Just updated the children at risk suggested movies and books on our Red Card Kids website. Recent books include: 1. Do Something! A Handbook for Young Advocates, 2. Not In My Town Exposing and Ending Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, and 3. Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care. The movie Life, Above All is scheduled for release in the United States on July 15.
Summer is here and church lawns are decorated with colorful signs announcing Vacation Bible School. I attended VBS as a child and have served as a teacher for many years. Not only is the gospel message presented in an intentional way, but children are invited to receive Jesus as their savior. I’ve heard many stories of kids, churched and unchurched alike, accepting Jesus at VBS. My church celebrates these decisions by giving children a certificate and Bible.
But what happens between the gospel presentation and the certificate? When a child expresses interest in following Jesus, he or she is often sent to speak individually with a volunteer who can answer questions, share Bible verses, and pray with that child. Many volunteers feel ill-equipped to lead a child to Christ. Here’s a tool I just found that can help. The Good News Story is a 16-page booklet for children with seven Bible stories that focus on the gospel. It’s easy for kids to read with great illustrations. There’s even a “steps-to-salvation” chart with specific Bible verses. Comes in a set of 10 booklets.
Recently, I toured Heifer Project’s working farm in Arkansas. Originally, donated farm animals were kept there until they could be shipped overseas to poor families. The practice of shipping animals proved too costly so these days animals are purchased in the same area where the needy families live. The farm is now used for teaching. Thousands of children come on field trips to learn about the connection between farm animals and helping families to break free from the cycle of poverty.
I learned the 7 m’s, an easy way to remember what animals provide: meat, milk, materials, muscle, manure, money, and motivation. I also learned about a great program called Read to Feed ®. It gives kids the opportunity to combine leisure reading with helping hungry families around the world. We’ve featured it as our June/July Take a Stand opportunity.
Here are some books kids could read during the program to help them learn more about poverty and hunger-related issues:
Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier
Cups Held Out by Judith L. Roth
Faith the Cow by Susan Bame Hoover
Give a Goat by Jan West Schrock
The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough by Katie Smith Milway
Kids Against Hunger by Jon Mikkelsen
A Kid’s Guide to Hunger and Homelessness: How to Take Action by Cathryn Berger Kaye
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway
This Child, Every Child by David J. Smith
At the end of the Read to Feed program, I’d plan a way for your kids to CELEBRATE! Invite parents to take part as well. Here are a few ideas.
- Visit a local farm or the petting area of the zoo to experience farm animals up close and personal.
- Attend a demonstration of sheep shearing, spinning wool, milking cows, making butter, etc. Check for these kinds of programs at local historical museums.
- Have kids make animal masks and have each “animal” explain what materials they provide for people.
June 12 is the Global Day of Prayer. Believers worldwide are joining together to intercede for the nations. You can involve the children in your family, class, or club. Show them the Children in Prayer video that demonstrates ways that kids around the world are actively interceding for their families, communities, nations, and the peoples of the world. Download the free children’s 10-day Prayer Guide. It includes topics like poverty, disabilities, orphans, war zones, and children who have not heard the gospel. Each day is divided into four main sections:
1. Praying for children of the world – a different subject each day, based on the Lord’s Prayer, with ideas of how to pray
2. Thanking God – for His promises about the topic, for blessings we have
3. Journaling/Personal Prayer – reading a Bible verse, responding, listening to God
4. Prayer Activity – follow-up activity that helps kids personalize the day’s topicread more
Just came across this new 5-day mission curriculum from Regular Baptist Press: GO! 5 Mission Adventures for Kids. For grades 1-6, this curriculum introduces the Biblical foundation of missions. It offers separate Bible lessons for primary (grades 1-2) and middler/junior (grades 3-6). I appreciate that Lesson 1 includes a salvation message and opportunity for children to respond. Each day has a country focus (although not very detailed) with a corresponding snack. Lessons run about 80 minutes and include a Bible session, memory verse, prayer time, international snack, and songs. Optional materials for longer sessions include a brief missionary biography that matches the day’s country focus as well as mission prayer journal activities.
