CHILDRENS PLANS.indd by Jeronohnson

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									                         Children’s Study Materials
            For Girls in Action, Children in Action,
          Royal Ambassadors or other children’s groups
Theme Scripture: And we rejoice in                            (posters, pictures, and family page) are provided to assist
                                                              and enhance teaching. Contact Lester Meriwether, Direc-
the hope of the glory of God (Romans                          tor of Literacy ConneXus, at 817.696.9898 for a free DVD
5:2B NIV)                                                     or CD that will explain in detail the Books for the Border
The aim of this session is to lead children to realize that   project (specific books requested, how to make and de-
Jesus Christ is our hope. With Christ as our hope we          liver the bookcases, etc.). Prayerfully read the plans and
must live our lives as He did caring for others and telling   consider how God wants you to implement these plans
them about Him. Children will learn the following things      with the children of your church. Encourage your church
during this session:                                          to support the Mary Hill Davis Offering which helps fund
                                                              literacy missions in Texas.
 • God cares about everyone, meets their needs, and
   gives His hope                                             Options for adapting the Teaching
 • Literacy missions in Texas meets needs of people           Plan:
   through “Books for the Border”
 • To pray for literacy missions in Texas                     1. One hour session
 • Commit to prayer support for and financial giving to         • Greet each child as they enter
   Texas missions through the Mary Hill Davis Offering®        • Introductory Activity: Give It Away (10 minutes)
 • Consider ways that God wants them to have a life-           • Games/activities: Choose one (10-15 minutes)
   style of missions and telling others about Him              • Large Group: “Books for the Border”—Hope for
                                                                 Families and Children in Texas (10-15 min)
How to use this material:
                                                               • Project/Art: Choose one (15 minutes)
This session can be used in various children’s ministry
programs and events such as: Sunday school, Girls in Ac-       • Wrap-up & Prayer: (10 minutes)
tion, Children in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and worship.     2. Large group time or children’s worship
It is designed to be used for a complete one hour session
                                                              Choose one or more of the activities and incorporate
or in part to meet the schedule and format needs of any
                                                              them into your plans for missions emphasis. From any
program.
                                                              part or combination of the biblical basis, “Books for the
Teaching Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46 NIV                      Border” Family Literacy Ministry, activities, and projects
Focal verse: Matthew 25:40 NIV “I tell you the truth,         you will be able to engage the children in learning and
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers       experiencing missions.
of mine, you did for me” (Resource Item 2)
                                                              3. Rotation
This material provides a teaching plan called “Books for
                                                              Provide the room space and staff to rotate the children in
the Border”–Hope for Children and Families of Texas
                                                              groups to participate in the different activities.
(Resource Item 1). Included is the biblical basis using
the story of the parable of the sheep and the goats found     Sample rotation:
in Matthew 25:31-46. Resource items to be reproduced          Allow 5 minutes for moving groups to each rotation.
Rotation 1: Games/activities (15 minutes)                            opportunities in later school years and beyond.
Rotation 2: Group time: “Books for the Border” Family                Reading is absolutely fundamental. Ninety-three million
Literacy Ministry (15 minutes)                                       American adults, or 45 percent of the adult population,
Rotation 3: Project/Art (15 minutes)                                 have limited reading, writing, and math skills. An esti-
                                                                     mated 771 million adults, one-fifth of the world’s popula-
*No matter which option you choose, make sure you                    tion, do not have the ability to read and write, with under-
send home the Family Page. Consider choosing one of                  standing, a short, simple sentence about one’s own life.
the mission projects to involve your children in hands-on            One in three adults cannot read this sentence.
missions.
