Children express their gratitude for the new Youth Bible Curriculum that illuminates God's Word throughout Eastern Europe.
Tanja, Tamara, and Milica are pictured here with their Youth Bible Curriculum (YBC) books, including the bookplates that were signed by donors and returned to the children for use with their materials. World Vision's YBC program is an initiative aimed at spreading God's Word to children across Eastern Europe and the Middle East. YBC materials are age-appropriate, designed to engage children and help them learn. Photo courtesy of World Vision's Bosnia-Herzegovina staff.
"There are beautiful descriptions, and I enjoy reading the book. It is very easy to learn from this book, much easier than our regular schoolbook," says Marko, a boy who attends a Bible class near his home in Bosnia. Marko is one of many children who eagerly look forward to his Bible class even more than school.
World Vision, which has partnered with the renewed local Orthodox Church in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1995, recently partnered with Gospel Light Worldwide, a Bible curriculum organization. The result was the hugely successful Youth Bible Curriculum (YBC) that Marko talks about.
The curriculum will ultimately have 12 age-appropriate modules — some are currently in development, while others are in use now — and is specifically developed for children in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It is theologically correct, culturally sensitive, and engages the children through interactive games and activities.
Words of thanks
Some World Vision donors who support the project received special bookplates in the mail that they signed and sent back to distribute to children who are using the YBC books. After Marko's class in Bosnia received the bookplates, they were so grateful that they wanted to express their thanks to the donors.
Says Sanja, one of Marko's classmates: "It is very exciting to know that there are people somewhere in the world who care that my friends and I receive good education. I am very grateful to them. On my bookplate, there is a name … I presume this lady gave money for books to be printed. Well, thank you!"
Tanja, another little girl in the class, says: "Also, I like … these bookplates. The Psalm is wonderful, 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path,' with the name of the person who presented [the book] to me."
And Tamara is thankful for the practical aspect of having bookplates, since all their books look the same. She wishes that the bookplates had come even earlier. "Then we would know exactly whose is whose book."
A learning process
The children also like how the book is structured and how the curriculum uses different methods to engage them in the learning process. "I like when we do exercises in small groups and then compare our results," says one girl named Milica. "I think that is the best way to learn, because some children learn this way even if they didn't have time to read the lesson. I also like when we draw and paint."
Sanja adds, "This book is very interesting. It improves our knowledge. I like it because there are questions after each lesson, which helps me to better understand the lesson."
Tanja chimes back in, "I like this book because it is about our religion … The questions give us opportunity to be creative and express ourselves; they are not just plain questions where we answer 'yes' or 'no.'"
A bit of history
During 70 years of communism, children in parts of Eastern Europe were denied the opportunity to learn about the hope of Jesus Christ through studying the Bible. Memory of the Bible was nearly erased through several generations.
Meanwhile, children in the Middle East experienced a similar lack of Christian education, not because of communism, but because of a lack of adequate programs and necessary funding.
Thankfully, through partnership and collaboration, World Vision is distributing 300,000 easy-to-read YBC books for children through a network of local churches in Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kosovo, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and war-torn Lebanon.
But the learning won't stop with just those 300,000 children who receive the curriculum. Because books are highly valued in Eastern Europe — and often passed from reader to reader — it's likely that every study guide will be read by as many as three children. Another benefit of the program is that the children are sharing what they learn through the Youth Bible Curriculum with their parents — opening the door for many more to learn about the Good News.
>> Read about the Youth Bible Curriculum
and how it is changing lives across Eastern Europe.
>> Get the facts
about Bosnia-Herzegovina's past and how World Vision is working in the second-poorest country in Europe, where the average yearly income is less than $2,500.
Two ways you can help
>> Pray that children in Eastern Europe and the Middle East would personally discover and experience God's unconditional love and compassion through World Vision's Youth Bible Curriculum program. Praise the Lord for the generous donors who have helped make this curriculum possible.
>> Donate now to help share the Gospel. Your contribution will help bring God's Word to hundreds of thousands of children in Eastern Europe and the Middle East through World Vision's Youth Bible Curriculum program.