Two Sure Winners for Children
Escape by Night
With nearly 1800 copies sold in the past year, CNECs Escape by Night is a best-seller among mission curricula for first through sixth grade children.
Its purpose: to (increase) missions interest in the next generation, to help them learn for themselves what a difference the message of Christ brings, to direct them to think about missions and how they can be involved, and to promote missions by national missionaries.
For $19.95, one receives a 60-page teachers manual, a 30 x 42 two-color wall map of China, a series of 16 11-by-14-inch full-color photo-posters, and a 30 x 42 printed sheet for use in a spectacular craft project (a Chinese dragon wall poster).
Besides worksheet masters and instructions for running a class, the teachers manual includes the exciting, true story of six-year old Yu Ah Mui and her familyhow they escape from China and find new life in Christ in the Portuguese colony of Macao.
Lessons include more than the story. Mission-related Scriptures and Chinese cultural distinctives are also taught.
In the back of the teachers manual there are instructions for a wide variety of fascinating cultural activitiespapier-mache animal masks, Chinese jumprope, silk production, and Dim Sum (a Chinese meal).
Instructions for the activities are so brief as to be a bit confusing, though CNEC assured me that, with over 1500 copies of the curriculum sold, I was the first one to have difficulty understanding the directions.
Perhaps the most noticeable items missing from this otherwise thorough curriculum are clear statements of learning objectives for each lesson, and background information for prayer. I expect the informed mission promoter will want to provide her teachers with a little more information for prayer than simply: Choose a province, (then) pray . . . for any Christians who live there, (and) that God will let the people who dont know Him hear soon about His love.
Escape by Night is available from your local Christian bookstore or CNEC, 1470 N. Fourth St., P.O. Box 15025, San Jose, CA 95115; (408) 298-0965.
Kids Praise! 6
Ernie and Debbie Rettino have put together another masterful childrens album that, like the five that preceded it, is sure to win childrens hearts. Through the lovable talking hymnbook, Psalty, and his Psaltyscope, Kids Praise! 6 helps children understand that God loves people all around the worldnot only people like them, but people who dress, eat, and speak differently than they do; people who are not as rich as they are; people who live far away, and people who live right next door.
Frontier mission purists will find Psaltys definition of a missionary (someone whom God sends to share His love with other people) a little too broad for their liking it fails to distinguish acts of kindness to the poor boy down the street from gospel preaching in cultures where no one has ever heard before.
Still, through musically and lyrically cre?ative songs like Pig Out, a biting satire with a Gilbert & Sullivan sound, the Kids Praise! Singers challenge their listeners to put their lives at Gods disposal.
Why should I think about the world? one young singer asks: Im deliriously happy looking out for #1. Why should I think about the world? I would really rather not do it . . . (it would spoil) all my fun!
Perhaps, Psalty replies. But (your) hands (can be) the hands that God will use to show the world His love. Will you not rise to the opportunity? You and I have got to have a heart to change the world.
And thats the bottom line, isnt it? Whether here or there, the world wont know of Jesus love unless we have hearts that care.