In the populated town of Soacha, families are struggling. Unemployment rates are high, the area is a safe haven to immigrants looking for refuge, and opportunities are lacking tremendously.
Sandra, a former teacher and mother of three, has watched the downfall of this area for most of her life.
“As a teenager, I thought it was a beautiful place to grow up,” she says. “Kids were playing soccer on the streets, and I loved the area. But there was already so much drug addiction and gang activity. I decided that I needed to go to work to avoid being influenced by the region.”
After a time away, she returned to Soacha and is now a full-time evangelist for children in the area leading Project Philip Bible studies. The studies started in Sandra’s apartment, but have since moved to a community center because the group outgrew the space. Even though she moved the studies, her home is still open to kids of all ages.
Sandra and five other Philips (Project Philip Bible study leaders) now lead 31 local children, from preschool age to teenagers, in weekly Project Philip Bible studies.
One of the students is Maria, Sandra’s 15-year-old daughter. She has been a Christian for years but felt something was missing in her life until she joined her mother’s Bible study.
"Project Philip helped me see people differently,” she says. “If we connect with his love and relate the Bible to our lives, we can live better. I must forgive people at school and forgive myself sometimes because we all make mistakes."
Another student, Sofia, was encouraged by her mother to attend.
"My mom wanted to show me the love of God,” she says. “She wanted to give me inspiration, guidance, comfort, and protection, and she knew that God was the best way to do that.
For her, the Project Philip Bible study has helped her understand Jesus and the love He has for us.
“The Project Philip material taught us things we could not fully comprehend before,” she says. “For example, Jesus is a savior, but I could not understand His sacrifice. Now, I do! Thanks for the booklets, they teach love and are easy to understand.”
Though her personal faith has strengthened, Sofia worries about family members, mainly her father.
"Every day would be easier if my dad were a Christian,” she says. “I would love to serve God with him. I will wait for the help of the Lord on that."
In this area, it is not unusual for children and youth to find Jesus before their parents, but Sandra is seeing a shift.
“I have noticed a change in the kids, but do you know what I have noticed the most? A change in the community,” she says. “I see people letting the children share their beliefs, and there is support for them.”
Sandra works alongside Pastor Jesus, a local pastor, church planter and Philip who has partnered with Bible League International for years. They both have the same mission: to change the lives of children and youth so they will influence change in their community. And it is working.
“The Lord is working in local families,” Sandra says. “He is transforming lives and setting up a different future for this region. I see that the children around here are a target for the enemy because God is preparing them to represent Him here in the times to come.”
This change is coming because of the powerful Word of God, and Bible League International hopes to send more and more resources for years to come.
“The materials that the Bible League International sends are a crucial form of support for us to plant the seeds from God in the children’s hearts,” Sandra says. “In these short assignments, the children usually need help from their parents, so, the parents are also in contact with the Word of the Lord. Indeed, the Bible is the most important book we can give these families.”
Project Philip is a Bible study program that trains local church members in evangelism and discipleship. Inspired by the story of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8, these Bible studies are the heart of Bible League’s ministry. Lessons are written for different age groups and multiple languages to help spread the Gospel to people across the world.