                                                                     Christians naturally respond to the needs of those around
General Information for Teaching:                                    them and feel an obligation to minister in the name of
                                                                     Jesus Christ. Christians working together can accomplish
Biblical Basis                                                       much for the glory of God. Texas Baptists are Christians
Throughout the Bible Jesus taught and demonstrated                   working together, putting love in action, meeting the urgent
service to others. Jesus uses the parable of the sheep               needs of people. Texas Baptists are partnering to provide
and the goats to teach that serving God is serving others.           hope through literacy missions and the “Books for the
Read and study Matthew 25:31-46.                                     Border” Family Literacy Ministry. “Books for the Border,”
Did you ever give Jesus a glass of water when He was                 is a collaboration of Literacy ConneXus, churches, and
thirsty? Now there’s an interesting question. How could              community groups who together make a significant impact
we possibly have given Him a glass of water? Jesus                   on Texas children and families stuck in poverty because of
taught us a truth about serving with a story of a king.              unmet literacy needs. Seven Texas counties have been
Of course He was the king in His own story. Jesus said,              identified as among the twenty poorest in the United
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was                States. It was determined that providing books for families
thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a                  living in poverty is a strategic first step for developing fam-
stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you             ily literacy programs, resulting ultimately in lifting families
clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in             out of poverty. This partnership heightens awareness for
prison and you came to visit me.” Then the righteous will            those held in poverty throughout our state and participat-
answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed               ing churches will return to their own communities with a
you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When                fresh heart for the poor and illiterate in their own commu-
did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or need-                nities and elsewhere.
ing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick                 “Books for the Border” provides “libraries” for families liv-
or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “I           ing in poverty along the Rio Grande River border in Texas.
tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of         The libraries consist of a modest shelf unit which contains
these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35-              a Bible, a Spanish-English dictionary, and an assortment
40). Did you ever see someone in need and help him or                of children’s books. Churches across Texas provide the
her? In Matthew 10:42 Jesus said, “If anyone gives even              books and shelf units. The intent is to encourage and
a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because              equip parents to read to their children – beginning with
he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not       infants. Lester Meriwether believes that books in a home
lose his reward.” During Jesus’ life here on earth He went           make a significant difference in the development of the
around doing good. Some of the things Jesus did we                   child’s capacity to learn. Yet poverty and other factors
can’t do. We can’t heal the sick or raise the dead the way           limit the access of many children to the basic experience
Jesus did. Other things we can do. We can help people                of early literacy.
we know who are sick by visiting them or sending them                Literacy ConneXus, a nonprofit organization Meriwether
a card. If someone we meet is hungry we can see that                 directs, partnered with Western Hills Baptist Church in
he gets some food. If we see an important job not being              Fort Worth, and First Baptist Church of El Paso and oth-
done we can do it, or at least help. You can do something            ers to sponsor a family reading fair. The family reading
nice for Him today. Just keep your eyes open for the op-             fair aimed to get books into the homes of 16 low-income
portunities Jesus gives you. It might cost you some time             families in Maverick County. Each family received a book-
and some effort but Jesus has promised that He will see              case that church volunteers had constructed and painted.
that you get your reward. And, Jesus is good for it!                 To encourage ownership, each child decorated his or her
                                                                     own bookcase with stickers, stamps, and paints and then
“Books for the Border”—                                              received seven children’s books and two Bibles to place in
Family Literacy Ministry                                             it. (Resource Item 4a)
Hope for Children and Families in Texas                              Sarah Starr, school librarian and former church librarian,
Becoming a reader begins early in a child’s life. A child            led First Baptist Church in Tyler to become involved with
develops skills through the early elementary years that              “Books for the Border” in the Rio Grande Valley. Forty-six
are especially important. A child must read with ease                people representing 10 families from the church followed
and understanding to take advantage of the learning                  Starr’s lead and traveled to facilitate a Family Literacy

                                                                 2
Fiesta at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Rio Grande City,              still as possible. Pause. Remember, you can’t move until
about 40 miles northwest of McAllen. Starr County in the            I tell you to do so.
