To help my 3-year-old learn her shapes I made these everyday life shape cards so we can play games to learn squares, triangles, circles, diamonds, ovals and rectangles. Free download below!
Over the past year I did a great Bible study on the book of James with a small group of ladies in my church! At the same time Greg and I felt it was time for our evening family devotions time to move away from children's Bibles, and that we should start having our kids read and dig into the actual word of God. Our 10 and 9 year old are completely able to read a passage, answer basic questions about it, and then apply that passage to their lives. So from that desire I wrote 33 lessons on the book of James for older children (ages 7 - 13).
Each family devotional lesson takes around 10 minutes and walks through the entire book of James. I began with 3 lessons on who the man James was - looking at him as Jesus's half-brother who was an unbeliever, believer, and then church leader, and then the lessons go through a few verses each night from 1:1 to 5:20. The final day the entire book is read to get the feel for it as an actual letter.
I followed the ARTS acronym:
A - Ask a hook question to draw the kids into the lesson.
R - Read the passage.
T - Think about the passage by asking the kids questions.
S - Self-reflect on how the passage applies to your life.
Children who will benefit from this study most are 2nd-8th graders who are able to easily read and understand a Bible passage. Younger children can learn from it too, but it's definitely geared for older elementary or middle school kids.
So I hope you'll check it out and consider using this with your older kids during your family devotional times. Our family has completed 25 of 33 lessons and it's been awesome! We will definitely be continuing this method of Bible study for family devotions. The kids have requested that we study Ecclesiastes next and Greg's agreed, so you can pray for my seminary professor as he brings that book down to a child's level - haha! :)
I hope this James Children's Bible Study is a blessing to some of your families too!
Our kids love to sing the Thai version of "Deep and Wide." Watch them sing!
This month we participated in the most loved Thai holiday, Songkran! Songkran is a three day water festival that rings in the Thai New Year. Everyone flocks to the streets with squirt guns and buckets to douse one another with water. (Click the video above to get a feel for its craziness!) The average high temperature each day right now is around 102 F (38 C), so getting wet is a treat!
Our amazing sending church gave our kids new bikes for Christmas! For our kids giving up their bikes was one of the hardest parts of moving to Thailand. Our church knew that so they came right beside us and met a longing of our kids' hearts. We are so thankful for Grace Community Church and how well they love us from around the world!
We've been in Thailand 3 months now and God has blessed our family is so many ways! Here's a 3 minute glimpse into our daily lives. As we enter November please join with us in thanking God for his many blessing!
We've been in Thailand 3 months now! Praise God for His faithfulness to us!
Look who's driving in Thailand!!!! You just saw the first CAR DRIVER using hand controls in Thailand!!! Woohoo!
In the last week of September, I (Greg) took a trip to Cambodia with Jim (the dean of ABTS) to scout out the possibility of opening classes there. ABTS has had a handful of graduates from Cambodia, but until now has never held classes there. Up to this point our Cambodian students have had to travel to another of our sites (such as Bangkok or Singapore) to attend classes. Over the past 3 or so years, there has been discussion about opening a new site in Cambodia but it was uncertain whether or not there are enough students to begin classes there.
Many of the ABTS sites work on a cohort system: rather than scheduling regular classes and hoping that enough students register for them, we start cohorts of 15-25 students that will take all of their classes together. This ensures both that we will have enough students to hold class and also that the students have a group of peers that can support them and share the education experience. It also gives ABTS a lot of flexibility in our sites: we can start new cohorts when the need arises and can easily open multiple sites in a country if the need calls for it. Our main job in this trip was figuring out if there are enough students for one or more cohorts in Cambodia, which meant that we had a lot of meetings with people to discuss the demand for graduate Christian education in Cambodia.
As I mentioned above, we had A LOT of meetings in the few days we had in Cambodia. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the people we interacted with there.
Somnang is a recent ABTS grad who took his classes in Bangkok. A really interesting guy who grew up in a refugee camp in Thailand and works now pastoring and offering counseling and assistance to other pastors. He has 3 of his own kids but his family has also cared for 15 orphans! He was our main contact in Cambodia and drove/accompanied us everywhere.
Ranier is a missionary pastor from the Philippines that has been in Cambodia for decades. His church is relatively small, but the reason why is important: they have sent out dozens of missionaries from their church and as a church support more than 100 missionaries! We discussed the possibility of using their church facilities for classes and the interest level of his congregation for enrolling at ABTS.
Rogil and Janice
This married couple are missionaries with PABWE (Philippine ABWE). Rogil is a current ABTS student and Janice often audits classes with him. They minister at Cornerstone Church in the center of Phnom Penh, working with university students. Their church is another possibility for classroom facilities for our classes, and they also have a network of people possibly interested in ABTS.
Dr. Hai Joon Kim
Dr. Kim actually reached out to ABTS about the possibility of partnering together. He’s involved in so much that it would take too long to list it all here. He has a PhD in mathematics and got connected to Cambodia through exchange students when he was teaching. He’s been in Cambodia since the 90’s and has built an international mission agency that ministers not only in Cambodia, but also to unreached groups in Africa and Central Asia. In Cambodia the ministry he runs is a complex that includes a number of ministries including a primary school and Bible college. El Shaddai Bible College graduates often become teachers for the younger students at the complex, so Dr. Kim is very interested in providing them with graduate theological education. Their facility is in rural Cambodia (about a 2 hour drive from Phnom Penh), but is very well provided for. There are already enough students ready to take classes ABTS classes here, so the prospects look good!
Bora (pictured on the right)
We met Bora because we had a lot of mutual connections. Very interesting guy. He grew up in an orphanage ministry in Cambodia and went to the Christian school attached to it when he got older. He spent his senior year of High School in Colorado, then did his undergrad studies at The Master’s University. Since he’s been back in Cambodia, he works translating Christian works into Khmer. He’s also written is own book as well! Super great guy and it was fun to get the chance to talk to him!
From the ABTS side of the trip, things look great! We’re working on some legal registration issues and making sure that we have enough qualified students to open a site here. If everything works out, we can start ABTS classes in Cambodia next year!
Some general thoughts on Cambodia: I was in Cambodia for just a few days 11 years ago. It was my first year teaching in China, and me and a few others traveled through Southeast Asia during the Chinese New Year break. At the time, Cambodia was a mess. Phnom Penh had frequent power outages and there really weren’t what most would think of as roads in a lot of the country. I can’t even begin to explain how much things have changed in the past decade! Now the roads are great, the power stays on, and there is a crazy amount of development going on. All in all, very encouraging to see! There are still come issues, however. It’s rainy season, and old Phnom Penh definitely still has some drainage issues!
Overall, it was a very, very encouraging trip and a lot was accomplished. Thanks so much for your prayers!