Prayer Concerns for the week of May 20, 2013
· Please lift in prayer 14-month-old Talley who was born with defects in her heart, ears, nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract and now has been diagnosed with biliary atresia. Pray for a miracle of healing for Talley who needs a liver transplant or she will die by the time she is 2 years old. http://tinyurl.com/ctdd2ce
· Give God thanks for the staff and volunteers of New Day Foster Home for their tender care of Talley and so many other babies and toddlers born with severe health problems. Pray God will sustain and encourage them in this special work with children who have been abandoned because of their medical issues.
· Please keep in prayer Russia’s 600,000 “orphans” in what is known as the third great wave of orphaned children (the first two followed both world wars). Pray for these children—70 to 90 percent of whom have birth parents still living—pray for those who are either placed with relatives or in orphanages that are already overflowing.
· Pray for children in state-run orphanages—many have at least one disability. Pray for those who were born with a disability caused by alcohol or drug consumption during pregnancy. Please pray for those who have developed disabilities during their stay in state-run orphanages—every month in an institutional setting has a negative physical impact on a child’s brain.
· Pray Russian adoptive parents will receive the support they need to raise children with special needs or medical problems. An estimated 10,000 children are returned to orphanages every year by frustrated adoptive parents.
· Pray for a change of heart when it comes to the way Russian bureaucracy deals with families under stress. Pray the traditional patterns will change. Instead of taking custody of disabled children and children of parents unable to cope with them, pray the focus will shift to helping families stay together. Pray that adoption and foster care of toddlers and older children will be promoted. http://tinyurl.com/dxszla5
· Please hold Emily and Jacques close in prayer as they grieve the death of their newborn baby girl, Addy Hope. Pray for God’s comfort and peace to surround these parents and their four other daughters, 7-year-old Dryden, 5-year-old Soleil, 4-year-old Mackenzie, and 3-year-old Lily, during this season of loss and sadness. Pray for continued healing for Lily and Mackenzie who were adopted a year ago from China and who each have significant health challenges. http://tinyurl.com/cur5vca http://tinyurl.com/c885z2a http://tinyurl.com/d2lnpp2
· Please keep in prayer children with learning differences as they face many challenges at school and throughout life. Pray for the one in ten school children in the United States who experience learning differences. Pray all children with learning differences will receive the proper diagnosis early on and find support and help to learn coping and compensation skills. Give thanks to God for the creative adults who find better ways to reach and teach children with learning differences. http://tinyurl.com/cbdxrr5 http://tinyurl.com/cul3h75
· Pray for parents of children with learning disabilities as they negotiate the diagnostic and treatment options available for their children. Pray for a community of support for parents who are feeling overwhelmed or isolated by their children’s conditions.read more
Prayer Concerns for the week of May 6, 2013
· Please keep in prayer nine girls, between ages 13 and 17, who were trafficked into prostitution in Ottawa by three other teenage girls. The victims were lured to a home using social media, given alcohol or drugs to control them, and then taken by taxi to the homes of men who allegedly paid to have sex with them. Pray for the emotional, physical, and spiritual healing of these young victims of sexual exploitation. Pray for justice for these teenage girls…that those who prostituted or abused them will be held accountable for their actions.
· Pray for the teenage girls, two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old, who ran this alleged prostitution ring and who now face charges including human trafficking, procuring for prostitution, abduction, forcible confinement, robbery, sexual assault, assault, uttering threats, and printing and publishing child pornography.
· Pray for the four men who allegedly paid to have sex with the trafficked girls…that they will come to truly understand how their behavior devastates young lives. http://tinyurl.com/cxzn94d
· Continue to keep the estimated 320,000 homeless people close in prayer as they face evictions from their make-shift homes in temporary camps set up in Port-au-Prince after the January 2010 earthquake. Pray for children and families who’ve been evicted without notice off public spaces by Haitian authorities or private property by landowners ready to reclaim their land. Pray for an increase in affordable housing in Port-au-Prince—the housing shortage was severe even before the quake with about 70 percent of the population living in slums.
