By Jenna Townsend
Christmas is a great time to bond with the kids in your life by having fun and teaching them about how Jesus came to Earth. Christmas parties, especially, with a Sunday school group or Good News Club® can be a special time for kids to laugh with friends, celebrate the season, and learn all about how much Jesus loves them. But have you ever thought about the Christmas parties happening in other countries?
One of the great things about Christmas in the States is that it’s so easy to celebrate. You can usually see Christmas lights twinkling or hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” ghosting in on the wind by November 1st. But in many other countries, it’s not so easy to celebrate, as the holiday is either just a side note or people don’t understand the true meaning behind it.
And yet, Christmas should be a treasured holiday—not only for the joy and laughter it brings, but for the reason for the season we find by celebrating the birth of Jesus. Kids all across the world deserve to enjoy and celebrate Christmas, while hearing the Gospel in their own language. Which is why Child Evangelism Fellowship decided to create C.A.M.E.L.
Bringing Christmas to Kids in the Middle East
Child Evangelism Fellowship, or CEF, started a special project a few years ago called C.A.M.E.L. It stands for “Christmas Across Middle East Lands”, and 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!
A C.A.M.E.L. Christmas party includes ideas for games and snacks, a Bible memory verse teaching, and a lesson about the hope of Christ at Christmas time. All over the Middle East, anywhere between 7-9 million kids a year will hear the gospel through CEF C.A.M.E.L. 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 2 million kids have chosen to trust Jesus as their Savior as a result.
Teach Kids to Pray for C.A.M.E.L.
God has blessed this ministry, but we need for you and the kids in your life to pray. Teaching kids to pray for others is always impactful. But kids praying for kids—specifically kids praying for children in the Middle East during such a challenging time—seems to be even more powerful. Praying for C.A.M.E.L. is no exception. The kids in your home, Good News Club®, or Sunday School can help by praying for children in the Middle East as they hear about Jesus through CEF!
Here’s some ideas for how you can start teaching kids to pray for others.
1) Make Praying for Children in the Middle East a Priority
The first thing you can do is make C.A.M.E.L. a special prayer segment in your home, Sunday School, Good News Club, or Christmas party. If you take time to pray for your day together or to pray before sharing a meal, talk to the kids about how you can also ask God to bless your Christmas party and Christmas parties all over the world, like C.A.M.E.L.
Tell kids that there are some children who live in countries where learning about Jesus is dangerous, and that praying for children in the Middle East is one way we can ask God to help keep them safe. Then, teach kids to pray for others by asking God to be with the children and CEF workers at their Christmas parties so they can learn about Jesus. You can start the prayer yourself, leading by example, but feel free to ask for a volunteer to pray next, further encouraging kids to pray for other kids.
2) Use Visual Aids When Teaching Kids to Pray for Others
The second way you can start teaching kids to pray for others is by sharing stories of children in other countries learning about Jesus. Sharing stories can help kids understand the impact their prayers have on kids around the world and why kids praying for kids matters.
You can help visualize this prayer need by showing them a world map and focusing on Middle Eastern countries when teaching kids to pray for others. While you talk about praying for Middle Eastern children, show them pictures of Middle Eastern kids and bring their stories to life. You could even display a toy camel or hand out pictures of a camel—with “C.A.M.E.L.” written down the left side and then “Christmas Across Middle East Lands” alongside each letter—to remind kids to pray for CEF’s C.A.M.E.L. ministry.
Adding these visual aids to your Sunday School class or Christmas party when teaching kids to pray for others can help children remember to pray for kids in the Middle East who are hearing about the true meaning of Christmas, possibly for the first time.
Follow Along and Get Involved
As you begin to make praying for children in the Middle East a habit, don’t forget to follow along with CEF updates and get involved. The Fall issue of CEF’s free publication, Impact Magazine, features C.A.M.E.L. stories perfect for sharing at your children’s Christmas parties or Sunday School class.
Stories like an eight-year-old girl from the slums who believed in Jesus as her Savior last year after attending a CEF C.A.M.E.L. Christmas party. And though her parents were against her attending church—scolding and even beating her for going—she was so excited to know Jesus, she still ran to church with gladness because of her joy to learn about Him!
You can find more stories like this by subscribing to Impact Magazine to receive new issues in the mail or in digital format through your email. Want more ways to get involved? Join the over 1,000 Christmas Party Clubs across the USA this year by receiving CEF teacher training or learn how to host your own party by calling your nearest CEF chapter.
Thank you for keeping C.A.M.E.L. in your prayers this year, and for teaching kids to pray for children in the Middle East as they discover the gift of Jesus this Christmas season.