A Rich Legacy

“‘Belle! Get that water, girl!’ Little Isabella Baumfree stared at her new master. This was all so different; three days ago she had been sold away from her mother. Belle and her mother only knew Dutch, but this new master, named John Neeley, spoke English to her, and if she did not obey him perfectly, he beat her. Belle stared at John again, wishing she could understand.”

This is the beginning of the story of Sojourner Truth’s life. Sojourner Truth, or Bella, as she was called while growing up, was freed as a young adult. After God renamed her Sojourner Truth, she began traveling the country speaking to large groups of people about human rights—without any formal education.

In Sojourner Truth’s time, women were not allowed to vote, and many women could not hold jobs. But Sojourner Truth said, “And ain’t I a woman? Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could [get ahead of] me! And ain’t I a woman?”

During Black History Month, I’ve been thinking a lot about Sojourner Truth’s rich legacy, especially as we have been teaching clubs all over Chicagoland. In fact, CEF Chicago’s Good News Clubs began requesting Gospel-centric lessons, including teachings from the Bible, about famous African American Christians, and we chose to write a curriculum about Sojourner Truth. As I researched this extraordinary woman, it was not hard to see how her dedication to God and His transforming love could inspire the children in our Bible clubs.

This story is already touching lives. “I’m not a slave to sin,” Tyrone (name changed) protested.

“The Bible says we all have a sin problem,” his teacher gently explained. “But God had a plan to free us from sin, just like He freed Sojourner Truth from sin and slavery…” There is no greater thrill than teaching a child how he or she can be freed from slavery to sin.

CEF is excited about our rich African-American legacy of volunteers and staff and our exciting future in ministry to children like Tyrone.

If you are interested in this curriculum, please let us know and we will get it to you!