David and Goliath Sunday school winner 

In Ghana, where over 70% of the population identify as Christian, there's high demand for Bibles. Andrea Rhodes visits a storytelling project in downtown Accra, where children are discovery Bible stories for the first time. 

It’s a hot, humid day as we drive alongside the sparkling sea in downtown Accra, Ghana. I’m on my way to visit the Bible storytelling project in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church School. As our team waits for a break in the traffic to turn into school compound, we hear the sweet sound of children singing: their morning assembly is already underway.

We are welcomed at the door of the large school hall by head teacher John Kwame Amponay. He explains that volunteers have been running weekly Bible storytelling assemblies at the school for just over a year, with tremendous results.

‘It has drawn many of them to the word of God,’ he smiles. ‘I can see a real difference in their attitude to their fellow pupils and teachers. It’s come at the right time – there are many ills in this country, such as family problems, armed robbery, drugs. This program will help the children know how to live in society. I’m so grateful for that.’

New discoveries

About 250-300 children, all smartly dressed in green school uniforms, fill the wooden benches of the hall. They turn to look curiously at their visitors but soon turn back to the storytelling volunteers at the front in eager anticipation.

Today’s story is about David and Goliath, which, we find out later, is a firm favourite among many of the pupils. As the story is read out, several children come to the front in paper helmets, wearing cardboard armour and carrying makeshift shields. They are the Philistines and the tall boy playing Goliath towers above them all. A small boy appropriately called David steps forward to play his part. As he defeats Goliath and stands over his prone body, the hall erupts in cheers.

Following the story, there’s a short time for reflection and a prayer. I am struck by how seriously and passionately the children pray. Some are standing, some sitting, but all are completely absorbed in the prayer. A few quietly mouth prayers of their own.

The assembly ends and the room is full of energy. I’m keen to ask the children what they thought about the story and they rush forward, eager to share.

‘David saw that the giant was so big but knew that God was bigger than Goliath,’ answers David, 11, who played his namesake. He beams when we take his photo later, dressed in his King David outfit. He loves acting, he tells us, and especially likes the David and Goliath story.

When I ask him what he and the other children learn from these weekly sessions, he thinks for a bit and then answers, ‘To be humble and to respect God.’

Lives changed

Irene, 14, is in her final year at the school before she moves onto the senior high school. ‘I really love it!’ she enthuses at the end of the assembly. ‘I didn’t know much about the Bible before but when it is dramatized here, it brings the stories to life. My parents have noticed a real difference in me. I never used to read the Bible but now I want to go home and read the story we’ve just learnt about. I read the Bible a lot now.’

What’s her favourite story? ‘The one about the burning bush, when God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh and convince him to let his people go,’ she answers without hesitation. She was struck by how Moses went on to fulfil this daunting task despite many difficulties.

‘It taught me about faithfulness and commitment. That I should be committed to my work and faithful to God, whatever I do.’

Over 71% of the population of Ghana identifies as Christian yet each year our team in Ghana receive almost 2,000 letters from young people requesting Scriptures

I was touched as the children shared their insights with me. It’s clear that this project is making a real impact. Thanks to your generous gifts the stories in the Bible are transforming lives and igniting an enthusiasm to live for God.

College lecturer and project volunteer, David Aryee said, ‘When I see the children’s response it makes it all worth it. The Bible is the only thing that can transform lives and society.’

Over 71% of the population of Ghana identifies as Christian yet each year our team in Ghana receive almost 2,000 letters from young people requesting Scriptures. Furthermore, head teachers report rising problems in society such as family break down and incidents of bullying, drug abuse and robbery.

Thanks to our generous Bible a Month supporters, our team in Ghana has been able to respond to head teachers requesting assistance in increasing the Bible knowledge of children. The Bible storytelling project in schools is changing attitudes as young people like David and Irene apply what they learn to their lives.

Andrea Rhodes 

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