Students Share God’s Hope at School
“This has inspired me to carry my Bible with me every day and read out of it—and it has changed my stand [as] a Christian at school. It has even changed how much I participate at church,” shared 14-year-old Jacob from West Virginia. He was one of thousands of students who participated in Focus on the Family’s first-ever Bring Your Bible to School Day (on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014)—a national religious-freedom event for students in public schools all the way up to the college level.
On this day, students across the nation voluntarily took their Bibles to school as a visual way to celebrate religious freedom and share God’s hope and love with peers. These courageous students made national headlines and local television news reports. See a sampling here and here.
In the days after the event, feedback came pouring in from students, youth leaders and parents. Below we’ve shared a few of those stories and comments with you:
From Cara, an Indiana mom: “My boys, Carson (age 10) and Samuel (5) participated. … They made little cards [the free student guide includes Conversation Cards and Scripture Card cutouts] and passed them out the week before. Carson told me he was going to get everyone ‘fired up’ to bring their Bibles! He said about 10 kids in his class brought their Bibles. One boy didn’t have a Bible, so he gave him one and he shared another with a friend who has been reading it during free-reading time every day since then! They are hoping to start a Bible study! I am so proud of them for letting their lights shine. My goal as a parent is to teach them to love God and love others, and I believe that events like this really are wonderful! I’m sure it will be something that they will look forward to each year. Here’s a picture of them on that day” (shown above left).
From Andrew, a father in Maryland: “Here is a picture of our two older children [Camdyn (age 8) and Brighton (6) shown at right] simply beaming about the opportunity to join others across the nation in bringing their Bible to school. This is our first year sending our children to a public school. … Bring Your Bible to School day coincides with our school’s picture day, and there was a buzz in the air this morning in preparation for this day. Yes, they were excited to pick out what cute clothes they wanted to wear for their pictures, but there was much more excitement in choosing which of their Bibles they wanted to bring to class and share with their friends. They could not have been more proud and confident in their faith. Thank you for organizing this, and may our children continue to feel ‘safe’ and ‘welcome’ to do this not just on one day but all the days until the end of times.”
From Brendi, a mom in Washington: “My daughter told her friends about the event, and they organized their own small Bible reading group, and [wore T-shirts]. For a group of 8-year-old girls, I think they did a great job! They were able to make a statement to their friends about their beliefs and even got some questions from the other kids. The best part of all: My daughter was able to witness to one of her friends for the very first time and she got saved! It made a huge impact on my daughter and she is even more on fire for Jesus.”
Latisha, a youth leader at a church in Oregon sent in this inspiring feedback about students in her youth group: “We had a group of about 20 students participate.This Sunday some [students] were sharing stories of their experiences:
“One girl was concerned about bringing her Bible because she has gotten in trouble in the past,” explained Latisha. But after she reviewed the Bring Your Bible to School Day materials about students’ rights to bring their Bibles and read them during free time, she felt more confident. She also brought the information from the guide with her to school. “At school she was confronted by a teacher, but once she showed them [the information] and explained this effort, the teacher … allowed her to have the Bible out.
“The same girl had confidence at her lunch table to read the entire chapter of John 14 out loud to her friends. She was being questioned about it and then asked if her friends wanted her to read it to them. They were hooked and wanted her to continue reading.”
Another student, said Latisha, “reported having her locker partner take her Bible and read it all day long. She didn’t get it back until the end of the day.”
Latisha included a photo of two students (at right) who participated in the event—Kari at left and Lilyan on the right, both proudly holding their Bibles.
Here is one more comment from Janine, a student in Pennsylvania:
“It was very inspiring … to walk down the halls, and see some of my closest friends carrying their Bibles! It made me feel like I wasn’t alone—not just during the special day where we all bring our Bibles to school—I felt like it was long term. Almost as though this was more than just a one-day event. I felt like my friends were going to be there for me, always pointing me in the right direction: to follow Jesus. Thank you so much for doing this! It was a blast, and God is doing and is going to do great things because some people brought their Bible to school! Thank you for helping me show my faith! It was really amazing!”
Stay tuned for more stories from students and parents about Bring Your Bible to School Day! If you participated in the event and would like to send us feedback or photos that we can share with others, send an email to [email protected]
You can also read 5 Lessons on Standing Up for Religious Freedom at School from a father who successfully spoke up for his son’s rights.