Tag Archives: 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids

31 Days of Global Missions with Kids

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I love to see adults and children partnering together to serve Christ and serve all nations, therefore I am so excited to be writing about Global Missions with Kids for the next 31 days as part of the Write 31 Days challenge!

 

31 Days of Global Missions with Kids

31 Days of Global Missions with Kids: the Complete Series

If you would prefer to see the complete posts in a row from start to finish, without having to click on the individual titles, click here. This is a simple way to read through the whole series all at once!

Every day I’ll be adding a new link to the titles below after I publish that particular post.

Setting a Foundation for Global Missions with Kids

October 1: Introduction to 31 Days of  Global Missions with Kids (this post)

October 2: Global Missions 101

October 3: God’s Heart for the Whole World

October 4: Do I Have to Move Halfway Around the World to do Missions?

October 5: Six Reasons to Include Children and Teenagers in Missions

Helping Young People Cultivate a Heart for All Nations

October 6: Developing Global Awareness in Children and Teenagers

October 7: 5 Ideas for Global Home Decor

October 8: How to Make a World Map Garland

October 9: 30+ Favorite Resources for Global Missions with Kids

October 10: Raising World Christians

October 11: the Perspectives Family Journey Curriculum

October 12: Praying for the Whole World with Kids

Global Missions with Kids, Wherever You Are 

October 13: How to Pack a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

October 14: How to Sponsor a Child

October 15: Writing to Your Sponsored Child – with free letter-writing template!

October 16: A Fair Trade Holiday Gift Guide

October 17: Donate to an Overseas Missionary

October 18: Ways to Bless and Encourage a Missionary

October 19: Supporting Refugees: Practical Steps beyond Prayer and Donations

October 20: How to Start a Backyard Bible Club

October 21: How to Befriend and Serve International Students

October 22: Ways to do Global Missions as an Adult Mentor

October 23: Discussing and Helping Poverty with Kids

October 24: Blessing Pregnant Mamas and New Babies Everywhere

October 25: Supporting the Persecuted Church

October 26: Go and Make Disciples… In Two Weeks? Short-term Missions as a Family

October 27: Sending Your Teenager on a Short-Term Mission Trip

October 28: Maybe You Can Move Halfway Around the World! Living Overseas as a Missionary

Finishing Up

October 29: Around the World from Your Living Room: Peru

October 30: Global Missions with Kids: Around the Internet

October 31: Global Missions with Kids Wrap Up: Taking Action

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

About Faith Passed Down

If you’re new around here, at Faith Passed Down we focus on Christian faith-building ideas for children and teens. Welcome!

I’m Kelly, and I’m a former church youth director turned stay-at-home mom. My family lives in Southern California where we work for a missions organization. We plan to head overseas as soon as we handle some medical treatment for our daughter.

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, Sunday school teacher, aunt or uncle, youth ministry volunteer, or another adult mentor, I hope to encourage and equip you as you invest in the young people in your life.

You can read more about Faith Passed Down and about me here.

Global Missions with Kids

By joining me for this Global Missions with Kids series, I hope you will be inspired and equipped to show Christ’s love for all nations alongside the children or teenagers in your life.

First, we’ll be talking through a foundation for Global Missions, answering questions like:

  • What exactly is Global Missions?
  • Why do it?
  • What are the reasons to include young people in my mission work?

We’ll talk about ideas for developing global awareness in children and teenagers and look at some resources that can help cultivate a love for all nations with the young people in your life.

Then, we’ll spend the second half of the series looking at over 15 different practical ideas for doing Global Missions with Kids.

I don’t want you to do all 15 ideas!

Instead, I hope as you read these ideas, you’ll prayerfully consider one or two that you can focus on with young people. You can view or print this worksheet to help guide you through this process: 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids – worksheet.

Finally, at the end of the month, we’ll wrap up with some closing thoughts.

I usually only post on Faith Passed Down a couple times a week, but in October, I’ll be writing every day about Global Missions with Kids. In November we’ll be back to just one or two posts a week.

You can view all the published posts above, and see upcoming posts so you can get a feel for what we’re talking about. Each day I’ll be updating this page with a link to another post.

Don’t want to miss anything? Sign up here to receive posts by email and receive access to lots of subscriber-only free resources!

Hundreds of writers participate in the Write 31 Days Challenge each October.

About Write 31 Days

I’m so excited to be participating in Write 31 Days – a challenge for bloggers to write every day for 31 days in October.  For many years, I’ve been a reader and fan of the challenge, but this is my first time writing.

There are hundreds of other people writing about all sorts of topics related to family life, faith, fashion and style, blogging… you can check them out here!

Feeling Overwhelmed about Reading So Many Posts? Check out this guide.

This month, FaithPassedDown.com will be full of information about doing Global Missions with Kids. I hope to be comprehensive, but certainly don’t want to overwhelm you!

Like I mentioned before, I put together a printable worksheet that can help you think through Global Missions with Kids. It has some simple questions to answer as the series progresses and I hope it will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

The goal is to help prevent you from feeling like you have to do every single idea I’ll be sharing, and instead listen to God’s leading for one or two new things you can do to be involved in Global Missions with Kids.

You can download, print, or just view on your mobile device by clicking here.

Just for Fun – a Few Extras

If you use Spotify to listen to music (free!), here’s a playlist I made as a “soundtrack” for this series… some of my favorite “gets-me-fired-up-for-serving-God” songs.

I’ll be using the hashtag #GlobalMissionsWithKids on Instagram and Facebook. As  you read these posts, try out these ideas, or engage in Global Missions with your kids in any way, I’d love to see your photos… please use that hashtag! At the end of the month, I’ll be putting a post together with some of my favorite photos.

Finally, if you have your own blog and write a post about Global Missions with Kids, please send me the link: Kelly{at}FaithPassedDown{dot}com. I’d love to highlight your post at the end of the month.

Thanks for joining me for 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids!

Global Missions with Kids

Global Missions 101

Before we begin talking about Global MIssions with Kids, we’ll set the framework with a few days talking about Global Missions: what is it? why do we do it? and where do we do it?

global missions 101

What is Global Missions?

“Missions is what God does through His people, the church, to spread the gospel through word and deed to all people of the world” (Wanda S. Lee).

Missions is “an enterprise devoted to proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to persuading men to become His disciples and dependable, reproductive members of His Church” (Donald McGavran, Understanding Church Growth).

My own definition: Global missions is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ cross-culturally through words and actions, so that people from all nations will believe and follow Him.

