Teach Kids to Pray for the Christmas Camel
By Jenna Townsend
What is your favorite Christmas party memory? Mine is my third grade class Christmas party. That party was memorable because the mom of one of my classmates brought her homemade chocolate gnash cupcakes. I’m way past third grade but I don’t think I’ve found a better cupcake. What do the kids in your life love about Christmas parties? Christmas is a great time to grow in your relationship with the kids by having some fun and teaching them about how Jesus came to Earth. Have you ever thought about the Christmas parties happening in other countries? That’s what I want to talk about today.
One of the things I love about Christmas in the States is that it’s so easy to celebrate. I mean, by midnight on November first, there’s Christmas décor and publicity for special events. But in many countries, it’s not so easy to celebrate, because the holiday is just a side note and people don’t understand the true meaning.
Child Evangelism Fellowship, or CEF, started a special project a few years ago called CAMEL. It stands for Christmas Across Middle East Lands. It has become one of the best ways our ministry has reached millions of boys and girls in one of the most difficult places in the world. How has God been working to do that? Through Christmas parties! The Christmas party includes ideas for games and snacks, a memory verse teaching, and a lesson about the hope of Christ at Christmas time. All over Middle East Lands, between seven and nine million kids a year hear the gospel through Christmas Parties. For many of these kids, it’s the first time they ever hear the real meaning of Christmas and the gospel. Best of all, over two million kids trust Jesus as their Savior. God has blessed this ministry, but we need for you and the kids in your life to pray. The kids in your home or Sunday School can pray for kids in the Middle East as they hear about Jesus! Here’s some ideas for how you can help them do this.
The first thing you can do is make it a special prayer segment in your home, Sunday School, or Christmas party. If you take time to pray for your party or pray before a snack, talk to the kids about how you can ask God to bless your Christmas party AND Christmas parties all over the world. Tell them that there are kids who live in countries where learning about Jesus is dangerous. Then, tell them you’re going to ask God to help their parties so they can learn about Jesus. You can either pray as an example to the kids, or you can have a volunteer pray.
The second way you can encourage kids to pray is by sharing stories of kids in other countries learning about Jesus. Here’s a story you can share with them. An eight-year-old girl from the slums believed in Jesus as her Savior last year at a Christmas party! She was so excited to know Jesus and started attending church. However, her parents were against it. They would scold her and even beat her for going to church. But she still ran to church with gladness because of her excitement to learn about Jesus.
This is just one of the stories in the free CEF publication, Impact Magazine. You can receive Impact Magazine in the mail or in digital format in your email. The fall issue features CAMEL stories. Teachers are trained in October and November so they are ready to hold the parties in December. In fact, there will be around a thousand Christmas Party Clubs across the USA as well. You can host your own party by calling your nearest CEF chapter found here: CEF Chapters.
Sharing stories can help kids understand the impact their prayers have on kids around the world. You can help visualize this prayer need by showing them a world map and focusing on Middle Eastern countries while you talk to them. Show them pictures of Middle Eastern children. You could even hand out pictures of a camel to remind kids to pray for Christmas parties in the Middle East. Before copying the picture, write C A M E L down the left side and then Christmas Across Middle East Lands for each letter. I found a plush camel toy at a resale store, put a bow around its neck, and I display it in my home and Sunday School class to help us remember to pray for all the children who are hearing about the true meaning of Christmas.
For more information on CAMEL, or to sign up for Impact Magazine, go to Impact Magazine Fall 2021 – Child Evangelism Fellowship (cefonline.com)
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