Welcome to Summer Family Sunday School at Our Savior Hawaii! This summer, thanks to Lutheran Hour Ministries, we're taking off on a virtual adventure to two countries: Mongolia and Peru! We'll spend 5 weeks in Mongolia and then jet across the world for a 5 week journey in Peru. As we explore, we'll discover God's vast love and good gifts for each and every one of us.
Supplies for Today
- Pitcher of water
- 16 oz cups (enough for each member of the family)
- 3 oz cups with holes (enough for half of the family)
- 4 buckets or large bowls (optional)
Let's sing our theme song!
TALK ABOUT IT Traveling
- If a family from Mongolia came to visit you, what things would you want to ask them?
- What are some other places you’ve visited—in our country or in other countries? Why did you go there?
- When you think of Mongolia what comes to mind? Why?
Let's see if what you've heard is true...
Discuss: Did anything surprise you in the video? Did anything remind you of your own hometown?
LEARN ABOUT IT Gobi Desert and Families
Now you have a greeting, and you know a little about where you’re headed. Let’s get going to the southern part of Mongolia, down to the Gobi Desert. You’ll meet a family who works with some animals we don’t see every day on Oahu. As you watch, look for ways their lives are like and unlike yours.
Discuss: How is this family’s life like or unlike your daily life? What jobs did the brothers do that looked fun? Not so fun?
Caring for camels is a big deal because the family relies on them for everything. And God made camels just right for the desert. Let’s explore how!
MAKE IT Drink Like a Camel
The Gobi Desert can be hot and very dry, so when thirsty camels get a chance to refill, they take their water seriously. Let’s see how your speedy sipping compares to a camel’s!
- Set out pitchers of water, measuring cups, and 16-ounce cups.
- Measure two cups of water into a cup for everyone in your family.
- Hold their cups until everyone has one.
- When you start a timer, everyone will drink all their water. When you have finished, they can raise a hand. Note the time of the first hand up as well as the last.
- Start the timer. When everyone has finished, figure the average amount of time it took for your family to drink their water. For example, “It took between 30 seconds and one minute for you to drink 16 ounces of water.”
Camels can drink 30 gallons of water in only 13 minutes. That would be like you repeating your water-guzzling activity 240 times! Why do you think God made camels so they’re able to drink water so quickly?
PLAY IT Camel Relay (optional)
God created camels to use water wisely. Not only can they take water in quickly, they can also store it up really efficiently. Let’s see how!
- Form two teams, and have both teams line up at one end of your space.
- Place a full bucket of water near each team and an empty bucket on the opposite side of the room, directly across the room from each team.
- Have one team use their 16-ounce cups for the activity, and give the other team the 3-ounce cups with holes in them.
- On “go,” take turns filling their cups and quickly walking across the space to the empty buckets. They’ll pour in the water, then return to their teams.
- Make sure you have towels on the floor to catch any spills (or go outside for this activity).
- When both teams have emptied their full buckets into the empty buckets, the challenge is over.
Discuss: What did you think when you saw the cups your team would be using in the relay? Why? How did your cup help you move the water—or keep you from moving the water?
Camels are like the bigger cups because camels have large humps on their backs. These humps store fat…and fat has water in it! Hold up the smaller cup. Animals like horses don’t have humps to store fat. The water pours out of the small cup with the holes kind of like sweat. Camels don’t sweat very much like other animals do. This makes them perfect for the vast terrain of Mongolia. Let's see it!
Mongolia’s countryside definitely captures the idea of vast! Our homes may not seem very vast, but if you and your family would all try to fit in a 3 feet by 3 feet square, that might change your perspective!
The Bible describes God’s love as vast. Read aloud Ephesians 3:17-18:
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”
Discuss: Think of a time you felt how big God’s love is. Maybe it was seeing a spectacular view from a mountaintop or experiencing God’s healing. Share these times as a family.
Challenge: In our everyday lives, we may not feel like we experience the width, length, height, or depth of God’s love. At times, God’s love may not feel very big or very vast to us. But God’s Word promises that the more we know God and look for him, the more we discover his enormous love! This week, practice looking for God Sightings—ways God is at work around us. It’s a little like being a detective. Keep your eyes open for a clue, or evidence, of God’s love. Be on the lookout for something big that shows God’s love and power. It might be a huge cloud God sends to bring you shade on a hot day or maybe it’s how you feel when someone forgives you for a big mistake. Be ready to share a God Sighting next week.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Pray: Loving Father, thank you for your outpouring of love that you give us. Help us share that love with others, and help the people of Mongolia know about your love. Forgive our sins. Thank you for your son, Jesus, who loved us enough to die for us and rise again. Amen.