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A Can of Beans, a Globe and the Internet

What do a can of beans, a globe and the internet have in common?

World Vision Night.

We have tried to be intentional in teaching our kids as well as reminding our own hearts about the needs around the world. Without a regular reminder we drift and get caught up in materialism and forgetfulness. Urgency is lost. Compassion is not seeing a need a feeling sorry. Compassion is a verb, something we do.

A Can of Beans

Once a month our family eats rice and beans for dinner. It costs us about a dollar to feed everyone and we use what we would have spent on eating out to help relieve hunger around the world. While we eat, we talk about why we are only eating rice and beans and how inexpensive the meal is and remind the kids that much of the world lives off of $2 a day!

A Globe

We also talk about and our sponsored children, find their countries on the globe and pray for them. Compassion International does a great job at keeping us updated with our sponsored children so we usually have something to read to the kids, with pictures of our sponsored children’s country and specific prayer requests for that area.

The Internet

There are loads of great online resources to help build a compassion for the world in the hearts of our families. Here are a few that we have used:
Downloadable Resources from Compassion. They have a “Children and Families” section with coloring pages, activities and other great ideas to connect with your sponsored child. (What? You don’t have a sponsored child? Go now and get one!)
Operation World Prayer Videos. These are awesome. They are short videos of the country which you can listen to and pray along with. A great way to show our kids the world, as well as teach them how to pray for specific requests. All of the Operation World site is great!
Quest for Compassion. This is a kids’ website where they can explore the world and learn about the culture and needs of different areas. Last week Kenneth visited Bangladesh!

World Vision’s Giving Catalog. Another great visual for our kids to see why we are “sacrificing” a Happy Meal. Plus, they get excited about buying ducks (this video is from our first Family World Vision Night):


Getting There
by the Southern Baptist IMB. An interactive map where you can read about a pray for unreached people groups. This is something I would like to add later on. Chris and I have talked about “adopting” an unreached people group as a family. Peoples that we could pray for, give to, and maybe one day go to!

What ideas do you have for a Family World Vision Night? What online resources would you add to the list?

5 replies
  1. Joyful Mama
    Joyful Mama says:

    What a wonderful idea!

    My husband is off on a missions outreach to a place called Ghantsi in Botswana in two days' time. He goes up with our church once and sometimes maybe twice a year to minister to a group of people called the Basarwa. They are a 'bushman' tribe who has been living as social outcasts for many years and our congregation sponsors a Zimbabwean missionary couple who does wonderful work discipling these lost and shamed people.

    Since the birth of our children I have not been able to join my husband on these trips, but I love this idea of yours and if you don't mind, I would like to have a beans and rice night here next week, to help my little ones understand a little more about the needs of the people their daddy is going to minister to!

    Thanks also for pointing me towards those great resources!!

    Reply
  2. Katie Orr
    Katie Orr says:

    Of course, I would love for you to have a rice and beans night!

    What a great way to connect your kids to what their daddy is doing! And I love that you guys have a specific place to pray for, and give to.

    Reply
  3. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I love the idea of a rice and beans night with a focus on the way others eat and saving money to send to the hungry! (Though we already eat rice and beans once every week or two, I might be able to make it exciting this way!

    While we don't support WV, we have family activities with a focus on our nine Compassion kids. Letter writing is a big deal to us, so we plan out themed letters with fun enclosures.

    I also use our inter-library loan and order all sorts of books and videos on the countries where our children live. As homeschoolers, this also leads to map-work and some research on the countries, cultures and traditions.

    Thanks for the inspiration!! 😀

    Reply
  4. Katie Orr
    Katie Orr says:

    NINE Compassion kids! That is wonderful!

    We are beginning homeschooling in the Fall, and I am looking forward to incorporating it all together. You have some great ideas, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  5. Merissa
    Merissa says:

    Love rice & bean night – and that you set aside those funds to help feed others…another great resource is Ricebowls.org – we keep a plastic ricebowl around to put all of our change in…then give it online!

    Reply

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