Backstory to The Jesus Story

The Jesus Story: Because He Still Loves Us (Keck and Benson) By Saundria Keck

The Jesus Story is a book I never intended to write, that is until I saw a great need and sensed the never-ceasing nudge of the Holy Spirit. For about two years I wrestled with the idea of writing the book. I knew it had to be simple enough for a child and profound enough for an adult—a book that could be read in one seating with illustrations that brought the story alive. I kept telling God I couldn’t do it. Finally I prayed: “Okay, I will give it a try, but only with help from Your Holy Spirit.” I spent time in the Word discerning how to share the story from Genesis to Revelation as simply as possible—the Bible message at its lowest common denominator.

My ministry partner and illustrator, Kay Benson, was supportive of this endeavor in every way. We prayed. We brainstormed text and possible illustrations. We prayed more. Once written, Kay edited the text and provided input. We enlisted a theologian to read for biblical accuracy. Then Kay began her work on illustrations that would beautifully compliment the message. Once the illustrations were complete, our designer, Ana Monaco, designed the book from cover to cover.

Earlier Kay and I had written books together and determined then that whatever we created had to have global appeal with receptivity by all cultures and people groups. Kay had lived and taught children and adults in Japan and Singapore. Both of us had become involved with Heart for Lebanon, a ministry to Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have settled in the country of Lebanon. Together we wrote Bible-based character curriculum for refugee children. Through Justice and Mercy International, my husband and I began serving with mission teams in Moldova and the Amazon. As a result of our involvement in these areas, The Jesus Story is now available in Portuguese, Romanian, Arabic and hopefully soon, Spanish.

Back at home it was becoming more obvious that the book was not just for people in far-away countries. Ministering to women, particularly young moms, opened our eyes to their lack of even an elementary knowledge of the scriptures. They needed a launchpad into the Scripture. They needed The Jesus Story. We all need The Jesus Story: Because He Still Loves Us.