Rio Grande Valley is one of the poorest counties in Texas.          Bring out a bag of treats, and place it out of the children’s
Many adults in the county cannot read or write in English           reach. Move around animatedly as you talk: Hmm. Here’s
but can read in Spanish.                                            this bag of treats, but you can’t move to get it. What if I
Dale Sawyer of Tyler led the construction of the bookcas-           built a machine that would pick up the candy and drop it
es months before the trip. After a donor provided lumber            in your mouths? No, that wouldn’t work. We don’t have
for the three-foot by four-foot bookcases, Sawyer and his           enough time for me to build something. I know! What if I
friend Bob McCollum helped cut them out. A shop class               train some ants to carry the candy to you? No, that won’t
at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler constructed the 63            work. I don’t know where I’d find so many ants, and I don’t
bookcases, later given to 63 families.                              have a clue how to train them. You could add a few more
More than 300 people attended a two-hour Family Literacy            zany ideas, but by now kids will probably say, “You give it
Fiesta at Primera Iglesia Bautista. The children partici-           to us!” O yeah, I could give the treats to you! Walk over
pated in games, face-painting, and story time. The fiesta            to the treats, and hand them out to the children. Let the
began with a brief church service in Spanish. Children              children move now! Ask:
and families from First Baptist in Tyler had primed and               • What was it like for you to wait for the treat?
painted the bookcases in bright solid colors before the               • How did you feel when I finally gave it to you?
trip. Fiesta children added painted designs or stickers to
personalize them. Each family was given one bookcase,                 • How is this like us reaching out to others?
and each child could pick out four books to take home as            Say: People are all around us who might not be able to
the start of a family library. (Resource Item 4b) Parents at        help themselves. Maybe they’re out of work or maybe
the Family Literacy Fiesta also received information about          they’re hurt. We need to notice these people and reach
English-as-a-Second-Language classes and adult basic                out to them. Let’s look for people in our families, in our
reading offered in their area. Sarah Starr concluded that,          church, in our community, and in our world who need our
“We did not end illiteracy or poverty with this one trip, but       help. Let’s reach out to them by giving money, canned
I know there’s a good chance we made a difference in a              goods, or clothing, or maybe just kind and encouraging
child’s life. And who knows how God will use that one.”             words.
The senior adult group at one Central Texas church
found an innovative way they could touch the lives of               Group Games Activities:
families along the Rio Grande without ever leaving                  True Servants
Waco. The XYZ Club at Seventh and James Baptist
                                                                    Supplies: A Bible and miscellaneous items such as a
Church learned about the “Books for the Border” family
                                                                    pencil, sheet of paper, string, roll of tape, empty cup,
literacy fairs when Lester Meriwether, executive director
                                                                    towel, glass of water, and a piece of candy.
of Literacy ConneXus, spoke to one of their meetings.
                                                                    Have children sit in a circle of chairs. Set an item for each
Led by woodworker and retired Baylor professor James
                                                                    child in the middle of the circle.
Wiley, the XYZ Club made two wooden bookcases to
donate to the literacy fairs. Following the pattern from            One at a time, have children pick one item and use it in
Meriwether, Wiley said it was an easy project for anybody           some way to serve someone else in the circle. Kids must
who knows how to use a hammer and a saw. (Resource                  pick an item that hasn’t been used before. Make sure
Item 4c) XYZ Club members did not paint the bookcases,              everyone is served once.
reserving this step for a child who will paint and decorate         Ask: How did you feel as you served other people? How
his own bookcase at the literacy event. The XYZ Club                did it feel to be served? How can we serve other people
also took up a collection in the club, and then passed the          this week?
hat in several Sunday school classes. Treadwell present-
ed a check for $650 to Meriwether for books. (Resource              I Can Help
Item 4d)                                                            Supplies: Bible and several objects or toys such as balls
                                                                    or stuffed animals.
Introductory Activity:                                              Form two groups. Say: Those of you in the first group, sit
Introduce the unit “Books for the Border” by showing the            down and cover your eyes. Your goal is to stand up and
Title Poster (Resource Item 1). Tell the children what they         walk to the rear of the room and back without taking your
will be learning about this hour and a few facts from the           hands off your eyes. Those of you in the second group
General Information for Teaching segment.                           are to help the people in the first group. Allow kids in the
                                                                    second group to help kids in the first group accomplish
Give It Away                                                        their task. Then have everyone return to the front of the
Simple Supplies: You will need a Bible and a bag of treats.         room.
