Students Display Spiritual Courage on Bring Your Bible to School Day

“ Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20, ESV

The well-known scripture sprung to life in the form of courageous students who participated in last year’s Bring Your Bible to School Day. Final tallies revealed that an estimated 155,000 students in every state participated.

10-7-15_BYBTSD_Let Your Light ShineOn that day, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, students celebrated religious freedom and shared God’s hope with friends by taking a simple action: bringing their Bibles to school and talking about their faith with friends during their free time. And the results were indeed exceedingly more than imagined:

“When we launched Bring Your Bible to School Day last year as a way to empower and encourage public school students from kindergarten to college to express their faith freely, we had no idea God was going to do so much with the event in such a little time,” wrote Focus on the Family President Jim Daly in his blog. He pointed out that the inaugural event in 2014 garnered an estimated 8,000 students. So this year’s exponential growth confirmed that something remarkable—the kind of thing that can only be credited to God’s amazing work in thousands of individual hearts—had just occurred.

“God is good! With God, our kids will change this world!!”

“My 2 kids did [the event] this morning! 8- and 11-years old … It’s really inspirational!”

“These young warriors are our future in a world gone wrong.”

Those were just some of the comments appearing on Facebook in response to the initiative. The event became viral on social media, spurring news headlines about how Twitter lit up with pictures of students holding their Bibles. The hashtag for the event–#BringYourBible—also was a top trend on Facebook that day. (Watch more news reports here and here.)
BYBTSDimagetrendingnewsreport.docxOne of the photos featured in nationwide news stories about the initiative going viral was that of 10-year-old Greyson from Vermont.

His family shared the story behind the photo with Focus on the Family:

“When I heard of the event I was excited and shared the information with Greyson,” said his mother, Kimberly. “He was excited to participate. Fifth grade is a tough year. Kids [are] trying to fit in and the pre-teen years are hitting. They start to care more about what their peers think of them. So I was proud of Greyson for wanting to participate!

Greyson, 10-years-old

Greyson, 10-years-old

“Greyson had recently been asking for a new Bible as he felt he had outgrown his children’s Bible. The night before the event, my husband sat down with Greyson and presented him with a ‘new’ used Bible that belonged to my husband when he was a young teen. Greyson was proud of his new, more mature looking Bible!

“The morning of Bring Your Bible to School Day we talked about what the Bible says about ‘do not be ashamed’. … When we parked, and I was taking his pic, he held his new Bible proudly and with confidence even as others were walking by.”

Greyson also shared his perspective as a student with Focus: “It was cool to have a day to bring your Bible to school,” he said.  “I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure what others would say or think. … In my class I had a girl come up and say “So you brought your Bible today!?” I wasn’t even sure how she knew I brought it ‘cause I had put it back in my backpack when school started. But I thought that was pretty cool that somehow she knew! It made me proud! I think it would be cool to find more Christian friends in my school to do this with next year!”

 

Lexie, middle-school student

Lexie, middle-school student

Another student who was emboldened to express her faith through the event was Lexie, a middle-school student in Georgia. “I got so involved in my [youth group] that it touched me and made me want to spread God’s Word and truth to the entire world. The world thinks we are crazy and that Christians have stepped over the line,” said Lexie.

“The world doesn’t care who we are or know who we are, so we must make them know who we are! And I wanted to use Bring Your Bible to School Day to accomplish this goal. …My friend Sydney …and I spoke to our school’s [Christian student club] and she spoke about this terrific day to let others know what it was.”

 

Sydney also described how she and other students got the word out, first by posting about the event on Twitter and Instagram, and then by “making flyers and posters and hanging them arouLexie-Sydney-BringYourBiblend my middle school.”

“God placed on my heart that I needed to spread His Word,” Sydney said.

Their efforts bore amazing fruit! An estimated 50 students at the girls’ school wore T-shirts the day of the event and met at the flagpole, holding their Bibles high in the air and joining together for voluntary prayer.

“One thing I learned from this experience is that the enemy is always working to steal your joy, but Jesus loves us and will never forsake us,” said Lexie, “so we must be Christians and do what He says when we hear Him calling us to work through Him.” Watch Sydney praying with other students at her school:


Elementary-age students Carson and his brother, Sam,  learned an important lesson about demonstrating the love of Christ. They participated in the first Bring Your Bible to School Day in October 2014.

