Traditions: Scripture Memory Cards, Easter Eggs & Christmas Boxes
The second year of ESL John began using scripture memory cards. Each week John gave the students a scripture to memorize. As our numbers grew, volunteers handed out the cards. If students can say the verse the next week, their names go into a cup. During break time, a name is drawn and that student receives a gift. Children and youth participate also and have separate cups. We have continued this tradition through all these years. John has chosen verses related to holidays for several of the months: thanksgiving in November, love in February, and the plan of salvation preceding Easter. After we had access to a computer and screen, and the technology to get Bible verses in numerous languages, we have begun displaying them, mostly from the Roman Road to Salvation, on the screen. As a verse appears in Arabic, Burmese, Farsi, French, Nepali, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, or other languages, a student volunteers to read the verse in his or her mother tongue to the whole group. This takes extra time during our break, but it helps those students whose English is very limited to understand the meaning of the scriptures. It also gives them a sense of pride to be able to read the scriptures to the whole group.
John has always looked for ways to share Bible stories and truths with our students. Another tradition began a few years after the scripture memory cards when John brought a carton of Easter eggs, called Resurrection Eggs, with an item relating to the death or resurrection of Jesus in each plastic egg. As he opened the eggs one by one, he would tell the story from the Bible. As we grew, he bought more and more cartons of Resurrection Eggs. As he tells the story, someone at each table opens the eggs, revealing what is inside, concluding with the empty egg, symbolizing the empty tomb. On alternating years he uses Christmas boxes called "What God Wants for Christmas," with items relating to the birth of Jesus in the boxes.
Reading Bible Verses in Their Heart Language