Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bibles for the Kids

So the other day, we bought a little kids' devotional book. Conner has been totally into it, as he usually is with any new book that he gets. For the first few days, he wanted to read it all by himself. Then yesterday, he finally let me in, finally let me read a few of the little devos with him.

A few weeks ago, we went to church in Granbury (the church I grew up at, where my mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law all still attend). Conner was very excited. "Yay!" he said. "I love to go to BooBoo and Yogi's church!" When I asked him why, he said, "Because they have Bibles in my class there. I like it when we use Bibles in class."

It was everything I could do to keep from crying. Initially, that was one of my biggest fears about church planting. What could a tiny little house church, consisting of just a few families offer my children? Except for close relationships and the opportunity to engage in worship with adults? Don't get me wrong...those things are good. Wonderful, even. But what about Sunday School, what about puppet shows, what about worship with peers their own ages? I did not want my kids to miss out on these things because we were trying to do something different. This was not a sacrifice I was willing to make.

Then we hooked up with Mission Alive. We found Christ Journey, we found Chris and Heidi, and they had something for our kids. It's small, but it's good. In addition to the attention and instruction they receive in house church, they have a Sunday School class, they worship with their peers, they're learning about Christ, they are loved. It wasn't until Conner pointed it out to me that I realized that there are no Bibles in our children's Sunday School classes. I know this has a lot to do with the fact that we have to be portable. We don't have our own building, our kids' classrooms consist of a large room in a restaurant that we rent out on Sundays. All of their crayons, scissors, snacks, lesson plans -- everything lives in a portable bucket that they take with them. Bibles are heavy and bulky to transport. Then there is the expense...

Well, I am not gonig to let these things stand in the way. I think that our children need to have Bibles in the classes, I think they need to see their teachers using them, I think they need to be given the opportunity to use them alongside their peers. I think I've got the portability thing figured out, now I'm looking for money. The Bibles I'd like to get for the preschoolers are about $20 each, and I'd like to get at least five -- enough for them to share in pairs. We'd like to get some for the school-aged kids, too. Heidi's still working on deciding which ones we want, but I'm guessing they'll be around the same price. So does anyone have a couple hundred bucks they'd like to donate so that the kids can have Bibles? Do you know anyone who does? All it would take is ten people giving $2o each... We would also like to have some extra kids' Bibles on hand to give away. Maybe not the $20 ones, but we would like to have something.

If I've tugged at your heartstrings (and I hope I have!), you can click on the yellow "donate" button in the bar on the right side of my blog. Paypal should walk you through the rest. (Make sure to say something about children's Bibles in the special instruction section.) You can also leave a comment or email me at rachel.wells@yahoo.com.

In the meantime, we're doing our best to foster this interest in the Bible that Conner has expressed. We got the devotional book, and have been very intentional about talking our way through looking up each scripture. Conner spent literally over an hour today looking up scriptures on his own. He knows that the Old Testament is on the left and the New Testament is on the right. He knows that Psalms is just about in the middle. With a little bit of help, he finds the book of the Bible he's looking for, and then on his own finds the chapter and verse and reads it to us. (He's five, by the way!)

There are certainly a lot of things that we don't do, but wish that we did. There are a lot of things that I know we don't do right. But somewhere, thanks to the Spirit, this child has learned to love the Bible and The One who has given it to him. We are so proud and excited.
**Update: As of March 2nd, we have $180 so far...almost there!!

8 comments:

Hollie said...

That's some AWESOME stuff! I totally agree about the need for Bibles for these little gifts from God! While I was reading your post a song came to me..."This little Light of Mine"! I can see the kids holding their Bibles up singing their hearts out to our Heavenly Father! So proud to call Him their Saviour, Friend and God! This really touched my heart! I will be in prayer that the monies for these Bibles come in abundance! Not only by the preschoolers but also for the school aged and monies lift over for any other needs!

Thank you SO much for having such a loving, caring, servant heart for God! It shines through you like a Lighthouse in this dark world! I pray that God continues to use you and your family to do mighty things in His name! Thank you!

Lee and Michelle said...

I have the same fears about small churches and it's impact on my kids (having grown up in a large congregation).
Conner is such a bright and independant kid. His enthuaism and thoughtful comments are missed in Kids Worship.

beccadawnruss said...

Amaya loves going to Duke and Nana's church for the same reason. She loves children's worhsip and just being with a big group of kids. She once asked me, "How come they don't close their eyes and clap at Duke and Nana's church when they're singing?" Don't remember what my response was. But, out of the mouths of babes, huh? What a blessing that they have two different church families and can take things from both places :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments regarding bible classes.... In our day and age so many parents are home schooling their children.....what about home bible schooling your children? Just a thought, because you actually already do it in some form.

As a grandparent in this year 2009I have very different thoughts about that subject now.

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness, "anonymous" (who??), I can't believe I left that unsaid. That was rather irresponsible of me, and I apologize. I do believe that we should always be "home Bible schooling" our children. As parents, it is OUR responsibility to teach our children about Christ and His Word, not the Sunday school teachers'. That's part of what I was talking about, so many things that we don't do or don't do right. Even though we do things like read Bible stories, talk about God, learn memory verses, etc at our house...I beat myself up all the time about all of the Bible teaching that we could and should be doing.

I just think that what the kids learn in Sunday school is good, too. It's good for them to hear it from adults other than relatives, and it's good for them to learn it alongside their peers. Not to mention that church Sunday school classes often have access to resources that parents don't always...

Thank you for your thoughts.

Jodi said...

I totally agree with your last comment there, Rach. As my sister you know the importance "home Bible school" was given during our childhood... in fact, I clearly remember Dad giving me a little Bible history lesson on the Council of Nicea when I asked him where the Bible came from when I was 5... but there was still something really special about being a part of the grand Granbury tradition of Bibles for the first graders. It helped me at that young age to begin to get an understanding of the larger community of God. Both are good, both have their place.

BooBoo said...

Just having a child (and only 5 years old!) that loves to read is such a source of pleasure/relief for a parent...and one that loves the Lord's word...no words to express that joy! Love you and am proud of/for you all! MOM pfu,wpfy

Bret Wells said...

Rachel,

Your comment to "anonymous" captured what I was going to say. Home Bible School is SO important - particularly if you're referring to parents reading with and teaching their children.

But there is someting about the communal aspect of learning, particularly in the area of our faith. Of course, many home school parents have found the value in joining a home school group - which, where our kids' faith development is concerned is similar to our House Church gatherings.

I'm glad that you are making sure that there are opportunities for our children to engage the Story - at home, with their house church and with the larger community of house churches gathered to worship on Sundays.