Catch these great ideas from the Church News article by Rachel Sterzer, “Teaching Kids About Refugees: Every One of Us is a Child of God,” suitable for families or Primaries!
- Book Club for Activity Days. Michelle Mullis of Ogden, Utah “had been teaching her 11-year-old daughter Anna and other children in a book club about Corrie ten Boom and the role she played in helping Jewish refugees in Holland during World War II.” The book is called The Hiding Place. That book club inspiration, plus the announcement of the “I Was A Stranger” initiative by Sister Linda K. Burton, led the children to collect items for hygiene kits for the Utah Refugee Center. Would your girls like to read a compelling book for an Activity Days book club?
- Geography study. What countries do the refugees in your area come from? Or how much do your children know about Syria, with 13.5 million refugees, including 6 million children (as of Feb 2016, the most recent date for which figures are easily available), making Syria the largest displacement crisis globally? (see UN report) The Church News article continues: “Once you have found a community or a country that resonates with you, you can take that deeper dive and look at the cultural aspects of the country and the people from there.” “Study their food, traditions, and the way they celebrate holidays or their religious differences. Helping children become informed propels them forward in service, Sister Mullins said. After looking at photos of the refugee camps and seeing how some refugees live, ‘the kids were ready to do whatever they could to help.'”
For service ideas, see “I Was A Stranger” and how this initiative can apply to Primary. Add your service ideas for kids to the comments section!
Children may also enjoy these videos:
- “Invite a Refugee to Dinner” about families from Bhutan and USA who shopped together for ingredients and cooked together (4 minutes).
- “Dutch Potato Project” about former enemies in WW2 sacrificing for fellow Saints, despite deep distrust and war trauma (12 minutes). What was accomplished when they gave up their potatoes? What is YOUR potato?
“Ye Have Done It Unto Me” from Bible videos (3 minutes). Notice the people’s surprised response, “When saw we thee a stranger?” You may be doing more than you realize.
Would your children enjoy studying refugees, then taking action, small or large? Imagine the power of children whose eyes are opened and hearts stirred as they come to ponder Sister Burton’s question, “What if their story were my story?” Even children are needed in this tremendously important lifesaving work, serving as Jesus Christ served.