Say: Welcome everyone. Before I start this lesson, I have           Place the objects on the floor. Tell children in the second
one rule for you. You can’t move. Let me see you sit as             group to each pick up an object from the ground without
                                                                3
using their hands. After a minute, allow the children in           Say: Although it’s a really thoughtful idea to give God
the first group to help the kids in the second group.               these kinds of gifts, he doesn’t really need a shirt or ce-
Ask: How did you feel when you had to walk with your               real or a children’s book. God can see in my heart, and
eyes closed? To pick up something without using your               he knows I love him. But there is an important way I can
hands? How did you feel when your friends helped you?              show God I love him.
When you helped your friends? How can you help your                Open the Bible, and read Matthew 25:40 Say: The Bible
friends or family this week?                                       says “Whatever you did for one of the least of these broth-
                                                                   ers of mine, you did for me.” That means when we reach
Bible-Verse Volleyball                                             out and help people who might go unnoticed or who seem
Supplies: Bible, chalkboard, chalk, an eraser, a balloon,          unimportant to others, we’re doing it for God. So the shirt
two prizes and Resource Item 2.                                    idea would be a good one if I gave it to someone who
Use this fun game to help your children memorize the               needs a shirt. Open your Bible to Matthew 25:31-46,
Bible verse.                                                       and in your own words tell the parable of the sheep and
                                                                   the goats. Ask kids to offer ideas of people who might
Write Matthew 25:40 on a white or chalkboard. Form two
                                                                   need shirts.
teams and have teams stand on opposite sides of a table.
Toss an inflated balloon to one team to “serve” to the              We can help the poor, who are often forgotten by others.
other team. Each team gets only three chances to hit the           The cereal and the book might go well at an outreach
balloon before hitting it back over the table.                     center in town. Or mention another place in town you
                                                                   could take the children’s book. When we offer these gifts
If the balloon touches the floor, the team whose side the
                                                                   of love to others, it’s as if we were giving them to Jesus.
balloon is on must read the Bible verse together. Each
time the verse is read, erase a word. Continue until one           Say: Books can be found in many places. Let’s name the
team has to say the entire verse from memory. Lead the             different places where we might find books. (Give the
group in saying Matthew 25:40 and give both teams a                children time to answer.) Many of us were given books
prize for good sportsmanship.                                      before we could read and our parents would read them
                                                                   for us. Do you know that there are some places where
Large Group                                                        children do not have books in their homes? There are
                                                                   children in Texas who do not have any books and many
“Books for the Border”—Hope for Children                           parents do not know how to read.
and Families in Texas
                                                                   Point out the map of Texas to the children. (Resource
Simple Supplies: Bible, a men’s shirt in a gift box, several
                                                                   Item 3) Ask for a volunteer to find the county they live in.
boxes of cereal in a grocery bag, a bouquet of flowers,
                                                                   Then show the children the counties where the Books for
map of Texas.
                                                                   the Border initiative focuses on families. Those counties
Say: Lately I’ve been thinking about how much God has              are Dimmit, Hidalgo, Maverick, Presidio, Starr, Zavala,
done for us. He created each of us to be unique. There’s           and Willacy.
no one else like us. He’s given us homes, food, and
                                                                   Share with the children in your own words about the
families. He watches over us and guides our lives. The
                                                                   “Books for the Border” family literacy ministry of Texas
best thing God gave us is his Son, Jesus, who died on
                                                                   using the information found in General Information for
the cross so we could live forever. Jesus loves us better
                                                                   Teaching. If you ordered the DVD from Literacy ConneXus,
than anyone on earth can love us. When I think of all
                                                                   show the video segment on Literacy Missions in Texas
he’s done, my heart overflows with love for him!
                                                                   and “Books for the Border.” While teaching, use the
So I decided to show God how much I love him. I bought             pictures (Resource Items 4a-4d) to enhance learning.
him some presents. Just as I give gifts to people I love,
                                                                   Lead the children in prayer for the children and families
I thought I’d give some to God, too. First, I bought him a
                                                                   in the seven counties of Texas and “Books for the Border”
shirt. Remove the shirt from its box, and hold it up. Do
                                                                   family literacy ministry. Say: As we pray, think of how you
you think he’ll like the color? I wonder if I got the right
                                                                   could show love to others as if you were doing it for Jesus.
size. Allow kids to express their thoughts about your gift.