Global missions…

  • is focused beyond our own culture or people group.
  • has a spiritual purpose. It’s not just service or good deeds. But, it
  • certainly includes service and acts of love and compassion. We don’t just limit “missions” to the proclamation of the gospel without also addressing physical needs of the people we serve.
  • is the job of every Christian in every place (something we’ll address more tomorrow).
  • is not something only missionaries do.
  • is not something that only happens in other countries.
  • is carried out by every Christian in a slightly different way. One of my prayers for this Global Missions with Kids series is that you will learn how God is calling you to serve Him in missions, whether it’s something that happens in your own home or something that involves a round-the-world move, or anywhere in between.

Global missions is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ cross-culturally through words and actions, so that people from all nations will believe and follow Him.

Missions, Evangelism, Service – What’s the Difference?

John Piper makes a helpful distinction between missions and evangelism: “Evangelism is speaking to anyone anywhere the gospel… So saying the gospel to anyone is evangelism. It could your mother or your father.

Missions is doing that by crossing a culture. It usually involves learning a language, learning new cultural things where there is no church in which people are doing evangelism of those in that culture. They don’t have any access to the gospel…

So evangelism is speaking the gospel to everyone, especially those in your culture. Missions is realizing there are cultures and linguistic groups that don’t have anybody in them to do that.”

So, missions always has a cross-cultural element to it. Without the cultural element, it’s just evangelism.

Missions also has a spiritual element to it: the goal is greater knowledge and worship of Christ.  Without the spiritual element, it’s just service. Anyone can do service. Only a Christian is involved in missions.

This is global missons…

  • a pastor moves to a primarily non-Christian country and plants a church there.
  • an Australian Christian family sponsors a child overseas through a Christian community development program. They write letters, pray for the child, and send money to support her family’s needs.
  • a Christian doctor goes to a poor country every summer to offer check-ups and show Jesus’ love at a local church.
  • a retired Christian professor goes to his local public library to offer English as a Second Language classes every Wednesday afternoon. Most of his students are refugees from the Middle East.

and this is not global missions…

  • taking flowers to my Christian neighbor.
  • a non-Christian nurse travels to a country with poor health care on a medical service trip with a secular humanitarian aid group.

Global Missions, Local Missions, and Missions

Global missions = missions. There is no difference. All missions involves crossing a global culture.

The only reason I used the term “global missions” in this series was to be extra-clear to people on the internet that this series is about the whole world.

Sometimes “local missions” is used to indicate cross-cultural ministry that occurs in your own local area – and that’s okay.

But honestly, I don’t think we need that distinction. Global missions may happen at the public school full of immigrants down the street from your house, or it may happen on a short-term trip to another country, or it may happen when a missionary family moves to another continent to serve long-term.

So saying “local missions” could end up being a little confusing, as some people may think taking flowers to my Christian grandma who lives down the street is local missions. (It’s a lovely thing to do, but it isn’t missions.)

So, we won’t use the term “local missions” here, instead saying that global missions can happen here, there, or everywhere.

map courtesy of the Joshua Project
map courtesy of the Joshua Project

What is a people group?

A simplistic way to think of a people group is a tribe.

But a better definition in the context of missions is “the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.”

Most of the time, understanding is the biggest issue preventing the spread of the Gospel – in other words, language. So most people groups are divided up by primary language.

In other cases, cultural acceptance is the biggest obstacle. For example, in some parts of Asia, even people who speak the language may not get along with each other culturally (like different castes in India). So, there is little chance of the Gospel freely spreading among these groups, even though they may speak the same language.

Here are some examples of people groups worldwide:

Some examples of people groups within the United States:

photo courtesy of the Joshua Project

What is an unreached people group?

There are a total of 16,315 people groups in the world. As Christians, we are especially interested in looking at which of these people groups are reached or unreached.

An unreached people group is “a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.”

A reached people group has an adequate population of believing Christians and resources within the community to evangelize the rest. Usually, this means at least 2-5% of the people group believes in Jesus.

Of the 16,000 people groups in the world, 6,564 of the people groups are unreached, or about 3 million people. This means 40% of the world’s people groups are unreached.

Some of the biggest unreached people groups are the Shaikh of Bangladesh, the Japanese of Japan, Brahmin of India, and the Thai, Central of Thailand.

But, of course, there are many, many other unreached people groups. Many do not have any Christian believers among them, and/or no missionaries or Bibles in their own language.

“For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:13-14)

Further Resources

If you’re interested in pondering the definition of missions more, here are a few helpful articles I found:

And if you’re interested in learning more about people groups and unreached people groups, the Joshua Project web site is a great place to begin.

Conclusion

So, global missions is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ cross-culturally through words and actions, so that people from all nations will believe and follow Him.

And as we’ll see tomorrow, global missions is at the very core of God’s heart.

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

** What is your definition of “global missions”? Leave a comment below.

Do I Have to Move Halfway Around the World to Do Missions?

halfway around the world 560

As we talk about Global Missions with Kids, a big topic that keeps coming up is:  Do I have to move overseas to do missions?

We touched on it when we defined global missions and when we talked about God’s heart for the whole world, but the answer is: No!

Today we’re going to look at four different contexts in which we can witness to Christ, including two that fit the cross-cultural definition of “missions.” Regardless of where you live, I believe you can be involved in all four of these areas… without ever opening your passport!

Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Ends of the Earth

Let’s look at Acts 1:8, which contains some of Jesus’ very last words before He ascends into heaven.

This takes place after Jesus has completed His earthly ministry. He’s died on the cross, rose again, and has spent 40 days with His disciples. Now He’s preparing to ascend back into Heaven. Matthew tells us that around the same time, Jesus gives His Great Commission to “Go and make disciples of all nations.

Acts tells us that He also says: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

After that, He goes to heaven, and the disciples are left wondering what to do next.

Ten days later, as they gather to celebrate the feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit does indeed come upon them, and the Church now has the power to carry out the task Christ gave to them.

Why are we discussing this story? Because Acts 1:8 gives us insight into the locations where Jesus intends for us to witness to Him.

Certainly, Jesus’ disciples truly carried out this mission. In Acts and historical records of the early Church, we see that they were indeed witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the known world at that time.

Many years ago, I was attending a missions conference in college and heard a helpful interpretation of Acts 1:8 in modern times. The speaker suggested that we can apply these four areas to our own world today.

While I’m not positive this was exactly what Jesus intended with these words, I do find it a helpful way of thinking through where we can be involved in being a witness to Christ.

