“By the grace and mercy of God, our church held a Children Sunday School to teach the young ones to study the truth and walk in the right path with the help of the Pictorial Bible Stories donated by the United Bible Societies,” Ms Zhang, 35, a teacher from a church at Henan Province.
In 2010, children in Henan churches were given access to copies of the Pictorial Bible Stories sponsored by Henan CC/TSPM and the United Bible Societies (UBS). The Pictorial Bible Stories is in an English-Chinese format so as to encourage children in the learning of English as they learn about the Bible Stories. The content is rich in meaning and pitched at a level comprehensible to young children.
Ms Zhang continued, “This book consists of 100 valuable and meaningful stories from the Bible presented graphically in an English-Chinese format to better engage children in the learning of God’s word. The simplified sentences help the children understand the Bible with not too much difficulty. Even older children tend to put away the Bibles (the main common version and not the Children Bibles) when they have difficulty understanding the Bible texts.” Noting that every child has benefited from the Pictorial Bible Stories (or PBS), Zhang went a step further in her teaching by including quizzes and games after the Bible stories to reinforce teaching and help the children to apply what they learn.
Another teacher named Fan, 38, described how PBS was used by the teachers in the Sunday Classes. “We read a Bible story to the children every lesson time. After each story, there are four activities: Thinking, Doing, Living out the Truth and Talking with Heavenly Father. In Thinking, we are inspired by God’s truth and gain wisdom. In Doing, we apply the Bible teaching and develop a deeper understanding of the text. We also encouraged the parents to engage their children through games in order to strengthen their relationships. In Living out the Truth, we hear God’s word and received help on living out the truth. In so doing we build our character. In Talking with Heavenly Father, we learned how to communicate with God and build a deeper relationship with Him.”
Fan was grateful that through the teaching of Sunday School using PBS, “Both the children and I gained a greater understanding of God’s Word. The Chinese-English version is also helpful to us as we gain a better grasp of the English language while we study the Bible. It has helped us improve our English vocabulary and grammar.”
Illustrations left an Impression
Mother of 2 and Sunday School teacher, Chen, 25, thanked God that “because of this book, my children began to like the Bible stories and started to enjoy the Children Sunday School.”
“Not only are the children moved by the Bible stories, the well-illustrated pictures have also left a deep impression in the hearts and minds of these young ones. The application of spiritual principles encouraged the children to think, do, and apply God’s Word and teachings in their daily life. This book serves as a good foundation for the children to know God and to imitate Jesus Christ from young.”
Chen went on to explain in detail how her own children expressed their grief over the story of Adam and Eve and “the first sin”. “My younger son asked me with sadness, when they could return to the beautiful Garden of Eden? In the young minds of these children, they understood the serious consequence of not obeying God’s word. They are also longing for the beautiful life in the Garden of Eden. All in all, I must say they understood God’s love more explicitly.”
Sang Praises of PBS
Chen concluded that “this book has helped us, the Children Sunday School teachers, a great deal. Now we can save time and effort in preparing visual aids for teaching.”
A young 19 year old teacher, Liu, told us that she came from a Christian family who owns a family Bible. When she was young, her mother would often tell Bible stories to her children by reading aloud the traditional Bible. Stories read out in that format had failed to sustain young Liu’s interest in the Bible then. “Thank God! With the help of Henan CC/TSPM and UBS donors, we held a Bible Stories in Pictures Children Sunday School. This book (i.e. PBS) is popular among young children and it is easy to understand. Moreover, it has many good illustrations which at one glance, the children are easily attracted to them. Our Children Sunday School, both teachers and children sang praises of this book and its program,” remarked Liu.
“I am therefore thankful to the leaders of Henan CC/TSPM and supporter of UBS for giving us this opportunity to hold a Children Sunday School,” Teacher Fan said.
Written by Pamela Choo
Translated by David Yu
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership