This Lesson is adapted from Session 1 of Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go: A Super Simple Mission Kit. You can learn more about the kit here.
Based on: (Luke 8:22-25)
Jesus Calms the Storm (Luke 8:22-25)
Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go Story
“Forever Family: Who Will I Trust?”*
Welcome to the first of six sessions that go along with the book Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go by Beth Guckenberger. This session is designed for families to experience together. It will help families continue important, life-changing conversations in the weeks that follow!
Note: The story for this session, “Forever Family: Who Will I Trust?” is a story found within the Introduction to Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go.
Hopefully this series will spark an interest in your students and their families to consider their need for our Rescuer God, someone who keeps holding onto them, no matter what life brings. Kids will wonder about a world bigger than their own communities and become curious how they can connect with that world. They will begin asking questions such as these: Who will I trust? How do I pray? What can I give? Where can I go? Who will I serve? How can I love?
Encourage each family to sit together. For children who are present without family members, arrange for them to sit with families they know and are comfortable with.
Before class, print on card stock one Discuss-It Cube per family. Cut out the cubes, fold on the dotted lines, and tape the edges together.
Give a big welcome to everyone, especially families who have joined your group today. During the next several weeks we’re going to focus on stories. Not just any stories, but stories of people around the world and from the pages of the Bible. We’ll hear stories of people’s lives that were being held by God, the Rescuer, all the time–even when they didn’t know it.
Hold up a completed cube. Each week your child will bring home a Discuss-It Cube like this one for you to use at a mealtime or whenever your family is together. There are questions in each square that relate to things we’ve been talking about and learning. As you toss the cube and take turns answering the questions, it will hopefully spark some great discussions.
Distribute one cube per family. Take the next few minutes and practice using your cube. The person tossing the cube can answer the question that lands on top. Tell everyone that there are a few questions that will be easier to answer after the lesson.
INTERACTIVE BIBLE STORY
Jesus Calms the Storm (Luke 8:22-25)
- Roll paper
- Markers (or paint pens) in blue, green, gray, purple, and black tones
- Extra paper (or drop cloths) to protect surface
Before class, cover the floor or tables with extra paper to protect the surfaces and set out the markers. Cut one long piece (at least 5′) of roll paper for each participant. Families may work together on one piece of paper.
Pass out the papers and markers for all the participants. Then say: God made us many promises in the Bible, but he never promised us smooth sailing every day. As we listen to this Bible story, track the path of the story with your marker on the paper. Start your line on the left short side of your long paper, in the middle of that side. Then draw your line up or down or straight as the story indicates directions. Let’s listen to the Bible story from Luke 8:22-25.
Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them: “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake! Far, far away.” As they sailed, the waves went up, the waves went down. The waves went up and up . . . and then down. Jesus fell asleep. Deep, deep, asleep.
The storm came down. Down, down, down on the lake. The water rose up, up, up inside the boat. They were in danger! Deep, deep, danger! The disciples came to Jesus, and woke him up, up, up! And they said, “Master, Master! We’re going to drown in the deep, deep water!”
Then Jesus got up, up, up. And he calmed the wind down. He calmed the raging water down. Down, down, down.
“Where is your faith?” Jesus asked. And the disciples were amazed. They asked one another, “Who is this man? Even the winds and the water obey him!”
Bible Story Continued
After the story is finished, ask a volunteer to read the actual Bible account as everyone looks at their pictures. Then talk about the story and drawings together. Look at how your lines go up and down and all over the place! That’s often how the stories of our lives look. No one walks a smooth, straight path for all their days. The disciples definitely had their ups and downs! Just think about how it might have felt to be in that boat in the middle of a big storm. Would you have been scared? How would you have felt?
The disciples were afraid, but Jesus was holding them all along–they just didn’t know it. Jesus had the situation under control. As we continue with our lesson, think about the times in your life when you’ve felt afraid or like things were out of control. Even in your deepest downs, God is there. And in your highest ups, God is there. Our Rescuer God always has the situation under control. We need to remember that, and to get to know him better, so we can see him working in our lives even more.
Optional: computer, projection equipment
Before class, decide how you will show the Bible Memory poster. You can project it or print it out.
We all have a need for a Rescuer, someone who will hold onto us through hard times when we can’t hang on by ourselves. Ask everyone to turn to Hebrews 10:23, 24, the Bible Memory verses. Have a volunteer read aloud the verses. We can hold tight to our hope and faith in God because we know he is faithful. He will never let us go. And since we know that, we can encourage each other to live lives of love, doing good things for each other.
Then teach everyone the following signs based on American Sign Language that will help them remember these important verses. (If you aren’t familiar with these signs, there are several good websites that demonstrate how to do them.)
Project or show the Bible Memory poster and ask everyone to stand. Invite a family to volunteer to come to the front to lead everyone in saying the Bible Memory verses together while doing the signs.
Make a grasping motion in the air with your hand, ending in a tight fist that you shake a little from side to side, with palm side facing you.
Place the right hand palm down onto the back of the left hand, also palm down.
(Faith) Touch forehead with index finger, then form an “OK” sign with both hands, bringing down the right O on top of the left O. (Hope) Bring both hands up slightly to the left side of the body and with palms facing each other, with the right hand slightly higher than the other (right hand at forehead level). As soon as you bring them up, bend the fingers of each hand forward together quickly twice, as if the hands are simultaneously waving at each other.
