United States (MNN) — At a very early age, we start forming impressions about the world around us. It usually takes a while, however, to even begin grasping the vastness of our globe and all of the people who live here.
That’s one reason why Wycliffe Bible Translators provides teaching materials for children giving them a missional perspective.
Kristie Frieze oversees children’s programs and resources for Wycliffe. She says they offer a free “Summer Around the World” vacation Bible school program profiling five different regions of the world.
The five day program is available for churches to do a week-long class. It can also be used to supplement regular Sunday school lessons.
“Summer Around the World” corresponds to the book, “Around the World with Kate and Mack: A Look at Languages from A-Z”.
Frieze says one reason the information offered in these lessons is so important is because we often grow up taking Scripture for granted.
“It’s hard for us to imagine not having one word of Scripture in our language. And so, we want children to understand there are millions of people who have not one word of God’s [message in their] language.”
The “Summer Around the World” lessons aim to educate kids about translation needs. It also informs them about different cultures and people living in different contexts. Kids learn that despite our many differences, people have a lot in common.
“For kids to have that perspective, I think it shows them how big and great our God is. And it’s just a wonderful way for them to be a part of it and connect.”
Wycliffe has a variety of resources available beyond the VBS lesson plan. They have a cookbook with Kate and Mack with recipes from around the globe. There are also prayer guides to teach children how to pray for people worldwide.
“It’s a fun way to learn about cultures and language and countries, and to think about the power of prayer and how you can pray for someone you don’t know and what that means.”
Planting seeds for future leaders
Not only does the material help broaden perspectives, but for some children, it acts as a seed of calling.
“I feel this can be one of those seeds we plant. And the truth of the matter is, we have just under 2,000 languages left to start a translation in. So that last translator could be among those students right now.”
Children can grow up with the passion to get God’s Word into all people’s hands. This is Frieze’s own passion for ministry. She has a background in history.
“I realized some of the stuff I was talking about in the U.S. in past tense is real life in present for people right now in the rest of the world. I want everyone to have access to God’s Word. I cannot imagine my life without it.”