Step 01: Let’s start the journey

TODAY’S STEP:
Our journey begins with meeting our host family, then following Momma Nancy to the market. This is great for doing with another family, as is Step 7.

BIG IDEA:
Experience how God gives us enough to enjoy and enough to share by stepping into our host family’s shoes and following in Jesus’ footsteps.

MEMORY VERSE:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37–39

Before you begin:

  • Cover your table with burlap, a tarp or garbage bags.
  • Put water into a bucket or pitcher and make it dirty by stirring some dirt into it.
  • Read Part B introduction and cook rice and beans if needed.

(Remember: For ideas to adapt this to kids younger than five or older than twelve, go to stepintomyshoes.ca/resources, or feel free to make your own adaptations to suit your family’s needs.)

Say: Knowing Jesus’ words about caring for others is a great way to see the world in a whole new way—no passport required!

Our memory verse today is:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37–39.

As a family, we want to love God with all we have. And a natural outflow of loving God is to love others, too. That’s what this journey is going to be all about. We want to learn how God is calling us to love others—including those living in need around the world.

In this experience, we are headed to Africa. You might notice that many of the children here don’t have shoes or socks, so let’s start by taking ours off.

We will learn how to see the world in a whole new way, without leaving home. We’ll do this by learning from a family who lives very simply and then by seeing how Jesus takes care of people. We’re starting in the African nation of Uganda where we’ll follow the story of Pastor Tom, his wife Nancy and their children. We’ll hunt for water, have a sleepover and find ideas for other games, crafts and recipes from kids and families around the world. At the end, we’ll look for things in our own house that could help children near us or far away.

Let’s meet Tom and Nancy’s family now.

PART A

Say: The last boy you met in the video is Isaac, and he’s 10 years old. While Isaac has enough of what he needs, that’s not the case for everyone in his village. We want you to get to know what life might be like for a child who has to spend the day finding ways to survive. Read the story below about a child who lives near Tom and Nancy whom you will “be” for the next half hour.

STORY

Otim lives with his mom and dad. There are six children in their family, and Otim is the oldest. He takes care of his brothers and sisters if his parents are away.

Otim’s father sometimes works harvesting crops in other people’s fields, but he doesn’t always find work. His mother takes care of the children and cooks their daily meal when they have food. Otim is responsible for getting the family’s water each morning and evening. He also gathers firewood so they can cook their food over a fire. When his mom needs things like tomatoes or onions, he helps out by buying them at the market.

Otim goes to primary school and he sings in the choir at his church. He loves playing soccer with his neighbours and drawing at the Compassion centre.

TALK ABOUT IT

  • What are some of the things you need to survive?
  • One of the most important things you need is water. We can only live a few days without water. What would you do right now if you had to get water for your family?
  • Another important thing you need is food. What would you do if you had to find food?

Say: Around the world there are places where children don’t have enough clean water or food. Let’s see what that can look like.

PART B

Parents you will now choose one of the two stories below for your family to follow. In the first, you earn enough money for your family to share a meal together. In the second you don’t earn enough and have an opportunity to fast together. (The second option is only recommended for families with teenagers, as fasting isn’t recommended for children.)

Read one story out loud.

STORY 1

Today, Otim’s dad left the house early to find work. Praise God! He was hired by one of the nearby land owners to work in his field. He worked in the hot sun all day long plowing a field. At the end of the day, his back ached, but he earned 75 cents to bring home to his family.

Because Otim’s dad has gotten work this week, he was able to buy a jerry can of clean water to drink. His family is also able to make a dinner of rice and beans that has been cooking all day. At night time, they all sit around their big pot of food to share together.

TALK ABOUT IT

  • As you look at what you have in front of you, do you have enough?
  • How does your water look? Would you drink it? What about the food?
  • How do you feel right now?
  • If you were Otim, and most days were like today, what would you dream of being someday?

STORY 2

Otim’s dad has left the house early every day this week to find work. But because it’s not harvest time, he hasn’t been hired for days.

He desperately wants to provide for his wife and children, but he can’t find a way to earn money. He returns home without any food. They try to fill their bellies with water they have boiled on the stove to try to purify it.

If your family can afford clean water, beans and rice, serve them now. If not, have the kids bring empty plates and glasses of dirty water to your table. You can also have your teenagers boil water to purify it for their dinner.

Many families who only have dirty water boil their water first to purify it. However, some families can’t afford the extra firewood to boil their water or don’t boil the water because of how time consuming it can be.

TALK ABOUT IT

  • As you look at what you have in front of you, do you have enough?
  • How does your water look? Would you drink it? What about the food?
  • How do you feel right now?
  • If you were Otim, and most days were like today, what would you dream of being someday?

Say: Even though kids need water and food to survive, these are not enough. Children in poverty often feel like no one cares about them. For them, feeling like no one cares doesn’t stop at the end of this activity. It’s their real everyday life. Having enough food and water helps, but children also need something else to get out of poverty. They need hope.

Some do find hope, just like Pastor Tom’s family has. They have seen God provide hope and care for them, and they take joy in helping others in their village. So how does hope start? The first step of our journey is seeing how God gives us hope when we belong to him and to his family.

Talk through the following questions over your meal or fasting time.

TALK ABOUT IT

  • How have we seen God provide for our family?
  • Where does hope come from?
  • What do you think it would be like to have no hope?

Say: Soon, we’ll be leaving Uganda and stepping back into our own lives. Before we do, let’s pray for our journey. On several steps in this journey, we are going to pray the Lord’s Prayer. This is a prayer that Christians have prayed together since Jesus first taught it. In it, Jesus invites us to ask God, “Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth.” When we pray that, we are asking God to show us how to bring hope in Jesus, as well as food and water, for everyone— including people who live very hard lives because of poverty.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9–13

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