The four quadrants of witness from Acts 1:8

I labeled the map in the back of my Bible to try to show you where the four different areas are. 🙂

Again, Jesus said, “You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

JERUSALEM

First, He tells the disciples to be witnesses in Jerusalem. This area was geographically close and culturally close to them at the time (as they were based in Jerusalem at this point). They didn’t have to travel far, nor did they have to venture into another culture – most people in Jerusalem were Jews just like them.

JUDEA

Next, He tells them to be witnesses in Judea, which is the entire area that surrounds Jerusalem. This area was geographically far... not quite where they were living. So it wasn’t as geographically close as Jerusalem. But, it was culturally near… Judea was also filled with mostly Jewish people at the time.

SAMARIA

Next, Jesus mentions Samaria. Though it’s a little farther than Judea,  this area was still geographically close compared to “the ends of the earth.”But, it was very different culturally. You may remember from the Good Samaritan parable that Samaritans and Jews did not get along. They had different religious beliefs and family backgrounds. So, though it wasn’t as far away as Rome or somewhere else in the “ends of the earth,” it was very culturally different.

THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

Finally, Jesus commissions them to be witnesses to the ends of the earth – somewhere both culturally different and geographically different from their current homes.

Here’s a graph to help explain this idea (if you don’t do graphs just skip it!) –

The 4 Quadrants of Acts 1:8

What Does This Mean for My Life?

Regardless of where you live, whether it’s in the same town where you grew up or 8,000 miles away… you can be a witness in each of these areas!

Think through these four areas and consider your “witness” in each of the four areas. If you want, pull out your 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids worksheet or just draw the 4 part box on a napkin.

Similar Culture

Jerusalem – How do you witness in an area close to you and within your same culture?

The disciples spent most of their time in Jerusalem. These people were similar to them in culture and were close by. For me, this means my home. I spend a lot of time with my family – both my husband and daughter – and they are obviously part of my same culture and are close by to me.

This could also mean your work, church, moms’ group, your kids’ school, gym, friends in your town, or another group/place close to home where you spend time with people who are similar to you.

Judea – How do you witness farther from home but still within your culture?

Is there somewhere you interact with people of your same culture, but it’s farther from home? Perhaps…

  • your extended family who live across the state or country?
  • facebook friends or your Christmas card list, people who are spread all over the country?
  • Or a vacation home in a small town that you visit every summer?
  • Or college friends you reunite with periodically for reunions?

Different Culture = Missions

According to our definition of global missions, these next two categories fall into the “missions” category. Pay extra attention to them, as we’ll be talking mostly about these categories in the days to come!

Samaria – How do you witness to people who live close to your home but are part of a different culture?

Are you involved in any kind of ministry to people who are culturally different to you, but ministers to someone living in your own local area? Examples:

  • volunteering with a refugee ministry
  • launching a backyard Bible club in a multi-ethnic neighborhood in your community
  • befriending an international student at your local university
  • partnering with a multi-ethnic church in your community. (For example, I’ve attended Korean, Russian, and Hmong church services before.)
  • a trip to serve another culture somewhere close to your home. (For example, we live in Southern California and can take day trips to an orphanage in Mexico. Or, some youth ministries do “mission trips” to urban areas like downtown Los Angeles.)

The Ends of the Earth How do you witness to people in a different culture who live far away from your home?

Finally, the ends of the earth is ministry to another culture that is living somewhere far away. You may still do this in your home or town, but the person you are supporting is geographically far. For example:

  • sponsoring a child and writing letters to her
  • praying for the whole world
  • packing an Operation Christmas Child box to send overseas
  • encouraging or financially supporting the ministry of an overseas missionary
  • praying and writing letters for the persecuted church
  • going on a short-term mission trip
  • serving as an overseas missionary

Four good questions to ask to evaluate your family's Christian witness in four different areas of ministry, according to Acts 1:8.

So, think about those four quadrants. How are you witnessing in these four areas? How are your children and teenagers witnessing in these four areas? Is there an area where you’d like to grow?

In the coming days, we’ll be thinking through ideas for growth in these areas, especially with the young people in your life. I look forward to thinking through these ideas together!

 

 

 

 

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

 **Did you complete the four quadrant exercise? How did it turn out? Leave a comment below.

6 Reasons to Include Children and Teenagers in Missions

 

 

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As part of the Global Missions with Kids series, we’ve defined global missions, looked at Scripture regarding God’s heart for the world, and determined that missions can happen anywhere.

Finally, our last “foundational” post in the Global Missions with Kids series covers reasons for including young people in global missions. Beginning tomorrow, we’ll look at practical ideas for helping young people cultivate a heart for all nations.

 

6 reasons to include children in global missions

1. Children and teenagers are a valuable part of the body of Christ, and missions is a vital activity of the body of Christ.

Every time we participate in global missions, the goal is that Christ is made known among the nations. By involving our children and teenagers, we are including them in this valuable ministry. I hope they are important contributors to our missions efforts!

There’s no reason young people can’t serve as well as an adult… maybe even better! They have skills we may not have, like the ability to play freely with children from another culture.

In some cultures, children are highly regarded and can be an excellent “open door” into a relationship. I find that when I have baby in my arms, it’s often easier to communicate with a woman from another culture.

2. Involving young people in global missions develops their talents for future service. 

Young people have talents worth using for God’s kingdom, and it’s worth helping them grow in these areas!

One of my biggest frustrations is when people just give young people the grunt work to do, rather than allowing them to flourish by serving in a way that develops their talents.

Global missions often uses a unique set of skills that children and teenagers can learn from a young age. This may mean encouraging an interest in a foreign language, allowing them to observe medical mission work, encouraging an elderly refugee, or creating works of art to send to a sponsored child.

3. Participation in missions nurtures a global worldview that naturally considers and appreciates other cultures. 

Have you ever noticed how the older we get, the more set we are in our ways? It’s harder to break habits and mindsets as adults. So, if you want your child to have a global mindset as an adult… start now!

Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to begin developing global awareness with children.

4. Participating in global missions together provides a stronger bond between you and your child.

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, adult mentor, or Sunday school teacher, serving in missions together provides a meaningful experience together.

5. Including your child in global missions gives you more time and ability to serve.

I’ve struggled to find time to write to our sponsored child, partly because I usually try to do it once my kids are in bed so I can focus on writing the letter.

Using a time of day when I’m already spending time with my kids means I’ll actually be able to write the letter and include my children in the project, too.

By involving your children, you can accomplish two things at once: quality time with your child and participation in global missions. Your child may even help you work faster by assisting you with some of the work!

