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Adventist Mission

Taniguchi Iku, 12

Iku’s Bible Challenge

Iku said it’s not difficult to read the whole Bible. The secret is to read a little every day.

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 28. 

By Andrew McChesney

Iku [pronounced: i-ku] is a 12-year-old girl in Japan. [Ask a child to find Japan on the map.]

When Iku started first grade, her grandmother gave her a special gift—a Bible. [Ask the children whether they own Bibles.]

Iku loved her new Bible. She opened it and read it. Some words were difficult to understand, but she was so happy to have her own Bible!

She kept reading the Bible as she got older. Then one day when she was in the fifth grade, she thought to herself, “Why can’t I read the whole Bible?” She couldn’t think of a reason why not, so she decided to read the Bible from the beginning to the end in one year.

But Iku had to figure out how to get through the entire Bible in a year. First, she counted how many chapters are in the Bible. [Ask the children how many chapters are in the Bible.] Iku learned that the Bible has 1,189 chapters. She could finish the Bible in one year if she read three chapters every day and five chapters on Sabbaths.

Iku wondered when she would find the time to read the Bible. She had lots of homework in the fifth grade, and she didn’t have much time after school. Her mother said it would be better to read the Bible in the morning, before school, so she could start the day with Jesus. So, Iku set her alarm clock for 5 o’clock.

Iku found it difficult to wake up so early. Everyone was still sleeping, and it was dark outside. But she remembered that she wanted to read the Bible in one year, and she jumped out of bed.

She prayed, “Dear God, help me to understand what I am going to read.”

Then she started with the first book of the Bible. [Ask children if they know the first book of the Bible.] That’s right, the first book is Genesis.

Iku found that it takes only 30 minutes to read five chapters every morning. Before she knew it, she had read the whole Bible in a year!

Then Iku thought, “That was so interesting! I want to read the Bible again!” So, when she started sixth grade, she read the whole Bible again in a year!

Something interesting happened as Iku read the Bible. She began to change. She started to want to memorize the Bible—not just the Sabbath School memory verse but other parts of the Bible as well.

She also became happier and smiled more. People liked being around her.

Iku’s big sister, Nana, who is 14 years old, said Iku now understands the Sabbath sermons better than anybody in the family.

Iku’s little sister, Miko, who is nine, wanted to be like Iku and began to read the Bible, too.

Iku’s favorite book of the Bible is Romans. “There’s a lot of good verses there,” she said.

Her favorite verse is Romans 8:38, 39, which says, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NKJV).

[Ask children about their favorite Bible book and verse. Then ask whether they would like to read the Bible from cover to cover.]

Iku said it’s not difficult to read the whole Bible. The secret is to read a little every day. “Even just little by little, read the Bible every day,” she said.

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