Bible Funshop: A Whisper in the Dark


Children can (and must ) be creatively engaged with God’s Word . The Digital is a huge opportunity to engage children with the Bible. The Bible Funshop is a digital bible engagement program conducted by the BSI Media Department.The aim of the Funshop is to introduce kids to Digital Bible resources and also help them to creatively engage with Bible stories/passages. The program also helps kids to creatively express their learning ( through short videos)!

The BSI Media Department conducted the Bible Funshop in Jeeva Rakshaka Church, Kothanur, Bangalore. We had about 25 children at the Fun shop.

First we sang a few choruses and learnt the theme song: “ I Like the Bible” . The children learnt the song and sand enthusiastically. It was a heart warming experience to hear the Kids sing: “ I like the Bible… I read it and I do it… When I am going through it… I obey what I have heard. I am a doer of the Word… And I like the Bible”.

Next, we read the story of God speaking to Samuel. The kids were introduced to the Youversion Kids Bible App. They enjoyed reading and engaging with the Bible App in their iPads. After reading the Bible passage, the children engaged in conversations with each other. They read and understood the Bible passage in their small groups.

Fun shop encourages collaborative learning. We had designed a list of questions to help them ‘contextually’ read and understand the passage. The questions were

  1. Wha are the characters in the passage? What do we know about them?
  2. Samuel’s mother left him at the Tabernacle to serve the Lord alongside Eli. Samuel was alone in the Tabernacle. How did he feel? Did he miss his mother/family? How was he able to be in the Tabernacle all by himself?. How do you feel when you are all alone? What do you do when you are alone?
  3. Eli’s sons were bad. They did bad things. Samuel was a good boy. How was Samuel able to be a good boy? What are the bad things that are friend do? How can we stay away from bad influences?
  4. God Spoke to Samuel. He responded to God saying, “Speak Lord, Your Servant listens”. Can God speak to us today? How does God speak to us today? How can we respond to God?
  5. What is God telling us through the passage. What are we going to do in response to God’s Word to us today?

It was interesting to listen to kids reflecting on the passage from their perspective.  Some felt that Samuel missed his mother so much that he would cry a lot. He would wait for his mother’s annual visit and hug her.  Some could not understand Hannah’s decision to  leave her son at the Tabernacle. One said, “ Hannah must be without any sense”. Others affirmed God’s abiding presence with Samuel as he stayed away from his family. They said, ” Samuel was able to stay at the Tabernacle because he understood Hannah’s vow, that God was with him and that Eli took good care of him”. Next, we watched an animation video about Samuel’s story.

We regrouped after Lunch to work on video making. Children were taught the basics of video making. All the six groups worked on their video presentation of the story. It was a new experience for them to work on the iPad and edit with iMovie App. We watched all the videos made by the six groups and the kids really enjoyed watching their work presentations on the big screen. The bright eyes and the lovely smiles said it all.

The kids were challenged with the story of Mary Jones and her love for the Bible. We introduced the work of the Bible Societies and particularly the work of the Bible Society of India. We challenged the children to read the Bible regularly. We distributed Bible story books to the children and asked them to share the Bible story book with their friends after reading them.

It was truly a ‘fun-filled’ day. The Bible Funshop has been conducted in different cities ( Bangalore, Chennai, Cuttack, Ahmedabad, Shillong) and children have really enjoyed the Digital Bible engagement program. We hope that kids will creatively engage with the Bible and imaginatively express in the ‘Digital Space’.



The Journey of the Gujarati Bible

IMG_9798If you visit the Bible House in Ahmedabad, you can’t miss the special corner where they have treasured the rare editions of the Gujarati Bibles. The journey of the Gujarati Bible is preserved at the Bible House.

The Gujarati Bible was translated as early as in 1823. This was a three volume edition. Recently, the Auxiliary celebrated the 190th anniversary of the Gujarati Bible. The Auxiliary has also completed the New Testament in other minor languages such as Varli, Vasavi, Garasia, Kachi, Chodri, spoken in the state of Gujarat.

I was pleasantly surprised to find even a Gujarati-Greek Diglot Bible published as early as in 1872. What an heritage! The history of the Gujarati Bible surely needs to be remembered, treasured and celebrated.

The Bible house, which houses the BSI Auxiliary in Gujarat, continues to print and distribute the Bible.

The journey of the Gujrati Bible is celebrated. A multi-volume handwritten Bible stands testimony to the love, thanksgiving and gratefulness of the christian faith community in Gujarat!

The Tale of Bible Translation

The Bibles we read is a work of translation. I am sure you would have wondered about the history of Bible Translation. Mini Krishnan’s article “A Word for that:  Translating God” is a fascinating article about the tale of Bible Translation. It’s a quick read and you begin to understand the motivations and the challenges involved in Biblical Translation. She writes,

The history of the Word is indubitably a tale of translation….The story of Bible translation in India is also the story of the development of Indian language presses and the preparation of dictionaries in the regional languages. With these tools came the spread of journals, magazines, and newspapers in the local languages, which simply did not exist before, among non-scholarly populations

Read the entire article