6. Through participation in global missions together, children learn valuable concepts.

They discover they truly can make a difference in the world. They learn gratitude for the many blessings they’ve received. They find strength in doing something new and facing a potentially uncomfortable new environment. They learn about God’s heart for the nations and His love for all people.

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

**Can you think of any other reasons to participate in global missions with the young people in your life? Leave a comment below.

Developing Global Awareness in Children and Teenagers

Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking one of the links, I may receive a small commission to help support this site, at no additional cost to you.

developing global awareness

This month we’re focusing on 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids here at FaithPassedDown.com. Thanks for joining us!

Yesterday we looked at a few reasons to involve kids in global missions. Today we’ll start with step one: developing global awareness in children and teenagers.

Before we can cultivate a love for the nations in the hearts of our children, they need to understand that the nations exist! The good news is, this step is pretty fun and simple.

Please realize that these are pretty basic ideas, meant for those who are new to focusing on the world… so it’s possible you’re already doing all these! In that case, way to go! Hang in there, and in the coming days we’ll be delving deeper into (hopefully) some new ideas.

world map

Hang a world map in your home.

This simple step has helped us talk about the world more in our home, even with our three-year old! (And I promise, she is no prodigy – just a normal kid).

Since we posted a map in our home last March, my husband and I have naturally found ourselves pointing to the map to show a country talked about on the news, or a place we are praying for, or the home country of a friend.

If you are looking to purchase a world map, here’s a cheap one by Rand McNally, or this is the one we have in our dining area (ours came folded up, so it’s a bit wrinkled, as you can see above!) The one we have is pretty brightly colored and easy to read.

But I like this one even more:

I’ve been swooning over the web site for the Little Passports subscription program, which includes a World Map in the first box (shown above).

Little Passports is a lovely monthly mail-order subscription for “tiny travelers” that looks totally adorable – see below for a little more about Little Passports.

world map bathroom

I am not much of a decorator, but I did want to show you that we have a world map shower curtain, too! Ours is from Target and isn’t sold in stores anymore, but seems to be available on their web site. When I Googled it, there were also some more sophisticated options.

When I was a kid, we used world map placemats at the dinner table. We also had one of the USA – that’s how I learned all my state capitals! Here are some placemats featuring the world, and also each continent in the world. Or here are some cute ones on Etsy.

Alternatively, you could just print out some maps and laminate them yourself, if you’re feeling crafty (but I think ordering from Amazon is simpler). Check Walmart, too – it looks like they might carry them in store for $1 apiece.

Study the world with your kids.

As I mentioned above, I recently found the Little Passports program and it looks totally darling and fun for kids.

The first month, they send a little toy suitcase with stickers, a passport, and a world map. Then, each month they send an activity book, souvenirs, stickers, and other fun, centered on a particular theme.

I love that there is an Early Explorers subscription for younger kids (age 3-5) and World Travelers Edition for older children (ages 6-10). There’s also a USA Edition for ages 7-12.

Elle, our three-year old, has lately gotten so interested in looking at maps and talking about the world, and I know she would love getting to do some age-appropriate activities with me.

From the pictures on the site, the activities for the Early Explorers program look perfect for my three-year old.

At first I was a little surprised that there aren’t lots of elaborate crafts or recipes involved, but then I realized that’s the beauty of the program – it features simple, do-able activities that won’t require loads of time or leave a bunch of junk all over our house.

Looking at the box contents, I’d be thrilled to have a fun time together focused on the world, doing some simple activities, then slide the suitcase into it’s spot on the toy shelf and look forward to next months’ mail. 🙂

For more information about Little Passports, click here. Comment below if you sign up – I’d love to know what you think! 🙂

IMG_6073

Eat food from other countries. 

You likely have Chinese, Italian, or Mexican restaurants in your community. If you don’t regularly eat those cuisines, start there!

If you’re ready to branch out beyond those areas, look for other ethnic eateries. You might look for: Mediterranean, Greek, or Arabic food (my favorite!), Korean, Japanese, El Salvadorian, Peruvian, Indian, Thai, or Brazilian.

Many of these restaurants will feature decor, photographs, and even staff members from these countries. Enjoy the cultural experience by…

  • talking with your server (you could ask a question like, “Have you been to India? if you feel awkward about asking if they are a foreigner or not).
  • walking around the restaurant to look at decor while you wait for your food.
  • participating in customs of the region, like sitting on the floor or eating with chopsticks.

Picky eaters? Here are some ideas:

  • Look up the menu ahead of time. Select some items that seem “safe” for your children.
  • Google the type of cuisine (like “typical Korean food”) and talk about it with your child ahead of time. Show photos to your child of the different possible dishes.
  • Order a few plain items, if possible. Most types of ethnic food have rice, bread, tortillas, etc. which are pretty kid-friendly and can be ordered plain (even if all you see on the menu is flatbread covered in spices and sauce, just ask for it plain).
  • Feed your child ahead of time, so they aren’t hungry when you go out. That way, you aren’t stressed about them eating or not eating. If they want to taste the food, great! If not, just have them sit and enjoy the company of your family.
  • Don’t force your child to eat anything. Instead consider these strategies:
    • ask your child to simply lick each item. (Is this gross? It seems to work for our kids, since it’s easier than actually having to put it in your mouth).
    • make a contest among members of the family – who can try the most new items? Offer a prize at the end (the winner gets to choose dessert!)
    • allow the child to choose his own item off the menu.

Alternatively, you could cook food from another country at home. Stay tuned for a very special resource that will help you connect with your children over cross-cultural meals… I’m introducing it for sale in my shop at the end of the month.

In the meantime, here is an assortment of ethnic recipes, or Pinterest abounds with ethnic dishes… when I typed in “ethnic foods” on Pinterest, it popped up several suggested searches for specific countries. You could browse the one that you are looking for.

If you like cookbooks, I like The International Cookbook for Kids or The Second International Cookbook for Kids , which are both currently free on Kindle Unlimited. Or, just check your local library.

Talking to a real person is probably a slightly better way to learn about the world than just talking to the globe, like my daughter is trying to do. ;)
Talking to a real person is probably a slightly better way to learn about the world than just talking to the globe, like my daughter is trying to do. 😉

Talk to people from other countries about their homeland.

You likely already know someone who was born in another country or who has lived in another country at some point in their lives.

I would guess that in most cases, this person would be delighted to talk about their home country. Make a point to help your child get to know this person, or to specifically ask the person about this other place.

When I was a kid, I had to “interview an immigrant” for a school assignment. I remember I interviewed Miss Etta, a sweet Scandinavian Sunday school teacher from our church who told me that she knew she had finally learned English when she began to think in English. Twenty-some years later and I still remember that!