· Pray for the girls and women who prostitute themselves to be able to survive or feed their families. Pray for those who struggle to survive in the camps. Poverty, overcrowding, and horrible living conditions coupled with the scarcity of jobs often compel women and girls to exchange sex for food. http://tinyurl.com/cd967ez
· Keep the 38 children and the staff and volunteers at Naomi’s Village in prayer as they deal with heavy rains that have caused mudslides near this home for orphaned and at-risk children. Pray the roads leading to Naomi’s Village will become passable soon. Please keep in prayer 2-year-old Francis and 7-year-old Jane, the two newest children at Naomi’s Village, as they adjust to life in their new home. https://naomisvillage.com/
· Give God thanks that the CURE International Hospital on the Kijabe mission station didn’t sustain structural damage in a mudslide there. Thanks be to God the patients and staff are all safe! Please pray for CURE’s staff and volunteers as they assess the impact this mudslide will have on the hospital and the other ministries in which they are involved at the mission station. http://cure.org/hospitals/
· Pray for those who have lost homes and loved ones in the flooding and mudslides. An estimated 90,000 people have been displaced by the flooding and 62 have died, including children buried alive in landslides. Pray for those who have lost their homes, crops, and livestock. Please pray for those who are stranded and for those without access to food, dry shelter, clean water, and medical care.
· Pray Kenya’s government will be able to implement water harvesting and water management during these periods of heavy rain as their country swings between drought and flooding almost every year. http://tinyurl.com/c6l6l76
· Please pray for children who are abused and neglected. Pray for the safety and healing of each child abuse victim. Pray they have someone they can turn to in times of crisis or emergency. Pray every child has the opportunity to grow up in a nurturing environment, free from harm and fear. Pray for raised public awareness of child abuse and neglect. Pray more people will step forward when they recognize a situation of child abuse and report it.
· Pray for the women and men who work for child protective organizations around the country as they serve abused and at-risk children and struggling families. Give God thanks they are willing do very challenging and difficult work—investigating situations of abuse and neglect, removing children who have been hurt, working with parents to help them regain custody of their children, and placing children in safe homes. Pray for the safety, emotional health, spiritual well being, and leadership skills of these workers. Pray God will bless them with wisdom in their interactions with children, parents, advocates, and those in the legal system.read more
Prayer Concerns for the week of April 29, 2013
· Please continue to keep Nancy* and the children for whom she cares at Hallelujah Orphanage in Burma held close in prayer. Pray God will provide the resources Nancy and her family need to care for all 11 children (ranging in age from 9 to 18) in their home. Pray God will bring complete healing to Nancy who has been suffering from severe stomach pain for quite some time. Please pray this pain will be relieved soon.
*Name changed for confidentiality and/or protection.
· Pray for the little girl at this orphanage who didn’t pass her exam when all the other children passed theirs. Give God thanks these children have the opportunity to attend school and receive an education. Thanks be to God the children are able to attend a special conference at a church near their home where they will learn more about Jesus Christ.
· Keep the people of China’s Sichuan province close in prayer as they deal with the aftereffects of a powerful 6.6 magnitude earthquake on April 20, 2013. Pray medical and humanitarian assistance will be able to reach the thousands who were injured as many roads in this mountainous region were made impassable by the quake. http://tinyurl.com/crlvql5
· Pray for children and families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, the 712 aftershocks, or the landslides triggered by the quake. Pray for those who don’t have safe or warm shelter in this mountainous area that has also been experiencing recent rains.
· Give thanks to God that no schools collapsed in this quake. In the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 70,000 people in May of 2008, many poorly constructed schools collapsed, killing hundreds of students.
· Please pray for the families and friends of those killed in this disaster. Pray God will comfort them and provide them with a community of support and care. http://tinyurl.com/c5erxyk
· Pray for the families and friends of two girls who committed suicide in unrelated incidents last weekend. Pray for 17-year-old Brooke’s family as they grieve and struggle to understand why she took her life. Pray for Andrea’s family as they also mourn the life of this eighth grader who was allegedly bullied at school.
