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What’s so Special About This Book? It’s hard when you can’t be with your Mom or Dad. You may feel lonely, afraid, sad, mad—or just different than everyone else. Maybe you feel like no one loves you. But God does. God has a big story that includes you. And he wants your story to include him. This book has stories about people found in God’s Word, the Bible. Your Mom or Dad may have a similar book where they are. You can write him or her letters about what you read in this book. And they may do the same! Family Freedom Collection Book of Hope Children’s Edition North America 978-1-59480-835-7 Copyright © 2013 by OneHope Scriptures used in this publication are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Contemporary English Version (CEV), and prepared in a Bible story format, Copyright © 1995 by the American Bible Society. Used by permission. www.americanbible.org Arrangement of the Bible Scripture portion and all illustrations, text, and study questions. Copyright © 2013 by OneHope.

The American Bible Society 1856 Broadway New York, NY 10023 (212) 480-1200 www.americanbible.org Operation Starting Line 44180 Riverside Parkway Lansdowne, VA 20176 877-478-0100 www.operationstartingline.net

OneHope 600 SW Third Street Pompano, FL U.S.A. 33060 954.975.7777 info@onehope.net www.onehope.net

Angel Tree 44180 Riverside Parkway Lansdowne, VA 20176 1-800-55-ANGEL www.angeltree.org Awana Lifeline 1 East Bode Road Streamwood, IL 60107 630-213-2000 www.awana.org/lifeline Design and Layout by Deven Christopher NOIZ contact@noizdesign.com

(The bolded words in the Bible stories are quoted directly from the Bible.)

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God’s Big Story The Bible is God’s BIG story. It is about how he wants to be our friend. Here are some major events recorded in the Bible about God’s love.

God Created the World Adam and Eve Disobey God Abraham Receives God’s Promise Joseph Brings His Family to Egypt Moses Leads the Israelites out of Egypt David is King Jesus is Born Jesus is Baptized Jesus is Tempted Jesus is Crucif ied Jesus is Raised from the Dead Jesus Appears to the Disciples

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God creates The World In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made day and night. He made the earth, sun, moon, and stars. God created the birds of the air, the fish in the sea, and all the wild animals. God created the mountains and valleys, the plants and the trees. God saved his most special creation for last. God made the first man, Adam. And God made the first woman, Eve. God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good!

God Created Me!

God created you unlike anyone else. He made you very special, and he loves you very much.

God gave me a nice God made my hair (color) God gave me my best friend, (name) God made me good at (hobby) God loves me so much he gave me his Word! “I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.� Psalms 139:14 (To read more about how God created the world, turn to Genesis 1 in a Bible.) 3

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Adam and Eve Disobey God God wanted Adam and Eve to enjoy him and all that he had created. He made only one rule. The rule was that Adam and Eve could not eat the fruit from a certain tree in the garden. God gave Adam and Eve the rule to protect them. God’s enemy, Satan, told them to break the rule. Adam and Eve listened to Satan. They broke God’s rule. They sinned against God. The sin put a gap between people and God. It made God sad. God made Adam and Eve leave the garden because they had disobeyed.

? n i S s i t a h W Just like Adam and Eve sinned long ago, people have been sinning ever since. Sin is anything that we think, say or do that God says is wrong. Circle the things below that are sins:

FIGHTING SINGING

PLAYING GOSSIPING

DISOBEYING

LYING

RUNNING

STEALING

BEING JEALOUS

SWEARING

BEING KIND

BAD THOUGHTS

LOVING OTHERS

PRAYING

MURDER

READING THE BIBLE

(To read more about Adam and Eve, turn to Genesis 2-3 in a Bible.) 4

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ABRAHAM RECEIVES GOD’S PROMISE After Adam and Eve left the garden, they had many children and grandchildren. Many years later, God still wanted to bring people closer to him. God made a promise to a man from Adam and Eve’s family named Abraham. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a huge family. God said to Abraham, “I will bless you and give you such a large family, that someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the beach.” God said that Abraham’s descendants would be a blessing to all nations. One day, God’s son, Jesus would come from this family and would fulfill the promises of God. Jesus would bring people closer to God.

