In 2018, the Canadian Bible Society will reach children with God’s Word in Arab-Israel, Armenia, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, Latvia, Peru, Palestine, Tanzania and Ukraine.
Children are precious to Jesus. During his ministry on earth, he emphasized the importance of bringing the children to him, saying, “Do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19.14). Unfortunately, millions of children today are hindered from knowing about Jesus and his love due to life circumstances such as political conflict, poverty, illiteracy in the family, among others. The Canadian Bible Society (CBS) works with other Bible Societies to provide the opportunity for children to encounter Jesus through the Bible.
10 projects to help reach children with God’s Word
Arab-Israel: Angels of Galilee
Angels of Galilee is a follow-up to the program, Peace Bible for Children, which targeted children who were exposed to war and conflict. While the Peace Bible for Children program offers practical lessons for promoting peace and resolving conflict in the community, Angels of Galilee aims to provide children-– especially from impoverished communities – opportunities to learn about God’s Word and its impact on their lives. This program is implemented through summer camps, church events and Bible distribution in schools.
Armenia and Latvia: Bibles in Public Schools
Since the introduction of religious education into the public school curriculum in Armenia, the teachers charged with this duty have been asking for help, not only in providing Bibles (most of them don’t have their own Bibles), but also with training. The Bible Society in Armenia has initiated a Bible distribution and training program to equip public school and Sunday School teachers with biblical materials and knowledge to help them teach God’s Word effectively to young schoolchildren.
In Latvia, students in public schools can choose between secular ethics and instruction on Christian faith. Unfortunately, public schools do not have materials for teaching Christianity. The Bible Society in Latvia, in partnership with CBS, has stepped up to produce the needed resources, which include Bibles and an accompanying teaching guide, “Simply the Bible.”
Solvita, one of the teachers who has benefited from this program, shares: “We are grateful to the Bible Society for the help we have had in previous years. All materials produced by the Bible Society are of good quality and we trust them, knowing that these books can be used for children with various religious backgrounds.”
In Chile, problems such as poverty, unhealthy sexual behaviour and influence, early drug consumption, domestic violence and delinquency have had a deep negative impact on the well-being of children and teenagers. These issues not only destroy young lives but also prevent them from knowing the hope and salvation found in Jesus Christ.
The Chilean Bible Society, with the support of CBS, is catching the attention of young people through football (soccer) and bringing them closer to the gospel through the Kesis program. This program is making God’s Word available to young people through various sports activities – tournaments, championships and regular football practices – conducted by churches and municipalities.
Egypt: Kingo Festivals
Kingo is the Arabic version of Kingsley’s Meadows, a video series produced by the American Bible Society. Kingo has become so popular among Egyptian children that the Bible Society in Egypt is now using the character to share Bible stories and demonstrate the relevance of God's Word in typical situations that children face every day.
Peru: Prevent Child Abuse
Roughly 40% of Peru’s population is less than 18 years old. Children and adolescents therefore represent Peru’s largest population segment. Unfortunately, due to poverty and other circumstances, over 550,000 of these children grow up without parental care and are vulnerable to various types of abuse and exploitation – including physical and sexual.
Specialists say that the stages for eradicating child abuse are: prevention, care and protection. Unfortunately, violence towards children in Peru exceeds the capacity of state bodies to provide protection. The Peruvian Bible Society – in partnership with the Canadian Bible Society – realized that they can play a role in helping prevent child abuse through Bible-based workshops with children, teenagers and adults.
Watch this video to learn more about this program and how it is implemented in Peru.
Palestine: Child of Bethlehem
In a place where children grow up experiencing violence and fear, the Palestinian Bible Society has a huge mission to fulfill. Their program, Child of Bethlehem, provides a safe, fun and loving environment for children, where biblical values of respect, truth and justice are taught and lived out. The program is purely Bible-based and aims to build the faith and knowledge of children and youth on Scriptures as well as in the person of Jesus.
Now in its 17th year, the Child of Bethlehem program has reached over 40,000 and distributed 50,000 Bibles and Scripture publications. But the most encouraging results are the lives who have been changed forever. One of them is Rami.
Rami is a young boy who had dropped out of school. Filled with hatred, he was prone to violent outbursts. In desperation, Rami’s mother confided in a Bible Society worker. She was encouraged to enrol Rami in a weeklong Child of Bethlehem camp.
Rami learned about Jesus and His love at the camp. He later shared: “I read Bible stories nearly every day. I love them so much. Reading the Bible is like God talking to me. I have changed because I know Jesus loves me.”
Tanzania: Empowering Orphans and Vulnerable Children
The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Tanzania, particularly in the Mbali District, has claimed many lives and left many children orphaned – an estimated 1.3 million children. The number of households headed by children has also increased significantly in recent years.
Research shows that orphans and vulnerable children experience neglect, discrimination, emotional constraints, sexual abuse, burden of hard work, and poverty.
Working alongside The Good Samaritan Program – the United Bible Societies’ response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa – the Bible Society of Tanzania has recently developed a program which aims to educate and empower orphans and children through a series of workshops and training classes. These workshops will not only educate children about HIV/AIDS but also about sexuality, health and their environment, good behaviour and responsible living. Like the Good Samaritan Program, all materials are Bible-based.
The program is in its first year of implementation; CBS will share stories about its impact as they arrive.
Ukraine: Mercy for Orphans/Juvenile Offenders
In Ukraine, an estimated 100,000 orphans and children live without parental custody. Many of them have been abandoned by their parents for various reasons — alcohol abuse, drug addiction, or severe economic hardship. Included in this number are disabled children. Over the years, it has become generally accepted in the Ukrainian society to abandon disabled children at birth and let the state take care of them. The ongoing conflict in the country has also contributed to the increasing number of new orphans, some with serious psychological trauma.
Added to the growing concern for Ukraine’s next generation are the increasing number of juvenile delinquents. There are ten special institutions for juvenile criminals in Ukraine, where about 1,500 teenagers are held. Homeless children are at risk of ending up in these institutions as they are growing up without adult supervision and are vulnerable to negative influences on the street. UNICEF has reported that there are about 150,000-160,000 children living on the streets of Ukraine.
Working with organizations looking after orphans and children and youth in juvenile institutions, the Ukrainian Bible Society is reaching out with the message of love, hope and acceptance using stories and lessons from the Bible. Recently, we received an encouraging report from Anatoliy of Hope – from Heart to Heart:
“There was a girl of 12 who kept on saying that she didn’t see any reason to be joyful because her life was like being in hell. However, yesterday evening, she came to my wife, Viktoria, and said that she wants to be able to love like my wife does. She hugged Viktoria and held her tightly for a while. Then, from the Bible she had just received, they read a story of Christ accepting, forgiving and healing a woman that was broken due to her life circumstances.”
There is much work to be done in the lives of children around the world. By supporting the Canadian Bible Society today, you are helping provide a way for underprivileged, hurting, and traumatized children to meet Jesus and experience the love, hope and acceptance that they so desperately need.
Support our work in Arab-Israel, Armenia, Chile, Egypt, Latvia, Peru, Palestine, Tanzania and Ukraine. Here’s what your support can accomplish:
- $30 can provide two Palestinian children with an Illustrated Bible through the Child of Bethlehem program.
- $50 will provide five children in Egypt with their very own Bible during the Kingo Festivals.
- $100 will provide Bibles to 10 children in Ukraine.