Day 1: Telling the World: What a Great Commission, India country focus, William Carey
Day 2: Pray Around the World, Burma country focus, Adoniram Judson
Day 3: Missionaries in the Old Testament, China country focus, Hudson Taylor
Day 4: What it Takes to be a Missionary, Bangladesh country focus, Mary Lou Brownell
Day 5: Changed!, Brazil country focus, Ken and Renny Snare
This set comes with a director’s guide, resource CD (student activity materials, 12 songs in mp3 format, art and logos), a world map, and posters. Download samples of the director’s guide and Lesson 1 content here.
Here’s a great prayer tool to engage your kids in interceding for children around the world who have limited or no access to the gospel. This coloring book has 25 beautiful line drawings of children, five from each of the THUMB [tribal, Hindu, unreligious (atheist), Muslim, and Buddhist] religious blocs. Each drawing includes the name and location of the featured people group. In the middle of the book is a “Where Are the THUMB Peoples?” map activity. Simple explanations of what each religious bloc believes along with brief prayer requests help children go beyond coloring to praying. Includes ideas for using the coloring pages in a mission festival, intergenerational prayer event, Christian school classroom, and homeschool setting. This coloring book is suggested for ages 5-10, but the drawings have enough detail that older kids who like art would also enjoy it.
Here’s the good news. You can get this book for less than a Starbuck’s latte. The price has been reduced to $1.50 plus shipping and handling.
As I reflect on the children at risk that I serve, for some, having a mother is only a dream.
Here is a true story I wrote about my little friend Max whom I met while working in the orphanage during my years in Central Asia.
Max is eight years old and has no family. All his life, he has lived in an orphanage in Central Asia. At night, Max has no one to tuck him in, give him a hug and kiss, tell him a bedtime story, or pray with him. When Max falls down, nobody runs to comfort him or make sure he is not hurt.
One summer I stayed with a local Christian family who was hosting Max for a few weeks, providing an enjoyable break from the orphanage. During my visit the family’s little girl lost two front teeth. She ran up to me, eager to show me the gap where they had been. Max gave her a perplexed look. He did not understand what all the excitement was about. When he had lost a tooth, nobody ever showed any interest.
Through this incident, God showed me that, like Max, many orphaned children miss out on the joy of celebrating milestones like taking first steps, speaking first words, or losing teeth. God never intended for children to grow up alone, but with loving parents to care for them, protect them, and participate in precious “growing up” moments.
I worked with many older children from the orphanage and their one prayer was that they would be adopted into a family, and have a mother!
Would you take time this Mother’s Day weekend, and reflect on these questions? Perhaps share them with your children, and have a time of discussion.
- Recall a special experience or event that you were able to share with your mother? What would it be like if you had nobody to listen and share that experience with you?
2. Describe a time when you were hurt and your mother comforted you. Imagine that same experience without a mom to care for you. How would that make you feel?
Would you take some time now, to pray for the many children at risk who don’t have the love, protection, and nurture of a mother? Pray that children would be adopted into a family, or that a missionary or national worker would fill the role of mother at this time! Pray that children would know God in a deep way, and know His great love for them!
Happy Mother’s Day!read more
Here are three more children’s prayer activities you can do using the world fabric map.
Materials: fabric world map, beanbag
Directions: Lay the map on the floor. Have children sit or stand around the map. Choose a child to toss the beanbag onto the map. Read the name of the country where the beanbag lands. Pray for families in that country to come to know Jesus. If the beanbag lands on a body of water, pray for families in a country that borders that body of water. Hand the beanbag to another child and continue in the same way.
Light of the World
Materials: fabric world map, flashlight, music CD and CD player
Directions: Lay the map on the floor. Have children take off their shoes and sit in a circle around the map. Turn off most of the lights. Hand the flashlight to a child. When the music begins, the children pass the flashlight around the circle. When the music stops, the child with the flashlight stands and shines the light on one country on the map. Pray for God to prepare the hearts of families in that country to understand who Jesus is. Have the child sit back down in the circle, start the music, and continue in the same way.
