by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
Here’s an idea that you can adapt to your family, taking into account the age range of members and time available. A piece of poster board is ideal for this, but you can use a large sheet of blank paper or cardboard.
Together you’ll make a display of five common scenarios for children at risk – for now, thinking internationally. Down the left side of the poster board or paper (positioning it in perpendicular mode), print the capital letters: HURTS. Space the letters so they are placed evenly from top to bottom. Older kids, with some adult help, can manage this using a dark color marker. If you’re using paper, you can have a family member work at the computer and print out the following:
Hungry – Kids sometimes have to eat food out of garbage cans.
Unchurched – Kids sometimes never get the chance to hear about Jesus.
Runaways – Kids sometimes live on the streets (even under the streets!).
Tragic targets – Kids sometimes have to fight as soldiers.
Sick – Kids sometimes lack food and medical attention to keep them alive.
There should be space between the lines (see above) so you can fill in information you find on line and in magazines. Photos work to illustrate the situations, as do drawings made by your family members.
As you work on your poster, take time to pray for children at risk who suffer in these situations. How about this? Print the five categories listed above, one each on a 3X5 card. Inflate a world globe ball and toss it up. The family member who catches it picks a country that his thumb or finger touches. He takes a card and then prays for kids in that country who could be hungry, unchurched, runaways, tragic targets, or sick depending on the card he picks.
An interesting family discussion topic: Although we think of these things happening to kids primarily in other countries, what about in our community? Are there children here who are hungry, unchurched, runaways, gang members, or sick? How do we know? Turn this into intercessory prayer, too.
Next time, I’ll supply five paragraph-long, mini-stories to illustrate each line on the poster. Share these and pray as you go. Compassion grows when we feel sorry for another’s troubles, and we do something about it. Prayer is ‘doing!’