Friday, May 23, 2014

Our First Youth Meeting

Last Friday night was our first youth/singles meeting (Grupo VIPs, ages 15-25)! Besides the youth from our church we had 5 new people from San Pancho come! Please pray for our second meeting tonight! We had some new teens and singles visit our mid-week service last night, so we are hoping they will come back tonight too!
{Juan and a couple guys decorated the kitchen, where we serve coffee and bread. I thought it looked really happy!}
Please pray for the singles and teens in our church that are young Christians. It seems that so many of them are being attacked by Satan right now. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in their lives and give them the victory over all of the things Satan wants to bring into their lives that will draw them away from God. They are still coming to church, so that's good, but Satan is always fighting for their hearts. 

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Family Traditions #25: Easter 2014

We started about 2 weeks before Easter again this year and set aside a little bit of time each day to talk about the different events that led up to the empty tomb! Here are the passages and activities for each day. I think we can keep doing something like this even up to when they are teenagers. It will be fun to study deeper into each passage, especially as they get older. Like last year, they eagerly asked me each morning what and when we were doing for Easter that day.  
Day #1: Jesus Enters Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)
Passage: Matthew 21:1-11
We waved real palm branches (kind of convenient since our yard is full of them!) around and shouted "Hosanna!". Then we made palm spinners.We talked about what the word Hosanna means - "Salvation is here".
We are in the process of putting up a big cork board in our hallway. Once we save up to buy enough cork pieces (4) to fill up the wall, we will frame it out with wood. I want it to be our Bible board. It will be separate from our school room. Hopefully we can study all kind of topics in the Bible outside of school and decorate our board with everything we have learned. It's basically a wall-sized lapbook. Jonah and I are very much visual learners, so this will help us both remember what we study. Silas and his daddy are like elephants, no tools or visual aids, they just remember everything. Who knows how Eden learns. 
Day #2: Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet
Passage: John 13:1-17
We washed each others feet and talked about serving others and how without being washed by Jesus we still have sin. 
They loved this activity. Probably one of their favorites of the two weeks. 
 Day #3: The Last Supper
Passage: Luke 22:14-20
We used their fistprints to stamp the 12 disciples and Jesus around a table. It was messy! 
 We glued brown foam on the table for bread and red tissue paper for wine and talked about what they represented. 

Day #4: Judas Betrays Jesus
Passage: Matthew 26:1-5; 14-16; 47-50
We played hot potato with a bag of coins (the 30 pieces of silver). 
This was another favorite activity. We did this on several days.
I already had printed up some color sheets for each day too since all of these lessons are part of our SS curriculum. Eden asks to color on a daily basis now, so she appreciated this.

Day #5: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Passage: Luke 22:39-46
We made dioramas of Jesus praying in the garden. 
Don't have a link because it's a craft I photoshopped together for church.
Jonah and Silas' cutting skills are coming right along! We only needed a little tape to repair parts of one of them, haha!
  Day #6: Jesus is Arrested
Passage: Luke 22:47-54
This day was epic! I told Dada the day before about a sword I had seen made out of PVC pipe. He took care of it! 
Of course this was their favorite day. We talked about Jesus being arrested and Peter chopping off the servants ear and Jesus healing the ear. 
Silas has played with this sword every single day since.This is where he keeps it:
{Eden wanted to pose for the picture too}
Day #7: Peter Denies Christ
Passage: Luke 22:31-34; 54-62
We made roosters that actually cluck. The boys were so proud of their roosters! It was the first thing they told Dada about when he got home.
 They have little plastic cups inside that you can pull the string and it makes a clucking sound. With this story we talked a lot about how God still used Peter to do great things (like the preaching at Pentecost) after he made things right with Him again.
We also played a game where you have to try and be the first one to eat 4 crackers, swallow and say, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel!"  

Day #8: Crown of Thorns
Passage: Matthew 27:27-31
With this day they asked if we could do the same activity as last year... it's funny the things they remember.
{It was a random cold day in Petén, thus the hoodie}
 But first we went outside to look for "points". That's what Jonah calls them. From all of their playing outside they knew right where to find the thorns. 
We talked about how they hurt and how our sins caused Jesus that same pain. I asked them why Jesus would go through all that pain and Jonah said, "Because he loves us!"
Then we made playdough and toothpick crowns of thorns. 

Day #9: The Thief on the Cross
Passage: Luke 23:32-33; 39-43
This was an activity that I knew Jonah would appreciate. 
 It is an object lesson I found here. It involved several sight words (which Jonah and Silas enjoyed trying to put together) and told the whole plan of Salvation. 
Jonah kept calling it a "cool puzzle".
Day #10: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Passage: Luke 23:33-38; 44-47
Since last year, they mention "Jesus' cross" all the time. They see the shape everywhere and always point it out to me. I'm glad!

Do people still use salad spinners, haha! I love mine. I dry my spinach in it after I wash it. Anways, most the time it is missing... because my boys have ran off with it.
We cut out circles for them and then taped out the shape of the cross. Then they went at it! 
Why is it so much fun? 
I thought they turned out really pretty! They liked the tape cross we removed and asked if we could hang it up too. 
Day #11: Why Did Jesus Die?
Passage: Romans 5:8
We did this activity in the evening with Daddy. I felt like what God's theme this year for Easter for me (you know the times when whatever you study or whatever you hear it seem that God just keeps telling you the same thing until you stop and listen) was about Christ giving up His life to give us life. Not only eternal life, but an abundant/victorious life right now. (Rom 8:1-14)

 We did this activity last year too. I hope my kiddos always view what Jesus did for them as something very personal. We drew the scars on our hands and feet and wrote our names over them since Christ died for each one of us specifically.
Day #12: Jesus’ Body is Placed into the Tomb
Passage: Matthew 27:57-66
The Saturday before Easter we made cupcakes and then built our edible tombs. Thankfully it was Family Fun Day, so Dada was there to help with the mess!
We all had fun!
Eden was sweet and shared with her Dada!
This was a little much, but later that night we made Resurrection cookies. I think next year we will save the tombs for SS, since it's kind of tradition with my church kids. These cookies are good because each ingredient has a significance... and my boys love tasting each one separately anyway and talking about how gross or good they are.
Day #13: Jesus is Risen
Passage: Matthew 28:1-10
We ate our cookies! And they were empty (hollow).
Day #14: Jesus Ascends to Heaven
Passage: Luke 24:35-53
We made this diorama as a review and then talked about Jesus ascending to Heaven. Can you see Jesus ascended? Jonah put Him in the onions!
We went into more detail the next week in SS about what our job is hear on earth and how Jesus didn't leave us alone. 

We had 2 great weeks of celebrating Easter. Eden is getting much more verbal and I am constantly surprised about how much she picks up from these activities without me knowing.
We did get an Easter family photo before church on Sunday. It was right before rainy season, everything in our yard was brown... makes me so happy about the rain now! Why oh why did I not get out the tripod?! Propping the camera up on the porch, 8 feet away doesn't work! 

At least we got a good one of Jonah, Silas and Eden!
I am SO thankful for what we were celebrating and for all of our moments we shared together. I can't wait till we start homeschool in August!
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