“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it,” says Psalm 22:6.
When a surprise parcel arrived last June, Sam couldn’t quite believe what was inside: a colourful new children’s Bible, packed with 140 stories made for young children — and loads of stickers.
“It was just beautiful, and our kids loved it,” said Sam. “They were stoked to be able to have a story read to them every night from the book.”
Unknown to him, Sam’s wife had signed up for Bible Society Australia’s Bibles For Bubs program, after seeing an ad on Instagram. Each year, Bible Society Australia sends more than 2,000 children’s Bibles as a gift to families to celebrate their baby’s first birthday. For the next five years, these growing bubs also receive hand-written birthday cards from Bible Society, culminating in another Bible for their primary school years.
The Bibles for Bubs program aims to encourage Bible engagement in families with their littlest members. With the gift of an age-appropriate Bible, it is hoped that children will learn to love the Bible from their earliest days. Each year, a parent guide is included with the birthday cards, with simple ideas for activities and songs – to further encourage families to keep reading God’s word and make it a key part of everyday life.
Since the program began in 2018, more than 10,000 children’s Bibles have been delivered to children and their families across Australia. “Every year parents write to us thanking us for the gift of the Bible for their beloved little ones, and tell us how well it has been received,” says Belinda Faulks, Project and Relationship Manager at Bible Society Australia.
The hard work behind Belinda and her team’s efforts is not lost on Sam Buckley. “It’s a simple [program], but it’s also not simple,” he said. “Someone has to put in the work. It was really significant for us. The love and creativity that has been poured into this has blessed us. And even more so that it’s been sent free of cost. I can’t believe that is what you are all about. Thank you!”
Stella, another mum, was also thrilled about the gift. “My boys absolutely LOVED their storybook Bible! Especially how the stories are simply worded with many beautiful illustrations. It is perfect for these very young children. For the children to have access to a Bible version like this is so valuable in their ability to start listening to the Bible stories. It’s certainly something that I didn’t have growing up, so this has been incredibly special.”
If you, or someone you know, is having a baby this year, fill in the expression of interest form. Regrettably, registrations for babies born in 2020 are closed as allocations are full.
Every year Bible Society receives thousands of requests for Bible resources from Scripture teachers, chaplains and others working at the coalface of Christian ministry. They tell us they don’t have enough Scriptures to give those who ask, and every year we turn down requests because we simply do not have the budget. This year we are making a special ask to help us provide 200,000 Bible resources for the work at home. Please help to give all Australians the chance to Open The Bible, whatever their age, language or personal circumstance.
* Pray for Australia’s young, that they may grow up knowing and loving the Lord
* Pray for a wholesome, supportive society to be shaped around them
* Pray that they will in turn create an Australia that looks to God in all things