March 2015 – Two thousand Bible storybooks, gone in less than two months.
No, not stolen or destroyed. Instead, children and parents in Vietnam were so excited to find A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories in their own language that the books were all quickly claimed by families wanting to learn more about Jesus. For many Vietnamese children, it is the only book they own.
Due to this overwhelming demand, LHF is planning to print another 3,000 copies of the brightly-illustrated Bible storybooks, which include 60 easy-to-read Old and New Testament lessons.
“To me, the book A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories is very useful, effective, and influential not only on children, but also on their parents and Sunday school teachers,” said Dinh Hai Au, director of Lutheran Hour Ministries in Vietnam. “Now, a congregation in Hanoi (the capital of Vietnam) asked LHF for permission to make recordings of these stories to broadcast on their website. The books are also being used by home churches to teach their children about God.”
Hai Au said he also has seen, in a very personal way, how important the Bible storybooks are to children.
“My son Danny is 8 years old,” he said. “He has already read the whole book, but he still takes it to school to read again at break time. When I asked him whether he liked it, Danny said, ‘Of course, but I am so sad and a little disappointed.’ When I asked him why, he said, ‘Because I wanna read more stories about what happened after Paul [the last story in the book]!’ When I told him I would talk to the authors about writing more of these interesting stories, he shouted, ‘Yeah!’”
LHF’s coordinator for translation projects in Southeast Asia, Rev. Ted NaThalang, said he’s seen many changes happening in Vietnam in recent years. In this primarily atheist country, the government seems to be more open to allowing its people to learn more about the Christian faith.
“Just a few years ago, LHF was not able to legally print or distribute our Lutheran literature in Vietnam,” he explained. “But now, LHF has been able to officially register its books with the government. This is big news, because it means we can legally and freely distribute Christian literature throughout the country.”
In partnership with the Lutheran Hour Ministries, LHF “has worked hard to show the government that our materials contain good teachings of Christian faith, and we’re not to trying to cause problem for the government,” Rev. NaThalang said. “The Vietnamese government is learning that our Christian materials have good teachings that help the people find peace through the Savior.“
In addition to reprinting A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories, LHF translators are also at work on the Vietnamese Book of Concord. LHF’s Vietnamese translations also have widespread use in the United States, where more than 1.2 million Vietnamese immigrants have made their homes.
Only with your help can this important work continue. Prayerfully consider how you can help support LHF projects.