Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bible Explorer

Asked to write something about Bible Explorer, I thought I should first tell you how it was the doors are open for me to teach in our local schools.

I thought I had gone into teaching because I didn’t have confidence to do anything else. Surely it would be less daunting to deal with children? But children too can be scary, especially on mass.

Teaching in London’s tough East End, God asked me to love these needy children for him. I wasn’t a very good disciplinarian, but God did love them through me and lives were changed. Somehow along the line I realised it was God who had called met to teach.  In a remote village on a mountain in Papua New Guinea, I read the verse in Hebrews, ‘the children God has given me,’ and knew that, though spoken of Jesus, it was also God’s word to me.

After my adventures abroad and five years in UK as  a pastor’s wife, we retired to  Porthcawl. There were a few young families in our close and I felt I had a responsibility to these children. Our plans to rent a hall for a children’s club fell through, but then God put a key in my hands. My first book, the High Hill, had been published. Advised to promote our own books, I sent a copy into each of our four primary schools, offering to speak to the children about it.  I went on from there to taking assemblies, always using the Bible, the ‘world’s best seller’ as my source.

When I heard of ‘Bible Explorer,’ a course for 10 & 11 years olds, which traces through the Bible stories, beginning with the story of creation, and leading on to the death and resurrection of Jesus and the spread of the Gospel to all the world, I felt all my previous years of experience had qualified me to teach this. I wasn’t free to go away to train at that time, but a few months later, not only had my husband died, leaving me with more time on my hands, but Chris Thomas had taken over responsibility for the work in Wales.

She arranged five days of intensive training, at the end of which I had learned the 77 hand signs which enable us to trace through the significant people, places and stories we teach as we travel through the Bible. And if you think you couldn’t do that, I thought so too, but God enables me, and he will you too of you will step out in faith.

Bible Explorer is written to fit in with the school’s syllabus, and the Old Testament lessons are accepted in Jewish and even Muslim schools too, since they too accept the bible as a Holy book.  

Primarily, Bible Explorer is fun. The children vie with each other to dress up as Abraham, or one of the kings. You will even get a reluctant Boaz to stand under the canopy to marry Ruth, and of course Joshua, and the kings too, are very happy to have a plastic sword. I have two blue shiny cloths which we lift up to allow the Isrealites to cross the Red Sea, letting them drop on poor old Pharoah and his gang, while my gold cloths are not only for the kings, and Queen Esther too, but draped over a cardboard box, with long carrying sticks and a lot of imagination, becomes the Ark, carried around the walls of Jericho. I have a dear little lamb which, sadly has to be killed so that the angel of death passes over the houses of the Israelites, and a lovely rag doll who not only passes for Baby Ishmael, Isaac, and Samuel too, but only just escapes being cut in two by King Solomon’s guard. 

Oh yes, Bible Explorer is fun. And in all the fun the children are learning, not only the wonderful Bible stories, but that there is a God who is there for us too.

Pray the schools will remain open for us to teach this wonderful course; pray for those who teach it, yes, and listen; maybe God will call you to step through this open door of opportunity.

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