STREET CHILDREN IN LA PAZ - World Mission Prayer League Minneapolis, MN 55403 La Paz, Bolivia attn:
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Transcript of STREET CHILDREN IN LA PAZ - World Mission Prayer League Minneapolis, MN 55403 La Paz, Bolivia attn:
STREET CHILDREN IN LA PAZ A ministry of the
Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Bolivia in partnership with the
World Mission Prayer League
A Kid-to-Kid Mission Education Guide World Mission Prayer League
232 Clifton Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 871-6843 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND INFORMATION When Jesus said, “Let the children come,” he sent a message to his followers and to
us. Children are important. They should not be ignored. Their joys, their cries are important to him and should be to his followers today. The reality that the world’s children experience day after day is ignored all too often by those in authority, by society, and by the church. Around the globe, there is no other group that is more oppressed than children. It is a “hard-knock life” for at least 100,000,000 children who are trying to survive mainly in the urban areas of developing nations. Some startling statistics are worth pondering:
• About one third of the world’s population is under the age of 15. • About 35,000 children die of malnutrition and preventable diseases every day. • About 100,000,000 children live or work on the streets. • Mexico City alone has 1.9 street children. • Latin America has the largest number of street children. • There are at least 1,000,000 children forced into prostitution each year. • Between 100 and 200,000,000 children are involved in child labor. • 1,500,000 children are currently infected with AIDS • In the Third World, girls receive consistently less food, less health care and less
education than boys. [Viva Network, “The Oxford Statement on Children at Risk”, 1997]
Poverty is the basic reason for this crisis. Poverty is the reason that thousands of children are displaced after a natural disaster like the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Livelihoods were gone in a single moment when landslides took the land. Poverty is the reason that loving parents have no choice but to send their children into the streets to work, often knowing they will be exploited. Poverty destroys self-esteem, the will, and sense of dignity.
When we feel overwhelmed by the needs of children in the world, we need to remember that compassion works one person at a time, like the boy who rescued the stranded starfish from certain death on the beach. He picked it up and placed it in the water. He felt good about it. When asked by an onlooker why he went to the trouble to rescue one starfish when there were thousands of starfish, the boy replied, “it made all the difference to that one, sir.” Children need to know that they can make a difference, also, even in the lives of street children. How their stories are presented is crucial; we must remember that they are children themselves with the same fears and hopes that all children have.
Mike and Cynthia Fehrenbach are missionaries with the World Mission Prayer League. They work in partnership with a team of college students from El Redentor Lutheran Church in La Paz, Bolivia. The goal and prayer of this team is to challenge the Christian church to notice this forgotten population and become actively involved in sharing God's love with these children. They have asked for prayer for the street children.
The needs of these children are spiritual, emotional and material in nature. They have experienced a lot of hurt and rejection in their young lives and are not quick to accept or trust anything or anyone. Medical, food and clothing needs are constant. Good, nutritious snacks for the kids at the soccer program, clothing, blankets, shoes and socks, medicine and treatment are needs also. Financing for field trips and for scholarships is needed as well.
Food and clothes are distributed to about 60 people a week. A recreation program on Saturdays attracts children who are shoe shiners and candy sellers. Their ages range from ten to late teens. Other activities include friendship building in the areas where the children live, taking children to the doctor, and any other means to share the love of God with an ignored population.
There are street children in almost any major city of the world. Are there any in your neighborhood? An invaluable resource could be a representative from a local shelter or child advocate to present the needs of these children in your city or neighborhood. Why are children homeless? What needs do they have? Can we help?
CONTACTS: World Mission Prayer League Mike and Cynthia Fehrenbach 232 Clifton Ave. Casilla 266 Minneapolis, MN 55403 La Paz, Bolivia attn: Cindy Lindquist South America (612) 871-6843 (Note: send Airmail/Por Avión) fax: (612)871-6844 E-mail: email@example.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: The video “Kids These Days” by Good News Productions, Int’l is a shocking view into the life of children who live on the streets. See Resource List.
THEME: Street children in La Paz, Bolivia. This unit seeks to help children realize that the needs of all children are the same. It also seeks to encourage them to make a difference in the lives of a certain group of children who need help.