Missionary Photo Card Prayer
Materials: fabric world map, photo prayer cards of church missionaries
Directions: Lay the map on the floor. Have children sit around the map. Show the photo on the first missionary prayer card and read the names of the people in the family. On the map, locate the country where the missionaries serve. Choose a child to lay the photo card on the map. Pray for the missionaries using some of the prayer categories suggested below. Continue in the same way with the remaining prayer cards.
health new friends
safety time with God
wisdom adjust to culture
learn language many people come to know God
Although malaria is not prevalent in the United States today, malaria claims twice the number of African children as AIDS. According to the World Health Organization, one in every five childhood deaths (20 percent) is due to malaria. Sadly, a child dies every 30 seconds from malaria.
Malaria is very preventable and very inexpensive to prevent! How can we help, and importantly how can we get children involved to help their peers throughout the world?
I implemented a program for my daughter’s third grade class to raise money for malaria. I taught a simple lesson to the kids on malaria, and how easy it is to prevent it by the use of malaria nets. I also based the lesson in scripture that Jesus would want us to help those who are sick. And by helping those who are sick, we are serving Him (Matthew 25:35-40)!
For the month of April, the third grade classes will collect coins and at the end of April we will send money to His Nets. His Nets is a non-profit organization which purchases and distributes mosquito nets to families in Africa to protect them from malaria infected mosquitoes. Because many homes in Africa consist of one small room, an entire family can use one large net for up to four years for protection from mosquitoes at only $6.00 per net! For less than the price of a dinner or movie, one life could be saved and an entire family can sleep in peace.
There are many other great organizations that you might partner with. Check out these websites:
Take a stand and do something this month to fight malaria! Let me know if you need a copy of the lesson I did–I love to share!
Need a world map to use for your children’s mission activities? This colorful fabric map is light, portable, and will do the trick in most cases. It’s 3 x 5 foot, a good size to use with groups. Whether I’m doing an activity with my church kids or packing for an overseas ministry trip, this fabric map is one of the first things I grab. Here are three prayer activities your children will enjoy that use this map.
Stickers for the World
Materials: fabric world map, blindfold, stickers (Bible, cross, or heart shapes)
Directions: Attach the map to a wall. Blindfold a child and give him a sticker. Direct the child to walk toward the map, touch it, and attach the sticker. Read the name of the country closest to the sticker. Pray for God’s word (Bible sticker) to come to the people who live in that country OR pray for the people in that country to receive Jesus (cross or heart sticker) into their hearts.
Kids Like Me
Materials: fabric world map
Directions: Lay the map on the floor. Have the children take off their shoes and sit around the map. Choose 4-5 children to stand on a country on the map. Read the names of the countries they choose. Let each child standing on the map pray for the children who live there, using one of the following categories. Here is a sample prayer: “God, please help the kids in Ecuador who like soccer to come to know you.”
same age same hair color
same eye color same grade
same name same favorite color
same sport or hobby same number of people in family
same kind of pet same favorite school subject
Materials: fabric world map, bandaids (don’t remove back), bag with the following 6 items: piece of fruit, cup, notebook, picture of house or house from Monopoly game, picture of mom and dad, medicine bottle
Directions: Lay the map on the floor. Have the children take off their shoes and sit around the map. Choose children to put a bandaid on each of the following continents: Europe, South America, Africa, North America, Asia, and Australia. Tell the children that many boys and girls around the world don’t have what they need to grow up healthy and strong. Choose a child to pull one item out of the bag. Talk about what it represents (see below). Have the child pick up a bandaid from the map and replace it with the item chosen from the bag. Pray for God to provide for the need represented. For example: “God, please help the kids in Asia to have the medicine and doctors they need to stay healthy.”
fruit=hunger home picture=homeless
notebook=no access to education mom and dad picture=orphans
cup=without clean water medicine=without healthcare
I just received a new Bible storybook that is great for preschoolers and beginning readers. My Awesome God includes 200 Bible stories with an equal representation from both the Old and New Testament. I appreciate that this storybook goes beyond the most popular Bible accounts, giving a well-rounded picture of God’s word. For example, it includes three entries from the Psalms and does a good job of covering the themes of Paul’s letters to the early churches.
