Little Fingers, Big Lessons: Using videos to teach Guatemalan children about the Bible
Dora Cuc Bocel is a Mayan Sunday school teacher, a social worker, and a committed Christian. Below is her testimony of the work God is doing through video stories that are being produced in Guatemala.
“One day I was teaching 10-12 year olds a lesson about the suffering of Ishmael and Hagar. Most of the children had never heard this story before. I first showed the video and then asked the children about the conflicts in Abraham’s family. They answered the questions correctly, but fell silent when I asked if they had ever seen problems like these in families today. I could tell they were ashamed to tell about the problems they personally face.
The children were asked to choose one of the characters in the story with whom they personally identified and to write down why they identified with this character. I explained that they could keep their answers confidential, sealing their paper in an envelope so no one else would see it.
One of the children came up to me and said he identified with Ishmael because his father and grandparents made him, his mother and brothers leave their home. One girl said, “I identify with Hagar because my family yells at me and hits me.” Another boy identified with Isaac because his mom doesn’t let him go out on the street to play with his friends for fear that something bad might happen to him. Other children with tears in their eyes shared with me about hard situations in their families.
As each child shared I stretched out my arms to hug them and reminded them that they can trust God with their problems because God has promised to care for them (1 Peter 5:7) and, as Psalm 27:10 says, “Even if my father or mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”
In the final prayer we all held hands, and each child presented their concerns to God. There were tears, and for the first time I noticed that the children’s prayers were coming from a deep place in their hearts.
After class another teacher that had been watching said to me, “I only knew about one case of suffering and abuse among the children, but through this lesson I realized that many of the children have problems in their homes. Now I understand why they sometimes misbehave.”
There are many children who need to interact with lessons like this one, so that they can be encouraged and heard, so that they can pray openly asking God for the comfort they need and stop suffering and crying in silence.” – Dora Cuc Bocel
By: Sarah Johnson, Serving in Guatemala
Watch episode 4, “The Children of Abraham” below:
Dora Cuc Bocel helped write and test Deditos lessons with children in Sololá, Guatemala, the Mayan town where Deditos videos and lessons are produced.
Viña Studios in Guatemala is creating an original series of videos using fingers as actors to dramatize Old Testament stories. The name of the series, “Deditos,” means “little fingers” in Spanish. The accompanying lessons use questions, songs, worksheets and other activities to disciple children and help them make connections between the God of the Bible and their own life stories. These materials are created in Spanish and are being translated and used in many national and indigenous languages around the world.
You can find additional videos, lesson plans and information about dubbing on the Deditos website.