A Young Life Transformed

Poverty in Zimbabwe has reached crisis levels—nearly three-quarters of the population is impoverished. Ten-year-old Shelton experiences this impact firsthand, and it's causing him to grow up fast. "I am still young, but I see how my parents struggle to put food on the table," he says. "They run a flea market in town, but sometimes they don't have enough money to pay school fees for me and my brothers and sister."

Growing up in a Christian family, Shelton was already familiar with Sunday school at his church. "I did not take it seriously then," he says somberly. "Plus, it was disturbing my playing time!"

His parents encouraged him to participate in Project Philip Bible studies for children. "I feel at home in the class because my friends from the neighborhood are with me," he says with a grin. "The lessons are very good, and I have learned a lot of memory verses. I am learning a lot, and I encourage my other friends to join us." Shelton shares the Word of God everywhere he goes. "Every lesson was so easy to memorize, and I could tell my parents what I learned. They were so excited! From that day on I did not miss any of the lessons," he says proudly.

Shelton says the lessons also helped him improve his English skills at school. His teachers noticed a new level of maturity in him. "I am now the class monitor because I am so well-behaved," he beams. When Shelton found out he would receive a Bible of his own once he completed the Project Philip Bible studies for children, he was absolutely thrilled. "I like my big Bible with pictures! I read it every day. I want to be a pastor when I grow up!"

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