This storybook emphasizes God as the main character of scripture. There’s an index in the back that summarizes many of God’s attributes, cross-referencing them with Bible stories. Each entry includes an application question for parents (or teachers) to discuss with children. Colorful, cartoon-like illustrations are loaded with details. Kid will love the expressions on the characters’ faces and will probably say, “Don’t turn the page yet.” See samples or purchase from DiscipleLand.read more
Earthquakes in Haiti, tsunamis in Japan, floods in New Zealand … how can we talk to our children about disasters and their impact? World Vision’s communications and media staff offer eight suggestions. To these ideas, I would add the following:
9. Encourage children to take their fears and concerns to a loving heavenly father. Share Bible verses with your children that speak of God’s invitation to come to Him whenever we feel afraid. Here are a few to get you started: Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:3-4; Isaiah 41:10, 13; Lamentations 3:57, and Matthew 10:29-31.
10. Assist children to memorize Psalm 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
11. Pray for children affected by the disaster, including their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Help children personalize their prayers. For example, pray for boys and girls who are the same age they are. Pray for families who have the same number of children as their family. Here’s a prayer for suffering children from Tony Kummer’s Ministry-to-Children website.
we pray for the suffering children whom we do not see.
We know that your eyes see their tears,
that your heart knows their sorrow,
that your hands can reach them now.
We remember that Jesus was once a child,
that poverty stole his bread,
that tyrants sought his life,
that his mother tasted tears.
We ask you to send friends for the lonely,
food for the hungry,
medicine for the sick,
saviors for the enslaved,
rescue for the perishing.
Give us the wisdom to do our part,
share our possessions,
leave our comforts,
lend them our voice,
send them our food,
love them with more than prayers.
We call on you in the name of your child Jesus.
The Cape Town Commitment came out of the Lausanne meetings last October. The document includes two sections — a confession of faith and a call to action. Here’s the call to action concerning children from Part 2, Section 5.
We commit ourselves to:
A) Take children seriously, through fresh biblical and theological enquiry that reflects on God’s love and purpose for them and through them, and by rediscovering the profound significance for theology and mission of Jesus’ provocative action in placing ‘a child in the midst’. Mark 9:33-37
B) Seek to train people and provide resources to meet the needs of children worldwide, wherever possible working with their families and communities, in the conviction that holistic ministry to and through each next generation of children and young people is a vital component of world mission.
C) Expose, resist, and take action against all abuse of children, including violence, exploitation, slavery, trafficking, prostitution, gender and ethnic discrimination, commercial targeting, and willful neglect.
© 2011 The Lausanne Movementread more
Last October, 4,000 leaders from more than 200 countries attended The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa. Through discussions and prayer, participants sought God’s direction to discern where the Church should invest its efforts and energies to most effectively respond to Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Recently, the Cape Town Commitment: A Confession of Faith and a Call to Action was released. Here’s Part 2, Section 5 concerning children.
All children are at risk. There are about two billion children in our world, and half of them are at risk from poverty. Millions are at risk from prosperity. Children of the wealthy and secure have everything to live with, but nothing to live for.
Children and young people are the Church of today, not merely of tomorrow. Young people have great potential as active agents in God’s mission. They represent an enormous under-used pool of influencers with sensitivity to the voice of God and a willingness to respond to him. We rejoice in the excellent ministries that serve among and with children, and long for such work to be multiplied since the need is so great. As we see in the Bible, God can and does use children and young people – their prayers, their insights, their words, their initiatives – in changing hearts. They represent ‘new energy’ to transform the world. Let us listen and not stifle their childlike spirituality with our adult rationalistic approaches.
© 2011 The Lausanne Movementread more
Tuesday, March 22 is World Water Day. This international observance draws attention to the water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis worldwide. What does this mean for us as followers of Jesus? The Bible has a lot to say about those of us who are blessed assisting those who are not so blessed. Check out Proverbs 3:27 and James 2:14-17. If you have running water in your house, have a flush toilet, and don’t have a family member with a water-borne disease, feel blessed. Here are some ways to learn more about this issue and take steps to bless others. The Water Family interactive web game helps children discover how much water their family uses and gives suggestions for conservation. Click here and here to learn more about water-related issues. Pray for children who live with these issues on a daily basis. We created the following activity to help families track their water use over one day and get involved in a water project.
