September 19th – God said: Let there be light!
And then he created the earth. And the sky and the plants and the animals.
The biblical story of creation is known to Christians. But what about all of the past tense?
Moubine and Laura Mourad from Toledo investigate the question in a children’s book that reflects conversations they had with their three young children: Moubine, 5, Musa, 4 and Noelle, 2. Who am I? Stars illustrated versions of the siblings as they get to know the power and presence of God, for example on a trip to the planetarium, the park and the zoo.
Laura Mourad said she hopes readers can use her story to start important conversations in their own families.
“It’s a way of talking about God and you can go as deep as you want,” she said. “This is just one way to open a door to this conversation.”
Who Is I AM ?, published earlier this year by Christian Faith Publishing, can trace its roots back to the title question asked by a then 4-year-old Moubine, or Bean, as the family calls him. With his parents weighing health risks in the midst of a pandemic and making their personal visit to a local church difficult, they set up an age-appropriate Bible study as a routine on Sundays.
They use biblical stories for children, but also some that contain more literal translations of the Bible. One of the latter made the boy ask: Who is this “I Am”?
“I am” is of course a reference to God. But the book goes deeper in slightly fictionalized versions of conversations and excursions by the Mourads.
God is in the stars that children see in the planetarium, in the bees and beetles they encounter in the park, and in the creatures that fascinate them in the zoo. And as they prepare for bed after a long and busy day, God is also in the family members who surround them.
It offers a child-friendly look at “who God is,” said Ms. Mourad, “and how they can see and experience Him in a way that children can understand.”
Who am I? is the couple’s first book, and Ms. Mourad credits the pandemic for giving them the time and inspiration to give authorship a chance. They worked with editors and illustrators through Christian Faith Publishing for about a year, she said, and her book is currently available through Amazon, Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble.
For more information or links to purchase a copy, visit iambook.org.
Ms. Mourad said her children would enjoy seeing themselves on the page (“Hey, that’s my name!”) And they hope other families can enjoy her story too.
They assume it won’t be their last book.