On April 8, 2017, our eldest daughter Abigail was baptized following her profession of faith in Christ. After the event, as we stood outside and chatted with various friends who had attended, Pastor Mihailo approached me with a request. “I heard that you’ve been taking Abigail through the Bible First lessons at home.” I acknowledged that this was correct. “Would you be willing to do the same for our older kids at church?”
I agreed and our first class was held on the Sunday after Easter. I brought a short message for the church during which I introduced Bible First, giving an overview of the course and explaining our goals to the parents. I then invited all the older kids up on the stage and gave them three challenges on which to focus as we started our new class: 1. Set aside childish things (1 Cor. 13:11), 2. Build a Godly reputation (Prov. 20:11), and 3. Seek the Lord in their youth (Eccl. 12:1). This done, we prayed and exited the main auditorium together.
I was glad that Pastor Vladyslav was joining me to help lead the class. Most of my Bible teaching experience has been with adults, and I confess I was bit nervous with the idea of committing to lead a weekly kids' class. That first day, however, laid my fears to rest. We got right down to business, reading through a good portion of Lesson 1. I also introduced the kids to “sword drills”, wherein everyone practices finding various passages in their Bibles as quickly as possible. Whoever finds the passage first reads it aloud. He then comes to the front and leads the next drill.
In addition to reading through Bible First lessons in class, I’ve also started taking the group into the main service about once a month. Our church has two messages each Sunday: a shorter “intro” message and a main message. Our class will sometimes sit in for the intro message, and all the kids take notes. We then move downstairs to our classroom and discuss what was taught.
On several occasions, God has opened the door for me to have one-on-one conversations with various kids. These have proven to be good opportunities to get better acquainted and to encourage them to make wise decisions.
In order to help the kids learn how to navigate their Bibles more efficiently, I’ve challenged them to memorize the names of all 66 books of the Bible. Anyone who completes this assignment gets a trip to the mall for ice cream!
We’ve now finished Lesson 1 of Bible First, and we’re about halfway through Lesson 2. I am thrilled with the response from these young people, and I count myself blessed to have the privilege of bringing them closer to the Lord through His Word.
Have you wondered whether or not Bible First could help you teach your kids about the Lord? Give it a try! While some of the material is definitely advanced, an attentive teacher or parent can easily fill in the gaps. I think you’ll find, as we have, that reading through Bible First with your children will prompt much needed conversations about the Lord. What an exciting privilege to introduce these young ones to Christ!
Good and Evil Update
The translation of Good and Evil into Ukrainian continues to progress well. Anatoli has now completed two chapters, and Sasha (our designer in Kyiv) has done the initial layout work for both. Chapter three is moving forward! Please keep praying with us about this project. We hope to be ready to print by the fall as we need to have the new books ready for next year’s summer outreach.
The Russian is Coming!
We are very pleased to announce that we now have a Russian translation of Bible First underway! Missionary Pat LaBarbera (sent out of same church as Jessie Beal) has been spearheading this effort. So far, nine lessons have been completed! There is a great demand even amongst our existing Ukrainian students for Russian-language materials, and we are looking forward to the completion of this translation.
Please continue to pray for the various translation efforts. We now have four languages in progress: Ukrainian (revision), Spanish, French, and Russian.
How You Can Pray
- Praise the Lord for the fruit we are seeing with our new Bible First Kids class at church!
- Pray that Good and Evil in Ukrainian would be completed soon, and that we would be able to print this fall.
- Pray for the success of our new Russian translation of Bible First, as well as the other languages currently in progress.
- Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.