· Please continue in prayer for the victims of the April 15, 2013 bombings in Boston. Pray for healing and comfort for the 264 people, including at least 10 children, who were injured when two bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Pray for the families and friends of the three people, including an 8-year-old boy, who were killed. http://tinyurl.com/cgp8l9k http://tinyurl.com/c5gejfu
o Please keep in prayer those who witnessed this devastating attack, especially the children who saw the carnage of damaged limbs and bloodied bodies.
o Pray for first responders and hospital staff who treated the injured.
o And pray for the young man who allegedly participated in this attack.
o Pray for the healing grace of God to be with all those affected by this horrible attack.
o Pray God will comfort the families and friends of the 14 people, 10 of whom were first responders, killed when a fire ignited chemicals at the fertilizer plant and triggered a massive explosion.
o Pray God’s healing touch will be upon those who were injured in this huge explosion.
o Please keep in prayer those whose homes in the residential area near the plant were damaged or destroyed by the explosion. Pray for children and families who were displaced by it.
Prayer Concerns for the week of April 15, 2013
Democratic Republic of Congo
· Keep the children and people affected by fighting in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo held close in prayer. Pray for the 800,000 people who have been displaced from their homes and now live in unofficial camps where they don’t have access to humanitarian aid. http://tinyurl.com/cagwkfe
· Pray for children who don’t have a safe place to live, enough food to eat, clean water to drink, access to medical care, or an opportunity to go to school. Only one in nine people displaced by this fighting in North Kivu province live in an official IDP (internally displaced person) camp where aid is distributed regularly.
· Please pray for the safety of girls and women in the informal as well as official camps. Security for females in these camps is very poor.
· Give thanks to God that the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is taking on the task of coordinating humanitarian aid to these informal IDP camps. Pray aid is distributed to the neediest children.
· Give God thanks for the major breakthrough in getting food aid to displaced people in Sudan’s war-torn Blue Nile state. The government had refused to allow the United Nations to deliver emergency assistance to this area until just recently. Pray for children in this region where malnutrition rates for those under age five are extremely high.
· Continue to pray for peace between the Sudanese army and rebel militias who have been fighting for more than a year and a half. http://tinyurl.com/c8sxdbf
United Kingdom, Scotland
· Pray for young people and children who are trafficked into Scotland to work as sex slaves or domestic servants, tend illegal marijuana factories as forced labor, or to work in organized crime syndicates. Pray for the safety of these young victims who come from Asia, Africa, or Eastern Europe. http://tinyurl.com/bt6ayka
· Give God thanks for the change in the way police view and treat trafficking victims… that children, young people, and adult trafficking victims will no longer be treated like criminals.
· Pray law enforcement officers will be able to identify victims of trafficking and assist them in finding the help and support they need.
· Please pray for trafficking victims who are held in Scottish prisons…there are more victims imprisoned than traffickers. Pray for justice for these victims and those who trafficked them into slavery.
· Keep in prayer the thousands of young girls across the United States who submit photos of themselves to online beauty pageants on social media sites where they are judged based on their appearance.
o Pray for the safety of those who make themselves vulnerable to adult strangers by failing to keep their identities and locations private on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
o Pray for young girls, some as young as 12 or 13, who are vulnerable to verbal attacks or hateful comments about their appearance, especially at a sensitive period of their development, by others on the social media site. http://tinyurl.com/dy34hop
o Pray for parents who struggle to keep up with, understand, or monitor the fast-paced changes in technology and social media their daughters and sons use with ease and regularity.
· Continue to keep close in prayer the children and youth living on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. Pray for their safety and protection from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Please pray for strong, courageous leaders to come forward in the tribe to protect the children living on this reservation. http://tinyurl.com/bv2lkoaread more
Prayer Concerns for the week of April 8, 2013
· Continue to pray for the children of Burma who have been affected by anti-Muslim violence north of the Burmese capital city Naypyitaw (Yangon). Pray for those whose homes have been burned down by rioters. Please keep in prayer the 2,000 people who are now living in two make-shift camps. http://tinyurl.com/clvssjc http://tinyurl.com/b595v2o
· Pray for peace between Buddhists, the majority of Burmese citizens, and Muslims, who make up about five percent of the population. Pray Burma’s government will protect the vulnerable and promote peace between its divided ethnic groups.
Central African Republic
· Please keep the children and people of Central African Republic (C.A.R.) close in prayer during this time of political upheaval. Rebels overthrew the existing government in a coup late last month, further destabilizing this former French colony. Give thanks to God that international peace keepers working with rebel forces were able to halt a three-day-long looting of homes, businesses, U.N. offices, and hospitals.
