40 percent of the world hasn’t heard the gospel. Less than one percent of China can read English, and only six percent of children worldwide grow up speaking English. 80 percent of Christians accept Jesus between the ages of 4-14. If such high percentage of Christians today is converted during childhood, what can you do to help to reach children?
4Soils, a start-up company that is dedicated to creating biblically-accurate games and contents for children, is fundraising to translate their Bible Heroes and Life of Jesus apps from English into eight other languages, including Chinese, Russian, and more. They are also looking for volunteers.
Luci Fang and her husband Kevin Chien, who started 4Soils in summer of 2011, saw and read that the average child in both America and China spend 43 minutes a day on the hand-held devices, playing mindless games like Angry Birds and Talking Tom. With a mission and entrepreneurial spirit, they had the idea of creating games that teach kids biblical values and are educational and fun, killing two birds with one stone.
In an interview with The Gospel Herald, Fang, a Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA candidate, said that their inspiration came from YouVersion, which had digitalized and made widely accessible the Bible in all its different translations, and Veggie Tales, which have influenced an entire generation of children.
Since the debut of hand-held devices, iPad, iPhone, and Android phones, “Edu-tainment”, a new category of contents that combined education with entertainment, came out. It is applicable to learning math, languages, and other general subjects.
Fang believes that learning should be fun and kids should be motivated to do it, which would help them retain more as oppose to doing it as a chore. She said the Bible is filled with exciting stories, such as the flood that covered the whole earth in the story of Noah. By making it fun and interactive, she said it is like a gummy bear vitamin.
In their initial survey with 150 parents, Fang and her husband found that most responded no to whether they have found good biblically-based contents on hand-held devices, but associated apps with improving productivity, such as my calendar. Studies have shown that interactivity helps children learn better than watching a video, a one way communication.
4Soils has produced two series of Bible Story apps: Bible Heroes (which includes the stories of Noah, David, Daniel, Jonah, Esther, and Joseph) and Life of Jesus (which includes his virgin birth, baptism, miracles, last supper, and resurrection). Their first app Noah has been updated 20 times on the iOS platform, and the Life of Jesus series will be completed by Easter 2013. These apps were developed leveraging the best minds at Stanford’s design, business, and education schools.
One the first day that 4Soils launched their first app, people from Saudia Arabia, China, and other countries where physical Bibles are difficult to distribute, downloaded it. Since their apps are only in English, they’ve had a constant stream of requests to translate them into other languages.
The young Chinese-American couple is raising $5,000 to modify their programming infrastructure of the apps to support multiple languages, as well as translating a total of 8 apps (8 apps into 1 language, 1 app into 8 language, or several apps into several languages). The funds raised will be used to pay developers, artists, voice talents, translators, QA, and sound editors.
Besides making a pledge on their Kickstarter page, they are looking for volunteers to help with art, voice, translation, error checking, time marking, iOS development, Android Development, design, marketing, story writers, etc.
For more information, visit their Kickstarter site here.