Reach Children Overseas With Gospel Dolls

Bring the Gospel to children worldwide by making special dolls designed to help present the Gospel message clearly to boys and girls.

Berea First Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C., hosts five to six “Build-a-Doll” workshops a year, drawing both members and others from the community. Volunteers make boy and girl dolls who are “asleep” on one side and “awake” on the other—representing life before and after Jesus. The dolls also don necklaces of different-colored beads to help missionaries explain the message of salvation to the children receiving them.

The dolls are made from a pattern Berea member Susan Bishop created 15 years ago after learning from a missionary about little girls in the landlocked west African nation of Mali playing with corncobs stuck with feathers instead of actual dolls.

“We show volunteers pictures of happy children who’ve gotten the dolls and have heard the Gospel, and then it gives us a chance to encourage them to learn about Jesus too,” Bishop explains. “I thought this would just help the children, but it’s for the people who make the dolls as well.”

Berea has sent thousands of dolls to 15 countries, including Haiti, Zimbabwe, Chile, Peru and Brazil, and now also includes coloring books in their packages.

The pattern, instructions for making the dolls, and tips on hosting a workshop are available through Woman’s Missionary Union. The ministry, dubbed Dolls on a Mission, is now one of WMU’s most popular

“God has taken a very simple idea and turned it into a way for a lot of people to learn about Jesus,” Bishop says.

A version of this article originally appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of Outreach magazine.

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