Many families in Tahuna City, Sanger Talaud District in Indonesia are on unstable fishermen’s or farm labourers’ wages. With the high cost of living, parents often can’t afford one standard Bible, let alone a picture one for their children.
“Due to their own lack of education, many parents do not understand the importance of developing their young children’s interest in reading, so they do not provide appropriate reading material,” says Compassion staff member Anges Parera.
But with the help of local Compassion staff, children registered with Santiago Child Development Centre are being inspired and encouraged to develop their literacy skills and learn about God through reading their Bibles.
The Bibles have become treasured possessions for the children, who can often be found reading stories together. Discovering God’s love for them has also helped to improve their school behaviour and performance.
Daniel is one of the children whose behaviour at school has changed since he received a Bible from the centre. He used to struggle with misbehaving and disrespecting his teachers. But since he began reading his Bible diligently every day, Daniel’s behaviour has changed, and he is now getting good grades in school. He says his favourite story is of Jesus’ sacrifice as it depicts God’s love for all people.
“Reading the Bible every day makes me memorise some verses, and now I have some favourite[s],” says Daniel.
“One of them is in John 3:16.”
The impact of picture Bibles is encouraging for teachers, too; the books help tutors like Meli Tapia more effectively teach the children.
“It helps me to talk to the children because the pictures make me more creative and help me to explain [stories],” says Meli.
Words by Vera Aurima and Amy Millar
Photo by Vera Aurima