Celestine Blanken and her husband (see photograph) were given the Bible in Papiamentu, the NVB21, an English and an Arabic Bible and the Picture Bible in Papiamentu. Blanken leads the home church Betel Kas di Refugio. Most of its members are from Curaçao, and want to be able to give a Bible to people who cannot easily obtain a Bible in their own language.
Bible distribution in their own language
Samuel Ekpo, Relationship Manager Migrant & International Churches with the Bible Society for the Netherlands and Flanders (BSNF), presented the Bibles. ‘Our mission is for everyone to be able to read the Bible in the language of their hearts,’ Ekpo says. ‘We aim to encourage engagement with that Book in all churches, whether they are small or big. That is why we visit migrant churches in order to provide them with Bibles. In the past months, we were in Almere, Amsterdam, Zwolle and Venlo.’ Through the BSNF, members of these churches can obtain Bibles in the languages mentioned above, as well as Twi and Farsi; there are children’s Bibles in English, Spanish, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Papiamentu, Papiamento and Russian. The next church visit will be on June 11th. The BSNF will then visit the Chinese Church in Arnhem, CCGN, Groen van Prinstererstraat 5. The church service starts at 10 am; all are welcome.
Training with Bible Basics
Besides church visits, BSNF also provides trainings for children’s workers in migrant churches, using the digital bilingual Sunday school method Bible Basics, in Dutch Bijbel Basics. The training focuses on the different ages and stages of development every child goes through. Reading the Bible with a 3-year-old is different from doing so with a 10-year-old. It is important to be aware of the specific needs and interests of every age. The training introduces the different learning styles or ways of accessing stories (according to the theory of Howard Gardner): linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Furthermore, the meaning and significance of ‘children’s theology’ is explained.
The next training sessions with Bible Basics are:
13 May, Wesley Methodist Church, Kuiperbergweg 12, Amsterdam, 11-13 am, sign up with Samuel Ekpo, . Participation is free.
30 September, Opstandingskerk, Esdoornstraat 25, Zwolle, 12 noon-15 pm, sign up with Madelon Grant, . Participation is free.