“I now have my own copy of the Bible – and I am very happy with it. I keep the Bible in my school bag,” says 12-year-old Nancy, who goes to a primary school with views of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain. Nancy has had her own Bible for just one month and already it’s a key part of her day. “Bible reading helps me to keep busy with good things and to be honest,” she says.
Nancy’s dad is a farmworker and her mum has a small shop at a market. But many of the other students at St Peter’s Day Primary School in Kianjokoma have lost one or both parents.
HIV/AIDs is a problem in this rural area where poverty is high and, according to the principal, children may come to school without having had breakfast. “Also, some children are abused because there was nobody to protect them,” says Principal Nyaga. “They come to understand what street life is, which is very bad for them.”
More than 78 per cent of Kenyans profess to be Christian. But social issues such as child marriage and female genital mutilation remain for young Kenyans.
While Christian religious education is allowed in schools, 98 per cent of them do not have Bibles. There is such a great need for Bibles in Kenya, especially as Scripture knowledge and noticeable behaviour change follow each round of Bible distribution. “The Bible teaches me that I need to forgive people,” says Nancy. “I was bullied by other children and found it difficult to forgive. But in the Bible I read that it is important that people forgive each other.”
Providing Bibles to Kenyan children from low income backgrounds also encourages regular Bible reading across the whole family. Nancy, like other children given a Bible, has begun sharing it with her family. “After school I take my bag with the Bible home, so also at home I can read from my own Bible. I then read it to my parents and I talk to them about what we read.”
Praise God for Nancy and her family, and for other lives being transformed by God’s word throughout Kenya. With your support, 12,000 children in Kenya’s rural and urban poor areas will receive their own Bibles this year.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14