Bring L hand-shape in right hand up to forehead (palm facing forehead), placing tip of index finger on forehead and then quickly bending the index finger and pulling it away in the air.
In one smooth motion, raise right hand up to the heavens with fingers pointing up and palm facing the left side of body and then bring hand downward past chin, following center line of face.
Same sign as faith, but repeating the action of bringing the right O down on top of the left O once.
Cross arms in an X shape over chest.
Make sign for good by touching tips of fingers of one hand to chin (palm facing chin), then bringing that hand back away from you down onto the palm of the other hand. Then quickly turn both hands around in fists, palms facing out, with one fist behind the other, and move both hands around in little circles a few times.
TALES OF THE ONES HE WON’T LET GO STORY
“Forever Family: Who Will I Trust?”
2 copies of “Forever Family”
Optional: computer, projection equipment
Note: The story for this session is s a story found within the Introduction to the book Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go.
Before class, decide how you will show the photos. You can project them or print them out. The story “Forever Family” will be more effective if two good readers read the story. Give them each a copy of the story: one person will read Beth’s story; the other person will read the parts of the girls. If desired, you can print the two name signs and display them close to where each reader stands.
Cue the readers to begin. Show the photos as prompted in the story. When the story is finished, thank the readers.
Have each family sit together. As you ask the following questions, tell families to come up with their best answer. They should join hands together and raise them as one unit when they want to answer. Call on different families to answer.
- In the story, what needs did the twin girls have?
- When Beth was facing her big decision about the girls, she wanted to be in the driver’s seat. Why?
- That was what she wanted, but what did Beth need?
- What is a missionary? Do you have to go to another country to be a missionary?
- In what ways do you think missionaries have to trust in God?
- Who did the girls have to trust, and for what reasons?
- When was a time you had to trust God for something?
Bonus Video Option
Show students this “163 Million” video, in which Beth Guckenberger talks about meeting the needs of orphans around the world.
INSPIRING KID STORY
Before class, print a copy of the Inspiring Kid Story document. Give the story to a student who is willing to read it aloud.
It’s time to listen to an Inspiring Kid Story. This is a true story of some kids who saw a need and figured out what they could do. Invite the student who is reading this to begin.
A boy named Leo grew up in an orphanage in Monterrey, Mexico. At age 20, he wanted to go to another state and serve for the summer in an orphanage in Mazatlan, Mexico. The only problem was that he needed money for the plane ticket and for his meals during the month he was going to serve.
Meanwhile, a youth pastor named Chris Cox was speaking at a summer youth camp. He told the youth about Leo–about how God had healed Leo’s heart so much that it overflowed and he wanted to offer that hope to other children growing up in an orphanage.
The youth decided to fast for lunch every day during the week of their camp, and the camp wrote a check for $1000 for Leo’s month in Mazatlan! Together the youth and Leo sent a powerful message to the fatherless in Mazatlan that God sees them and won’t let them go!
- Inflatable globe ball (or use a regular beach ball and draw a basic world map on it with permanent marker)
Does anyone here know the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”? (Take a minute to teach the song to children and their parents. You can search online for the song lyrics and tune.) Let’s sing the song’s chorus once through.
After singing, ask the kids: If God has the whole world in his hands, what countries does that mean? Listen for answers and then show them different countries.
If he has the whole world in his hands, what does that mean for those who have lost their biological families? Does he have them in his hands? Listen to the discussion, talking about how it looks for God to have orphans in his hands. Sing the song through again, replacing the phrase the whole world with the phrase orphans and their families.
If he has the whole world in his hands, what does that mean for all of us, whether we are adopted or foster kids or living with our biological families? Listen to the discussion. Sing the song through again, replacing the phrase the whole world with the phrase you and me. Meanwhile, depending on the age of the classroom, bounce the globe around the room while you are singing.
Pencils or pens
Before the session, print out on card stock one Prayer Time Card for each family or small group you think you will have, or one for each participant, as needed. Pass these out along with pencils or pens.
Then say: Each session we will craft a prayer together as a class and then take it home and use it for family prayer times. Look at your Prayer Time Card. Can you help me fill in these blanks?
Let people have time to fill in the blanks on the card. Then pray together.
GIVE AND SERVE OPTION
If you did not view it already, show your group the “163 Million” video. Then draw everyone’s attention to the Serving Hands Wall (see instructions in Overview & Extra Resources lesson in the Give and Serve Option section) and tell the group about their ongoing opportunity to get involved in Back2Back’s ministry to orphans (as described in the Give and Serve Option section).
Describe the orphan needs you’ll be focusing on and the giving goals you’ve set. Pass out serving hands and pens and, based on the option you’ve selected, explain how kids can add hands to the wall.
Wrap up with an upbeat time of worship! Play Yancy’s “Shine and Serve” or “Live Differently” video and invite families to sing along.
Shine and Serve
Challenge kids to answer the questions: How do I pray? What can I give? Where can I go? Who will I serve?
Want your kids to take service to heart?
In Tales of the Not Forgotten, students follow real-life stories of other kids as they take you on a journey to faraway lands. See the hand of the great Storyweaver writing endings you’d never imagine!
Filled with fun, interactive learning experiences and kid-inspired service projects, the Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go Super Simple Mission Kit will open kids’ eyes (and grown-ups’ too!) to the needs in their community and around the world—then challenge them to do something about it!