“The doorbell rang. We opened the door to find the first unpredictable element of our day: a package had arrived! During nation-wide lockdowns, unable to do many of the things that bring us pleasure, we cherished the excitement of receiving something new in the mail.”
Each year, the Bibles for Bubs program sends exciting gifts to over 2,000 children born in the previous year. On their first birthday, each child receives a Children’s Bible, filled with over a hundred stories from God’s word. Parents who have signed up for the program love the Bible, like Melissa, who said, “Thank you so, so much for my child’s first Bible. This Bible is perfect, stories are true and short. I couldn’t find a Bible for my child, but was gifted a perfect one. Thank God and thank you Bible Society team.”
For the next five years of the program, each child receives a hand-written birthday card from the Bible Society and loads of stickers. Since launching in 2018, an amazing 23,000 cards have been handwritten and sent to these kids on their birthdays. With them, each family also receives reading guides with suggestions on Opening The Bible with their child, including ideas for activities, songs and family Bible reading. “The resources are such a blessing to our little family.” Amanda reports, “and it’s so special for my son to receive a birthday card from the Bible Society each year.”
The first group of children will finish the program this year. On their fifth birthday, they will receive a CEV Big Rescue Bible, ready for the school years ahead. Some parents even find that once they start reading their children these age-appropriate Bibles, their kids won’t let them stop! Alex said, “While we both eat, I’ll read a few stories from the Bible we were given. We have worked our way through the whole Bible quite a few times. We both really enjoy our special time, and he asks for the Bible if I haven’t got it out quick enough while we are eating.”
In fact, a survey by the Australian publisher Scholastic showed that 86% of children say they love being read books aloud at home, most commonly saying they love it because it’s a special time with their parents. This program gives parents the opportunity not only to read to their kids, but to Open The Bible to them in a way they understand and enjoy. As Lisa described, “The stories give direct links to the Bible so you know what they correspond to, and are engaging, simple to read and understand, and full of God’s truth, with lovely illustrations.”
This free program was so popular in 2021 that registrations closed after 3,400 applications were received in only a week! Inspired by the popularity of the program among Australian families, Bible Society Northern Ireland have taken up the idea, launching their own ’Bibles for Babies’ program, based on Australia’s model. What a blessing it is for children to be raised with a personal knowledge of God through time in his word!
Applications are open now for babies born in 2021. Register here: biblesociety.org.au/bubs