Water Mark Activity
1. Put an empty Styrofoam cup in each room in your home. Put a marker or pen in each cup. Every time family members use water, have them place a tally mark on the outside of the nearest cup. Make sure to include these areas: take bath/shower, wash hair, wash hands, brush teeth, flush toilet, wash dishes, cook, make coffee/tea, drink tap water, do laundry, clean, iron clothes with steam, care for pets, wash car, and water grass/plants.
2. At the end of the day, count the tally marks on the cups. Add the estimated number of times family members used water at school, work, and activities outside the home. Divide the total by the number of people in your family to find out the average number of times each person uses water in one day.
3. Take the total number of times your family uses water in one day and multiply by two. Donate that number of dollars to an organization involved in water projects, sanitation, and hygiene education.
Blood: Water Mission
A few months ago I wrote about a young boy named Jacob, age 11. Jacob, along with his family attended the Red Card class. Jacob was very moved by the number of children dying every day because of hunger or a very preventable disease like malaria. Jacob dedicated his 2010 soccer season to raise money for malaria nets, and raised over $1100. The money raised was given to His Nets. The Denver Post featured Jacob’s story.
The Denver Nuggets decided to continue Jacob’s Nothing but Nets project; instead of soccer nets, it was basketball nets. On January 19, the Denver Nuggets donated $6 from each ticket sold in the upper level section of the Pepsi Center toward His Nets. KUSA- 9News in Denver told Jacob’s story. Take a moment and watch this story.
Jacob’s mother, Sheri, said, “It doesn’t have to be big, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others.” How is God calling you to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children?
Share your ideas with us!read more
Is your church starting to promote and recruit for summer short-term mission trips? Mine is. We have a combination of international ministry, cross-cultural ministry within our own country, and local inner-city outreach events. Most trips are geared for high schoolers and adults. A few are appropriate for children and their families. I have a hunch that most children don’t know a lot about why churches send out short-term teams and what kind of ministry takes place.
Molly’s Adventures in Missions is a great book that explains all of this to young children in simple language. An illustrated character, Molly, follows the short-term teams as they prepare, travel, minister, and report back to their congregation. The book introduces a wide variety of ministries. Young children will love searching for Molly in the photos. The book also gives children ways they can be involved in sending teams by learning about the places where the teams will serve, praying, and donating ministry supplies.
There’s even a Molly paper doll that can be cut out, laminated, and given to short-term teams to carry in their luggage. Teams can include Molly in trip photos. These can be used in follow-up reports for the children’s classes. This book is appropriate for children in preschool and early elementary grades.read more
I read this blog post written by my friend, Keith Moore with World Orphans. His blog post was well worth me posting on our blog. Please share with us your thoughts!
I will admit it upfront that this might be a stretch comparison, but do you think God might see that it all fits together.
For the sake of a comparison, using $400 a year to care for an orphan works out to be about US $ 160 Billion, for the estimated 40 million double orphans in the world. While that’s a lot of money, in the world view of things it isn’t much.
“Annual Estimate of the Cost of ‘Structures of Sin’
Money Laundering . . . . U.S.$ 1.5 trillion
White Collar Crime. . . . U.S.$ 1.5 trillion
Financial Fraud . . . . . . . U.S.$930 billion
Gambling . . . . . . . . . . . U.S.$ 815 billion
Organized Crime . . . . . . U.S.$ 750 billion
Tax Cheating . . . . . . . . . U.S.$ 250 billion
Drug Traffic. . . . . . . . . . U.S.$ 200 billion
Shoplifting. . . . . . . . . . . U.S.$ 100 billion
Computer Crime . . . . . . U.S.$ 51 billion
Pornography . . . . . . U.S.$ 25 billion
Arms Black Market . . . . U.S.$5.8 billion
Electronic Warfare . . . . . U.S.$5.8 billion
Credit Card Fraud . . . . . . U.S.$1 billion”
—Bryant Myers, Exploring World Mission, 2003, pg 47.
