Seven years ago, Nicaragua’s National Assembly made it official that the last Sunday of September would be dedicated to celebrating the translation of the Bible from Greek to Spanish.Throughout the national territory we celebrate. Sunday, Sept. 27, was the 440th anniversary.
In every department and/or town, churches from different denominations get together to celebrate.
Flowers, palm leaves and banners decorate trucks, and children dress in Bible costumes during the parade in celebration of the Day of the Bible.
Compassion Nicaragua understands the importance of the Word of God in the lives of children. That’s why in an effort to release children from their spiritual poverty, Bibles are given to every Compassion-registered child. The children receive Bibles that are appropriate for their age.
This year, 9,663 Bibles have been distributed.
Bibles are not very accessible for parents since they are a little expensive, so parents give priority to the daily food instead.
“Children demonstrate excitement as they receive their Bibles from the project, and they value them. This is not something I’ve only seen, but something I lived when I was center director and did the ceremony of handing over the Bible to children.
“The Bible is very important for every center. There is nothing better than children having The Word in their hands to study it with their teachers.”
– Winston Perez, Compassion Nicaragua Partnership Facilitator
“The Bible is an essential tool for the children to corroborate what we are teaching them. The fact of having their own Bible has helped parents, too.
“One of the parents told me that he had never read the Bible before, but when his child took it home and had homework, he read it with her and found out some truth there.”
– Juan Carlos, Center Director of Jardín de Esperanza
Before giving the Bibles to centers, the Compassion Nicaragua staff gives an orientation to every leadership team about having a special ceremony where children understand that is not just any book that they are receiving, but the Word of God, and that it is important.
Every center has its special way of giving out the Bibles, brother Juan Carlos explains:
“We don’t give the Bibles as soon as we get them. We first write a dedicatory in the Bible of every selected child.
“After that, we do a special service for children and parents where the central theme for songs and sermon is Bible. We want parents to feel that the church did a party because the Word of God came to children.”
After the ceremony these Bibles stay at the center for a year while children learn how to use them and take care of them. After that, children can take them home.
“I need the Bible to take refuge in it. If I need a clear counseling I go to the Bible. Also to see how God wants me to live my life, how to get to God and learn what He did for us. ”
– Josselyn, a registered child at Jardín de Esperanza
Josselyn has been part of Jardín de Esperanza since its beginning seven years ago. Her family is from a different religious background, but throughout the years, reading the Bible has made echo in her family’s life.
Six months ago, Josselyn started to get involved in church activities. On Aug. 9 she was baptized and is fervently attending church and reading her Bible daily. Her mom supports her and is occasionally attending the services with her daughter.
“I accepted Christ after getting my first Bible, but even when I read it, I was not motivated. However, some years later, one of my teachers encouraged me and told me she would come to my house to pick me up for church, and that’s how I began to go.”
Josselyn has a favorite verse, which is Revelation 1:3 (NIV). She likes it because “it talks about what is to come and that we have to prepare ourselves to be able to go with Jesus and not to stay here.”
“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
Josselyn carries her Bible even to her regular school, where she shares with her classmates about Jesus. She does the same with her neighbors, and her mom and brother, too.
This is just one example of many that could be shared, that the spiritual eyes of the children were opened by the simple act of reading the Bible.
“Among all good things donors have done, this has been the greatest. It is something that goes further to prepare the children for the eternal. Do not get tired of supporting this ministry because it is going to change lives, and God will reward all you’re doing for these children,” says Juan Carlos.