                                                                   Pray, thanking God for loving us so much and that in re-
Return the shirt to the box, and take out the grocery bag
                                                                   turn we want to love Him.
with cereal.
Then I bought God some cereal. Show the different                  Arts/Crafts:
kinds. I didn’t know what kind God likes best, so I bought
several kinds!                                                     Buttermilk Miracles
                                                                   Supplies: A Bible, buttermilk, 1-inch-wide sponge brush-
Bring out a children’s book. How about a book? If I give
                                                                   es, pastel construction paper, and colored chalk.
God a book, he’ll really know how much I love him! Allow
kids to respond. Ask:                                              Preparation: Cover the table with a vinyl cloth or have a
                                                                   sponge handy to wipe off the table when you’re finished
 • Could God really use these gifts?
                                                                   with the craft.
 • How else could I show God I love him?
                                                               4
Tell children to:                                                 phone number and website”. Have the children place
                                                                  the label on the inside cover of each book. Contact a
 • Dip your sponge brush into the buttermilk. Smear the
                                                                  local community or mission center that would benefit
   buttermilk onto the construction paper and cover the
                                                                  from donated books. Make arrangements to deliver the
   entire page.
                                                                  books with the children.
 • Draw a picture with the colored chalk directly onto the
   wet buttermilk surface. The buttermilk will keep your          Read On
   chalk drawing from smearing or smudging.                       Supplies: Age-appropriate books
Ask: Did you think you would be able to draw on the wet           Directions: Literacy is a gift that can be shared with the
buttermilk? Why or why not?                                       community. Contact the local library, ministry center or
Say: Take your picture home as a reminder of something            residential programs for adults and children. Ask if your
that seemed impossible but really was possible. God can           children can visit and lead children in story time.
work miracles in your life even when it seems impossible.
The people in south Texas may think it is impossible to           Offering and Follow-Up:
learn to read and do other things where they live. They           Choose from these options as a follow-up to your session
need to know of Jesus’ love and His hope for them.                on the “Books for the Border” Family Literacy Ministry.
                                                                  This will encourage others to give through prayer and
Hand-In-Hand                                                      financial support to the Mary Hill Davis Offering.
Use this project to help children focus on serving others
in their church and community.                                    “Books for the Border” Individual Bank
Supplies: Bibles, different colors of construction paper,         Supplies: One container for each child, markers, stickers,
tape, markers, and scissors                                       decorative stamps, glue, preprinted Texas Missions
                                                                  Emphasis card (Resource Item 5)
Help children form pairs, being sure to pair readers with
non-readers. Remind the children that God is pleased              Directions: Have the children make individual “Books for
when we serve others. In their pairs, have children dis-          the Border” banks. Give each child an empty container
cuss various service projects they could undertake to             and materials to decorate them. Attach the Texas Missions
serve others in their churches or communities. Some               Emphasis card with glue. Encourage the children to col-
ideas include taking out the trash for an elderly neighbor,       lect money in their bank and return them full at a future
doing yard work for someone who’s been ill, or spending           designated date.
time with a shut-in church member. After each pair has            “Books for the Border”—Family Literacy
thought of a way to serve others, have them share the             Ministry Display Sign
idea with the rest of the class. Then give each pair two          In the classroom, children’s hallway, or in a main area
sheets of construction paper in different colors, a marker,       of the church, set up a display with books and a large
and a pair of scissors. On one sheet of paper, have a             container. Post a display sign on the container or the
child in each pair trace around his or her left hand. On          wall above the container that reads: Give to the Mary Hill
the other sheet of paper, have the second child trace his         Davis Offering for Texas Missions to provide books for
or her right hand. Then have kids cut out their handprints.       “Books for the Border” Family Literacy Ministry and the
On one handprint, have each pair write their service idea.        children and families of Texas
On the other handprint, have the pair sign their names.