By this comparison the annual cost of caring for 40 million orphans falls somewhere between the cost of shoplifting and drug trafficking. It’s no where close to the “white collar crimes” that are in the trillions of dollars each year. Cutting drug trafficking and shop lifting in half, would cover caring for each double orphan.
Do you think that if the church impacts the lives of those involved shoplifting and drug use, they could turn that into a way to care for others?read more
Last week, my teammate Karen and I, sponsored Red-Hand Day. The Red Hand Day’s symbol is a red hand which has been used all over the world by many organizations in order to say NO to child recruitment and the use of child soldiers.
We held our event in a coffee house after school. Fifty parents and children wrote messages and added their hand prints. We displayed a military uniform and AK47 on a table close-by. What a conversation starter! As families finished, we gave them a prayer card to pray for children affected by war.
Please pray as we mail off the red hands this week to the UN Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also please pray for children of war. Children were created to grow and learn in a safe environment, not to fight adult battles.read more
My church just finished our annual mission emphasis events. This year’s theme was “imissions” and teaching focused on how missionaries use technology to advance the gospel. I work with the 1st-4th graders throughout the year to keep missions in the forefront of their minds and hearts. Because kids are so computer savvy (and because our large-group teaching space was finally wired for the internet!), we chose to focus on mission websites for children. We introduced them to six websites that help them learn about other cultures and provide ways for them to pray for their peers who have not heard about Jesus. We also showed them the “Today” video described below. Here’s the meat of the parent letter we sent home.
Caravan Friends website on peoples of South Asia from the International Mission Board. Includes many cultural and prayer activities for peoples of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Plenty of stories, cultural activities, and prayer requests.
Quest for Compassion website on poverty from Compassion International. Kids design their own travel buddy and can visit the countries of Bangladesh, Brazil, El Salvador, and Ghana.
DiscipleZone is the online portion of DiscipleLand Curriculum. Use the dials to choose Grade 1, Quarter A, and Lesson 1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the WorldWatch icon. You will see Part 1 of a 12-part continuing story on an unreached people group. Go back and click on Lesson 2 to see the second part of the story. Four stories (one for each quarter) are provided for each grade level. That’s 24 people groups to learn about and pray for.
SIM Kids website on missions in South America (Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru); Africa (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria); and Asia (China, India Pakistan, and Philippines). Loads of stories, activities, and prayer requests.
Sonlight Curriculum has an online section called “My Passport to India” with video clips, family devotions, crafts, games, and recipes. Travel with Chris to India through short video segments. Then do related activities. Includes family devotions and prayer requests.
“Today” is a 4-minute video that will inspire you. It’s the story of God’s heart for children, challenges that children face today, and how children who trust Jesus are serving in God’s kingdom. I highly recommend this for anyone serving in children’s ministry.read more
I attended a training course in 2006, titled “Working with Street Children”. The course was taught by Andy Sexton, who had many years experience in working with street children in Nairobi Kenya.
I just received an email from Andy announcing the launch of an exciting interactive website for anyone working with street children, or anyone who wants to become more educated on issues surrounding street children. The site is created by the 180 Degree Alliance.
Rather than being a one-way source of information, the focus of this website is about connection.
There are three main sections:
LEARN: Access the 180° ‘How To’ - one page documents written by a street children’s experts on issues such as ’Fundraising’ and ’How Not to Become Disheartened’ as well as recommended books and an expansive library of free, online/ downloadable resources.
SHARE: Here you have the opportunity to share and find out news and events, such as upcoming trainings to support you in your work.
DISCUSS: This third section is the most exciting part – here you can actually connect and interact with 180° members all over the world. So, if you’re struggling to know what to do about the kids you work with being addicted to drugs log in and find out what others are saying on the issue, if you know of something that might help, then jump in and suggest it. If you have a new problem not being discussed, start a new discussion and see what others have to say. It’s through ’discuss’ that we can really help each other with the problems you’re facing now.
