Bible reading can be done through creative ways. The Bible Fun shops are designed to introduce Kids to digital bible resources and also help kids creatively engage with the stories in the Bible using digital tools.
We set out to the Bible Funshop arranged at Jagiri village in South Gujarat. It took us almost 6 long hours to get to Jagiri, Valsad District, Gujarat. The drive took us through Baroda, Surat and many other places. Enter the Dangs area and the contrast is striking.
We arrived at an English Medium School. Yes, an English Medium School in the middle of nowhere. The English medium school is the result of one man’s commitment to serve the people in the area: to give them a future and a hope lest they be left out or lost to impoverishment. Interestingly, he belongs to this area. The school is built with a vision to help educationally disadvantaged children in the area. About 235 students study here.
The Gujarat Auxiliary had planned a Bible Funshop at the HIM English School. The Bible Funshop is aimed at helping Digital Natives creatively engage with the Bible. I had the privilege of interacting with Class VIII students. We had around thirty boys and girls at the Funshop.
We started with a few Bible songs. Then, the kids watched a video of God speaking to the boy Samuel who was growing up with Eli at the Tabernacle. After the video show, I asked the boys to imaginatively write a letter to Hannah about how Samuel felt growing up in the temple all by himself without a family ( in Samuel’s own words). I also asked the girls to imaginatively write a letter to Samuel about how Hannah felt leaving Samuel at the Tabernacle under Eli’s care ( in Hannah’s own words). This reading of the Bible using the tools of imaginative draws its inspiration from Dr. Gerald West’s Contextual bible studies It was great fun to see the kids use their imagination and write the letter. That it was a residential school added to the understanding of their context as well!
I surprised the kids by asking them to read their letters and make a little Vlog! I also did a quick tutorial about framing, lighting and video capture to help them with the basics of video making. We had very limited time was limited and there wasn’t much we could do. My aim was to trigger their imagination and help them creatively express themselves. The kids throughly enjoyed the activity. Once, everyone had finished with the VLog, we all enjoyed watching the vLogs played on the big screen!
It was a long journey into the Dangs. But, I am grateful to the team from the Gujarat Auxiliary for planning the Bible Funshop at the HEM English School in the Dangs.