If you don’t know the person well, you could suggest the person come over to your home for afternoon tea or for dinner, or ask if it’s better to go to their home so you can view photos or mementos.

If your child feels awkward, don’t force them. Instead, invite the person over as your guest, not your child’s guest, and simply request that your child be present.

Do you already have a close friend or family member who is from another country? Sometimes you may see someone frequently but not get a chance to talk to them much about their heritage.

It can also get a bit awkward if you’re not sure if they grew up somewhere else, or where they lived. Here are some questions you could ask in this situation to try to open the door to further conversation:

  • Can you tell me about your childhood?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was your school like?
  • What kind of food did you like to eat when you were a child?
  • Have you always lived in this area?
  • How long have you lived in this area? Where did you live before that?
  • Do you speak any other languages?

IMG_0112

Keep your eyes open for other “global” opportunities.

Depending on your community and the age of your children, look for other opportunities to develop global awareness as a family.

  • Do you notice a book with international games on the shelf at the library? Check it out and play a few.
  • Does your town have a Greek festival each year? Go!
  • Is there a visiting missionary family coming to your church? Attend their presentation.
  • Is there a natural disaster happening in another region of the world? Talk about it with your teenagers.
  • Do you see a tour-the-world DVD at the library? Check it out!
  • Is The Amazing Race on TV this weekend? If you’ve never seen it, on The Amazing Race, teams of two partner up and race around the world, doing fun challenges along the way. It’s a great way to see the world! Consider watching it with your older children. Of course, this is totally at your discretion based on your family’s TV choices. My husband and I watch it together, but we wouldn’t let our three-year-old join us. You can see past episodes on CBS.com… last season Christian surfer Bethany Hamilton (who lost an arm in a shark attack) was a contestant – she is inspirational!
  • Is an international children’s choir coming to a church in your neighborhood? Buy tickets!

As we talk about all nations, experience other cultures, and develop global awareness, we’re leading our children and teenagers into a greater understanding of God’s heart for all nations.

 This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

** Do you already do any of these practices? Is there one you’d like to try? Have you ever ordered a box from Little Passports? Leave a comment below.

Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking one of the links, I may receive a small commission to help support this site, at no additional cost to you.

5 Ideas for Global Home Decor

Welcome to the 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids series! Click here to check out all the posts in the series.

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As we develop global awareness in children and teenagers, filling our homes with global home decor is a fun and meaningful way to keep the nations on our children’s minds (and our own!) throughout the day.

Filling our homes with global home decor is a fun, meaningful way to keep the nations on our children's minds (and our own!) throughout the day.

Do-It-Yourself Map Garland

Here’s a simple decorative garland to show love for all nations and remind you to pray for missionaries, sponsored children, or other people living overseas… instructions coming up in tomorrow’s post.

Filling our homes with global home decor is a fun, meaningful way to keep the nations on our children's minds (and our own!) throughout the day.

World Map Decor

We’ve already talked about hanging maps in our home, but obviously it’s worth mentioning again, especially by pointing out some especially decorative maps.

Filling our homes with global home decor is a fun, meaningful way to keep the nations on our children's minds (and our own!) throughout the day.

Yesterday I showed you our “children of the world” bathroom. We have a map shower curtain and some cute fabric of kids around the world in a frame on the wall. Maybe someday I’ll hang one of those vinyl wall decals with a verse about God’s love for all nations?

If you’re a creative type and you’d like to do something decorative with maps, here are some free map downloads and here are some more.

I did some hunting on Pinterest and found some additional great ideas – check out my Global Missions with Kids Pinterest board for even more!

If you’re not crafty, here are some ready-to-go maps and other decor that I found on Etsy. These are not connected with me… just cute products I found. 🙂

Display Items from Around the World

Filling our homes with global home decor is a fun, meaningful way to keep the nations on our children's minds (and our own!) throughout the day.

Young children will love seeing treasures from around the world. You may have your own souvenirs from travels overseas, or you could ask a traveling friend or family member to bring you some inexpensive items on their next trip abroad.

When I was a kid, a well-traveled couple from our church brought us dolls every time they went on a trip! What a lovely gift from these adult mentors! Now I am about to begin re-gifting one of these dolls to my daughters every year for Christmas.

An easier option would be to order some fair trade items online – Mercy House Kenya is a great place to begin.

You could also check out a store like Cost Plus World Market, which curates items from all over the world!

You can organize these items on shelves where your child can easily remove these items and look at them or play with them, or here is a page with some lovely – but time-intensive – ways to display items from around the world. As you can see from the photo above… I need to find a way to display some of our favorite world-wide items!

Use Map Fabric or Global Fabric

Filling our homes with global home decor is a fun, meaningful way to keep the nations on our children's minds (and our own!) throughout the day.

You could also display hang fabric on the wall or around a curtain rod, or use it as a tablecloth. Artwork or photos can be hung on the wall.

If you know how to use a sewing machine, Spoonflower.com has lots of custom fabrics, including many with world map prints. There’s also an adorable set of “wee are the world” fabrics featuring kids around the world.

Spoonflower’s fabric is really pricey, but cute! (I’m not connected with them – just love their unique fabrics, and I’m not even a seamstress!)

I imagine you could also find some nice fabric at your local craft store… my mom picked up some world map material years ago at a local fabric shop for our vintage travel-themed wedding. 🙂

In addition, of course, there is fabric with prints from around the world. For example, this web site offers Japanese prints and Indonesian Batik fabrics.

Paint a Globe

Filling our homes with global home decor is a fun, meaningful way to keep the nations on our children's minds (and our own!) throughout the day.

There are tons of painted globe ideas on Pinterest – you can see a few here.

You’ll notice the globe in the photo above is UNpainted! I had purchased our globe a few weeks ago hoping to paint it with our handprints and some words like “peace,” “go,” and “love.” Then my daughters decided a globe is their favorite toy in the world and protested at the idea of painting it… so I skipped that idea. But check out the link above because there are some really cute ideas!

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

**Do you have any global home decor in your home? Leave a comment below with your ideas.

 

World Map Prayer Garland tutorial

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This world map prayer garland is a decorative way to keep our sponsored kids and international missionary friends on our minds!

Here’s a tutorial for this simple world map prayer garland:

This world map prayer garland is a decorative way to keep our sponsored kids and international missionary friends on our minds!

I have been looking for a decorative way to keep our sponsored kids and international missionary friends on our minds, so I put together this simple world map prayer garland.

