Prep Ahead: Bring building blocks (one per kid). Also find a photo of a destroyed home from a recent natural disaster and print it out or provide a way to show it electronically. Find out a few facts about the disaster that are appropriate to share with the children such as when it occurred, what resulted from the disaster, or scientific information about the kind of natural disaster depicted in the photo.
(As you talk, stack the blocks to create a wall. If you have a lot of blocks, you may want to have most of the wall already standing before you start, and then just add the last few as you speak.)
SAY: It’s great to see you! I hope you’re all having a great day so far. I bet you’re wondering what I’m doing with these blocks. Well, you’re about to find out!
SAY: Now I want all of you to face the wall I’ve just built and blow as hard as you can on the count of three. Ready? One, two, three!
(Let children blow for a few seconds and then knock the wall down as if their blowing has done it.)
We all know you didn’t really blow hard enough to knock down that wall, but sometimes wind can blow houses down; like when there’s a tornado or hurricane. Sometimes houses are destroyed from other kinds of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, mudslides, or fires.
(Show the photo of the destroyed home.)
This is a picture of a destroyed home from a recent disaster.
(Share a few details about the disaster. If it’s something kids would have heard about, ask a few of them to share what they’ve heard.)
When I hear stories like that, it makes me sad for the people involved, and it makes me want to help. Hebrews 13:16 says, “And don't forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God” (NLT). What are some ways you think we could do good and share with those in need after a disaster?
(Allow time for children to respond.)
Our church shares with those in need after disasters like the one we just talked about through One Great Hour of Sharing, which lets us share the goodness of life with those who are hurting. The offering supports the United Methodist Committee on Relief as it works to help people affected by disasters around the world.
(Ask a couple of kids to help you hand out building blocks to each child as you speak.)
SAY: We all can’t travel to areas of need and help people build their lives back up after a disaster, but we can help build them up right here from home by giving money and by praying for them. Each of you is receiving a building block so you can help build our wall back up. When I tap you on the head, I want you to place your block on the wall and say a silent prayer for people who have been affected by disasters.
(Quickly walk through the children, tapping them on the head one by one. After they have all had a turn, finish with the following prayer.)
Dear God, we know there are a lot of hurting people in the world who have been affected by disasters. Please comfort them and bring them hope in hard times. Show each of us how you want us to help them: by giving money, by praying for them, or maybe even by going to help them in person. In Jesus’ name, amen.