On 25 June 2017, children from around the world joined together in singing “For The Cause” as part of the second Global Hymn Sing for #TheTaskUnfinished.
We love seeing people of all ages and whole families getting involved in our mission to share the gospel with the peoples of East Asia, but it can be hard to interest children. How can parents and churches teach their children about what God is doing around the world?
Well, here are a few fun ideas to get you started…it could lead to some great conversations about world mission!
1. Try writing some Chinese characters
By the time English speaking children leave school, they’ll know how to use the 26 letters of our alphabet, but Chinese pupils have over 50,000 characters to learn. They’re expected to know 5,000 of them by age 10!
Whilst some characters are just a few lines, others are very complicated. See if your children can write the phrase ‘God is love’ (shen shi ai) in Chinese. This activity is a great way of helping children better understand some of the challenges missionaries face in a new country.
3. Make and eat Asian flags
Buy, or make, some plain rectangular biscuits and use your icing skills to try and recreate the flags of East Asian countries. Then enjoy eating your delicious creations! In case you haven’t committed Asian flags to memory, take a look at this list to see what you’re aiming for. You could also look up some facts about the countries whose flags you’re eating. Operation World is a fantastic prayer resource for information about the church around the world. Here’s their list of Asian countries with a fact file and prayer points for each. This activity could be a really tasty and engaging way of encouraging children (and the not-so-young!) to pray for God’s work around the world.
Try learning a familiar chorus in a new language. You can find some lyrics here, then see if you can find a video online to sing to.
Learn a new or old song with a missions theme, like the Getty Kids Hymnal: For The Cause.
Listen to our The Task Unfinished – Songs for the Nations Spotify playlist – You’ll need the Spotify app.
5. Send a parcel to a mission partner
Despite 24-hour news, social media and email, most people still love receiving post. It’s pretty tricky to send someone their favourite UK chocolate by email, so why not make up a package and send it to a missionary you know or support at church?
Things to include:
- a photo of you and your family
- a letter giving them an update on school, holidays, church and family and what you’ve been praying for them
- a tasty treat that will remind them of home
There are excellent biography series of missions pioneers available, these stories inspire children with what God has done through men and women and have a lasting impact:
- Ten Boys Who Made History
- Ten Boys Who Changed the World
- Ten Girls Who Changed the World
- CHRISTIAN HEROES: THEN & NOW
Online resources and videos from TEAM, IMB and others:
40 Days 40 Bites (and 40 More Bites) – In 40 tasty, easily digestible bites you can travel round God’s amazing world and pray!
7. Enjoy an Asian day out
Spend a day having fun, experiencing new things and learning a little history. You could visit:
Chinatown, many major cities
These areas of Chinese communities, restaurants, supermarkets and shops are a great way to get a taste of East Asia. Try some new foods, visit for a festival, like Chinese New Year.
Museums, Art Exhibitions, Gardens
Find places nearby that have a activities and displays from around the world. You might be able to see and experience the history, culture, design and plant life.
8. Create Asian paper craft
The only thing that limits what you can make with a humble sheet is your imagination! Why not have a go at some Asian paper craft, whether it’s a mouse, a Chinese lantern or even a durian?
Here are a few links to some good tutorials, whether you’re a beginner or a master!
We hope you find these ideas helpful. If you have any other ideas, we’d be delighted to hear about them. Do get in touch on our social media pages.