Family Testimonials

Pastor Tony and Breanne Wood

Mission Bible Church, Tustin CA

With one child having developmental and social disorders, our life wasn’t just hectic, it was overwhelming. However, we believe that ‘training hearts’, through Christ, has done what psychology and medication couldn’t have done, and allowed our little guy to love God and love others.   Our oldest son went from being one of the most myopic, judgmental, and demanding children I’d ever seen.  We now enjoy having a buddy, gym partner, care-taker, and sensitive leader, and this by the age of 5.  The class allowed us to move past training behavior and focus on training hearts. This has created a home culture that exists to glorify God and develop committed followers of Jesus Christ (instead of robots).  There has been such an improvement in school!  Our son started a school program at age 3 and we were called the first day because of his tantrums and misbehavior.  A year later and after we took tTraining Hearts for Jesus biblical parenting class, we enrolled him in Pre-K, and he came home with a super-star award after the first day!  God is good!  There has also been improvement in the area of his attitude and his abilities as seen through extra curricular activities.  Our son tended to be individualistic and thus, did not perform well in team-settings. He now plays with friends in the neighborhood and our home has become the place for team games, such as baseball, football, soccer, and dinner!

When we have left the children with the grandparents in the past, we were fearful of how they would behave and what we would hear when we returned.  Now, we have confidence that when we leave them, they will treat authority, property & their peers with respect.  The grandparents now tell us that they are blessed when they stay with them and appreciate their obedience.

We love the way the class has changed our relationship with our children!  With order brought into the home, each evening we are able to institute “prayer journals” where, on top of Bible reading, we keep notes on daily prayers and hopes. God is now answering their faithful prayers – seeing people in our church blessed, miracles happen in our societal context, and their adopted siblings in Africa cared for – We now have a life-long family documentation, together, of God’s stirring in our home!  Our whole family is walking closer to the Lord as a result of Training Hearts for Jesus!  This isn’t just a class on what God will do through your child but a discipleship class on what God wants to do in you, as the parent!  We believe the biblical principles taught through this class are resulting in blessings for our children and their future.  Generational curses were broken and a new legacy was founded.  We believe that generations will be bettered due to the changes we have made in our family as a result of this class. Specifically, I pray we all learn to love and lead our children for who THEY are, and who God made them to be, and not who WE want them to be.

My wife was a strong influence in my taking this class, for which I am eternally grateful! I had doubts the first week, but by week two I was sold.  We saw progress immediately following each principle that was instituted.  We are so happy we took this parenting class and have already recommended it to many.  There were many days before THfJ where we felt overwhelmed by the job of parenting.  Our home felt chaotic after having children & there was little peace.  After starting the class, the atmosphere of our home immediately changed; we had direction & a plan for our home & our lives.  The class was also paramount in opening up lines of communication between my wife and me.  That was one of the highlights. Common cause, common experience, common enemy, all equate to bonding a couple around the nucleus of God’s word!   People say that “content is king” when it comes to training, but I’d add that “content is king IF it’s shared by authentic voices.” That’s what works about THFJ. Mario, Sharon, and the other leaders are “eating what they’re selling” and are committed to it! They are not only great communicators, but committed disciples of Christ, and this comes across in their weekly passion for the topic of biblical parenting with those they lead through the process!


Jonathan and Gita Thompson

“We can’t speak highly enough of Training Hearts for Jesus.  As with most parents our initial tendency was to simply focus on our children’s behavior, but THFJ has redirected our attention to where the true battle lies: our children’s hearts.  The class uses a few different mediums to outline and reinforce the Biblical perspective and methods needed for rearing our children unto God — our most important task as parents.   Gita and I are unified in our approach, have common goals, and our children are thriving under the consistency and structure of a Christ-centered home.  Our children aren’t perfect (and neither are we!) but much of the fruit we see coming from our kids we attribute to what we first learned in this class.  Excited to take it for a 3rd time this January!” -Jonathan Thompson

IMG_0097Melvin and Stephanie Tobaru

Training Hearts is a life-changing experience that has first and foremost strengthened our walk with God. We came into the class thinking we were going to learn how to “fix” our children, but it was clear since day 1 that it wasn’t so much about our children, as it was about our walk with God and our obedience to Him to train them in the way that they should go. The class has also strengthened our marriage as we both now know what God expects from us as parents and we can lovingly hold each other accountable, and lift each other up when faced with parenting issues. The class has given us practical AND biblically-based tools that we use every day, and have become so much a part of our lives. Our family is stronger and closer because of the biblically-based parenting we have implemented in our home. We have a 4-, 2-, and 1-year old and we can honestly say that our home is not only filled with love but also peace and harmony.
We are so grateful for Mario and Sharon for their faithfulness! They are such incredible mentors!