WRITE ABOUT IT!

God’s promise to Abraham almost seemed impossible because Abraham and his wife were very old, and they had no children. Abraham and his wife waited many years before their first child was born. But when God makes a promise, he always keeps it. Sometimes, we just have to wait on his timing. What is something that you would like God to do in your life? (To read more about Abraham, turn to Genesis 12:1-3 and 22:17a-18 in a Bible.) 7

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JOSEPH BRINGS HIS FAMILY TO EGYPT Joseph was one of Abraham’s great-grandsons. Joseph’s brothers were jealous because their dad, who was called Israel, loved Joseph the most. The brothers sold Joseph, and he became a slave in Egypt. Joseph even went to jail for something he did not do. But God was with Joseph the whole time. God helped Joseph. Joseph got out of jail and became a government leader in Egypt. Joseph also saved the Egyptians from starvation during a famine. And when Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for food, Joseph forgave them. Joseph brought his whole family to Egypt.

GOD Helps JOSEPH Joseph went through some tough times. He may have felt angry, abandoned, lonely, and rejected. But God helped him through it all. He even gave Joseph the strength to forgive his brothers. He can help you too! (To read more about Joseph, turn to Genesis 37-50 in a Bible.) 8

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WRITE ABOUT IT! Joseph’s situation was not his fault. It is also not your fault that your Mom or Dad is away. It’s not about you or because they do not love you. Writing letters is a great way to keep in touch while your Mom or Dad is away. Here are some things you could write about:

What you have been doing in school What you would like to do with your Mom or Dad when she or he gets home Something you have been mad or sad about Something that has made you happy Some of your favorite things to do What your favorite dessert is Who your best friend is and what you like to do with him or her How God helped Joseph while he was in prison

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You can also ask your Mom or Dad some questions.

Here are some ideas: What is one of your days like? Can you tell me about some of your feelings? Is there a question you would like to ask me? What are some of your favorite things to do? What are some things you would like to do with me? What is your favorite dessert? Who is your best friend? If your Mom or Dad writes back, make sure to tell them thank you for writing you while she or he is away. Also, if there is something you have forgiven your Mom or Dad for, let them know. God helped Joseph forgive. He can help you too! Even though you can’t control some of the things in your life right now, God will always be there to help you. The Bible says, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the LORD your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go!” God will not leave you or abandon you. He has a special plan for you…just like he had a plan for Joseph! (Joshua 1:9) 11

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MOSES LEADS THE ISRAELITES OUT OF EGYPT Many years after Joseph died, a mean king in Egypt made God’s people, the Israelites, slaves. God chose Moses to rescue his people from slavery. God appeared to Moses in a burning bush in the desert. God told Moses to go to the king and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses told God that he was afraid. God replied, “I will be with you.” God did many amazing miracles to help Moses lead his people out of slavery. God’s people finally escaped from Egypt. They camped at the Red Sea. But the Egyptian king and his army started chasing them! God opened up the sea and made it dry land, with a wall of water on either side! Moses and all the people walked safely across to the other side. The Lord told Moses, “Stretch your arm toward the sea – water will cover the Egyptians.” Moses stretched out his arm, and the water rushed toward the Egyptians. (To read more about Moses, turn to Exodus 3 and 14 in a Bible.) 12

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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS Match the words on the tablets to the blank spaces below. When Moses led God’s people out of Egypt, they came to a big mountain. God met with Moses on the mountain. God gave people rules to help them know how to live. 1. Do not worship any other ___ ___ ___. 2. Do not make an ___ ___ ___ ___ and worship it. 3. Do not ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ God’s name. 4. Remember the ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ day. 5. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ your Father and Mother. 6. Do not ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ another person. 7. Be faithful in ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___. 8. Do not ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ from others. 9. Do not tell a ___ ___ ___. 10. Do not ___ ___ ___ ___ what belongs to another person.

Steal

Idol

Murder

God

Marriage

Misuse

Want

Respect

Lie

Sabbath

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n.

WRITE ABOUT IT! Moses was afraid. But God was with him. God helped Moses succeed. What things are you afraid of?

