By Aaron Ziebarth, Executive Director
Every week across all 90 Released Time Bible Programs we humbly and prayerfully realize that foundational truths, main Bible themes, Bible characters and narratives are new information to many of the children who attend our classes. We are grateful that parents willingly grant their children permission to join our Released Time Bible classes, many whom are without any church affiliation. Our staff and volunteers are honored to be sharing Biblical truths to this generation of children. This is a collection of observations from just ONE Released Time Bible class…
- In November, while studying the creation story, a listener asked a child to name the first man and woman and she had no idea.
- Two weeks later as they studied how angels announced the Good News of the Savior’s birth to the shepherds. When the listener asked her three students why the birth of a baby was such good news? None could answer. When the listener asked what was the baby’s name one child’s reply was “Eve.”
- Later this same listener said,” When I explained that God loved his Son very much but He loved us too and sent his Son to die for all those who trust in Him, I heard Ashley whisper, “I wish I had a father like that.”
Another week after the teacher shared the story of Abraham being willing to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. The teacher shared the Bible narrative about how “God provided a ram for the sacrifice for Abraham in place of Isaac, yet, God didn’t do that for His own Son. God willingly sacrificed His Son Jesus on the cross for our sins.” This thought really stuck with Lynn*. She said, “That was so wonderful that God gave His Son for us, that He was willing to sacrifice Jesus for us.” This was the evidence her listener was looking for of the spiritual understanding that Lynn was gaining, and her decision to begin a relationship with Jesus earlier was real.
Perhaps the most sobering part of this story was as Lynn was memorizing Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd. I lack nothing.” When her listener asked Lynn, “What does this mean? She said, “It means he will provide everything we need.” Her listener then asked, “Do you know what a shepherd is?” Lynn said, “I think so,” then hesitantly said, “A dog?” The listener went on to explain, “A shepherd is someone who herds sheep. The shepherd protects, provides for, and takes care of the sheep. That is how God cares for us. We can be like sheep sometimes and do dumb things and get into trouble. God takes care of us and goes after those who are lost.”
There is a real need for foundational Biblical truths to be taught to the children in our communities today. We are grateful to be able to teach these truths to public school children. Our mission field is our public school children. Please join us in prayer, in volunteering, in giving so children can learn the Biblical truths that someone so faithfully shared with us.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them” (Romans 10:14).
* Name has been changed
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Joy El Camps and Retreats, is a Christian Summer Camps in PA, we offer Christian camps and retreats in PA and we are retreat centers in pa since 1974. Our focus on making disciples is seen in the Released Time Bible Program and 4.12 Leadership Training Program.