John and Michelle L. Vorwerk, Psy.D

In a world filled with so many parenting “styles” and “methods,” my husband and I did not know where to turn for guidance on how to raise our son. As a psychologist, I had studied all the developmental and attachment theory methods. Then, I had a baby. I quickly found out that studying how to be a good parent and actually being a good parent were two very different things. The Training Hearts for Jesus Parenting Class provided the answer we were looking for – raising our son according biblical principles. As we went through the class I was absolutely floored at what God reveals in His Word about how to raise a child. He is specific and detailed about how He wants us to raise our children. We were amazed each week as we came to class to learn and began implementing what we were learning in our son’s life. The thought which kept emerging in my mind, “I’ve struck gold!” The class is a big commitment, but a worthy investment. We hear from other people all the time that we have such a “good” and “compliant” son. This is by no accident, he has been trained under God’s Word and authority. The skills we learned in this class are foundational to our son’s future as a steward of God. I cannot recommend this class highly enough and we were blessed tremendously by Mario and Sharon as they poured their hearts into teaching us the foundations of raising a godly child.


Jason and Shari Blakely

My husband and I originally took the “Training Hearts for Jesus” class that began in June 2011. A few of our friends recommended the class and said, “I wish I had known these things when my kids were younger”. As a pregnant, stay at home mom with a toddler (under 2 years old); I quickly became overwhelmed by my role as a wife and mother. My husband and I wanted to implement more biblical principals into our son’s everyday life, but didn’t know exactly how to do that. THfJ provided a wonderful guideline that takes the guesswork out of what God expects from those who are chosen to raise his children.

The instructors were constantly taking us to God’s Word, which was the training that we needed in order to do the same for our children.  My husband and I no longer look at just the behavior, but at the “heart issue” of the behavior. THfJ also helps parents to maneuver through the “how” of getting to the “heart issue”. This continues to be a challenge, but I am incredibly grateful to have started this process while my kids are young.

As a result, our house (for the most part) is a pleasant and fun place to be, our friends and family are excited to have our son around them and many strangers have complemented us on how well behaved our two-year is.

This class is a call to action for parents who want to raise Christian leaders and children who will “glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. It is our duty, as parents, to “train them up in the way they should go and when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).


Aaron and Suzanne McKay

Training Hearts for Jesus is an invaluable tool for parents who want to gain a clear vision of Biblical parenting.  Not only will you take a closer look at what God’s Word says, but you will begin to pursue Him more richly and deeply as you examine your own heart and motives in your parenting journey.  Full of Biblical truth, practical advice, and years of wisdom, Sharon Cannavo’s boldly and beautifully written text will help you gain new insight and tools into raising your child to be more Christ-like.  Our home is a more peaceful, joy-fllled, and loving place because of this resource.”


Scott and Kathryn Broadway

The Training Hearts for Jesus biblical parenting class has been a specific answer to prayer for our family!  Meeting together with other couples to study the Biblical perspective on parenting was so enjoyable, it was like having a built-in date night each week that allowed us the time to focus on defining a godly vision for our family. Blind-spots were identified in our parenting habits, and although sometimes painful to realize and correct, we can see that the time we have taken to really study parenting from God’s perspective and apply it to the way we interact with our children has made some significant changes in our family dynamics.  We are so grateful to Mario and Sharon for warmly mentoring us and for opening their hearts and lives each week to encourage couples to seek God’s will for their families. We continue to draw from the wealth of resources that we received from being a part of this valuable class!


Aaron and Kristin Sellars

I’ve really been enjoying our classes so far! I was a little skeptical at first about doing it (mainly about the time and financial commitment) but now I’m telling all my friends how much I love it and what we have been learning. I’m definitely convinced (even already) that it is a worthy investment.


 Les and Tracie Griffin

My husband Les and I finished this class back in October 2011. We have two children. Their names our Emma  and Kai. They are four and five years old with twelve months between them. Taking this class was the best thing we ever did for our family!! It did amazing things in our parenting and in our marriage.  We learned how to talk with our children and how to truly get to their hearts.  We learned helpful tools in all areas of parenting. This class helped us to look deeper into our roles as parents and the future goals of our entire family. We have made LIFE changes that have helped us to be stronger, more patient, involved parents. I just wish we had taken the class sooner.