· Pray for children who need food and clean water, as many stores lack supplies and running water isn’t available in many parts of the capital city of Bangui.
· Pray for children from the northern part of C.A.R. who were recruited to fight with the rebels.
· Please pray for the new leaders of this impoverished country as they work to establish a power-sharing government and set elections. Pray they will seek God’s guidance for C.A.R., a country rich in gold, diamond, and uranium deposits, but one of the least developed and most unstable countries in the world. http://tinyurl.com/c2ghqyd http://tinyurl.com/cjoev2h
North Korea, South Korea, United States
- Pray for the children and people of North Korea, South Korea, and the United States who are affected by the increased rhetoric and stronger threats of war from North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un. Pray for this leader as he makes aggressive comments about going to war with the United States and South Korea. Pray for peace and stability in this region and please pray that increased tensions won’t result in armed conflict. http://tinyurl.com/c3or63c
· Please keep in prayer an 8-year-old little girl who was allegedly sexually abused by her former stepfather for almost two years. Pray for her healing, both emotional and physical, from the abuse and from the ordeal of having to testify in court against him recently. Pray for the 32-year-old man accused of sexually abusing this little one when she was 6 and 7 years old. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole. Pray for the truth to be revealed in this case and that God’s justice will prevail. http://tinyurl.com/ca5v7tpread more
Mosquitoes–buzzing around your pillow in the middle of the night, swarming your campsite, leaving you with itchy red welts. What if those annoying insects were carrying malaria? Malaria is a tropical disease caused by a microscopic parasite that enters the bloodstream. Mild cases result in flu-like symptoms and weakness. Left untreated, malaria causes vital organs to shut down. For children with less developed immune systems, malaria is often fatal. In Africa, a child dies every 45 seconds from malaria-related causes. The good news is that malaria is totally preventable. Get your kids and youth involved in addressing this huge problem by observing World Malaria Day on April 25. Here are some materials you can use.
Stand4Kids has an inexpensive, downloadable lesson on malaria called “Mosquito Beware: How Bed Nets Help Prevent Malaria”. Through hands-on activities, kids will learn what malaria is, how it spreads, it’s effects on children, and what can be done to prevent it. The lesson includes two stories of ways kids have raised money for bed nets.
Through Sweet Sleep’s Nickels for Nets program, children can provide bed nets for orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti and Africa. Download the free Nickels for Nets curriculum to educate children on the importance of using mosquito nets. You can order free Nickels for Nets collection boxes for the students to take home. To participate in this program, please call 615.730.7671 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Group Publishing and World Vision have created a way for kids to squash malaria through their KISS malaria goodbye campaign. Order your free kit. It comes with a 7-foot mosquito net, 50 Bugs Prayer-er clips, 50 donation cards, and a promotional DVD and posters. Donated money goes to help prevent malaria in Mali.
Working with junior high or high school kids? Check out Compassion International’s Bite Back Campaign. Order the kit for organizing your own fundraising event. It includes a Bite Back DVD, mosquito net, donation form, bracelets and stickers, a fundraising ideas sheet , a stencil, posters, and brochures. There’s even a template for creating your own, on-line giving campaign.read more
World Water Day is March 22. This year’s theme is water cooperation. Stand4Kids has a downloadable lesson called “Every Last Drop.” It addresses issues that children without access to clean water face. For ages 5-10, it includes demonstrations, photos (Powerpoint format), a Bible passage, prayer time, and optional Week for Water giving project.
I did this lesson with my 1st-6th grade AWANA classes and they learned so much (AWANA has a children at risk initiative that children can donate to, like the Adopt-a-Club program.) The thing the children loved most was the dirty water demonstration. The thought of families drinking water from the same source used for bathing, washing clothes and dishes, and also used by animals grossed them out. For the prayer time, I added props for the children to hold that reminded them of water issues kids face. Here’s what I used:
- ruler: the long distances children must walk to get water
- slinky: carrying heavy water compresses and damages neck bones and the spine
- diploma (rolled piece of paper tied with ribbon): hours spent fetching water prevents kids from going to school
- medicine bottle: drinking dirty water makes children sick
- Bible: children not only need access to clean water, but also the hope of Jesus
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Last year, Americans purchased 2 million pairs of new shoes. To make more room in their closets, they discarded more than 300 million pairs of gently-worn shoes, many of which ended up in landfills. Meanwhile … more than 300 million children worldwide do not have one pair to call their own. Going without shoes exposes boys and girls to injury and infection from cuts, burns, punctures, and bites. Imagine scavenging in a garbage dump or walking many miles to fetch water for your family — without shoes to protect your feet. Barefoot children are more susceptible to soil-transmitted parasites like hookworm and roundworm. Lack of shoes, a required part of a school uniform, prevents many children from getting an education.
