The Super Cool Story of Jesus touches hearts nationwide

Thanks to the support of many people around the country, nearly 80,000 copies copies of the Super Cool Story of Jesus have been given away to Kiwi kids.

With demand still strong, the remaining 20,000 will be distributed soon.. During the course of this project we had many excited people contact us. One New Plymouth grandmother, who has 30 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren was so keen to get the story of Jesus to her tribe she ordered 50 copies, one for each grandchild!

We were also able to get the book to families in less favourable circumstances through our partnership with Salvation Army. Here’s what Eleanor Carr, Salvation Army Regional Family Store Manager had to say.

“It was a pleasure to be able to have the super cool super readable super engaging book The Super Cool Story of Jesus available in our Central Division Family stores. It was an extra treat for our customers and a timely offering at Easter.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Coup from Harvest Junior Church, Papakura, Auckland shares about how her church used The Super Cool Story of Jesus as a resource at a local library Storytime event.

“I decided to base our programme around The Super Cool Story of Jesus.  We had more than 20 children attend our 45-minute Storytime and craft session, where we read the Bible Story of Easter. We did crafts relating to Jesus and his love for us and then every child went home with their own copy of The Super Cool Story of Jesus. In our audience, we had a parent who hadn’t heard the Easter story before. She was able to go home with one of your books. It was a blessing being able to give back to our community in this way. We really felt we were giving the children something of worth and something that will remind them in the many Easters to come.

Bible Society’s display at the Waikato Show, where we gave away more than 300 copies of The Super Cool Story of Jesus.

“We also gave our Sunday-School children a copy each as well. The seed you have sown is huge and we wanted you to know our journey with your book! May God bless your ministry abundantly!”

And lastly, we had a very positive response at the annual Waikato Show, the first time Bible Society has exhibited there. We gave away 320 copies of The Super Cool Story of Jesus to excited kids who played on the activity table with our Bake for Bibles cookie cutters.

None of this would have been possible without you. Thank you for partnering with us and stepping out in faith. We were able to fulfill this vision of telling Kiwi kids nationwide about Jesus.


Ready for school and armed with the Bible!

Hutt Valley school children start the school year with a first for many – a Bible in hand!

More than 200 children in the Hutt Valley have begun school not only with all their school supplies, but also many of them have a children’s Bible thanks to the generosity of Bible Society’s supporters who donated to our Pass it On initiative.

The Big Little Bible (an illustrated Bible with 30 easy to read stories) and Taku Paipera – (My Bible), the only available children’s Bible in Māori – were  on offer at Hope Centre Lower Hutt’s Back to School party.

One parent at the event commented the Bible would be useful to help explain the meaning of Christmas and Easter celebrations which her children had been asking about.

At the Back to School party excited children were kitted out in school shoes and t-shirts along with gifted backpacks, lunch boxes, drink bottles, stationery supplies and packs of Lego. Cafe food, face painting, a lolly tent, games and a bouncy castle slide were also on offer as part of the fantastical, steam punk themed event.


Sharing the real meaning of Easter with Kiwi kids

Bible Society wants to share the story of Jesus with 100,000 Kiwi kids this Easter!

“This is a huge opportunity – one that could have a remarkable impact on thousands of Kiwi children in 2018. It’s the chance to get the story of Jesus into the hands of children who may never have heard this story before,” said Bible Society Programme Director Stephen Opie.

The Super Cool Story of Jesus is a creative little child-friendly book. It tells the story of Jesus’ life, including the Easter events, in playful, rhyming language with fun pictures.

Award-winning children’s author Joy Cowley says the illustrations in the book are “stunning.” She goes on to say, ”It’s such a pleasure to see the story of Christ Jesus in a multi-cultural context, beautifully designed. These illustrations will appeal to children, enhancing a message of love and light.”

Passing on faith

“We really pray this resource will help kiwi children understand the true meaning of Easter and that parents, families and friends will engage with passing it on to the next generation,” said Stephen Opie.

Parenting expert, co-founder of the Parenting Place and also founder of Faith4Families, Mary Grant says, “Of all the ways we care for our children, it could be said that, for Christian parents, passing on our faith is the most important.

 “We are the ones who can pass on the wonderful Jesus story and the truth about the God who ‘does stuff’. Not just by living it but by talking about it at every opportunity, and when our children are most receptive.”

Get your free copy today!  

The Super Cool Story of Jesus is available to anyone. Churches are encouraged to use the book for programmes, events and activities where they have children who may not know the story of Jesus. Bible Society will also be working with partner organisations to get free copies of The Super Cool Story of Jesus to families, with a special focus on reaching families in less favourable circumstances.

Donate and help reach 100,000 kids Order your free copies


Bible helping save the Tokelauan language

This week is Tokelau Language week – seven days dedicated to maintaining and promoting the Tokelaun language.

A translation review team in action.

More than 7,000 Tokelauans live in New Zealand, with 50% living in Wellington as well as Tokelauan communities in Auckland, Taupō, and Rotorua. There are only 1,400 Tokelauans living on the island of Tokelau.

The 2006 Census reported that the Tokelauan language is one of the most-at-risk Pacific languages in New Zealand, along with Niuean and Cook Island Maori. Today only 34% of Tokelauans speak their heritage language.