BIBLE VERSE: “Let the children come,” Matthew 19:14. Use this verse in all the publicity and with the children during the time of the Mission Minutes, when appropriate. Also have it visible on the Offering Board.
OFFERING: Offerings would be used for medical, food and clothing needs. Also, offerings would be used to take the shoe shine boys and candy sellers on retreats with some church members to get away from the city and to build friendships. In addition, offerings could be used to offer scholarships to promising shoe shine boys and candy sellers to go to school.
MISSION MINUTES: Mission Minutes are to be used in the large group time. We have provided ten Mission Minutes. Use these minutes to inform the children about the nature of the ministry and the country of Bolivia. Use one Mission Minute each Sunday during the emphasis. Use Mission Minute #5 on a Sunday when more time can be spent in the classroom to do the hands-on project (below).
HANDS-ON PROJECT: Dedicate one Sunday’s classroom time to make one of the following items that will actually be used by the children in La Paz. The Fehrenbachs prepared this list of projects and said they would be wonderful gifts, especially for the shoe shine boys and candy sellers. (See Appendix #1 for instructions)
• Hand stamped or painted caps for the candy sellers who stand for hours in the hot sun.
• Hand-stamped or painted T-shirts for the soccer program. • Hygiene kits (comb, toothbrush, paste, chapstick, hand lotion, etc.). • School kits (paper, pencils, pens, erasers, crayons, metric rulers, compasses, etc.). • Large buttons with the picture of the Sunday School class on it, possibly wearing
sports T-shirts to emphasize the common love of sports.
CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES: These are activities that can be done in the individual classrooms as time permits throughout the weeks of the emphasis:
1. PAPER KID CHAINS- An activity to reinforce the concept that all children are alike more than they are different. 2. PRAYER BOX- A prayer activity that encourages children to pray for other children. 3. PRAYER CUBE- An activity that encourages children to pray for other children. 4. FUN FACTS ABOUT BOLIVIA- An activity that encourages children to learn about the country of Bolivia.
5. BUILD AND PRAY- A prayer activity that encourages creativity and spontaneity in prayer for children in Bolivia. 6. YOU’VE GOT MAIL!- An activity that allows the children to communicate with children in Bolivia. 7. NOT ONLY SPANISH- An activity that teaches the children to write in Aymara, Quechua and Spanish, the three national languages of Bolivia. 8. CANDY AND SHOES- An activity to inform the children about who sells candy and who shines the shoes in La Paz.
VISUAL RESOURCES: Some slides of the ministry and a video of the soccer club are available. They are available in check-out form only. Call WMPL for more information.
SONGS: Choose one of the following songs. They reflect the theme of why we love others. Sing the theme song as often as possible; repetition is important.
• “We love, because he first loved us" by Ann F. Price from Little Ones Sing Praise c1989, Concordia Publishing House
• “Freely, freely, you have received” by Carol Owens, Maranatha! Music Praise Chorus Book, page 263 and Borning Cry, compiled by John Ylvisaker, page 385, c1972 Communique Music, Inc.
The chorus of the song, "Jesus Loves Me" has been translated into Spanish (below). It is written in a phonetic way so it is easily learned. (See Appendix #2 for master)
SEE, CREES-TO MAY AH-MAH SEE, CREES-TO MAY AH-MAH SEE, CREES-TO MAY AH-MAH LAH BEE-BLEE-AH DEE-SAY A-SEE
The Spanish translation is as follows:
Sí, Cristo me ama, Yes, Jesus loves me, Sí, Cristo me ama, Yes, Jesus loves me, Sí, Cristo me ama, Yes, Jesus loves me La Biblia dice así. The Bible tells me so.
OFFERING BOARD: Use a big (3’ x 5’) poster board with a picture or drawing of a city on it. Buildings, park, bridge, bus depot, shops, market, etc. should be easily seen. Hidden in various places are children, covered with a piece of paper. Every Sunday, a volunteer is to find a child in the city when the offering totals a certain amount (ex. $10 per child). That amount represents how many children your offering will reach. This board should be used every Sunday. Option: Use the paper chain cutouts for the children on the offering board. Simply cut them apart and “hide”