Engage your kids in learning about this issue and becoming a part of the solution. We presented this topic to the elementary kids at my church last year in connection with a service project. It grew into a 30-minute lesson for ages 5-11 called Choose Shoes. We created a PowerPoint to introduce kids to shoe issues around the world. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. The lesson also includes a small group activity, Bible time, prayer, and project suggestions.
If you decide to do a suggested project, the lesson also has related books and movie clips to keep the momentum going. Since our project spanned several months, we created a bulletin board graph. Our goal was 400 pairs of shoes. I cut the shoes off four bulletin board children and gave them construction paper bare feet. Every time we collected 50 pairs of shoes, the bulletin board children received one of their shoes back.
These projects are fun because they are so hands-on, but don’t forget the spiritual aspect. During your project wrap-up, have a shoe dedication ceremony. Let your kids hold a pair of shoes they donated. Lead your children in praying for those who will receive the shoes. Pray that they will have the opportunity to learn about Jesus and follow him for a lifetime.read more
World Refugee Day is June 20. Last year, persecution, conflict, and natural disaster forced 43.7 million people to leave behind relatives, friends, homes, livelihoods, and all things familiar. More than half of all refugees are children. Here are resources to help you introduce children to the topic of refugees.
- Home Away from Home: How Children Find Hope When they Lose Their Homes is a 1–hour lesson from World Vision that explores reasons for homelessness with an emphasis on refugees. Grades 1-3.
- Christian Aid in the UK created Far From Home, lessons to use in a school assembly context to help students empathize with the situation of people who have to leave their homes. Case studies from Angola, Bangladesh, and Burma explore some of the reasons that force people to become refugees. Includes Powerpoint of photos. You can download free lessons for ages 7-11 and 11-14
BOOKS (available from Amazon.com)
- Brothers of Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams. Driven from his village home by the soldiers, Garang treks with other boys nearly 1,000 miles across the Sudan border—first to Ethiopia, and later to Kenya. He finds shelter in refugee camps and meets an American aid worker. Can Tom help? 40 pp., ages 9-12.
- Dia’s Story Cloth by Dia Cha. Based on the author’s life, this book chronicles the experiences of a Hmong family who fled their native Laos, lived in a refugee camp in Thailand, and eventually emigrated to the United States. Illustrations are based on a traditional Hmong story cloth. 24 pp., ages 7-10.
- Four Feet Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams. When relief workers bring clothing to a refugee camp in Pakistan, Lina is thrilled to find a sandal that fits her foot perfectly – until she spots another girl holding the matching shoe. Describes daily life in a refugee camp – washing clothes in the river, waiting in line for water, and watching for their names to appear on the list to go to America. 32 pp., ages 6-9.
- Give Me Shelter: Stories About Children Who Seek Asylum by Miriam Halahmy. Short stories from youth around the world — Kosovo, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Eritrea, Zaire, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Zimbabwe, and Kurdistan. Spotlights people who have been forced to leave their homes or families to seek help and shelter elsewhere. 127 pp., ages 9-12.
- The Long Road by Luis Garay. When civil war breaks out in Jose’s Central American country, he and his mother are forced to flee their home. Addresses paperwork and red tape, nights in a refugee hostel, and the family’s struggle to survive from the viewpoint of a child. 32 pp., ages 6-9.
- Making It Home: Real-Life Stories from Children Forced to Flee by Beverly Naidoo. First-person accounts of children displaced by war describe the horror left behind, the family separation, and the struggle to adjust to a new place, whether as a refugee in a camp or as an asylum seeker in the U.S. 128 pp., ages 9-16.
