"My parents wanted to send me to a reformatory.”

Young man goes from disobedient to door-to-door evangelist

September 19, 2019

In five short years, 11-year-old John Jairo and his family have been displaced twice.

Violence in their hometown forced the entire family to move the first time. John Jairo began acting out because of the sudden move. "My parents wanted to send me to a reformatory," he says.

Then, infrastructure failures caused the Cauca River to flood, forcing his family to take refuge in a local shelter.

Thankfully, that time in the shelter would change John Jairo’s life forever.

He and his family met Maria, a church planter and Philip from the area, when she began hosting a nightly Project Philip Bible study for the children in the shelter. She was hoping to help provide stability for the kids during such a traumatic time.

"Maria taught the kids and me how to face that difficult phase we were in, prayed with us, and talked to us about God," John Jairo remembers. She ministered to more than 40 children, so many that she temporarily ran out of Project Philip materials until Bible League Colombia could provide more.

Soon after the Project Philip Bible study began, John Jairo experienced life-changing transformation. His relationship with his parents changed drastically, and he’s become a door-to-door evangelist, visiting neighbors offering to start Bible studies.

John Jario poses with his mother.


Before studying the Word of God, I did not obey my parents, would constantly offend them, and my dad had to punish me. I read that if we love Jesus Christ, we have to treat others with love and respect our parents.

John Jairo’s parents have noticed the change, saying their son was in a constant state of anger and self-defense before he found the Word of God. Now, he’s enthusiastic, happy and committed to his family. His academic performance has also improved and he’s serving as Maria’s assistant in the Project Philip classes.

His love of God and transformation has planted a seed in the hearts of his parents; they have expressed interest in learning about God. Providing a person with training and resources, including a Bible, to help them learn about Jesus is much more than a one-time gift; it’s a gift that has the ability to change entire families and entire communities.

“I want to learn more about God and want my parents to get to know Him,” he says. “Now, I want to show my family and friends that Christ lives in me!”

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.

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