00:22: Hello and welcome to Episode 2 of our Title Testimonies, our true stories about how the different resources of Oikos came to be in the Oikos bundle, or how they landed on the Oikos path, whatever you want to call it. But for now let me just tell you about the next one, and that is Picture Smart Bible Studies. Now I’m calling this the second one, although it wasn’t the second resources that came on our path in fact, but I’m putting it here as number two because it’s most important. KONOS was obviously the foundation of everything for us but Picture Smart has been just such a vital tool to accompany KONOS. In fact when we received Picture Smart, when God brought it onto the path of Oikos, our children were already quite grown and so we started using it later on. So as I explained, it’s not in the exact timeline of the order in which these resources came. But I just like to make it number two because of the fact that it’s so important. So let me tell you how Picture Smart came about. I was at a convention in Indiana in the States. I had been invited to go and speak there, and I wasn’t well at the time. I actually had been suffering from cancer and we thought I was in remission but the journey to the States hit me back somewhat as what happens when you travel and you’re not well. So, I learnt my lessons.

01:41: But while there I was bound to a wheelchair, which also taught me a lot of other lessons, but that’s another story. This story today is about Picture Smart, and so there I was being wheeled around and wheeling myself around the Indiana Convention, which I don’t know if anybody in South Africa’s attended such a convention, but sure, they are colossal, with many, many halls and many, many stalls of all the different providers of just an incredible abundance of resources to choose from. And I was just whizzing about, in fact somebody was either pushing me or I was wheeling myself about, and just going up and down and up and down the different corridors of resources.

02:29: And I wasn’t really taking much of it in, first of all I wasn’t well, and secondly, we had what we needed in Oikos. I wasn’t seeking, in other words, I was just whizzing about to see what it was all… What this was all about and all the different resources that are out there. And it is just too overwhelming. You go down a maths corridor and there’s just Maths everywhere, and then you go down a science corridor. However, on my whizzing about, I came across… I went past one stall that was all about the Bible. So of course I stopped in my tracks, because I was very interested in Bible resources, and I hadn’t seen a lot. There was so much of everything else and there wasn’t much available for Bible resources, for a tool, a curriculum if you can call it that, for teaching the Bible, or helping, assisting one, and teaching the Word of God to your children.

03:20: So I stopped at that one and started making inquiries about the Picture Smart. What is it? How does it work? And there wasn’t much time, because I now had to go and speak, and I was limited… There was a limited amount of time. So it was a very brief encounter, to be honest, with this curriculum. However, after the convention, I went back to our hostess’s home in Ohio that’s my friend Tia, and I was… This Picture Smart had really caught my attention, so I asked her if I could make contact with these people who had written this, or who was providing it or whatever. So I got hold of them, and it was Dan Peters who was the author and developer and creator of Picture Smart, and I told them, “I’m from South Africa and I’m visiting here at the moment and I just was really curious about his Bible curriculum,” and so there began the relationship of Oikos and Picture Smart. Long story short, I came home from the States with a Picture Smart manual. The New Testament and that was all. It didn’t have the Old Testament at that stage. I just only had the New Testament of Picture Smart.

04:33: We then started using it, and were absolutely impressed and amazed at this curriculum and what it was doing for us as a family and how it was imparting to the children, helping them understand it’s not just this one book, it’s actually 66 different books of the Bible, and how they all fit together like a library of books, and how the story unfolds, and the different Gospels, and Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And that they… Four of the Gospels, they tell the story of Jesus, but they’ve each got their own specific focus and theme. It was just amazing how at the end of teaching that, there was a picture, of Luke for example, or Matthew, once the children had finished drawing the picture. And across the middle of the book, the page was a crown, and that was depicting Jesus as King. And in Luke it was Him washing His disciples’ feet, that was the picture. It started imprinting in their minds what the different Gospels, the different books of the Bible, actually what their overall theme was. And it just started making sense, it just was really, really an amazing tool. In the back of the parent manual, as I called it, were all the coloring-in pages for the children. So we asked Dan if we could separate those and make them into a separate student workbook and make that available for parents to have the manual themselves and each child in the family have their own workbook, coloring-in book, as it were, to work from.

06:00: So this is how Picture Smart came to be. Dan very graciously and kindly allowed us to start printing it in South Africa. So we got the printing rights from the author, and he said we can do this, and that we just send him royalties as we keep a record of what we have sold in the way of the Picture Smart resources. And so that is what has continued. That relationship has continued for all these years that have passed. And Daniel’s heart is really, really for… Is planting the seed of the word of God into children’s hearts and into families. And he really is excited about the fact that this resource goes out to the missionaries and into the mission field, and doesn’t just help families that are home educating within their own family, but it’s actually spread beyond that. The other exciting thing about Picture Smart is that we can now provide it and distribute it to two orphanages and children’s homes, which is a tremendous tool for the carers of those children. Whereby they have this tool now where they can impart the work to the children, the children can color in pictures, and it can all just start making sense to them. Well, even more than that, it’s just dropping the seeds of God into their hearts.

07:11: We are just very, very, very excited that this is a curriculum that didn’t just miraculously land on our path, like most of the others, but this is one that I just happened to spot while wheeling myself about, or whizzing about the halls of a convention in the States. It did come about in a more normal kind of a way. However, once we found that one, we’ve never ever looked for any other kind of Bible curriculum. We haven’t distributed anything else, we haven’t looked for anything else. And that’s one thing that excites me about these Title Testimonies, is I’m just very grateful to the Lord for bringing these things upon our paths in such a way that it’s caught our attention. We’ve used it… Every single resource, we’ve used for a good long while, and in fact, exhausted that resource before we actually start distributing it. When I say exhausted, I mean used it to the end. Not that that can actually ever happen with Picture Smart, ’cause we’ve actually gone through it three times over, in a different way each time.

08:14: It is a different story, this one, in the fact that it’s not just this miraculous landing dropped out of Heaven, as it were, on our path like some of the others that I’m gonna be telling you about. But it is one that we have, that we distribute, and we haven’t had to look beyond it, because it has just been such a valuable tool. That is now the next Title Testimony story of how Picture Smart came to be here as one of the Oikos resources. And I’m looking forward to telling you the next story in our Title Testimony series. But for now, thank you for sitting here with me and listening to the story about Picture Smart. I’m looking forward to telling you the next one. Bye for now.