These were Chinese children from Nanjing’s Mochou Road church attending a 10-day church camp held this summer. Most of the children who participated in the camp, were already attending the Sunday school services conducted by Mochou Road church. There were altogether 47 campers in total, 22 of the children were above the age of 10 while 25 of them were under 10. The objectives of the church camp were three-pronged: to train the children to pray to God, to worship Him through songs and to read the bible.
In fact the camp’s objectives were in sync with the hopes of the children’s parents or (and) grandparents, all of whom, are believers in Christ. They believe that it is important that their own children (or grandchildren) embrace the faith early in their youth and learn more about Christian living.
The highlight of the camp when Mochou Road church gave out 47 copies of the bilingual “Pictorial Bible Stories”, 22 sets of the “Bible Comics” and 25 sets of the bilingual “Words of Wisdom” to the young campers. These materials are suitable for children, published by the National TSPM/China Christian Council with the support of United Bible Societies.
The children were all thrilled to receive these gifts. The Scriptural materials contain many beautifully drawn pictures that the children could relate to. Although they may not be able to understand all the words, the pictures say a thousand words. One 7 year-old boy, Su shared, “I cannot understand the words but they are helpful to learn Chinese characters/words. I can understand the pictures”.
Some family members take time to read to these little ones and it is a special time of bonding these children obviously remember. Li, 7 years old, laughingly revealed, “I like the stories and pictures. I cannot read all the characters/words, so my grandma wears glasses and reads them for me.” She professes her love for Jesus, “I love Jesus very much, so I draw flowers and placed them on his hand and head.”
Besides learning Chinese, these children also learned English from the bilingual Scripture materials – namely “Pictorial Bible Stories” and the “Words of Wisdom” series. Wong, 12 years old, said, “I begin to follow Jesus Christ when I was very young, because my grandma is a Christian. I like reading the stories and I like the pictures too. I think we must put more trust in God because He was crucified for us…. My English level has also improved. My elder sister often reads the English stories to me”. Gao, who is also 12, is also happy with the “Pictorial Bible Stories” because it has helped enlarge my English vocabulary”.
Xia, a 9 year-old with a kind heart wanted to share good things with her classmate. She said, “I like those books. I brought them to my school and shared them with my classmates. My classmates also liked them and asked me who Jesus was. I told them that Jesus was born of Joseph and Mary, and he performed many miracles. I must trust God more each day.”
The young campers were grateful for these Christian gifts in more ways than one, as expressed in the following testimonies. A young 6 year old girl, Zhu, shared, “I like those stories. Now I know Jesus Christ better from the stories”.
Shen, 7 years old, is grateful to Jesus for dying on the cross for her and for all who believe, said, “I like reading the books. I can understand. From the stories, I get to know how Jesus Christ was born and why He was crucified. I’m grateful to Jesus because He loves us. The books are helpful to me and I hope to have this kind of books again in the future. ”
Du, age 8, said, “I have read all the stories and I love them all. I like the “Words of Wisdom” as well as the illustrations and stories. From these stories, l learnt that we cannot talk a lot and do nothing. We must follow Jesus.”
Through Mochou Road church children’s camp, with the support of the children’s family members and the use of these Scriptural materials, these young lives have been enriched and built up. We thank God for His wonderful providence and grace.
Article written by: Ms. Pamela Choo, Ms. Yeo Tan Tan & Ms. Zhang
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership