Scriptures for Children for Christian Nurture
This is an ongoing project geared towards providing Scriptures to Children from kindergarten stage to primary school level. The Bible Society is now specifically focusing on development of appropriate Scripture material for children on the understanding that it is good and appropriate to provide Christian nurture right from the early age of childhood than waiting until they are youths because children learn things and catch up faster at infancy than at youth stage. So the Bible Society of Tanzania to undertake so as to help build their faith foundation as future adult Christians.Children who are exposed to Scriptures since childhood will have their lives transformed and therefore would cherish their faith even if they happen to meet obstacles on their path of faith at later stages of their lives, and the seed planted during childhood will regenerate and bring them back. Proverb 22:6 ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. “How can we do that? Yes, we can love them, teach them morals, provide them with needs like education, meals and protection but can we really succeed doing that without introducing to them the Word of God? That will be impossible. Waiting to provide children with Scriptures at the youth stage can find us not only time barred but also an opportunity lost because at the youth stage they might not be available and out of control or already ruined by the world. Population statistics of Tanzania show that children constitute 46% of the population and that on average a household in Tanzania has at least five children. This population magnitude of children in Tanzania signifies the importance proposed project.
To distribute 60,000 copies of Children Bibles in all regions of Tanzania.
Project goal’s relationship to overall bible society strategy
The Bible Society seeks to make available Bibles to all audiences in the country in language and formats that suit them, at languages they can understand better, and at prices they can afford.
Children are among vital audiences addressed in our strategic objectives – the future Church of Christ.
Tanzania Government is also an opportunity
Ministry of National in Tanzania government encourages religious organization to supply books of their faith like Bibles and Quran. This is an opportunity for Bible Society to reach these children with scriptures.
Connecting your project to your Bible Society’s overall mission strategy
How does your project relate to the Philadelphia Promise?
The project relates well with the Philadelphia Promise. The Philadelphia Promise focus at all audiences reaching them with appropriate Scriptures that address their faith and spiritual needs. Children are one of the very important audiences to be addressed.
About the beneficiaries
How did you arrive at your beneficiary impact number?
Tanzania has twenty five geographical regions. In this project the Bible Society of Tanzania targets to serve twenty five primary schools in each region.It is estimated that each region will be served with 4000 scriptures that will make a total of 100000 scriptures.
The focused beneficiaries in this project are children of 5 to 14 years old. Children need to be brought up in a way that they will uphold Biblical morals and live as responsible Christians. http://www.prb.org/Publications/PolicyBriefs/tanzania.aspx). According to the Population and Housing Census of 2012,Tanzania had 45million people,46% of whom were Children.Based on the average population growth of 2.9%,Tanzania is now estimated to have a population of 56million people,with slightly over 75% living in rulal areas. Based on the estimates of the present total population of Tanzania; children are estimated to be about 25million. It Sociologists and Religious leaders estimate that Christians number between 30% and 40%. We have therefore about six million children to care for.
-The children are still in elementary and primary schools. It is at this time when they can learn and remember lot about faith and mostly affected by peer group pressure.
-Most of the children come from low income families and cannot afford to pay the full cost of the Bible, hence the need for heavily subsidised Scriptures
How have the needs and perspective of the beneficiaries helped shape the design of the project?
Thorough research was taken to establish the children’s need for Scriptures:
(1) It was found out that though children form the majority group in the demographic structure of Tanzania they were the list addressed group in terms of Scriptures.
(2) It was found out that in Tanzania the English language is gaining prominence and parents were now sending their children to English medium schools to help them cope with the situation. As a result of this finding the Bible Society is concentrating on Swahili/English diglot Scriptures for children. However, Swahili only Scriptures are also being distributed.
-The children are still in elementary and primary schools. It is at this time when they can learn and remember a lot about faith and mostly affected by peer group pressure.
-Most of the children come from low income families and cannot afford to pay the full cost of the Bible, hence the need for heavily subsidized Scriptures.
– Government statistics provide that children form 46% of the country’s population of 54 million.
– Informal religious statistics estimate that about 30% of the children are Christian.
– Research also reveal that there are very few Scripture publications for children in the country and therefore there is an urgent need to address the situation.
The Bible Society’s strategic plan stipulates that each Christian segment should be supplied with appropriate Scripture needs, and that children are one of the most important segments of the society who need very special attention in terms of Scripture material for nurture in their faith. Hitherto, the Bible Society did not have the right Scriptures for children a situation that categorized them with adults by providing them with similar Scriptures that was appropriate to the adults and not them. We have realized the need to keep on our strategic plan and would like to develop and provide them with Scriptures specifically designated to meet their needs and taste. The church has the role to teach the children and the Bible Society has the obligation to provide them with the required Scriptures.
