Monday, December 20, 2010

Put "Feet to Their Faith" With a Service Project through World Help causelife!

When it comes to goals for children's ministry they may vary somewhat from church to church, but we all can agree the primary goal is for children to learn of God's grace, love and forgiveness and choose to put their trust in Him. Once a child has made that decision, then our goals focus on helping them learn to know and walk with God. While all the facts in God's Word matter and we do want our children to know them, we do not want to just fill their heads with facts. We know our children need to remember, understand and live their faith. If we are serious about helping children learn how to live their faith, we need to intentionally provide opportunities for them to learn how to "Put Feet to Their Faith" by serving others and living what they believe. 

Aside from VBS curriculum, very few curriculum resources include specific opportunities for children to Put Feet to Their Faith by serving others. This doesn't mean we can't involve our children in service projects . . . it just means we need to search for and find these opportunities. Each month we will highlight one ministry and give ideas on how you could involve your children with that ministry to Put Feet to Their Faith!

Our first "Put Feet to Their Faith" ministry is World Help - . World Help was founded in 1991 as a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian organization and has touched over 60 countries through their four pillars of ministry: Child Advocacy, Humanitarian Aid, Bible Distribution, and Church Planting. World Help is devoted to meeting the physical needs of those who are hurting in the farthest reaches of the globe and believes as they compassionately respond, they earn the right to be share the hope of Jesus Christ with the lost! 

World Help believes "water is essential to life, and the lack of clean water in developing countries is the starting place of a thousand miseries. Causelife is a movement of people dedicated to providing the most essential need to human life – water. By raising awareness and implementing solutions, causelife provides clean, safe water that changes lives and transforms communities. Water equals life . . . and water changes everything."  

Stop and think about it for just a moment. How far did you walk this morning to find the water you needed for brushing your teeth, showering and making coffee? A few steps? In many parts of the world people have to walk as many as 12 miles each way to fetch water for themselves and their families. We "use more water in a single toilet flush than the average person in Africa uses in an entire day."

Did your children/grandchildren go to school today? In many places around the world, "Children cannot go to school because their parents need them to fetch water. Walking for water is the most common chore that keeps children busy during the day, preventing them from attending school. Even if they have time, the high number of illnesses stops many from going to school." I did not realize these things. Yes, I knew finding and having access to clean, safe water was a huge problem around the world, but I had no idea the scope of the problem, so I spent some time researching about the water crisis and learned the following from causelife:
  • The root problem will always be dirty water. It causes a life characterized by sickness, poverty, illiteracy, and early death. 
  • When dirty water is replaced with clean water, everything changes. High mortality rates drop because babies no longer suffer from parasites and diarrhea. 
  • Children become healthy enough to attend school and they have the time to do so without long walks to a water source. Some may eventually attend a university where they will receive a higher education, bringing hope to their villages and communities. 
  • There is more food from gardens and irrigated land. Livestock is healthier and provides better meat. Families eat what they need and can sell what is left at the market.
  • Productivity increases, poverty decreases, and children’s lives are transformed.
  • A simple gift of $15 will be combined with gifts from others and can give one person water for twenty years!
  • A gift of $75 will be combined with gifts from others and can give one family water for twenty years!
  • A gift of $150 will be combined with gifts from others and can give ten people water for twenty years!
So, given these water facts, how can you involve your children and Put Feet to Their Faith with causelife? Check causelife's website - - to see how people from across the country have come up with creative and fun ways to raise money for clean water - everything from a 5K/10K Turkey Trot in CA to a summer lemonade stand and then get a group of people together and think about what you can do to help your children understand the need for water and how they can help. Consider these ideas as a place to begin . . . 
  • Ask families to purchase and donate bottles of water and then have a label design contest where each Sunday school class works together to design their own labels. Provide crayons, markers and name badge labels so children can decorate labels to put on each bottle of water. Sell the water bottles and send the money to causelife.
  • Make "drops of water" by filling blue balloons with rice or sand - use the top portion of a water bottle as a funnel. Sell your "water drops" and send the money to causelife.
  • Teach the Bible lesson of the Woman at the Well - John 4 - message me with your email and I'll send you a drama of this lesson the children in your church could prepare, and present to the people in your church. Sell tickets and even make a table where people could purchase your water bottles and water drops as well! Have someone share about the water project you are working on and spend time praying for the people who will receive clean, safe water through causelife and for the causelife people that they will be able to tell about Jesus and how they can have Living Water!
We can make a difference in this world by helping to meet the most basic and essential need we all have -access to clean, safe water. When we provide opportunities for our children to serve others they are "Putting Feet to Their Faith" - when they do this they move their faith from something they "know" to something they "live"!

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