A scene from the launch of the Tokelauan New Testament at Pahina O Tokelaua, Porirua, in 2009.

This is why our Tokelau Bible translation project is so important. Not only does it mean Tokelauans can read the Bible in their own tongue but it will also lead to the preservation of their language and, as part of that, their culture.

The completion of the Tokelauan Bible next year will be end of a 21-year project for head translator Ionae Teao. Ioane has dedicated his life to this project, which was initiated by the Tokelauan Society for the Translation of the Bible and supported by Bible Society New Zealand.

Listen to Dr Stephen Pattemore speaking on Radio New Zealand about the Tokelauan translation project (click on the logo)

The Tokelauan New Testament was launched in June in 2009 with great celebrations and accolades. Now as the finishing touches are made to the Tokelauan Old Testament next year, and publication set for early 2019, the Tokelauan community in New Zealand will again have cause for celebration.

To resource Tokelauan Language Week, we’ve made available our

popular Little Book of Hope in Tokelauan (picture right). This palm-sized booklet contains Bible verses grouped under the themes of peace, strength, unity and hope.

Ke manuia koutou i te Alofa o te Atua. Tokelauan for May you be blessed in God’s love.

 

More about The Little Book of Hope

Mai Chen and her Bible – a reality check on life

Prominent top lawyer, twice New Zealander of the Year finalist, and with qualifications too numerous to list, Mai Chen is a phenomenal success.

Her name opens doors. Today she is managing director of Chen Palmer Barristers and Solicitors, Australasia’s first public law specialist firm, a BNZ Board director, an Adjunct Professor at Auckland University Law School, and surprisingly… a Bible enthusiast.

Bible Society’s Sarah Richards speaks with Mai Chen about how the Bible influences her.

“The Bible is so important. I read it first thing every morning,” she says.

When I ask her how she finds time to read it she replies, “It’s easy. You just get up in the morning you switch on your morning devotion on your iPhone and you read it. I also have an NIV Bible app and I quite often run and listen, or walk and listen or drive and listen. It’s always good to hear the Bible and be bought back to the things that really matter.

“I would rather have the Bible going through my head than Katy Perry,” she says. Mai believes it helps with the self-talk we have going through our heads every day. “It (the Bible) helps me to have God in mind, it helps me enormously.”

“The wonderful thing about the Bible is it’s all about our imperfection. Jesus didn’t come for the wealthy and righteous, he came for the sick – so you just take what medicine you can when you can. I try and read it when I can, if I get some solitude at the weekend, when I walk or run the dog – I find it helps me. I listen to the Bible instead of listening to music or podcasts.”

Elaborating on this Mai says the Bible helps centre her and it’s her guiding light. “It keeps you on course. And I love it because it’s such a radical book and Jesus was such a radical person. He didn’t do what people expected him to do.

“He wasn’t mightier than thou, he didn’t look down on people, he said to the prostitute, ‘I don’t condemn you either, go in peace’. He healed sick people, he hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. He annoyed people we could consider to be the high and mighty and it’s really good to be reminded of this when we read the Bible.”

I asked Mai what the Bible means to her personally.  She replied, “Well it’s the only way I can touch God really . Every now and then, I get a glimpse of God, some manifestation of him in my life and sometimes he speaks to me, otherwise I am learning by reading the Bible.”

However it was on a trip to Israel with her husband, Dr John Sinclair, whom she met at a Scripture Union camp as a teenager, that Mai gained a much greater appreciation of the Bible.

“Israel made the Bible come to life for me. Jesus could have come down anywhere on the planet but he came down in the Middle East. My husband got sunstroke and we were only there in october. And I thought about the verses in the Bible where Jesus said go out into the world, don’t take anything with you, not even a coat and I ‘ll just provide for you.  I thought about how hot the climate was when the disciples were told to not take anything.”

Another reason Mai loves the Bible is because it’s a reality check on life.

“The world tells us that it’s all about being happy  and not having any problems . And people think being Godly must mean their life is going to go smoothly. But actually his (Jesus’) life was far from smooth. So it’s good to be reminded about this when life is hard. We want to be rich, we want to be beautiful, we want to be loved, we want to be popular, we don’t want pain but the Bible says that those who follow him will have trouble ahead. But the Bible says he will provide.”

Mai Chen has accomplished many things such as writing the Public Law Toolbox and the Superdiversity Stocktake  and setting up the Superdiversity Centre as well as establishing groups including New Zealand Asian Leaders and Superdiverse Women.

She says there is no doubt her gifts are God-given.

“I can’t sit on them (the gifts). I have to use them and I am lucky to have them. I don’t have very many and there are days when I feel totally inadequate. But God gave me the ability to think. I have a good mind. I have a lot of ideas. A lot of these ideas drop into my head whole, I am really fortunate to be like that.

“Time is a gift. The question is what you do with it. I spend most of my time productively.  I read things, listen to things, think about things, or I am doing something meaningful with my family. It’s not often I slump on the couch, eat ice-cream and watch TV. Time is short and I don’t have very much of it, I don’t want to go with all my gifts not used.”