Helping Kids Process and Respond to Disasters
Earthquakes in Haiti, tsunamis in Japan, floods in New Zealand … how can we talk to our children about disasters and their impact? World Vision’s communications and media staff offer eight suggestions. To these ideas, I would add the following:
9. Encourage children to take their fears and concerns to a loving heavenly father. Share Bible verses with your children that speak of God’s invitation to come to Him whenever we feel afraid. Here are a few to get you started: Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:3-4; Isaiah 41:10, 13; Lamentations 3:57, and Matthew 10:29-31.
10. Assist children to memorize Psalm 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
11. Pray for children affected by the disaster, including their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Help children personalize their prayers. For example, pray for boys and girls who are the same age they are. