Heroes of the Faith Day

While one family member went to answer the door, all the Jews would gather their dining plates, glasses, utensils, napkins, anything that would indicate that they had been there, and head upstairs to the hiding place behind the wall. It was vital that they do all this in absolute silence. In the meantime, the two Ten Booms remaining in the dining room would get rid of any large serving dishes and replace them with small ones, creating portions and a table setting that would make sense for a dining party of three—rather than eleven. This was the scene we reenacted.

I set a table with actual plates and silverware, glasses, napkins, and serving dishes. When the knock came at the door, they went into motion. On their first attempt, they were too noisy. I made clear to them that the Nazis, right outside the door, were listening carefully for any such sounds. They must move silently. We reset the table and tried again. We played through the scene several more times until I could tell that they got some clear sense of the tension and fear the real family must have felt. It was a good exercise to better grasp the gravity of living in a police state. And later, when that particular scene rolled around in the movie, they were far more invested.

A Quiet Moment

While the other events of the day were more intense and sometimes even fun, we included a quieter and more introspective activity. Off by itself stood a solitary empty chair, with a man’s hat, a pair of gloves, and a Bible resting on it. This represented the missing, those who are taken off, sometimes in the middle of the night, or right off the street, and their families don’t even know where they are. There are many believers today who take great risks by claiming a faith in Christ, and for some, the result is that they simply go missing. So we asked each child to take a moment at some point in the day to go over to the chair, touch the things on it, think about what they represented, and pray for those who even today are among the missing.

Include this faith appreciation day in your school schedule. It’s an easy-to-plan, one-day event through which your kids will absorb more details about history, gain an understanding of the risk and price that many must pay for the freedom to simply worship, and learn about the many great people of the faith who went before them.

Tips for Success

  • Keep the presentations under 3 minutes. Let parents know ahead of time to be strict about this, otherwise 30 minutes becomes 90.
  • Minimize wasted time in between presenters. Have the next presenter waiting in the wings.
  • Ask for handouts. Each presenter could print up a few questions about his or her presentation, one copy per family. Then take home, make copies, and use for review.
  • Serve regional foods that showcase some of the countries represented.
  • Be age conscious. Have some video options for younger kids in other rooms if the activities are too intense for them.
  • Where to find biographies? Check out YWAM Publishing for lots of options from their Christian Heroes Biographies.

Carol Barnier, author of three books, is a popular conference speaker who is known for mixing serious topics with equally serious humor. Learn more at www.CarolBarnier.com or www.sizzlebop.com.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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