of their training, teachers are given ideas which not only assist them in delivering lessons but which also equip them to create Bible-based lesson plans of their own long after The Greatest Journey has been completed.
Not all children receiving shoeboxes will want, or be able to participate in The Greatest Journey, by reason of their own free will, because there are no trained teachers in their locality to take the classes, or because resources for the children are not yet available - either in their local language or in sufficient quantities. Samaritan’s Purse is planning such that every child receiving a shoebox will have the opportunity to participate in The Greatest Journey should they want and be able to do so.
If you would like to support The Greatest Journey from Samaritan’s Purse, with either a one-off gift or through Direct Debit, please click here.