So please log on and join up so that you can begin to learn, share and discuss with street children’s workers around the world.read more
According to the UN Convention of Children Rights, recruiting and using children under 18 as soldiers has been illegal since February 12, 2002. Nine years later, many countries have yet to ratify the treaty. Others do not enforce it. On February 12, children and youth around the world will stand against the recruitment and use of child soldiers by being part of the Red Hand Campaign. Human Rights Watch offers a free, downloadable resource pack that has examples of what many groups have done to commemorate Red Hand Day. For more information about child soldiers, click here and scroll down to the section on Children of War.
How To Participate In Red Hand Day:
1. Use red paint to make a hand print on a sheet of paper, and add a personal message about your desire to end the use of child soldiers. Organize others at your school or in your community to do the same.
2. Deliver your red hands to your local government representatives and ask them to work on behalf of child soldiers or send your red hands to the United Nations missions in New York of the countries that have not yet ratified the optional protocol that sets age 18 as the minimum age for serving in armed conflicts. Include a message urging them to do so as soon as possible. For a sample message and list of addresses, click here.
3. Upload photos or videos of your event here.
4. Pray for children who are living through the horrors of war. (See Day 29)read more
Fair trade could help millions of children just like these two:
I’m 7 years old and I work on a coffee plantation in Kenya. I have to reach up high to pick the ripe, red beans off of the coffee plants. To keep away bugs, the farmer sprayed the coffee plants with poisonous pesticides. About four million Kenyan children just like me are forced to work in hard, dangerous jobs.
I’m 10 years old and I live in Texas. I work on a farm to help my family earn money. One of my jobs is picking onions. I don’t go to school very much during planting or fall harvest. About 500,000 kids in the United States work on farms for little pay. Many of us miss months of school each year.
Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy safe working conditions. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited. Because workers are paid a fair, above-market price for their goods, they earn a living that enables them to take care of their family. This diminishes the need for their children to work. Fair trade eliminates the middleman so more of each dollar spent on products goes back into the pockets of the farmers and workers who actually produced the goods. Some of this money is reinvested in community development projects like schools. Education helps prevent the cycle of poverty that is closely connected with child labor. To find Fair Trade Certified™ products in the stores you frequent, click here.read more
It’s sometimes difficult to find missions materials for teens that are both engaging and informative. Here’s a new resource that fits the bill: Volume 4 of “The Waiting World” series. This special edition DVD contains six videos introducing the 10/40 Window and four worldviews prevalent among people groups in that region of the world: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and animism/tribalism. The sixth video is a music video set to Israel Houghton’s song, “We Speak to Nations.” The videos are short, 7-9 minutes each. They can be used to introduce a time of prayer for the nations or to help explain the worldview of a people group to whom church missionaries are ministering. Video content might also serve as a springboard for discussion with teens about elements of these worldviews that they observe in their own culture. To see sample videos or information on how to order this DVD, click here.
You can teach elementary-aged kids the same concepts featured in Volume 4 by using the “10/40 Window Kids” CD/DVD curriculum. If you want to go deeper with kids or are looking for mission-based VBS or summer programming materials, use the “THUMB Teacher’s Resource Kit,” also in CD/DVD format. This 6-lesson curriculum explores major non-Christian worldviews held by tribal, Hindu, unreligious (atheist), Muslim, and Buddhist groups. Each lesson includes a video, crafts, games, and other cultural activities. The kit includes 4 sets of Kids’ Prayer Cards to get your kids praying for children who don’t know Jesus.read more
Each February, thousands of boys and girls in grades 1-6 participate in hands-on ministry projects in their own community on the same day — Children’s Ministry Day®. This year’s event is on February 19! From feeding hungry people to visiting shut-ins, children across America follow God’s command to “put your love into action” (1 John 3:18). The theme of this year’s fourth annual event is Neighbor to Neighbor, based on Leviticus 19:18c, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) provides creative ideas that help groups develop and tailor projects to meet the needs in their own communities. Although WMU is an auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention, the suggested activities are generic enough to be used by other churches, Christian schools, homeschooling groups, and families.
WMU offers some free resources to help you promote your event as well as an inexpensive booklet with ministry ideas, parent letters, decorating ideas for classrooms, children’s sermons and skits, and learning activities. Need more ministry ideas? Check out what other groups have done.read more
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