A Book That Is Helping People
THE principal work of Christ’s disciples is to teach others about God and his purposes. (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8) Since its release in 1978, My Book of Bible Stories has been a tremendous help in doing this work. This book is an epitome of the Bible presented in simple language. Its many large, colorful pictures serve as excellent teaching aids. The following experience from West Berlin illustrates how this publication has been instrumental in helping people.
“For some time we purchased fish at the market from a friendly young couple. We often got into a conversation, especially since the young woman was expecting a baby and we have a small son. In November 1979 their baby was born and as a gift we gave them a copy of My Book of Bible Stories. We wrote a few words of encouragement, asking that they not only read the book to their son but examine it themselves. We told them the book explained the Bible in simple words, and that only the Bible can give us a wonderful hope for the future.
“Two months later their fish shop was missing at the market. The next market day it was there again and I asked whether the family had been ill. The man said: ‘You gave us that book, didn’t you? You really got something started.’ Then he explained that they would be giving up their fish shop since it is very difficult in that business to be honest with the revenue office. Later we learned the following:
“The young man’s parents had been Jehovah’s Witnesses for 30 years, but he had withdrawn himself from the organization, especially after meeting his wife who had opposed his beliefs. But after receiving the Bible Story book she had read in it without interruption, was very much enthused and wanted to study the Bible.
“Right away, the young woman talked with her new neighbor about what she was learning and discovered that he had once been a Witness. However, when he had moved he had not got in contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Then he met the woman with whom he was now living, and she was prejudiced against the Witnesses. But now his interest was again awakened, and the woman with whom he was living also became interested.
“The results: Now the man from the fish shop and his wife are studying the Bible with his father, attending meetings and making good progress. And their neighbors? They, too, started to study the Bible, have legalized their marriage and also are attending meetings and making fine progress.”
In a number of countries schoolteachers are using My Book of Bible Stories as a textbook for instructing their classes. Often this has come about as a result of schoolchildren’s taking the initiative tactfully to introduce the book to their schools. A report from Sweden explains:
“The suggestions given at circuit assemblies to take My Book of Bible Stories along to school and read it there during the breaks in order to awaken the interest of classmates has been practiced by many young Witnesses. Some have been able to place the book with all their classmates. We have also heard experiences about teachers using the book as a textbook, regularly reading portions of it aloud in class.
“For example, an eight-year-old girl placed the book with her teacher. All her classmates were encouraged to take a copy of the book home to show it to their parents. All of them, except one, were allowed to buy a copy. When the teacher began to read from the book in class the headmaster of the school complained. He brought up the matter at a meeting with a representative of the Board of Education and some union professionals. They got a copy of the book, read it and said they found it very good and educational. The teacher was given permission to use the book in class again.”
In Nigeria My Book of Bible Stories has become known in some places as “The Book.” People even come to the Witnesses asking for it. A Witness from there writes:
“Early in September, when we received our supply of My Book of Bible Stories here at Ilogbo, those of us having children in school gave a copy to each of them. Excitedly the children took their books with them to school. On seeing the book, all the teachers wanted a copy. Then the headmaster got his copy, read it and recommended it as a textbook for use in what they call Bible Knowledge classes.
“Shortly after this, he made the use of this book compulsory in his school, and our houses began to be besieged by schoolchildren wanting to have their copies. We placed an order for 120. Since these were not sufficient to meet the demand, some of the Witnesses started placing their personal copies. Still the demand was not met. We went to nearby congregations in order to get more of the books, and, by the time of writing, 182 books have been placed.
“Parents opposed to the teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses were reluctant, at first, to have the books for their children. But then they learned this was the assigned textbook for study. For their part, the children are enjoying their studies in the book. According to a report from the school, My Book of Bible Stories is used three times a day and they are now in Story 62, ‘Trouble in David’s House.’ The teachers say the book is the best school textbook they have ever had for use in teaching the Bible to children.”
The book has proved helpful in various ways. A report from Malaysia highlights its beneficial effects on schoolchildren in that part of the world.
“A full-time minister tells of one of his Bible students, a teacher in a Chinese primary school, who so enjoyed reading My Book of Bible Stories in both English and Chinese that she decided to use it at school during recess time, getting the children to read some of the stories. This had a most beneficial effect, quietening them and getting them to do some self-study. With permission from the headmaster and with their parents’ agreement, during one month she was happy to place 33 copies with her pupils.”
A principal way that Jehovah’s Witnesses teach others regarding God and his purposes is by conducting free home Bible studies with them. And My Book of Bible Stories is being used with good results in many of these studies. A Witness from Texas, in the United States, reports:
“My wife and I are very enthused about My Book of Bible Stories and have tried something different with our studies [Bible students] who have children. The first 20 minutes we study with the entire family in this book, and we have never seen such enthusiastic response. One family has 11 children and all are ready and eager, with smiling faces, to take part in the study. Then we go right into the regular study using the book The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life and their enthusiasm carries over right into this study as well. From the results we have had, we can heartily recommend this method of study.”
Valuable lessons can often be drawn from Bible accounts. My Book of Bible Stories helps to do this. A traveling representative of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Papua New Guinea tells of an experience in that country.
“The eldest daughter at home is Maria. She appreciates Bible truth, but is a little rebellious at times. One evening two young girls from up the road called for her and they went off together. By nine at night they were not home, so her mother shut the door and went to bed, but not to sleep. About midnight the mother heard a noise at the door and asked Maria to come in and sit at the table. Quietly she took the Bible Story book and opened it to the story of Dinah and asked her daughter to read it. On finishing, Maria burst into tears and promised she would never take such a risk again.”
Clearly, My Book of Bible Stories is a publication that is helping people all over the world. Do you and your friends, neighbors and relatives have a copy? If not, why not obtain copies and offer each of them one? It may well help them too.