Working at a church in Tahoe City, I wanted my first and second grade students to become more familiar with the Bible so I created a "Countdown to Halloween" paper chain. Each link in the paper chain had a scripture reference on it. We would rip off one link everyday and look up the verse written on that link. I became concerned when the students were having a hard time finding the books in the Bible. I'm serving in California, not in a country where the Bible isn't available. It's scary to think that the Bible is foreign to some of the people in the United States.
It was hard at first not to do it for them. I only have 30 minutes for Bible story time and it would take the kids 10 minutes to find the book, chapter, and verse. It was a big time commitment to let them find the verse themselves. I had to hold myself back because I knew that if I did it for them, they would never learn.
I can see that my students are getting more comfortable with the Bible. The students that are here regularly understand that the "big numbers" are the chapter numbers and the "small numbers" are the verse numbers. We still have to go to the table of contents to find where the book is, but I'm fine with that! I've introduced a song that sings the books of the New Testament and I can see them slowly learning the books. I told the students that if they can learn the books of the New Testament, we will have a cupcake party. I use the big cupcake on my wall as a reminder to the students.
Learning new information is hard, but the information that is in the Bible is valuable and will be worth the time it takes to learn later in life.
Callie Grisham is a student from Midwestern State University serving as a Go Now missionary in Tahoe City, California.