It features hearts to show our love for the nations along with photos of our sponsored kids and missionary friends.

I’m not very crafty, and I don’t like to spend a lot of money on craft projects, so I promise this tutorial is simple and the materials are inexpensive!

This world map prayer garland is a decorative way to keep our sponsored kids and international missionary friends on our minds!

Materials:

  • an old world map or map scrapbook paper (available through Joann’s or Etsy)
  • photos/prayer cards of missionaries, sponsored kids, or other friends around the world
  • colored scrapbook paper/construction paper, optional
  • scissors
  • yarn or string
  • glue or hot glue gun

Instructions:

  1. Cut hearts or circles out of map paper. (In case you don’t know how to cut hearts…)
  2. Cut hearts or circles out of photos of missionaries or sponsored kids. Use a drinking glass or measuring cup to help you draw the circles. (I used a variety of hearts and circles in my two garlands. I personally think an assortment of both looks best.)
  3. Optional: cut slightly larger hearts out of colored paper, then glue to the back of the map/photo hearts to make a “frame.”
  4. Optional: write the names of missionaries/sponsored kids on the edge of the hearts.
  5. Cut yarn to the appropriate length for the area you want to decorate.
  6. Lay out yarn on the floor or table, and position hearts in your desired pattern and position.
  7. Glue the back of each heart to the string. (This job went much quicker with two people – my husband held the yarn tight to the paper while I glued.)
  8. Optional: If you are a seamstress, you could stitch the pieces together, rather than using glue.
  9. Let dry, then hang.

Kids’ Version

I did parts of this project with my preschool-age daughter (but not the hot glue gun part, of course!) She liked it so much I decided to make her one…

I skipped the map paper on hers so it looked a little more kid-friendly, and instead did colorful construction paper hearts and circles. I used the same photos on both of them.

This world map prayer garland is a decorative way to keep our sponsored kids and international missionary friends on our minds!

Now our garland is hanging in our dining room area, and my daughter has one in her room, too. I hope it will encourage us to remember and pray for our friends, and for all people around the world, more frequently!

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

More than 30 Resources for Global Missions with Kids

Welcome to the 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids series! Click here to check out all the posts in the series.

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As I’ve been putting together the 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids series, I’ve been surprised by how many resources there are for this topic – particularly resources I’ve never heard of!

Here’s a big list of books, videos, web sites, and games to help as you do Global Missions with Kids

30 resources for global missions with kids

Books:

1. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor… and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert // an excellent tool for answering questions like, “should I give money to people begging for it?” and all sorts of other poverty dilemmas. This is a book to read by yourself or with teenagers (not for young kids).

2. Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation by Jason Mandryk// Operation World provides detailed information and prayer requests for every country around the world. It is worth purchasing!!! (Limited information from the book is available on the Operation World web site too.) We go through this book as a family (when we remember!), and I just skim and edit so it’s appropriate/short enough for our young kids.

3. Window on the World by Daphne Spraggett and Jill Johnstone // a kid-friendly companion resource to Operation World featuring full-color photos and prayers for 92 countries. The link is to Sonlight, which sells it new, or you can check Amazon for used copies.

4. The Mission-Minded Child and The Mission-Minded Family by Ann Dunagan// I have not read these books, but Ann is very highly respected and I’ve enjoyed the articles on her web site.

5. Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-term Missions with Cultural Intelligence by David Livermore// If you have questions about short-term mission trips, or about the “ethics” of missions in general, this is a wonderful, simple read to think through some of the deeper issues regarding missions (like avoiding the “great American savior” mentality and other cultural blunders.)

6. God’s Love for You Bible Storybook // This beautiful storybook by the president of World Vision tells Bible stories while also tying in our world today through sidebars and special features.

7. The Just Like Me series// These books are lovely, with full-color photographs and interesting info. They were sponsored by UNICEF and I would guess they’ll be available at your local library. The books are best for elementary-age children… my three-year-old isn’t very interested unless I sit and discuss everything with her. Books in the series include Children Just Like Me, A School Like Mine, and A Life Like Mine.

8. Christian Heroes, Then and Now // This is a series about missionaries that came recommended to me by a friend on the Faith Passed Down facebook page. She said it’s “a great series to read aloud around grade 1 or on own around grades 3 and up.” Thanks, Michele!

9. Crazy Love by Francis Chan// If you haven’t read Crazy Love yet, I can’t recommend it enough! It’s a great wake-up call and has been formational for our family in determining to serve God and serve all nations. This would be a wonderful book to read as a family… though it’s certainly an advanced “chapter book,” I think you could talk about it even with young children. There are additional videos and resources on the web site, too.

10. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt // Like Crazy Love, Radical would be a great book to read as a family. It has practical action steps at the end of the book that would be wonderful to implement with your children. I loved reading through Radical several years ago with Marla Taviano’s blog… the posts can be viewed here if you want some additional insights on the book.

11. Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold- Climate Cultures by Sarah Lanier // If you ever interacted with people from other cultures and wonder why they have such a different time schedule as you or why they are so affectionate and you are not (or vice versa!)… this book is totally worth reading! It’s short and quick, but very helpful. I read it over two years ago and still find myself thinking about its concepts regularly. Your elementary-age or older children would likely enjoy the stories, and you could explain any of the deep concepts to them… in any case, definitely worth a read as an adult living in a global world.

12. Adelina Aviator by Jessica Vana // My friend, Jessica, wrote this children’s book, and it is one of our absolutely favorites. It follows the story of a little girl whose family is getting ready to serve overseas in mission aviation. It’s inspiring, touching, and a fun story, too! There’s more information about the book at MKs Rock.

operation world

Videos and Radio Programs

12. Kids on Mission Media // You can view free videos at this web site, sponsored by the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.

13. Torchlighters DVDs // These animated DVDs highlight missionaries and Christians persecuted for their faith around the world like Jim Elliot, William Tyndale, Richard Wurmbrand, St. Augustine, and Corrie ten Boom.

 

14. Adventures in Odyssey Adventure Club // Adventures in Odyssey is a popular Christian kids’ radio show, intended for ages 8 to 12. (Though I’ll admit I went to bed listening to Odyssey even as a college student!!) The Adventure Club provides access to hundreds of Odyssey episodes, including several about missions, particularly the work of Mission Aviation Fellowship.

when helping hurts

Web Sites

15. Weave Family // I only recently discovered Weave Family, a total gem of a site for global missions as a family. There are wonderful ideas like this Advent chain for praying for the nations. They have a comprehensive and well put together list of all sorts of resources for global missions as a family, particularly resources for sale. If you’re looking for even more ideas for books, games, or materials, check out their list!

