A few weeks ago, I encouraged families to consider taking part in the first-ever “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” sponsored by Focus’ Day of Dialogue free-speech and religious freedom initiative.
Today I want to share with you three amazing things God did through the Oct. 16 event and the students – some just elementary school-aged boys and girls – who participated.
1. “Bring Your Bible to School Day” received positive media attention nationwide
With this being the first year we were sponsoring the event, we kept our efforts small, spreading the word mainly through our website and local Christian radio stations, so families could prayerfully consider participation.
God had other plans.
Pretty soon, national outlets like The Washington Post, Huffington Post and The Blaze picked up on the story. They quoted our website’s explanation that the “Bible is a powerful message of hope and love for humanity” and Focus’ desire to equip students to “boldly exercise their religious freedoms and be unashamed of their biblical beliefs.”
An attorney from Freedom From Religion was even quoted by a South Carolina outlet saying it was “perfectly fine” for students to bring their Bible to school.
2. Students were emboldened to share their faith
The goal was simple: students across the United States would voluntarily take their Bibles to school as a visual way to celebrate religious freedom and share God’s hope and love with their peers.
According to feedback we’ve received from students, youth leaders and parents, what God did in the hearts of the students who took up the challenge was life-changing.
In the days leading up to the “Bring Your Bible to School” event, Carson, 10, from Indiana, planned for the day and encouraged his fellow students to participate. About 10 kids in his class did, as did his little brother, Samuel, age 5. Mother Cara shares,
“One boy didn’t have a Bible, so he [Carson] gave him one and he shared another with a friend who has been reading it during free-reading time every day since then! They are hoping to start a Bible study! I am so proud of them for letting their lights shine. My goal as a parent is to teach them to love God and love others, and I believe that events like this really are wonderful! I’m sure it will be something that they will look forward to each year.”
One youth leader wrote it to tell us how one girl had previously gotten in trouble for bringing her Bible to school, but our materials explaining students’ constitutionally protected rights gave her the confidence she needed to participate.
“At school she was confronted by a teacher, but once she showed them [the information] and explained this effort, the teacher … allowed her to have the Bible out. The same girl had confidence at her lunch table to read the entire chapter of John 14 out loud to her friends.”
It seems to me these students have wanted to share their faith all along. Perhaps the strong sense of censorship kept them from speaking up, but this event gave them the encouragement and information they needed to feel emboldened in the Spirit. More stories are available at Day of Dialogue’s “Let’s Talk” blog.
3. One student came to faith in Jesus Christ
One of the most satisfying testimonies from our first-ever “Bring Your Bible to School” day came from Washington State as a result of an 8-year-old girl’s decision to share her faith in love. Mom Brendi writes:
“My daughter was able to witness to one of her friends for the very first time and she got saved! It made a huge impact on my daughter and she is even more on fire for Jesus.”
After reading stories like these, one can’t deny “the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). God will make the Christian witness more powerful. I’m thankful for the parents, pastors and youth leaders who helped the students in their lives engage their peers with love.
Before I sign off, I want to remind adults that public policy involvement is a way we can love our neighbor. Recent attempts to censor and limit the Christian faith in Houston and Idaho serve as a reminder that it’s important to carry out that involvement by voting in representatives who will work to protect our freedoms.
Please vote tomorrow. Focus’ social issues resources and http://www.commit2vote2014.com/ website will help you choose which candidates will best represent the values you hold dear.
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