New resources added to the Red Card Books list:
God’s Heart for Children
Just a Minute: In the Heart of a Child, One Moment … Can Last Forever by Dr. Wess Stafford and Dean Merrill, (Moody Publishers, 2012). Inspiring stories reinforce the value of children in God’s eyes and demonstrate how our interactions with them can change them forever. Hard cover, 224 pp. Adult. Available from Amazon.com.
A Hungry World: Understanding the Global Food Crisis, (World Vision, 2005). Booklet provides 8 hours of material for teaching about global food insecurity. Includes background information, case studies, group activities, prayer materials and action ideas. Grades 6-12. Available from www.worldvisionresources.org
Not Just a One-Night Stand: Ministry with the Homeless by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy, (Discipleship Resources, 2009). Based on the ministry experiences at their own church in Texas, the authors gives creative approaches to ministry among the marginalized. Paperback, 128 pp. Adult. Available from Amazon.com.
When Do We Eat? Understanding World Hunger and Doing Something About It, (World Vision, 2010). 1-hour lesson to help children understand the causes of world hunger and learn how they can make a difference. Grades 1-3. Available at www.worldvisionresources.org.
Home Away from Home: How Children Find Hope When they Lose Their Homes (World Vision, 2010). 1–hour lesson explores reasons for homelessness with an emphasis on refugees. Grades 1-3. Available from World Vision at www.worldvisionresources.org.
What do strings of Christmas lights, water buckets, and graham crackers have in common? They’re props used in a lesson that introduces your kids to the state of the world and paves the way for informed prayer. You could use lesson activities in conjunction with two major prayer events coming soon:
-May 27: Global Day of Prayer
-June 2-3: World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk
It’s a Small World gives your kids the background they need before they pray. This fun lesson introduces 1st-5th graders to the global village through a demonstration that shrinks the world population to 20 people. Children learn about the major languages spoken in the world and issues that many of their peers face on a daily basis (lack of healthy food, clean air, safe water, and electricity). The lesson also addresses the spiritual condition of the peoples of the world, including those who have never heard of Jesus. It’s a Small World takes 25-30 minutes and is highly interactive. It’s great for mixed-age groups. The lesson comes as a downloadable PDF and costs $5.
After the demonstration, lead a time of prayer using some of these free materials for children:
-Global Day of Prayer’s downloadable, 10-day prayer guide for children.
-Viva International’s downloadable, children’s prayer booklet for the World Weekend of Prayer.
World Water Day is March 22. This year’s theme is Water and Food Security. Did you know that 70% of the water used on earth goes into agriculture and food production? That juicy burger you’re eating took 634 gallons (2400 liters) of water to produce from start to finish. Check out these resources that explain how water use and food sustainability go hand-in-hand. Here are resources on water issues to use with elementary age children.
- Stand4Kids: Every Last Drop lesson addresses issues that children without access to clean water face. Includes demonstrations, photos, a Bible passage, prayer time, and optional Week for Water giving project. Ages 5-10.
- LifeWater International: WASH (Water, Sanitation Hygiene) Around the World 5-lesson download includes short stories of real children in five countries with discussion questions. Ages 3-11.
- WaterAid: Water Around the World Slide Show. Ages 5-8. Pumping It Up lesson with an experiment that demonstrates how a well pump brings up underground water. Ages 8-11.
- Blood:Water Mission: Lemon:Aid project to raise money for wells, water filters, and rain tanks for communities in Africa.
New books added to Red Card Kids:
- Lessons from a Street Kid by Craig Kielburger. Ages 6-9.
Take A Stand
- Free the Children: A Young Man Fights Against Child Labor and Proves that Children Can Change the World by Craig Kielburger. High school, young adult.
- It Takes A Child by Craig Kielburger. Ages 6-9.
New movies added to Red Card Kids.
- Fields of Mudan, 2007. R. Mudan, a frightened young Asian girl, is forced into sex slavery by a brutal child brothel owner. She and another brothel girl courageously choose to live their lives as innocent, ordinary little girls despite their conditions and the bleak future that awaits them. Run time: 23 minutes. Mature audiences.
Take A Stand
- It Takes A Child, 1998, PG. True story of how the Free the Children movement began with a young boy who advocates against child labor. 56 min. Grades 5-12.
February 26 is Freedom Sunday. It’s designed to build awareness about human slavery and trafficking in local churches. Here are some Biblical-based lessons and projects for children on these issues.
