Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spread The Joy

Hearing children's author Sally Lloyd-Jones this past Friday in Minneapolis gave me an appreciation once again for the power of a good story.  Ms. Lloyd-Jones wove the events of her childhood growing up in Uganda, then at a boarding school in England, into a tale of wonder and interest.  Stories from the Bible became imaginative, heart affecting masterpieces that drew tears to my eyes as she read excerpts from her award-winning book The Jesus Storybook Bible.  Ms. Lloyd-Jones is not only an amazing author, but a vivid storyteller.  This line from her book captured my attention and my emotions:  The One who made us has come to live with us.

These are some of her convictions as she taught us how to tell good stories to children:

Always start with a story.
Life is a great adventure.
Give the gift of faith.
Nothing but excellence will do with children.
Quality must be high.
Write up to children, not down.
The power of the story is the story, not the lesson.
A story invites imagination.
Listen to what is left out.
Be concise.
A story uses rich language; language is the power of the story.
A story tells the truth.
A story reaches the heart.
Leave room for mystery.
A story wakes you up.
The moral code always leaves us in despair. We do not need a moral code, we need a Rescuer.
Hope isn't glossing over things; it is telling the truth.
Hope is a direction. Children don't need an escape, they need a direction.
A story is a performance.

After hearing about it for two years now, I finally bought a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible for my children.  I had it autographed by the author last Friday.  I now can share in the joys of these stories along with some orphans in Ukraine who also own a copy of their own, thanks to In Lumine and the donations of many who believe in this project.  A few years ago some missionary friends of ours in Ukraine began the long, expensive process of translating, publishing, and printing The Jesus Storybook Bible into both Russian and Ukrainian.  They now have a ministry where they are giving away copies to orphans throughout the country of Ukraine.  This project is called Bibles for Orphans, and you can be a part of giving to these needy orphans by donating at their website: biblesfororphans.com.  A gift of only $3 will provide one of these storybook Bibles to an orphan child in Ukraine.