Carson, and his younger brother,Sam

Carson, and his younger brother,Sam

(Their story from last year is featured in this video).  “Last year, there was a boy who made fun of the kids who brought their Bibles to school. He said there was no proof that God was real,” shared Carson’s mother, Cara. “I told Carson, ‘The best thing to do is pray, live your life as a great example,  and show him love.’ Carson said he had been praying for him for a while. This year, on the first day of school, the teacher asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. Carson said that he wanted to be a preacher and he was fully expecting for this boy to make fun of him. Instead, this boy said that he thought it was cool!

“When Carson started telling classmates about Bring Your Bible to School Day this year, this same boy who made fun of him last year was the first person to request a Bible!  God heard and answered Carson’s prayers.”

For the 2015 event, Carson also raised money to purchase 28 Bibles to give to friends  and worked alongside other students to put up flyers announcing the event at school.

Other students and families shared similar stories of how Bring Your Bible to School Day helped them feel they were not alone. Mackensie, a student, shared:

“I participated this year [as] an individual. I brought my Bible to school, and read it during lunch (a silent read), any time I had a chance. No one else seemed to care very much, then a friend of mine (who is not a Christian) walked up to me and asked me what I was reading. When I told her, I expected her to shut down, but instead she opened up. I am now planning to bring her to church with me next Sunday, where I hope she will learn about Jesus.”

Amber, a mother in North Carolina shared that, before Bring Your Bible to School Day, her daughter had been ridiculed for displaying her Bible on the school bus:

Noemi and Ellisha

Noemi and Ellisha

“My daughters, Noemi and Ellisha, could not have been happier to bring their Bibles to school! Since going to see [the movie] “God’s Not Dead,” Noemi has been bringing her Bible to school every day. She is also committed about making sure we pray over her school teachers and fellow classmates every day before school. Last year, there were several afternoons that Noemi would come home and cry. When I would ask her what was going on she would tell me that some of the older kids on the bus would make fun of her because she would take her Bible out … on the way to school. When I asked her what she said to the kids that picked on her, she said, “Mommy I just tell them that God’s not dead and one day I’ll live in a castle with Him and I pray that they will too.” She has been such an amazing example of faith and prayer, not only to me as her mother, but also to several people in our church as she continues to be an example of what  ‘childlike faith’ really means and what God will do with and through that faith.”

Older students also shared their experiences with Focus on the Family. Here’s just a sampling:

From Michelle, a senior high school student in Iowa:

“On Bring Your Bible to School Day, I brought my Bible to school, just like I usually do. I always try to have one with me. I keep one in my backpack, just to read during my free time. I tried to treat this day differently though by actually trying to share the Bible with my friends. I engaged in conversation with one of my friends who used to be a Christian but is now an agnostic. This was something I was interested in talking about, because I wanted to know why he went from being a Christian to being an agnostic. He told me his explanation, and it gave me a lot to think about and a chance to reference the Bible and share my own knowledge as a Christian. I still think about it. I used this day to begin to sow seeds of ministry. I want to be able to share the Gospel with my friends, but this proves to be a difficult task, especially in public high schools. The thing is, though, that the people in public high school are the people that need Jesus the most. I pray for my friends and for [the city school system], knowing that God is working in each person, in His time. I just strive to be a Christlike example to my friends, hoping that I can bring them to know the Gospel and Christ as their Savior. I’m glad that this day was an opportunity for me to be bold and actually talk and engage in conversation with my non-Christian friends. I hope to continue these kinds of conversations, and pray for my friends.”

From Neha, a sophomore student in Texas:

“I’m a leader for our schools’ [Christian student club] and we spread the word for people to bring their Bibles for Bring Your Bible to School Day. We had at least 60 people bring their Bibles! I also lead a freshman girls’ Bible study and all of us girls (about 15) made scripture cards of our own to hand out throughout the day. It was such a great way for me to make a lesson on not being ashamed of the Gospel and making an effort to share it with people at school. We were focused on the verse Philippians 1:21–‘to live is Christ and to die is gain.’ We looked into ways of [acting] on the words ‘to live is Christ’ and one of the ways we talked about was giving people a platform to ask about Christ. And Bring Your Bible to School Day was a perfect way to talk about how just having a Bible in your hand or on your desk allows people to ask you about it and gives an opportunity to share the Gospel with them. I’m so glad we were able to bring it to our school this year–thank you!”

It’s truly inspiring to see how God is moving through thousands of faith-filled students who put First Timothy 4:12 into action, stirring the nation’s soul and bringing hope to others. “For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5

Want to share your Bring Your Bible to School Day story and/or pictures? It’s not too late! Contact us at bringyourbible@focusonthefamily.com