- Loose Change to Loosen Chains is a student-led campaign for elementary to college students to combat modern-day slavery while learning about the reality of injustice today. Order materials from the International Justice Mission. IJM uses money donated through this program to rescue victims of slavery and other forms of oppression.
- Break the Chains: The Power of Choice – Free download lesson on human trafficking for older elementary kids. Look in the Bible Study section. This is part of the Break the Chains Initiative from the Evangelical Covenant Church.
- Childhood Lost – Free download lesson on child labor for elementary children from Stand4Kids. Look in the Bible Study section under New Children’s Curriculum.
October 16 is World Food Day. In our world today, 925 million people are undernourished (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or FAO). This is 13.6% of the world population! Because their bodies are still developing, children are effected most by hunger. Every five seconds, a boy or girl dies from a hunger-related disease. Hunger has many facets and layers. Here are three.
Starvation: Starvation caused by famine, like the one currently threatening families in the Horn of Africa, is the most extreme form of hunger. Starvation often leads to death, especially in children.
Food insecurity: Not all hunger is caused by famine. For millions, lack of access to sufficient amounts of nutritious food is an ongoing, daily reality. Families eat the bare minimum to stay alive. Children go to bed each night, not knowing where their next meal will come from.
Hidden Hunger: In addition, two billion people exist on a limited diet. Because children eat the same thing every day rather than a variety of foods, they don’t get the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth and development. The resulting malnutrition has serious consequences. For example, children with Vitamin A deficiency have severe problems with eyesight and some become blind.
Here’s a map put out by the FAO. It shows that state of undernourishment in countries around the world. Did you know that there’s more than enough food to provide adequate nutrition to everyone on the planet? Here’s a simple simulation you can do with families in your church, school, or homeschooling group. It shows that hunger is more about an imbalance in food distribution than a shortage of food.read more
Just updated the children at risk suggested books on our Red Card Kids website. Recent books include:
The Least of These: Lessons Learned from Kids On the Street by Ron Ruthruff (New Hope Publishers, 2010).
Working with the Street Children: An Approach Explored by Andrew Williams (Russell House Publishing, 2011).
Love Has a Face: Mascara, a Machete and One Woman’s Miraculous Journey with Jesus in Sudan by Michele Perry (Chosen, 2009).
Children of War
My Father, the Maker of Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide by Eric Irivuzumgabe and Tracey D. Lawrence (Baker Books, 2010).
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.
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.
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
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
Friday is World Pneumonia Day. Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that kills more children under the age of five than any other disease – more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. The lungs of a child with pneumonia fill with fluid until they can no longer function properly. Warning signs are a cough, fever, and labored breathing. Left untreated, pneumonia can be deadly. The medical world knows how to prevent children from catching pneumonia and how to treat those suffering with this illness. Children’s lives can be saved with the widespread use of vaccines and improved access to antibiotics. Unfortunately, many boys and girls in developing countries lack access to life-saving vaccines and only 20% of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics needed to recover.
Ways to get involved:
• Wear blue jeans or blue clothing on World Pneumonia Day. (Children often turn blue when they have pneumonia.) Show that you care about the children who will die from pneumonia this year.
• Send a PneumoniaGram to your public officials, asking them to make the fight against pneumonia a priority. The Global Coalition will compile and deliver these to world leaders with a unified message that the fight against pneumonia is one we must win.
• Learn all that you can about pneumonia through the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia. Spread the word through your networks.
• Give to help vaccinate children, provide needed antibiotics, or train health workers to treat children after they get pneumonia.read more
I met Kendall’s dad at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Conference last spring. Our exhibit booth was near his Kids Caring 4 Kids booth. We joked about how similar the mission and name of their organization was to ours, Stand4Kids. We also presented together in a workshop on developing a heart for orphans in children. Kendall’s dad (and self-proclaimed #1 assistant) shared how his daughter’s love for children affected by AIDS sprung from her personal experience with a rare liver disease. Kendall started Kids Caring 4 Kids when she was 11. Her nonprofit raise awareness about vulnerable children in Africa. What excites me about Kendall’s organization is that she invites children to become part of the solution to some really big issues and has created a structure that makes it easier for kids to take a stand for their peers.