Tape the pairs of handprints to a wall in the lobby of your       Family Page
church as a way to “advertise” the projects the children          Purpose: Sending home the “Books for the Border”
want to undertake. Children will have fun working in pairs,       – Family Literacy Ministry Family Page (Resource Item 6)
and the members of your church will enjoy getting to know         will reinforce the teaching experience in the home. Also
the young volunteers. After the children have finished the         included on the Family Page are ideas for families to be
projects written on their handprints, have them add the           on mission and to pray as a family for missions.
dates the tasks were accomplished.
                                                                  Directions: Reproduce the “Books for the Border” – Family
Missions Projects:                                                Literacy Ministry Family Page. At the end of the session
                                                                  distribute to the children.
In the service projects, children will serve the community
by collecting and giving books to a local community or            Afraid your children won’t make it home with their family
mission center. While working on this project, remind chil-       page?
dren that Jesus loves to see us serve others.                     Get it into the hands of families by:
Serving Others                                                     • Sending it through the mail
Supplies: donated books, printed labels                            • Emailing it
Directions: Reproduce a label that states Jesus Loves              • Publishing it in your church’s newsletter
You and Given by (include the church name, address,

                                                              5
                                                                       Mary Hill Davis, president of Texas
                                                                       WMU from 1906 to 1931, saw Texas
                                                                       as a rich harvest field with its mix-
                                                                       ture of Anglo, Black, European,
                                                                       and Mexican populations. In 1910
                                                                       she led the Baptist women of Texas
                                                                       to set aside a week to pray for the
                                                                       needs in the state and to take up an
                                                                       offering as was done for foreign and
                                                                       home missions. Following her death
                                                                       in 1934, the Texas missions offering
                                                                       was named in her memory.




                                       Resource Items
A DVD containing a 3-minute video segment               Resource 4a-d, Pictures
about “Books for the Border” was sent to every
church. Check with your pastor and/or WMU               Resource Item 4a
director.                                               A Family Reading Fair sponsored by Western
                                                        Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth.
Resource 1: Title Poster
Books for the Border – Family Literacy Ministry
Hope for Children and Families in Texas
Resource 2: Scripture
I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of
the least of these brothers of mine, you did for
me. Matthew 25:40 NIV
Resource 3, Map of Texas




                                                    6
Resource 4b                                             Resource Item 4d
Lisa Massar from First Baptist Church in Tyler          Woodworker James Wiley and Lu Treadwell
introduces a mother and child to the joy of read-       from the XYZ Club at Seventh & James Baptist
ing together during a Family Literacy Fiesta at         Church in Waco present a $650 check to Les-
Primera Iglesia Bautista. Volunteers from First         ter Meriwether, executive director of Literacy
Baptist Church in Tyler helped the Rio Grande           ConneXus, to buy books for children along the
City congregation sponsor the event.                    Texas/Mexico border.




Resource Item 4c                                        Resource Item 5
A bookcase provided by the XYZ Club at Sev-             Texas Missions Emphasis Card
enth & James Baptist Church in Waco will be             “Books for the Border” – Hope for Children &
provided to Emily’s family in Hidalgo County.           Families in Texas
                                                        Mary Hill Davis Offering and Literacy Missions
                                                        Give so children and families in south Texas
                                                        can have books in their homes. And that provid-
                                                        ing books for families living in poverty will show
                                                        them God’s hope and change lives.




                                                    7
Resource Item 6                                                 solid colors before the trip. Fiesta children added painted
                                                                designs or stickers to personalize them. Each family was
FAMILY PAGE                                                     given one bookcase, and each child could pick out four
                                                                books to take home as the start of a family library.
