Resource hits the net
Reading the Bible and having a regular devotional time just got easier. Scripture union’s new
bilingual interactive bible reading guide
is now available online. Powered by the
Canadian Bible Society, theStory (www.
scriptureunion.ca) provides easy access to the chronological biblical narrative from the old and new Testaments.
Each installment also includes
a reflection on the Bible passages,
authored by a who’s who of Canadian
Christian media personalities, church
and Christian agency leaders.
The accompanying prayer is
tailored to support the teaching and all
are linked to social media. The guide’s
features were developed to appeal
to all denominations and a global
audience, with an emphasis on the
theStory is a response to research
findings that most Canadian Christian
churchgoers, and many Canadians,
are not reading the Bible.
And while theStory is designed to
appeal to young adults, “Its delivery is
cognizant of the world we live in, a more
modern framework,” explains murray
Lawson, Scripture union president.
The format, with software that
tracks a user’s frequency and date of
use, allows each site visitor to follow
the biblical narrative chronologically,
at their own pace. readers may choose
from several translations of the Bible.
theStory is a way to “bring the big-
ger community into the biblical story,
that is the story of the whole of human-
ity, and at the heart of it is the cross of
Jesus Christ,” says Lawson. “we are
characters in the ongoing story as are
the characters we read about in the
users of theStory are encouraged
to respond to the writers and share ob-
servations with fellow readers in a blog
format. The entire bible can be read in
four to five years through theStory.
Future plans for theStory include
separate versions for youth, children
and families, a visual timeline, youth
writers, additional languages and Christian visual art. Ft –Michele Zarins
New Proof That Child Sponsorship Really Works
Barry slauenwhite, president of Compassion Canada, with chil- dren at a Compassion project in Kisoro, southern uganda.
PHo To: ComPASSIon CAnAdA
If you sponsor a child through one of the many Christian organizations that offer that option, you might have been met
with cynical stares from skeptical friends
who doubted it made any difference.
Now, there’s proof it does.
Bruce Wydick, an economics professor
at the University of San Francisco, had
a graduate student interested in measuring the benefits of sponsorship. From
those discussions emerged an important
study in six countries that tracked the
benefits experienced by adults who had
been sponsored through Compassion as
a child, one of the best-known Christian
child sponsorship organizations.
“Although we do our own internal
studies, I was shocked that this was the
first independent group investigating the
effectiveness of child sponsorship,” says
Barry Slauenwhite, president of Compassion Canada.
If that aspect of the study was surprising, the actual results were just as important.
Wydick, who has considerable experience
testing the effectiveness of relief projects, was
also surprised at what he found. “We are used
to very modest results from other projects.
However, the Compassion study revealed
that there was a significant impact, something surprising and exciting coming from
previous experiences,” explains Wydick.
The study, published in the April 2013
edition of the Journal of Political Economy,
demonstrates that child sponsorship, at
least a Compassion-style model (where the
funds support an individual child and not
the entire community),
The study tracked
a significantly higher
chance for a sponsored
child to complete high
school, attend uni-
versity and acquire a
white-collar job. Not
only did the sponsored
child benefit, there was
a spillover benefit for younger siblings,
even if they were never sponsored.
Slauenwhite is also pleased the study
looks at those who are now adults, measuring the effectiveness of the program some
years ago. “We have greatly improved our
program and if the study was repeated
with those children currently sponsored,
we would expect even greater outcomes,”
While all those interested in child sponsorship will be encouraged by these results,
this study did not examine a community-centred model of child sponsorship. Ft