Recently, Kendall was nominated for Glamour Magazine’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Award and SHE WON! Congratulations, Kendall. Here’s the article from Glamour’s website.
Earlier this year you nominated your real-life heroes, and then voted—in droves. Your winner? Courageous 17-year-old Kendall Ciesemier. Ciesemier suffers from a rare liver disease and at age 11 was facing her second liver transplant. But she asked friends not to send gifts: “How many teddy bears do you really need?” Instead, having learned about AIDS orphans in Africa, she requested that well-wishers donate to World Vision, an international charity. “I couldn’t imagine living like that: grieving the death of your parents and having to [support] your younger siblings,” she says. That appeal raised $15,000, prompting her to start her own nonprofit, Kids Caring 4 Kids, which helps fund a girls’ dormitory in Kenya and meals for AIDS patients and orphans in Zambia. So far Ciesemier, who’s now healthy, has raised more than $840,000—with a goal of $1 million before she heads to college next fall. Impressive! Support her work at kc4k.org.read more
I met Janice last summer. Janice and her family were students in a Red Card class I was team teaching. Janice had lived in an orphanage called Children Shelter of Cebu (CSC) in the Philippines. After living there for four years, she was adopted by an American family right before she turned 16. This is her story of the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes that made their way to CSC.
“One Saturday, right about lunch, huge boxes came to our orphanage, but we didn’t know what was in them. Then our house parents told us that after we ate lunch we had to take a nap and after napping, the gifts would be given to us. When we heard the word “gifts” we were all so excited that we forgot the keyword “nap.” So, instead of taking a nap, I was staring down at the gifts from the railing upstairs most of the time. I could not believe it … gifts?! After the nap hours, we were told to come down. Everybody was racing down the stairs, excited to receive their presents. I mean, who would want to wait that long?
When I was given mine, I was so surprise and grateful! I mean candy canes?!! It was the very first time I’d seen a candy cane and I had no idea its flavor is mint. I love minty flavors and candy canes were just the right candy for me. I got more things I really wanted. It was the very first big gift I have received. The box was overflowing with cool stuff, and it was very overwhelming. I couldn’t stop smiling, I was just so happy and surprised.”
Check out, Operation Christmas Child, the current Take a Stand Opportunity.read more
OK, fess up. How many bars of hotel soap and little shampoo bottles reside in your bathroom cabinet? Maybe you’ll pack them next time you travel, but often, they collect dust. Could they be put to better use? What about the partially used toiletries you leave in the hotel room? Every day in North America, hotels discard millions of pounds of soap and little plastic bottles of shampoo. These products usually end up in landfills.
Meanwhile, millions of children around the world don’t have any soap at all – not one bar! According to clinical studies, the combination of bar soap and proper hygiene education can reduce the effects of acute respiratory illness (pneumonia) and diarrheal disease by up to 65%. Combined, these diseases are the leading causes of death amongst children under the age of 5, killing 3.5 million children annually (World Health Organization).
Wasting soap – no soap. What’s the solution? What if the partially used bars of soap that you leave behind in your hotel shower could be recycled and potentially save lives? Well, it’s happening. A non-profit group called Clean the World recycles old hotel soaps into new soap and shampoo for developing countries and homeless shelters in the United States.
How does it work? First, Clean the World collects and sorts discarded soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion product donations from participating hospitality partners. Hundreds of hotels and bed and breakfasts collect used soap for Clean the World. Manufacturers donate additional hygiene products. Next, in its Orlando, Florida lab, Clean the World cooks the soap in a process to remove impurities before reshaping it into 2-ounce bars. Then Clean the World, in conjunction with partner organizations, distributes recycled soap products, along with appropriate educational materials, to impoverished countries worldwide as well as homeless shelters in the United States.
For example, Clean the World partners with World Vision in their ongoing WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) program. With operations in more than 100 countries, World Vision has the on-the-ground capability to distribute the recycled soap and provide essential hygiene education where it is most needed.
Ways you can help?
- Check those bathroom cabinets. Maybe you have soap to donate.
- Do you know someone who runs a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast who could donate soap? Someone who works for a company that manufactures soap or shampoo? Let them know about Clean the World.
- Considering hosting a Million Bars of Soap for Hope drive in your community.
Get more details here.read more
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