Greg and Roya Call

We signed up for Training Heart for Jesus beginning in August 2011, deciding after five grown children that we should be raising our sixth child, Caleb according to God’s Word. After beginning the class we immediately knew that we would benefit as a family. Approximately half way through the class we began to see progress.  For one of us it was overwhelming, for the other it was refreshing, but it absolutely provided direction for both of us in our parenting. It changed the dynamics in our home, in our hearts as parents, and as husband and wife. One victory we witnessed was our ability to overcome anger while disciplining our son. We learned to discipline with love, care, God’s Word and prayer.  We transitioned from godless parenting to God-based parenting which made all the difference. The class helped us travel in the same direction with regard, not only for our child, but with our own life.  We even saw neighborhood friends take note of the changes we were going through, and begin to change in their own parenting.

The transition of Caleb’s heart is a work in progress. He steadily continues to improve in attitudes and actions and he has responded lovingly towards his friends as a result.  The biggest improvement in Caleb’s behavior comes during his play time in the neighborhood. Never does a day go by that he does not say goodbye, followed by a hug for each of his friends. He actually enjoys sharing and caring for his friends.  Caleb is also learning respect and obedience for authority.  Caleb’s teachers have remarked that they have noticed a positive change in his adherence to their instruction and teaching. Others have noticed that he is simply a blessing to those he comes in contact with.

Our class facilitators, Mario and Sharon Cannavo, were obviously getting their direction from the LORD through prayer and the written Word. They have been a continuing support and provide care, though the class has long ended. We appreciate the fact that our facilitators trained their own children using the biblical principals and practical applications found in Training Hearts for Jesus.  We have definitely benefited through the fellowship with the couples we met and their families as they continue to provide constant encouragement for our parenting. It was of tremendous value to be able to share in the experiences of others trials and victories during the class time.

We couldn’t recommend anything we have ever done together more than Training Hearts for Jesus biblical parenting class. We meet young couples all the time and recommend the class to them.  We will take this class again and recommend it as a refresher for anyone that has previously taken Training Hearts in the past.


John, Shanlei and John Robert V

How much do you appreciate a GPS when you don’t know your way to the destination?

With much appreciation, the Training Hearts for Jesus biblical parenting class was like a GPS for our family, as we were in search of the directions for biblical parenting, in order to bring up our son in the ways of Jesus.

During these past years of heart training our son, we easily recognized it was Training Hearts that clearly spelled out the steps in the biblical approach to raising children in a godly way.  The class highlights parenting knowledge from the Bible and effectively communicates it through the simplicity of questions such as who, what, when, where, why and how.  These simple questions helped us easily learn the biblical parenting truths based on God’s commands, and helped keep our direction for training our son straight and clear.

Using a variety of learning methods, the class was a truly enjoyable experience.  Because of the parental participation, dads and moms were able to fully and quickly absorb the core values of biblical parenting.  The methods of learning included viewing DVDs, reading through two text books, working through the weekly homework, and class discussions that were rich and practical.  All this was accomplished in a relaxed atmosphere, with a group of like minded, God-pursuing parents.   As we walked through the principles that were presented each week, and practiced the applications in our daily life, this methodical class managed to remove the complexity of parenting and brought it to a measurable and obtainable activity for everyone from several parenting backgrounds.  We did not feel pressured with homework or the requirement to accomplish the tasks; rather, we enjoyed the dynamics of each different learning style as we interrelated with such wonderful parents from various family backgrounds.  We saw that the Word of our one God and Savior, Jesus Christ, is sufficient for all!

Today, our son, Bobby is a sophomore in high school. He experiences the reality of daily life in the same way as most American teenagers.  However, unlike most in his environment, Bobby  continues to walk by faith in the Lord, and thrives in His Grace, as a result of the years of  heart training.

After completing Training Hearts for Jesus biblical parenting class,  our direction for child rearing turned from simply raising an obedient son, and traveled specifically towards the destination of training Bobby’s heart to be a God-fearing Christian with a biblical worldview.  Our prayer is that God would lead more parents to take the Training Hearts class so they may also experience God’s direction through His perfect wisdom.


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