Երկուշաբթի, 04. 03. 2024

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The Bible Society in the Gulf launches the captivating Make-Your-Own Children’s Bible in Armenian during a Special Blessing Ceremony

*DR. ARDA JEBEJIAN*

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‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it’ (Proverbs 22:6).

Kuwait, September 2014: The Bible Society in the Gulf (BSG) is extraordinarily excited to announce the arrival of Make-Your-Own Children’s Biblein the Armenian language in Kuwait.

Make-Your-Own Children’s Bibleis a pioneering, groundbreaking production for 5-10 year old children.  The book is a faithful account of more than 150 stories from the Bible.  Written in simple language, and with child-friendly illustrations, it is ideal for early readers.  Line drawings give hints about faces, landscapes, and symbols that appear in the stories.  Children are then free to use their creative skills to complete the pictures.  The 160 pages include maps of the Old and New Testament times.  At home, alone, or at Sunday School, this book brings Bible stories to life for young children.

 On the occasion of its launching in Kuwait on September 26, the Very Reverend Father Massis Zobouyan, Catholicosal Vicar of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Kuwait and Neighboring Countries, said, “This is a unique publication, and we thank the Bible Society in the Gulf for taking the initiative to publish it.  The Bible has always been an integral part of

Armenian children’s upbringing and education, and this Bible will be like a ‘starter’ for them, as it will prepare them to continue reading the Bible as they grow up and remember everything they had learned by using this personal Bible of the Armenian child.  I urge parents to encourage their children to read this Bible and engage our new generation with this interesting, innovatively-produced children’s Bible as it will instill in them biblical, ethical values that will help them greatly in their journey in life.”

Also present at the launching were Ms. Joyce Van de Veen, Head of International Ministries of the Bible Society in the Netherlands, Ms. Nita Doke, Director of International Ministries of the American Bible Society, Rev. Amanuel Ghareeb, President of the Board of the BSG, members of the Board, BSG staff, Church Council, and a big crowd of enthusiastic parents and Sunday School teachers of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Kuwait.

Dr. Hrayr Jebejian, General Secretary of the BSG, said on this occasion, “I am very happy that after two years of hard work, we are gathered today to launch the Armenian version of Make-Your-Own Children’s Bible. I want to especially thank the German Bible Society and a few Armenian friends for their generous donation for this project.  I am, hence, glad to announce that the books will be distributed free of chargeto all 5-10 year-old children in day schools, Saturday schools, and Sunday schools in Kuwait, Cyprus, Greece, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria,and Turkey.  Our purpose is to reach young people in an ever-changing culture and challenging times with the message of the Bible in an attractive, compelling format.”

Because of their history, Armenians are scattered all over the world.  In fact 7 million of the 10 million Armenians live in the diaspora.  Most of the communities in the above-mentioned communities have daily schools or Saturday schools or Sunday Schools where they teach the Bible to all their students.  As Christians, all Armenians raise their children in the faith of their ancestors and that is why most schools teach the Bible as part of their Christian Education program.  Therefore, school teachers, Sunday school teachers and parents will greatly benefit from this book as this is the very first such book designed especially for 5-10 year-olds in Armenian.  The community in Kuwait counts around 3000 and has a Church and a high school with more than 450 students.  Most Armenians in Kuwait are already third or fourth generation expatriates.

Dr. Arda Jebejian, the translator of Make-Your-Own Children’s Bible from Englsih to Armenian, introduced the book, explaining the different components of the book.  She particularly drew the audience’s attention to the 14-page-long Users’ Manualinserted at the end of the book, as it contains a resourceful aid to using drama, prayer, games, and imaginative journeys into Bible stories, group activities and other fascinating, attractive ways of transmitting Bible stories to children.  She said, “Doubtlessly, the Users’ Manual will aid teachers and parents by equipping them with motivating ideas for encouraging 5-10 year-olds to engage with the Bible. Certainly such a book in Armenian will enhance Armenian schools’, churches’, and parents’ efforts to raise a God–fearing, faithful generation that will have a strong foundation in biblical values.”

After this brief presentation, the choir sang a beautiful hymn, after which the Reverend Father blessed the book the Armenian way.

Please, pray for all the children who will receive a copy of Make-Your-Own Children’s Bible so that as they read and engage with the Bible they will own the biblical values during their formative years.

The Bible Society in the Gulf is committed to making the Bible available to Christian communities in the Gulf countries it serves. A big number of Christians are migrant workers from a wide variety of countries, speaking many different languages. As well as publishing, distributing the Bible in 60 languages, and organizing Bible Engagement seminars, the BSG partners with the Churches and helps people to read and understand the Bible.

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