Free Downloads

16.World map coloring pages// These coloring pages from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Mission Friends site are great. You can also sign up for a free Mission Friends account for a downloadable curriculum and activities. I appreciate the colorful maps and cute characters on this site!

17. Kids of Courage// Sponsored by Voice of the Martyrs, this web site focuses on persecuted Christians around the world. If you register for free on their web site, there are several activity books to download.

18. Kids on Mission // a resource from the Southern Baptist International Mission Board featuring downloadable activity pages.

19. Wycliffe Bible Translators // This site has a number of wonderful downloadable resources. The web page is a little strange to navigate, with many images on one single page, but if you click on the links underneath each description, you can download all sorts of different resources. I took a peek at the Bright Ideas preschool ideas and they are wonderful!

20. Mission Aviation Fellowship has a free activity book download, along with info about the Adventures in Odyssey Adventure Club mentioned above.

visiting the Compassion Experience
visiting the Compassion Experience

Classes & Experiences

21. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement // an excellent course available throughout the world, covering God’s view of the world as described in Scripture, along with historical, cultural, and strategic factors in missions. If you are looking for an in-depth class on missions, this is great! Teenagers and adults will appreciate this course… some classes offer child care for kids.

22. Perspectives Family Journey // free curriculum for families to use that coincides with the themes of the Perspectives course… we’ve been going through this as a family and I love it. More on this in the days to come!

23. The Compassion Experience // Our family visited the Compassion Experience when they came to our town earlier this year, and it was wonderful. They have trailers that tour the country, set up with four experiential walk-throughs areas. You listen to someone’s story on an iPod, walking through different rooms to see their journey through poverty. It’s a wonderful, realistic, hands-on experience for kids. We have two little ones (baby and age 3) and we were able to make it through three of the areas before they melted down. It wasn’t too intense for my 3 year old, but we didn’t have her listen to the iPod… just explained the story.

24. Step Into My Shoes curriculum // This week Compassion graciously sent me a free Step Into My Shoes family toolkit, and I am so excited to start! I’ve been poking through the box and it looks wonderful, with high quality lessons and simple idea for families and churches to use in teaching children about world poverty. I’ll be sharing more next week about this excellent resource. It’s designed toward elementary-age kids, but they have suggestions for how to adapt it for preschoolers and teenagers.

life like mine

Learning about Specific Countries

25. Continent boxes // If you are looking to study specific countries, the Montessori concept of Continent Boxes is a great place to begin. Basically, you put together shoeboxes or tubs with photos, maps, and knick-knacks, from each of the continents. If you Google “continent boxes” you’ll come up with many resources for studying the world (though not necessarily religious ones) . One of my favorite Continent Box pages is from 1 + 1 + 1 = 1.  I especially love her Continent Box challenge idea. Even if you choose not to use the Continent Box method, you can still find some good resources and ideas.

26. Missions Packages // Kids on Mission has a number of these designed for individual countries around the world, featuring lesson plans for church group activities (like a church children’s ministry) and newsletters that can be printed for home use.

27. Country-specific activity books // Kids of Courage has downloadable activity books for a number of countries where Christians are persecuted.

28. Around the World from Your Living Room // Later this month, I’ll be introducing a resource I’m putting together featuring a meal, activity, and prayer for five different countries around the world. I hope you’ll consider purchasing it!

Toys and Games

29. eeboo I Never Forget a Face matching game // a memory game featuring faces of children from all over the world.

30. eeBoo world map // This map is perfect for kids! It has little pictures all over the map to show food, animals, and landmarks from those particular areas.

31. The eeBoo world map puzzle // This appears to be the same as the map listed above, but as a 100 piece puzzle.

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

**What are your favorite resources for global missions with kids? I’d be happy to update the list above. Leave a comment below.

Perspectives Family Journey

Welcome to the 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids series! Click here to check out all the posts in the series.

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As we talk about Global Missions with Kids, I encourage you to consider how God is leading you to be involved in Global Missions with Kids. My prayer is that you will experience His direction as He grows your heart for the nations.

A wonderful tool to help facilitate this is the Perspectives Family Journey, a top-notch series of free weekly studies to do with your children.

The Perspectives Family Journey is a free, well-written curriculum for families to study and experience as they become a family on mission with God.

“The Journey is made up of 15 biblical studies full of inspiring activities, thought provoking discussion points, and actionable ideas…. Designed by parents, The Journey lessons are one-pagers full of ownable concepts that have been crafted to help you shape your family into World Christians.” – from the Perspectives Family Journey web site

Lessons center on Biblical, Cultural, Historical, and Strategic Perspectives of God’s World, offering practical ideas alongside Scripture and great quotes.

The lessons would be especially perfect for elementary-age children, though we’ve been doing them with our little ones (baby and preschooler) and it works!

The goal is “to become a family on mission with God.”

The lessons are brief- we’ve been doing them together at breakfast or dinner.

There is a brief reflection, something to read from the Bible (we’ve substituted a Bible storybook for our young kids), and then something to experience. There are a few discussion questions, and then a world map activity.

Through the Family Journey, so far we have…

The Family Journey is a resource from Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, an intensive course available at locations throughout the US and around the world. My husband and I are currently taking Perspectives for the second time – we loved it so much, we’re choosing to devote our Sunday afternoons to this course for the next four months (the free child care helps! Though not offered at all locations.)

The reading, lectures, and class discussions leave me fired up to go make a difference in the world! To find a Perspectives class near you, click here.

Though I highly encourage adults to take the official Perspectives course, I think any Christian family would benefit from going through the Family Journey together, whether you’ve taken Perspectives or not.

Click here to download the free Perspectives Family Journey lessons.

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

Praying for All Nations

 

Welcome to the 31 Days of Global Missions with Kids series! Click here to check out all the posts in the series.

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praying for the whole world with kids

The Reason for Prayer

 

It can be so discouraging to hear the news from around our globe. The troubles seem never ending: a refugee crisis in the Middle East. Earthquakes and natural disasters. Violence and civil war. Billions of people don’t know or follow the one true God. It certainly feels like something needs to change.

Taking a look at the sin, disaster, and unbelief in the world around us is a reminder that as followers of Christ, we are at war! Through the Holy Spirit, we battle sin, death, and the power of the devil:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10-12).