God wants to be there for you when you are afraid. He wants to help. Write to your Mom or Dad about how God was with Moses when Moses was afraid. Share how God opened up the Red Sea. Tell your Mom or Dad that God wants to be there for them too!

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DAVID IS KING After the Israelites left Egypt, they entered the land God promised to them. The Israelites faced many enemies. One time, they fought an army who had a soldier who was a giant. His name was Goliath. An Israelite boy named David decided he would fight against Goliath. David was brave because God’s Holy Spirit was with him. David shot a stone from a slingshot and killed Goliath. Later, David became king of the Israelites. God made a special promise to David that one day someone from his family would be born who would be King forever!

WRITE ABOUT IT! Defeating Goliath seemed impossible for David. But nothing is impossible with God! Is there something in your life that seems impossible? What is it?

God wants to give you the courage to face hard things. Write a note to God asking him to give you courage. Write to your Mom or Dad and tell him or her how David defeated Goliath and how God can help them too! (To read more about David, turn to I Samuel 17 and II Samuel 7 in a Bible.) 17

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JESUS IS BORN Many years after David was king, an angel came to a woman named Mary. He told her that God was going to give her a son. She was really surprised! The angel said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you. You will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, and his kingdom will never end. Nothing is impossible for God!” Many months later, Mary gave birth to Jesus in the town of Bethlehem. That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.” Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. The shepherds hurried off and found the baby. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said. (To read more about when Jesus was born, turn to Luke 1-2 in a Bible.) 18

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JESUS IS BAPTIZED Jesus became wise, and he grew strong. God was pleased with him and so were the people. When Jesus was 30 years old, he began his special work, called ministry. First Jesus was baptized in water. As soon as Jesus came out of the water, he saw the sky open and the Holy Spirit coming down to him like a dove. A voice from heaven said, “You are my dear Son, and I am pleased with you.” Jesus loved his Father God in heaven. He loved to talk about him with others.

Jesus Obeys God Jesus never sinned, but he had to choose to obey God. After Jesus was baptized, God’s Spirit made Jesus go into the desert. He stayed there for forty days while Satan, the devil, tested him. Jesus was with the wild animals, but angels took care of him. Satan told Jesus to disobey God. But Jesus obeyed God. He never sinned. Then Jesus began his work of ministry. He told people the good news that comes from God. (To read more about Jesus being baptized and obeying God, turn to Luke 2:52 and Mark 1:10-13 in a Bible.) 21

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JESUS feeds 5,000 PEOPLE Jesus also has the power to do miracles. One time, Jesus was teaching a huge group of 5,000 people. The people were there for so long that they got hungry. Jesus felt sorry for them and did a great miracle! He fed the whole crowd with five loaves of bread and two fish that a little boy gave him. There was food for everyone. There were even twelve baskets left over!

Jesus Teaches Others Jesus chose twelve men, called his disciples, to follow him wherever he went. Jesus taught his disciples and others about God. He taught them to love God and others. Jesus told them not to worry and to trust God because God promises to take care of us. He taught people to be humble instead of bragging about the good things they could do. Jesus told people to be kind, to fix problems without fighting, and to treat others the way they would want to be treated. He said that when people are mean, to pray for them and never try to get even. Jesus taught people to work things out and not stay angry with each other. Jesus said to be honest, generous, giving, and helpful. He told people not to try getting more and more things on earth. He said to not be hard on others or talk badly about them. And, Jesus said to obey God and listen to the things Jesus taught. (To read more about what Jesus taught and when he fed 5,000 people, turn to Mark 3:13-19 and Mark 5:30-44 in a Bible.) 22

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JESUS HEALS PEOPLE A man came to Jesus and asked him to help his son. His son had an evil spirit inside of him. The evil spirit made the boy shake and roll on the ground. Jesus told the evil spirit to leave. It did! Another man named Jairus came to Jesus. His little girl was dying. He begged Jesus to help her. When Jesus got to his house, people said that the girl had died. Jesus went in and said, “Little girl, get up!” She did!

