Author: Bible Society, 27 January 2020
In Ghana, children are taking an active (and fun!) part in bringing the Bible to life through our Open the Book project in primary schools.
Volunteers involved in our Open the Book project in Ghana dress up and act out Bible stories to entertain and inspire children
‘Last Christmas, I was in the Open the Book play,’ said 11-year-old Daniel. As he recounted the nativity story in vivid detail, you'd think he'd played a starring role, perhaps one of the Wise Men or even Joseph.
‘I was a goat,’ he announced proudly, puffing out his chest.
Every week, schools in the capital city of Accra and elsewhere in this West African nation are visited by teams of volunteers who tell the children a Bible story in an entertaining and engaging way. Sometimes they dress up in costumes. Sometimes they use props. And, most fun of all, they often ask the children to be a character – in Daniel’s case, an animal.
Open the Book is a simple concept. It’s about sharing a story and giving the children space to find meaning in it for themselves. Its impact can be powerful. Daniel is just one example from multitudes of children who are able to give detailed accounts of stories they heard, and perhaps were involved in, months earlier.
Even more encouraging, the children don’t just memorise the stories, but reflect upon them too.
‘Last week we did the story of when Jesus died,’ said ‘Kelly’, one of the volunteers. ‘When we were acting, you could see in the faces of the children that they felt something was wrong. Jesus should not stand for this. But when Jesus forgave the man next to him, it was like they understood. You could see them thinking, “I want to be like that”.’
Just like in Ghana, Open the Book is growing quickly in England in Wales and is having a major impact on primary school children, teachers and volunteers. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s rewarding. Why wouldn’t you want to get involved? Watch our video to see how you can influence your local community. Find a church near you that is connected with Open the Book. And feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions or just want to get involved.
Children in Accra are simply thrilled to be involved in our Open the Book project
Charles Twumasi, programme manager for Bible Society in Ghana who leads Open the Book there, said, ‘We have many preachers here going into schools to speak to the children. They are doing their best and we believe that some of the children do understand, but for many it goes over their heads. But with Open the Book, the children are participating. They are seeing the dramas and then can recollect the stories, they can identify with the issues presented. You see the rush to get in and see Open the Book. It is very humbling.’
For the last four years, Charles, with colleagues Rubby and Elizabeth, has done an amazing job in growing Open the Book in Ghana and enabling it to reach over 6,000 schoolchildren. Their big hope is to reach every primary school in Ghana, a dream they hope to make a reality with your support and prayers.
‘The Bible says we should train a child in the way they should go, and they will not stray from it,’ Charles explained. ‘When they grow up, we hope they will remember some of the imagery, drama and scenarios they saw – and it will still speak into their hearts’.
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