I appreciated these words from John Piper’s excellent message Prayer: The Work of Missions:

 

“Very few people think that we are now in a war greater than World War II, and greater than any imaginable nuclear World War III. Or that Satan is a much worse enemy than Communism or militant Islam. Or that the conflict is not restricted to any one global theater, but is in every town and city in the world. Or that the casualties do not merely lose an arm or an eye or an earthly life, but lose everything, even their own soul and enter a hell of everlasting torment (Revelation 14:9-11).

Until people believe this, they will not pray as they ought. They will not even know what prayer is.

In Ephesians 6:17-18 Paul-makes the connection for us:  “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and supplication, Praying on every occasion in the Spirit, and keeping awake for this with all perseverance.”

Prayer is the communication by which the weapons of warfare are deployed according to the will of God. Prayer is for war.” (I recommend reading or listening to Piper’s entire message here).

 

So, we gear up with the armor of God, and we as we participate in this global spiritual battle, we pray. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always put this into practice. It’s easy for me to consider prayer as a last resort rather than a first priority, both in reference to my own life and to the needs of our world as a whole.

But, I know prayer is so critical to God’s mission to redeem the whole world!

So I thought through some practical ideas to actually make prayer happen, especially prayer for the whole world.

operation world

 

Operation World & The Joshua Project: 2 Resources for Regular Prayer for the World

There are two wonderful resources for family prayer for all nations:

First, Operation World is a book and web site that highlights every country on earth with basic information about the country and specific ways to pray.

We own the book and like having it sitting on the kitchen table as a physical reminder. The book has a schedule so you can pray for every nation over the course of the year. Or, you can just start with A and work your way through the book.

You can also sign up for free daily prayer emails, which would be a simple way to be reminded of it every single day.

Second, the Joshua Project is a partner site with Operation World, specifically focusing on prayer for unreached people groups.

An unreached or least-reached people group is “a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group” (from the Joshua Project web site). Typically this means there are 2% or less evangelical Christians and 5% or less professing Christians among the people group.

The Joshua Project highlights an “unreached people group of the day” on their web site and also has a free app highlighting an unreached people group of the day with simple information, a photo, and ways to pray.

I encourage you to consider checking out Operation World and the Joshua Project, and choose one resource to use in the days to come… order the book, download the app, sign up for emails, or whatever works best for you.

So you’ve gotten the resource… now what?

  • Choose a time and place for daily prayer for all nations. At the breakfast table after you’ve eaten? In bed before your kids fall asleep? In the car on the way to school? Having a regular time and place will help make this a habit.
  • Have a world map or globe accessible so you can find today’s location.
  • Don’t feel like you need to read all the information provided, especially if you have young children involved. Just share a fact or two, determine a specific prayer need, and then pray together.
  • Lead your children in prayer, allowing them to pray if desired. Again, don’t feel like this needs to last forever! Just a minute or so (or even less!) is fine! I would aim for making this a habit of praying briefly every day, rather than a lengthy prayer only every once and a while.

More Ideas for Global Missions Prayers

Choose one nation or people group and pray for it for a week, month, or year. The resources above will guide you through praying for many countries or people groups. Alternatively, you could just choose one area to focus on for an extended period of time.

I know there are people who choose a “word” to focus on each year. Why not a people group, too? This would give you a chance to really get to know this particular culture, looking up information on the internet or in books, praying for ongoing needs, and focusing on this people.

If you choose a small nation, can you believe that your family or group might be the only people in the whole world praying consistently for that nation? What an honor!!

Read the world news and pray about it together. Older children and teenagers can read and discuss world events with you. As you hear about natural disasters, political events, wars and violence… look up the location on the map, talk about the situation, and pray for the people affected.

Unfortunately, our American media doesn’t typically devote much coverage to world events, so the BBC World News is probably the best resource for finding accurate global news coverage.

Alternatively, theSkimm provides a fun daily news email for adults and typically includes some news beyond our own country. (I’ll warn you, though, that sometimes they’re a little inappropriate, and I don’t always love their “slant” on the news… but it is a simple, entertaining way to get the news straight to your email inbox. I’d recommend this just for yourself to read the news and summarize for your kids – not something to share with them directly).

Eat and pray together. At the end of the month, I’ll be sharing a new resource in the Faith Passed Down shop called Around the World from Your Living Room. It will provide a simple outline for five different times of prayer for a different nation. First you’ll share a meal together with food from that country, then do a craft or game together, then pray together for that particular nation.

Go on a prayer walk. Do you have a multi-ethnic neighborhood in your community? Or perhaps a city park that features a giant globe or map? Maybe your city has an annual international food fest, with booths representing many different countries?

Use this as a chance to pray for the world. With your children, walk around this area, and as you walk, pray aloud. This may feel super awkward at first. Just pray as though you’re talking – in fact, someone looking at you wouldn’t realize you are praying… you would just look like you’re having a conversation.

Pray for the people you see. Pray for the countries represented by each of the booths at the food fest, or gather at a giant map and pray for a few minutes for the countries you notice.

Of course, make this a fun experience for your kids! After a few minutes of prayer, play at the park or stop for a treat on the way home, or get a snack at the food fest.

Gather missionary prayer cards, cards from your sponsored kids, or even just cards highlighting countries in the world. Tuck them into a small 4 x 6 photo album (often available at the dollar store), turn them into a heart garland, hole punch the corner and tie with a ribbon, or just throw them in a basket. Each day, choose one and pray. This would be fun for even young children to feel like they are involved, since they could select who to pray for.

You could simply spin a globe and put your finger down, and pray for the closest country. It’s not very systematic, but would be fun! 🙂 (Look up the country in Operation World for a more “informed” prayer.)

A few more resources…

Always, grace.

Daily prayer for the nations is wonderful. Vital. 100% necessary.

But, you will fail.

In fact, you will fail because it is so necessary.

In our family, we notice that whenever we set forth to do something significant for God’s kingdom, like prayer for the nations, that is the very moment when we encounter spiritual resistance. We’re tired. Our kids misbehave. My husband and I argue. We get sick. And so we set aside the prayer guide and give up and forget about this significant, honorable task God has given us.

When that happens, be encouraged. Don’t give up! Remember the grace of Christ as you seek to follow Him. He’s not condemning you for missing a day week month of prayer for all nations… He’s delighted that you are beginning the task anew!

I believe that His words to Paul are true for all of us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So keep going! Rely on His perfect power to keep going even in weakness. Let’s join our kids in the vital work of prayer for all nations.

This Global Missions with Kids series is full of thoughts and practical ideas for serving Christ alongside your children and teenagers.

**What ideas or questions do you have for praying for all nations? Leave a comment below.