JESUS STOPS A TERRIBLE STORM Another time, Jesus was on a boat with his disciples. A bad storm came. The boat was being blown around, and the disciples were afraid that they would sink. Jesus was not afraid at all! Jesus was in the back of the boat with his head on a pillow, and he was asleep. His disciples woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to drown?” Jesus got up and ordered the wind and the waves to be quiet. The wind stopped, and everything was calm. (To read more about Jesus stopping the storm and healing people, turn to Mark 4:38-39, 5:35-43 and 9:14-29 in a Bible.) 25

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JESUS IS KILLED ON A CROSS Jesus taught people for three years. He did many good things. But the religious leaders were angry with him. They did not believe that he was the Son of God. The religious leaders told lies about Jesus. They had him killed on a cross. While Jesus was on the cross, the sky turned dark and the sun stopped shining. On the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them!” Then he gave a loud cry and died. When Jesus died, there was a huge earthquake and rocks split apart. When the soldiers at the cross saw everything that happened, they said, “This man really was God’s Son.”

THINK ABOUT IT! Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. His death shows how much God loves each one of us.

(To read more about Jesus’ death on the cross, turn to Luke 23 and Matthew 27:54 in a Bible.) 27

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JESUS IS RAISED FROM THE DEAD Jesus’ body was put in a tomb. The tomb was like a cave. A huge stone was rolled over the entrance to the tomb. Three days after Jesus died, a miracle happened. A strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone in front of the tomb. Two women who were Jesus’ followers went to see his body. When they arrived, Jesus’ body was gone! An angel told them, “He is alive! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would! Tell his disciples that he has been raised to life.” The women were very happy and they ran to tell Jesus’ disciples.

! T I T U O B A K N THI Jesus spent time with his disciples and friends after he came back to life. He told them to tell others about him. Who is someone you could tell about Jesus? (To read more about Jesus being raised from the dead, turn to Matthew 28 and Luke 24 in a Bible.) 28

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JESUS RETURNS TO HEAVEN After Jesus came back to life, he visited different people. Jesus met his disciples on a mountain. He said it was time for him to return to his Father in heaven. He told them to go and tell everyone about God. Jesus said his Father would send the Spirit of God to live in them. Then Jesus went to heaven. He will return someday. The disciples left and preached everywhere. The Lord was with them, and the miracles they worked proved that their message was true. One day Jesus will return to earth, and God will create a new heaven and new earth. Followers of Jesus will live with God there forever!

write ABOUT IT! If you were telling someone about Jesus, what would you tell him or her? Write a letter to your Mom or Dad telling them what you have learned about Jesus. (To read more about Jesus appearing to the disciples, turn to Mark 16, Luke 24 and Acts 1 in a Bible.) 31

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YOUR STORY Jesus wanted to have a relationship with his disciples. He wants to have a relationship with you too! Our sin keeps us from having a relationship with God. However, Jesus was perfect. And he paid the price for our sin when he died on the cross. If we ask God to forgive our sins and we believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and came back to life, we will be saved. We will begin a relationship with God that will continue forever in heaven. . To do that, pray this simple prayer:

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GROWING WITH GOD It can be really hard to be away from your Mom or Dad. But you are not alone. God wants to be there for you. He wants to help you, just like he helped Joseph, Moses, David, and Paul. God wants to be your friend. He wants to give you strength and courage to face the hard times. If you prayed the prayer on page 32, you became his friend too. Write to your Mom or Dad and tell them your good news. God wants us to grow in our relationship with him.

Here’s how: 1. Tell others about Jesus 2. Pray to God 3. Read Your Bible 4. Find a Church

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Get to the Park Grab a partner and find your way to the park. You will need a coin to toss and a game piece for each person. You can use anything for the game pieces‌even some extra coins will do. The game is simple. The first player tosses the coin in the air. If it lands on heads, he moves one space, if it lands on tails, he moves two spaces. Follow the directions on the board and take turns until one gets to the end of the path.

Your best friend is moving. Go back one space.

You shared about Jesus with a friend. Go forward one space.

You lied to someone. Move back two spaces. It’s your birthday. Move forward two spaces.

Your dog ate your homework. Go back one space.

You passed your Math test. Move forward one space. For more of the story visit www.moreofthestory.net

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Family Freedom Collection Children's Edition  

A Book of Hope developed for children who have parents that are incarcerated.

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