Based on Africa and the Bible from A to Z by Tim Welch and SirNare Animation Studios

Every parent knows the importance of giving their kids the right books. Books that will edify and encourage their small hearts. Books that will ground them in their identity and show them who they are. Books that will remind them of how much God loves them.

But there are very few books that are designed for children who are both African and Christian.

Some children’s books emphasize Christianity by sharing stories and principles from Scripture. However, these books often feature a pale-skinned Jesus and Bible characters with European features. Though these books aim to empower children with an awareness of who they are, they inadvertently reinforce the feeling that Christianity is a white man’s religion.

On the other hand, some children’s books emphasize an African identity. These books are often about national heroes or traditional myths, focusing on teaching values and lessons children can learn. But while moral teachings are helpful, they are ultimately empty without the gospel.

When a child’s books only emphasize one or the other, children may perceive a division between these parts of their identity. They may come to believe that there is no crossover, that Christianity and Africa are incompatible, irreconcilable. They might even conclude that they must choose between their Christian and African identities.

But what if Africa and Christianity have a long history of harmony? What if there is an ancient legacy of faithful Africans who have served Jesus?

Biblical scholar Tim Welch has news for us—the pages of Scripture are full of Africans who have played a role in God’s story! What’s more, some of your children’s favourite Bible stories happened on African soil! Tim Welch has spent many years researching Africa’s role in Scripture, and has previously published his findings in “Africans and Africa in the Bible.” Now, he’s partnered with Kenyan illustrators at SirNare Animation Studios to share his message with a much younger audience.

This remarkable team has produced a truly one-of-a-kind children’s book: “Africa and the Bible from A to Z.” Each page tells the story of an African person or place mentioned in the pages of Scripture. Beautiful illustrations feature the important and positive ways Africa has participated in God’s plan of redemption.

In “Africa and the Bible from A to Z,” Tim Welch asks children “Did you know that God’s story, the Bible, is also Africa’s story? In the Bible God did great things in Africa. God worked through African people. God performed miracles in Africa. God made promises about Africa. Both Africa and its people are an important part of God’s story.”

There are many examples! Africans like Phinehas the high priest, the daughter of Pharoah, Simeon called Niger, and the prophet Zephaniah led God’s people, carried messages from the Lord, and showed Christ’s love. Places like Libya, Cush, and Ethiopia have received many of God’s incredible promises of salvation. The list goes on! Many more African people and places have played a crucial role in God’s plans.

As Tim Welch puts it, “God loves Africans. And many Africans love God too. For more than 3,000 years, many African ancestors have followed the God of the Bible. People from North Africa followed Jesus in the early days of the Christian church. Ethiopians also did soon after that. Christianity has grown like a strong tree in good African soil since its very beginning. These ancestors are a good example for us.” Africans did not receive the gospel message after everyone else. They are themselves a part of that message!

Armed with “Africa and the Bible from A to Z,” children will learn that they can be both authentically African and deeply Christian. When they worship Jesus, they are not rejecting their ancestors. When they proudly display their African heritage, they are not denying Christ. In fact, as they honour their African blood and acknowledge the one true God, they are participating in a long and well-founded cultural tradition.

Being an African Christian is something to be proud of! As children read this extraordinary book, they will realize the significant roles their ancestors played in God’s story, and will learn that from A to Z, God cares about Africa.

This book is now out. Get a copy or more of Africa and The Bible from A-Z on Amazon or from Oasis International Distribution partners in Africa.

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