How you can help a child learn what God says about life through Scripture
Sarah Kiambi teaches six- and seven-year-olds in grade 2 at Nkunyini Primary School in Marimanti, Kenya. Teaching wasn’t her first choice; she grew up with dreams of becoming a policewoman.
“I realized the young ladies in our community were being misused at an early age. I prayed and asked God to help me serve as a role model,” Sarah said. “I wanted to teach these young ladies how to wait until they were mature before starting a family.”
“Mrs. Kiambi,” as her students call her, was very familiar with what they were going through because it happened to her. She says she came from a simple background, and people stomped on her dreams by repeatedly saying, “You can’t make it.’”
Sarah takes at least five minutes every day to speak into the lives of her students. “I tell them ‘work hard, stay determined, and pray.’” She says confidently, “I persisted in prayer, and God did it for me!”
As each new school year begins, Sarah asks each student what they want to become. “They tell me, and then I call them that. I say, ‘Dr. So-and-so, come here.’ They begin to see themselves as who they want to become.” Many of Sarah’s students have become pastors, nurses, program managers, police officers, pilots and engineers.
Heart Language Scripture Means No Need for Translation
Sarah attributes much of her students’ successes to having God’s Word in their heart language—something she didn’t have as a child. “I encourage my students to use mother tongue because they understand it best.” God’s Word in Tharaka serves as the text her students read most in class.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
“Each morning the students have a text from the Bible to read. We give them [a certain passage] to read to one another. After they’ve completed their assignment, the teacher on duty comes to emphasize what the text was about.”
The children talk about what they’ve read with one another. Sometimes the teacher helps them. They also take opportunities to learn life lessons with Scripture. “For example,” Sarah says, “When a child steals or beats the other one, the teacher may say, ‘Did you hear about love? We were told the way we need to love one another [in the Bible]. So stop doing this, because this is not love.’ We teach them like that.”
Because they have Scriptures in Tharaka, Sarah says, “There is no need for translation. The Bible is clear to them.”
Growing up in God’s Word is vital to your success at every age and stage in life. One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is a love for God’s Word.
You can help a child learn what God has to say about life through Scripture. Choose one verse each day and talk to them about the practical applications of the verse:
- Ask them how God’s words in that verse can make life better.
- Encourage them to think about the verse and how it might help them during their day.
- At the end of the day, talk with them about how they used the verse that day.
Here’s one to get you started. Share Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.”
- What do you think that verse means to today?
- How do those words make you feel?
- Why did God even put that in the Bible?
Children across the globe are still waiting for God’s Word in their heart language.