During the outdoor program we have the opportunity to spread our message of hope and salvation. The lessons are projected over a sound system and can be heard by many in a community. For this reason we have decided to stick to simple lessons with a strong evangelistic message. More direct discipleship will occur in our indoor program which runs from late October to early May. This series is Adventure Days. Adventure will be the outward theme but the lesson will encompass our true task, to share with the kids the salvation message, to tell them the "Secret of Everlasting Life". In Adventure Days you will travel with our protagonist to wild jungles, high mountains and hot deserts. He will find many different beliefs about eternal life but in the end he will find The Way, The Truth and The Life.
Lesson 3 - Desert Adventure
This third week in adventure days series is the final lesson. It is focussed on "the Secret of Everlasting Life". This week the professor will find the truth. He has struggled to find the answers for the last two weeks and this week he finds it.
The stress in this lesson will be upon Jesus as the only way. It is important to communicate that having Jesus in your life is essential and that He is the only way we can be assured of eternal life. This message will be clear and simple and will be a straight forward evangelical message.
Now the children will know "the secret of eternal life" and so will the professor.
In some of the outdoor program we have found it necessary to eliminate the opening. The children are often hyper and use to high energy activity when outdoors, so we have to begin with the rules in order to maintain control.
As "The Zoo" has developed we have found it necessary to add rules to specific evenings. During the summer we do not allow water guns. If a child has a toy gun we ask them to give it to us until the end of the evening or take it home.
This is an energetic time. Encourage the children to be loud when they are supposed to be loud and quiet when they are supposed to be quiet.
Games are exciting for children to play but safety must be a priority when planning or selecting games for your program. We believe that the games we use make an impression on the kids. We try not to use games that glamorize acts of violence. The use of water guns, dart guns, or any other type of gun to shoot somebody makes killing look fun. We advise caution whenever dealing with inner city children and guns.
Game #1 Sand in the Bucket
Select two teams of four. The children will line up behind the pylons. When the whistle blows the child will pick up the plastic shovel in front of them and scoop up some sand. The child will run to the pail in front of them and drop the sand into it. The first team to fill the bucket wins.
Game #2 Obstacle Course
Select two teams of five. the object of this game is to get your whole team to the oasis as fast as you can without getting caught in the dangerous spots in the desert. You can add your own situations but some of the problems they might face are:
In the third week Phoebe is back. She is telling the children about another place that she has visited. She was in the scorching hot desert on her summer vacation. She had a map with her but it dried out in the sun. It was very old so when it got too dry it fell apart. It had a special message on it but now she can't remember what it said. The children are asked to figure it out.
Leader: Hi Phoebe!
Phoebe: Hi (leader) and hello to all of you too.
Leader: We are pleased that you could join us again. We enjoyed hearing about the exciting places that you travelled to.
Phoebe: I had a lot of fun visiting the jungle and the mountain. Did you know that I also went to another place on my vacation?
Leader: No, where did you go?
Phoebe: I went to the scorching hot desert. It was fabulous. I have never seen anything quite like it. There were camels and a few palm trees but there was tons and tons of sand. It got so hot in the daytime that most people didn't even go outside. I have a map that I used to get around would you like to see it. I keep it in this case.
Leader: An old map of the desert that sounds very interesting. I'll help you get it out of the case. (Leader opens a briefcase and finds that the map is in about six pieces) Phoebe it isn't in very good shape.
Phoebe: Sorry I should have mentioned that. It was a very old map and it got so dry in the desert that it started to fall apart. I am sure that you and the kids can put it back together. You have helped me a lot with my vacation souvenirs.
Leader: I have some tape here that will do the trick, if the kids will help me figure out where the pieces fit. (Have the children participate, once it is assembled have them repeat the verse found on it.)
Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." John 14:6 Well phoebe we put the map together and it had a message on it. The message seemed very important so we memorized it. Is that message important to you Phoebe?
Phoebe: The verse that is on that map is extremely important. I learned all about it on my trip so I wrote it on my map so that I would never forget it. That verse is something that Jesus said. It means that the only way to have everlasting life is through Jesus.
Leader: That sounds pretty confusing to me.
Phoebe: It is actually quite simple. It just means that Jesus is the answer. If you are wondering about what way to go, if you are looking for the truth and if you want to be in heaven with Him forever then ask Jesus. If you are sorry for your sins and you ask Jesus to be part of your life He will.
Leader: Now I get it. Thanks for sharing with us again Phoebe.
Phoebe: No problem, see you later.
Leader: Bye Phoebe!
This story is told by DR. KENTUCKY JAMES. He is a puppet that was dressed in a safari suit but has an academic look because He is a professor. He will interact with another puppet, Phoebe.
Leader: Now it is time for our story. Let's see if the professor found what he was looking for. He was searching for the "Secret of Everlasting Life".
Dr. Kentucky James: Good evening! I am Dr. Kentucky James and I have been having a terrible time lately. All I wanted to know was how to get to heaven. I just wanted to know the "Secret of Everlasting Life". I have searched everywhere but I can't find the answer.
I am glad that you joined me tonight. I can use the company. I just got back from another place. I heard that you could find the answer to the "Secret of Eternal Life" in the desert so I went. I didn't find the answer. I am just in the middle of unpacking, I will tell you the story while I put my stuff away.
I went to the jungle and I talked to a crazy elephant, he didn't have the right answer. Then I climbed a mountain and talked to the king of the monkeys and he didn't have the answer I was looking for. Then just last week I went to the scorching hot desert to find the "Secret of Everlasting Life" This desert was miserable. It was so hot I thought I was going to pass out. I had to hike for miles in the sand. I could barely breathe. I had a canteen full of water but that soon ran out. I didn't know what to do. I knew that I wanted to find the answer but I was getting so thirsty. I walked and walked and found nothing. It was unbelievable. I think we searched the whole desert and we found nothing. Pretty boring story, huh? So here I am back in my office with nothing to report. I still don't know the answer.
(Suddenly there is a knock at the door.)
Oh excuse me it seems that I have some company. Oh hello Phoebe. Everyone this is Phoebe.
Phoebe: Hi Professor I heard that you have a problem.
Dr. Kentucky James: Yes as a matter of fact I do have a problem. I have been searching for the "Secret of Everlasting Life". I have been to the jungle, to the mountains and in the desert. I have been everywhere. All I want to know is how to get to heaven.
Phoebe: That's it? I can understand why you would be upset Kentucky but I wish you had asked me first. Do you have a bible?
Dr. Kentucky James: Yes I do. Here it is.
Phoebe: The answer to the whole thing is right here. You went everywhere but the truth is in this book, the Bible. Pretty amazing.
Dr. Kentucky James: Wow
Phoebe: If you look up John 14:6 it says it in one verse. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Jesus is the way to heaven. His way is the truth., He is the "Secret of Everlasting Life". That simply means that if you believe in Jesus and ask Him to forgive you, He will be part of your life and you will go to heaven.
Dr. Kentucky James: You mean it is that simple?
Phoebe: Pretty amazing, isn't it?
( The two exit and Kentucky is still expressing awe at the whole situation)
(address the kids allowing time for interaction.)
Those puppets found the answer. What is the only way that we will get to go to heaven? Jesus. If you would like to have Jesus in your life then you can pray this prayer with me. Dear Jesus, I know that you are the truth. I am sorry that I do things that make you unhappy. Please forgive me. I want you to come into my life and be with me forever. Amen If you prayed this prayer with us today we want to know so that we can answer any questions that you might have. Stick around after if you would like to talk about it.
Quiet seat prizes and closing prayer.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries