Stop Hunger Now
Vacation Bible School Curriculum
[Insert Church name here]
Table of ContentsIntroduction to Stop Hunger Now / 3
Day 1: Love It / 4
Day 2: Own It / 6
Day 3: Handle It / 9
Day 4: Share It / 11
Day 5: End It / 14
Song Book / 15
Introduction to Stop Hunger Now
Our Vision: A world without hunger.
Our Mission: To end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 16 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.
Stop Hunger Now created its meal packaging program in late 2005. The program perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 29 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf life of two years and transports quickly. Stop Hunger Now works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals in-country.
The packaging operation is mobile enough to go wherever volunteers are located, and can be adapted to accommodate as few as 25 and as many as 500 volunteers at a time. One SHN packaging event can result in the packaging of more than 1,000,000 meals. The use of volunteers for product packaging has resulted in an extremely cost-effective operation while, at the same time, increasing awareness of global hunger and food insecurity issues across the world.
Stop Hunger Now provides over 70% of its meals to support transformational development programs such as school feeding programs, vocational training programs, early childhood development programs, orphanages, and medical clinics. Working with these programs helps enhance lives by giving beneficiaries the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty through education, skills development, and health care while also receiving much needed nutrition. Stop Hunger Now’s goal is to allocate 80% of its meals to transformational development programs by 2015.
Every year, Stop Hunger Now reserves 10% of its projected meals to respond right away to crisis situations including natural disasters, conflict and famine. In addition to providing food for crisis relief, Stop Hunger Now also works to meet the immediate needs of those suffering from hunger. Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program operates throughout the US and internationally.
Thank you for choosing our Vacation Bible Study curriculum. We look forward to partnering with your church for the duration of your summer program and beyond. Please contact Rev Steve Hickle, Faith Outreach Director, , if you have any questions or concerns – or ideas to strengthen this curriculum!
(This curriculum uses the NRSV translation of the Bible.)
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Day 1: Love It
God showed us the ultimate love by sending us his son, Jesus. Therefore, today’s theme is focused on loving one another the way that God has taught us – we love because God first loved us, a love demonstrated by Jesus. This means showing compassion to one another, practicing forgiveness, and living by the Golden Rule: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you…” (Matthew 7:12)
Songs: Jesus Loves You, Deep and Wide
Daily Bible verse: He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself’ (Luke 10:27).
Stop Hunger Now Success Story: Elmer, from El Salvador
Elmer was ready to begin kindergarten but his mother was hesitant to send him to public school because he was weak and frail. The principal of a local school heard of Elmer’s situation and knew the school would be a good place for him. Elmer began attending the private school and quickly became a star student in his class and a happy, active young boy. According to his principal, Elmer eats more than any child in his class.
Daily Bible story: The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats- Matthew 25:31-46.
During the three years that Jesus traveled and taught, he used parables to help people understand important truths about God. Who remembers what a parable is? A parable is a short story, a story that has more than one meaning, a story that seems simple, but isn’t. In today’s parable- The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats–Jesus will describe himself as a shepherd who divides his flock into two groups, with sheep on one side and goats on the other. As we will see, one of these groups is rewarded by the shepherd, and the other group is sent away from the shepherd.
Let’s read the parable that Jesus tells together:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.”
Let’s pause for a moment. Did you know that throughout the Bible, we are called God’s own sheep? For example, Psalm 95:7 says, “For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand...” Now listen as the story continues:
“Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Collecting Compassion - From construction paper, cut out the letters C-O-M-P-A-S-S-I-O-N. Make them approximately 6” in length. Using tape, make a hopscotch board on the floor. Make sure the squares are large enough for them to jump into with both feet. Put the construction paper letters in the corners of the squares, one letter to each square. Do not put them in any order. Give each child a penny. Explain that the letters on the hopscotch board, when collected, will spell a special word from the lesson. It is a long word, but an important word that every person should know about. Each child takes a turn tossing their penny and trying to land it in one of the hopscotch squares. When they land in one, they hop in all the squares to where their penny is, pick up the penny and the construction paper letter, and finish hopping the rest of the way to the end of the board. When all the letters have been collected, arrange the children in the correct order so the word, compassion, is spelled. Tell them what the word is and explain that it means love in action. It means your heart feels so much love and sympathy for someone that you want to show it by kind acts and words. Only Jesus can give us this compassion.
Red heart nametags: Make nametags for each child in the shape of a red heart as a reminder to show compassion throughout the week.
Daily challenge: Learn more about a “soup kitchen” in your area and ask your parents if you can go with them to volunteer to serve a meal.
Daily offering: Collect canned food items for a local soup kitchen in today’s Vacation Bible School.
Day 2: Own It
Because God has blessed us with many different things, like food to eat, a loving family and a house to live in, it is our responsibility to give back to others. We are fortunate to have the things that we have, and God wants us to share them with other people. Therefore, today’s theme is “own it” as we own up to our responsibility.
Songs: This Little Light of Mine, Happy All the Time
Stop Hunger Now Success Story: John, from Kenya
John’s parents died in tribal clashes. With no place to live or food to eat, he wandered aimlessly for months through Kenya’s highlands. Now 15, John lives at Bethel Home children’s home outside of Nairobi.
At Bethel Home, Stop Hunger Now’s partner Convoy of Hope and its in-country partners provide nutritious meals. Because of that, John is now excelling in school and dreams of being a surgeon one day.
Daily Bible verse: “If you offer your food to the hungryand satisfy the needs of the afflicted,then your light shall rise in the darknessand your gloom be like the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10).
Daily Bible story:The Parable of the Good Samaritan- Luke 10:25-37
This parable starts with a man asking Jesus a question. He asked,
“‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’”
The story does not end there! Listen:
“But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
Helping Hands Book
We learned in the story of the Good Samaritan that Jesus doesn't just want us to love him, he wants us to help others. Make a book that shows how you can be a Good Samaritan. The book is shaped just like your hands, to remind you that you can keep your hands busy doing good things!
- Cover patterns - Front page and Back page
- Blank paper
- Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Print cover patterns (on cardstock if able)
- Carefully cut out front and back pages
- Cut blank paper to fit size of hand patterns
- Each book should contain one front page, at least two inside pages, and one back page.
- On the front cover, write [insert name]’s Helping Hands
- Have children list ways they can share or help others on inside pages. They can draw pictures to go with their examples.
- Staple books together and have children check off the things they do throughout the week to help others.
Adaptations for each age group: You can adapt the goals written inside each Helping Hands book for each age group. Help Kindergarten through 2nd grade students think about what they can be doing at home to serve their family. Third and fourth graders can think about what they can do at home and what they can do for their friends. Fifth and sixth graders can set goals for serving their family, friends and community.
Questions by age group:
- Kindergarten-2nd Grade: What can I do at home?
- 3rd-4th Grade- What can I do at home? What can I do for my friends?
- 5th-6th Grade- What can I do at home? What can I do for my friends? What can I do for my community?
Daily challenge:With your family, set a goal for a small change you can make in your life to serve others. Write it down somewhere that you see daily.
Daily offering: As we continue to practice sacrificial living, learning that living for Jesus means giving our possessions for His glory, collect an offering for Stop Hunger Now meals. Just 29 cents pays for one meal.
Here’s a fun way to do it: arrange two dimes, a nickel and four pennies in the shape of a face (eyes, nose and mouth) – if the mouth is smiling, you’ve reached 29 cents!
** If your church has a “work team,” you might consider trying to be in contact with them during the week via Skype – a way to talk with them live and see where they are doing mission work –a neighboring church also might have such a team, or there may be pictures from previous teams that can be viewed.
Discuss idea before and after about “who are my brothers and sisters?”
Day 3: Handle It
While hunger seems like a big issue, we can each do our part to feed others. We can put our trust in God, praying for Him to use our hands and our feet to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. We know that God has a plan for us, and we can trust him to make us strong. That is why today we focus on “Handle It,” knowing that we are strengthened by God to do His will.
Songs: I’m in the Lord’s Army, The Wise Man Built His House
Daily Bible verse: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26).
Stop Hunger Now Success Story: Mili, from El Salvador
Mili, 9, is wide-eyed, smiling and talkative. She tells of jumping rope with her friends as easily as she does feeling hungry. As the children head back to class, Mili says, “I feel happy when I come to school because I know I’m going to eat here!”
Daily Bible story: The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Have you ever seen a mustard seed? Look. See how tiny these seeds are? They are the smallest seeds I have ever seen. A mustard seed is so small that if you were holding one in your hand and dropped it on the ground, you might not be able to find it. Even though the mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds, when it is planted in the ground, it grows into a plant so large that birds can perch on its branches and can even build their nests in it. I have read that these tiny seeds can produce a plant that grows ten feet high or more!
Jesus told a parable comparing the mustard seed to the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32).
How is that a picture of the kingdom of God? Well, when Jesus first began his earthly ministry, he had no followers. The Bible tells us that Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee when he saw two fishermen, Peter and his brother Andrew, casting their nets. "Come, follow me," Jesus said to them. They immediately followed Jesus. As they continued on their way, they saw two other brothers, James and John, mending their nets. Jesus called them and they immediately left their nets and followed him. One by one, Jesus called his disciples until there were twelve of them. That is still a pretty small beginning, isn't it? Jesus sent out the twelve and they brought others to Jesus and the kingdom of God grew. From a very small beginning, the kingdom of God has grown and grown until it has spread over the entire earth.