Creating Compassionate Families

Day 3 of 6 • This day’s reading


Making a Difference

Big Idea: Developing caring hearts for children living in extreme poverty.

Much of the world doesn’t live the way we do. The things we take for granted — clean water out of a faucet, food in the refrigerator, heat on a cold night — don’t come easily to everyone. How do we show our children these realities so they develop more caring hearts? Statistics and abstract ideas don’t connect with kids. They need to see the realities of poverty played out.

Spend this day with Elisabeth, a little girl in Guatemala who lives in extreme poverty.

Getting to Know Elisabeth

While Elisabeth is a kid who loves to run and play, poverty has taken much from her family.

When Elisabeth was 9 years old, her father was injured, and she had to take over many of the family chores.

  • When your mom and dad are sick, how do you feel?
  • What do you do to help around the house?

Elisabeth’s father is unable to work, and her mother died when Elisabeth was a little girl. She does all of the cooking and cleaning, as well as caring for her younger brothers and two sisters.

  • What are the hardest chores that you have to do at home?
  • Can you imagine what it would be like if you had to do ALL of the chores?

Elisabeth has a sponsor named Bizzy. Bizzy helps Elisabeth, and she also writes her letters to encourage her.

  • Are there people in your life who help you?

Going to Elisabeth’s House

  1. Mark out a 10’x10’ square on the floor with masking tape. Explain that this is a common size of a house for people who live in extreme poverty.
  2. Gather your family in the “house.” Does it feel big or small? Do you feel crowded? Pretend to do activities — cooking, cleaning, homework, and all lying down to “sleep.”
  3. Explain that as many as six to eight people typically live in a house this size — without electricity or running water. What things would be impossible to do without electricity and running water?
  4. Consider having a meal of beans and rice in your “house,” while your family talks about the challenges Elisabeth faces.
  5. Finish the evening by praying for Elisabeth, her family and other children in poverty.