EMDC webinar on what Deditos offers your project, Wednesday, 19 of October
Children fascinated and filled with hope as they come into contact with God’s Word.
Everything was geared for adults
Children need to know God from the time they are small, but it can be hard to share Bible stories with them in a way that is captivating AND true to Scripture.
Children need to know that God is not just any god, but the God of the Bible; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He loves them so much that he gave his Son Jesus to save them from their sins. And he desires to see them flourish and grow.
Children need to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
Twenty years ago at Viña, the Guatemalan staff asked themselves, “Why aren’t we making anything for children?”
Their vision was to create biblical resources in audio and video formats for the Mayan people. But everything they were doing was geared towards adults.
An idea was born to create Bible story videos, using miniature sets and local actors, creating a series of videos that make the Bible come alive for kids using the fresh, interesting format of fingers as actors. Each dramatic episode has been carefully crafted to communicate the heart of the biblical message—not moralizing, adding to, or dumbing down the Scriptures, but authentically conveying the realities of human weakness in each Bible story and how God is the ultimate hero.
We started making the videos for our own people, but when the world started beating a path to our door, we quickly realized the potential for dubbing and sharing them in different languages.
Epena children in Colombia PAK7 launch of Deditos in Urdu
Mayan boy in Guatemala Viewing Deditos in the Philippines
Children, the core of the core of missions?
In Guatemala children account for one third of the population. Few biblical materials exist for these children, especially those who belong to small or marginalized language groups. Turns out the desire and need for localized, non-Western materials for children was global.
Missions strategist, Luis Bush explains the need this way: “It is crucial that mission efforts be re-prioritized and re-directed toward the 4-14 age group worldwide… In human development there is no more critical period than the decade represented by the 4/14 Window. It is a profoundly formative period when perspectives are shaped either positively or negatively and when a view of one’s own significance (or lack of significance) is formulated. The needs and potential of this age group should inspire a purposeful response by those charged today with forming the world of tomorrow.”
Now, years later, the Deditos video series is known and used on several continents and videos of the series have been dubbed into over forty languages by a growing number of partner ministries.
The Power of a well-told story
Deditos speaks to the mind and heart through the power of effective audio-visual media to engage audiences from all cultures, educational traditions and levels of literacy. Story is one of the primary mediums that God used to reveal himself in Scripture.
Each culture houses its central convictions in its fundamental narrative—it’s creation story. The Deditos series uses fifteen chronological Old Testament stories, beginning with God’s creation, to offer biblical answers to those fundamental worldview questions by presenting God’s dealings with humanity to illuminate the human condition and the hope that is found only in Christ.
The Deditos series gives children a foundational understanding that God is the God of all cultures, gives them a solid connection with the themes and stories of the Old Testament, which in turn gives context and meaning to the New Testament. As one Maya-Kaqchikel child said after viewing the Creation video in his language, “Now I know how God made me.”
Although the Deditos videos are very effective when used by themselves, and many partners use them that way, Viña has developed lessons to accompany each video so that children will be challenged to think and behave differently—developing a strong worldview, based on core spiritual perspectives.
The lessons were developed over the years and tested in actual classrooms. Five lessons, designed to accompany each video Bible story, include a teacher’s manual, activity sheets for children of different ages, questions, activities and games to drive home the application of the Bible story. Another series of lessons have been developed for use by parents in the home.
These easy-to-follow lessons in the Deditos series provide practical ways for kids to grow in trusting God, showing love to their neighbors, and learning how the whole story of the Bible fits together…connecting the dots between the Bible and kids’ lives.
What others are saying.
In my opinion…Deditos is the best and most attainable choice [of Christian media projects] for local churches as they seek to reach out to minority language people groups. Remember the typical local church in the world today is both non-western, and low-income. When I compare Deditos to other projects…it is easy to see that Deditos is the one project that is reasonably close to the capacity of non-western national churches. (Jim, Pioneers)
Every time I prepare lessons for the Deditos series, I appreciate so much the quality of the video. I find such wonderful and incredible theological content. This production is excellent! (Claudia, USA)
Before I ever learned about Deditos, I wondered often how new believers in formerly Bible-less language communities ever ‘catch up.’ Luke is powerful to read and the JESUS Film is phenomenal, but what about the millenniums of God’s interactions with mankind – Eden, Noah, David and Goliath, Jericho, etc… I picture a world where local pastors…can sit and watch Deditos episodes with their children and quietly learn along with them the full extent of God’s faithful love at new levels. I am passionate about this because I am certain that there is a gap in the hearts of many in the field to come to know the Lord as adults. Deditos can fill that gap. (Dan, Wycliffe Bible Translators)
‘There is nothing foreign about the Deditos videos and lessons, they are so relevant for us and the things that happen with our people. We’ve all come to love the little Deditos that speak our language!’ (Elizabeth, Nahuatl, Mexico)
Could this be what you are looking for?
At Viña, we believe that God’s Word is true, uniting people of all generations, races and cultures through its powerful stories. We understand your desire to see children fascinated and filled with hope as they come into contact with God’s Word. You can reach today’s children with the gospel by sharing the greatest story ever told via the Deditos series.
Sign up for the EMDC webinar on what Deditos offers your project, Wednesday, 19 of October. Hear about the many ways local churches and ministries around the world are using the Deditos videos and lessons in their contexts.
Find out what’s involved in getting the materials into your language or the language of the people you serve.
Together we can help sow God’s Word in the hearts of children so they can produce fruit for the rest of their lives.