How this project will help the beneficiaries
The Bible Society is now specifically focusing on development of appropriate Scripture material for children on the understanding that waiting until the children are youths before providing them with scriptures was inappropriate practice because children learn about faith faster at infancy than as youths. Children Scriptures build up their faith foundation as future Christians. Children who are exposed to Scriptures since childhood would never forget God in their lives and even if they happen to meet obstacles on their path of faith at later stages of their lives, the seed planted in childhood will regenerate and bring them back. Proverb 22:6 ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”How can we do that? Yes, we can love them, teach them morals, provide them with needs like education, meals and protection but can we really succeed doing that without introducing to them the Word of God? That will be impossible. Waiting to provide children with Scriptures as youths can find us time barred. It would be an opportunity lost because they might not be available and out of control or already ruined by the world. Statistics show that children in Tanzania constitute 46% of the population and that on average a household in Tanzania has at least five children, http://www.tanzania.go.tz/pdf/childdevelopmentpolicy.
Scripture & Prayer
Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and he is old, he will not depart from it”
-Pray for availability of funds for the purchase of the Scriptures
– Pray that the Scriptures bring about the required impact on the children
Scriptures will be ordered by November 2018
– Delivery of Scriptures ordered – February 2019
-Distribution: March to December 2019
-Interim reports in April, July, October and December
-Evaluation: December 2019
The Church in Tanzania is partnering with the Bible society in identifying developing the appropriate Scripture material for children. On the other hand, the Bible Society will distribute the Scriptures in Churches, Holistic centers and Schools because the Tanzania Government is very positive to distribution of Religious materials in Schools.
Outputs & Impacts
Outputs from the project
Scriptures to be distributed include:
– Swahili Children Bibles -5,000
– Children in the Bible (diglot) – 5,000
– My First Handy Bible (diglot) – 5,000
– Maneno ya Hekima Portions – 10,000
A total of 25,000 Scriptures to be distributed among children in Kindergarten and Primary Schools.
Scriptures to be distributed include:
– Swahili Children Bibles – 40,000
– My First Handy Bible – 10,000
– Children Bible Picture books – 10,000
A total of 60,000 Scriptures to be distributed among children in Kindergarten and Primary Schools.
– Children will be talking about biblical stories among themselves, and the community at large.
– Motivation and increased attendance in Sunday Schools
– Increased demand for Children’s Scriptures
– Change in behavior in areas where scriptures distributed due to lesson learned from Bible stories.
The impact will be measured by questionnaires, personal interviews with teachers, parents, pastors, and children.
Tracking unexpected outcomes
Visits to schools, families, and records from law enforcing institutions.
Introducing the Bible to the children created a passion for the children to further reading of the Bible at their youth stage and later in adulthood. Mr. Edward started reading the Bible as a child of five years (his father Jonah used to read the Bible to him as a child). That created the passion for him to read the Bible on his own. He struggled and at the age of 15 he acquired a copy of his own. This man is today the marketing manager of the Bible Society of Tanzania. He has already distributed millions of Bibles to Tanzanians. The seed that was grown early in life has grown to a big faith and great service. He trained as a teacher but later decided to join the Bible Society in order to make the word of God to others to build the kingdom of God. Rose Mtingele is a grandmother with a three year grand child. She reads some few verses to the little boy daily and it is amazing how responsive and passionate the boy is. He is always demanding to get stories from the Bible. He has being moulded to be a friend of the Bible. There are many other examples of people who started reading the Bible as children and have grown to be leaders in spreading the word of God
Introducing the Bible to the children created a passion for the children to further reading of the Bible at their youth stage and later in adulthood. Mr. Edward started reading the Bible as a child of five years (his father Jonah used to read the Bible to him as a child). That created the passion for him to read the Bible on his own. He struggled and at the age of 15 he acquired a copy of his own. This man is today the Marketing Manager of the Bible Society of Tanzania. He has already distributed millions of Bibles to Tanzanians.
Leadership track record
The Project leader is an employee of the Bible Society of Tanzanian for over 30 years now. He has distributed millions of Bibles in the country through normal sales distribution, and distribution projects like End 2 End (funded by American Bible Society). He has also successfully managed Faith Comes By hearing (FCBH) and Literacy projects, all implemented by the Society of Tanzania.
In general, the Bible Society has a good leadership track record in project implementation – that includes apart from those mentioned above – HIV/AIDS, 10 translations, Trauma Healing, and Scriptures for prisoners.
“The Bible Society is a very important organization in the country. God bless you for this noble task you are undertaking – reaching all Tanzanians with the precious Word of God. This task should not be taken for granted” Mr. Mtui, the Marketing Manager of the Danish Lutheran Mission (Soma Biblia) in Tanzania.
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