In a record-setting collaboration this year between the Bible League’s “Children Caring for Children” and the Lutheran schools’ annual “Hearts for Jesus “ project, thousands of students raised more than $75,000 to help send Scriptures to children in Romania. Through the Lutheran students’ efforts, more than 37,000 Romanian children will receive copies of a hardbound, fully-illustrated Scripture book Leading Little Ones to God.
Administrators from the two participating school districts—Bruce Braun, assistant superintendent of Lutheran schools in Michigan, and Mark Brink, executive director of school ministries for the Florida/Georgia district of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod—presented checks last month to the Bible League’s Connie Reitsma, program director for Children Caring for Children.
“This is my favorite program because I personally know it works,” Reitsma said. “You’re teaching kids while you’re reaching them—how much better can it get?”
Children Caring for Children in Romania—chosen as the 2004 Hearts for Jesus project—is one of a series of classroom missions designed by the Bible League “to take students around the world with words and pictures,” Reitsma said, “and give kids a heart for children who don’t have God’s Word.”
Groups can choose to focus on Africa, China, Colombia, the Philippines, Romania, and Russia/Ukraine. Teacher resource guides with information and activities are provided to each participating classroom. Students then learn how children in their chosen areas live, and raise money to send them God’s Word.
According to the Bible League, the students in the participating school districts discovered how social and cultural problems like poverty and violent crime affect Romanian families while studying about the country. They also learned that church leaders in Romania are not only overwhelmed by these needs—they lack Scriptures to minister to their children and families.
The project was “wonderful in helping students understand stewardship and servanthood,” said Michigan District’s Braun. “Each of these children has been gifted by God to do some special things with their lives, but look what they can do when they come together!”
Since the Bible League first began, more than 80 countries have received Bibles, New Testaments, Scripture portions, and basic Bible study materials through the ministry. Bible League offices have also been established and staffed in more than 40 countries, including Australia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Central Asia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, England, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.