Reed Olson, Global Program Director for David C Cook, still can’t shake facts he learned in 2010 about unreached young people. At a conference that fall, he discovered that most believers accept Christ before the age of fifteen. He went home, turning over ideas in his head: “I asked the Lord, Is there something we have that can win young people to Christ? And I was looking for something new, something that hadn’t been tried before.”
He didn’t have to look far. The Action Bible, a beautiful comic-style picture Bible—illustrated by the incredibly talented DC and Marvel Comics artist Sergio Cariello—had just been published. Sergio spent years working with David C Cook to bring biblical stories and truths to life for children.
The Action Bible became popular in North America (sales are closing in on 1 million copies sold to date), but Reed saw it going even farther. He saw how the world’s next generation communicated differently from his own: through short text messages, colorful imagery, and photos. He knew the way to reach young people would require a version of the Bible that meets these qualifications. This revelation led to The Story of Jesus, an excerpted booklet from The Action Bible that captures the attention and hearts of children. Reed now travels the world—a mission ambassador for evangelism and discipleship—presenting The Story of Jesus to local church leaders, pastors, congregations, schools, and ministries. After a presentation, local Christian leaders typically form a committee dedicated to finding funds, creating a distribution plan, and determining how best to connect recipients to local churches where discipleship can take root and grow over time.
A Personal Testimony
A boy in Chennai, India, received a Story of Jesus booklet that had been translated into the Tamil language. At first, he hid it because he feared the reaction of his devout Hindu father. But after a few days, he confessed to his dad. The boy’s father exploded with rage and demanded to see the booklet. When he saw pictures of Jesus, the father exclaimed, “That’s the man I’ve seen in my dreams!” Days later, this man visited our office in Chennai asked questions, and then believed in Jesus as his Savior. He shared copies of The Story of Jesus and his dream with his neighbors. As a result, many people believed in Jesus, and the village recently planted its first church.
More than 40 million copies of The Story of Jesus booklet are in production, being distributed, or have been shared in 74 nations and 50 languages. This includes 8 out of the top 10 countries where Christians face the most persecution.
New to the collection: The Action Bible Study Bible ESV
Based on the phenomenal bestseller The Action Bible, this new groundbreaking study Bible helps readers go deeper into God’s story and understand the timeless truths of Scripture. With the same exciting experience kids expect from any Action Bible resource, preteens can study God’s Word with in-text features on almost every page, along with a guide that tells them where every story is illustrated in The Action Bible. Bonus—includes some brand new artwork!
Sergio Cariello has illustrated all the products in The Action Bible collection. He was born in Brazil in 1964, and has illustrated comics since learning to hold a pencil. He has worked on many beloved comic books for Marvel and DC Comics. Sergio attended the Word of Life Bible Institute and the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art—later becoming an instructor at the prestigious art school. He currently resides in Florida with his wife, Luzia.
Portions of this article taken from Resourceful Magazine, winter 2014/2015, published by David C Cook.
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