“Books for the Border”—Family Literacy                          The senior adult group at one Central Texas church found
Ministry                                                        an innovative way they could touch the lives of families
Hope for children and families of Texas                         along the Rio Grande without ever leaving Waco. The
                                                                XYZ Club at Seventh & James Baptist Church in Waco
Today your child learned about “Books for the Border”
                                                                learned about the Books for the Border family literacy fairs
– Family Literacy Ministry of Texas. Texas Baptists are
                                                                when Lester Meriwether, executive director of Literacy
working with others to provide hope through literacy
                                                                ConneXus, spoke to one of their monthly meetings. Led
missions and the “Books for the Border” Family Literacy
                                                                by woodworker and retired Baylor professor James Wiley,
Ministry. “Books for the Border,” is a collaboration of
                                                                the XYZ Club made two wooden bookcases to donate to
Literacy ConneXus, churches, and community groups
                                                                the literacy fairs. The XYZ Club also took up a collection
who together make a significant impact on Texas children
                                                                in the club, and then passed the hat in several Sunday
and families stuck in poverty because of unmet literacy
                                                                school classes. They presented a check for $650 to
needs. Seven Texas counties have been identified as
                                                                Meriwether for books.
among the twenty poorest in the United States. It was
determined that providing books for families living in          Sarah Starr, First Baptist Church in Tyler, concluded about
poverty is a strategic first step for developing family lit-     the experience: “We did not end illiteracy or poverty with
eracy programs, resulting ultimately in lifting families        this one trip, but I know there’s a good chance we made
out of poverty.                                                 a difference in a child’s life. And who knows how God
                                                                will use that one.”
“Books for the Border” provides “libraries” for families liv-
ing in poverty along the Rio Grande River in Texas. The         Family Activities:
libraries consist of a modest shelf unit which contains a
Bible, a Spanish-English dictionary, and an assortment          As a family read and discuss the story of the sheep and
of children’s books. Churches across Texas provide the          goats found in Matthew 25:31-46.
books and shelf units. The intent is to encourage and            • Read the information about “Books for the Border”
equip parents to read to their children.                           – Family Literacy Ministry. Discuss with your child
Literacy ConneXus, led by director Lester Meriwether,              ways others have helped children and families in
partnered with Western Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth,         Texas to read.
First Baptist Church of El Paso and others to sponsor a          • Take a trip to the library in your community, church
family reading fair. The family reading fair aimed to get          library (if available) and local bookstore. Read books
books into the homes of 16 low-income families in Maver-           together as a family. Discuss with your children the
ick County. Each family received a bookcase that church            places we can find books. Donate a book(s) to a
volunteers had constructed and painted. To encourage               library or community agency that serves children.
ownership, each child decorated his or her own bookcase          • Pray together thanking God for books and the ability
with stickers, stamps, and paints and then received seven          to read. Also thank God for Texas Baptists who care
children’s books and two Bibles to place in it.                    and “Books for the Border” – Family Literacy Ministry.
Sarah Starr, school librarian and former church librarian,       • Commit your family to give money to the Mary Hill
led First Baptist Church in Tyler to become involved with          Davis Offering for Texas Missions which provides
“Books for the Border” in the Rio Grande Valley. Forty-six         funds for ministries such as “Books for the Border”–
people representing 10 families from the church followed           Family Literacy Ministry.
Starr’s lead and traveled to facilitate a Family Literacy
Fiesta at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Rio Grande City,          Ways your family can increase giving
about 40 miles northwest of McAllen. Members in the             to the Mary Hill Davis Offering:
congregation and a high school shop class constructed
the 63 bookcases, later given to 63 families.                    • Have a family or church garage sale, and donate
                                                                   the proceeds.
More than 300 people attended a two-hour Family Literacy
Fiesta at Primera Iglesia Bautista’s fellowship hall, court-     • Offer to mow lawns in your neighborhood.
yard and even the street within one block of the church.         • Collect the change from everyday purchases.
The children participated in games, face-painting, and           • Every week, give up a video rental or fast-food meal
story time. The fiesta began with a brief church service            and put the saved money in a missions bank.
in Spanish. Children and families from First Baptist Church      • Commit to give a percentage of your monthly income
in Tyler had primed and painted the bookcases in bright            to missions.

                                     WOMAN’S MISSIONARY UNION OF TEXAS
     333 N. Washington Ave., Suite 160, Dallas, TX 75246 - Phone Toll Free: 888-968-6389 - www.maryhilldavis.org

								
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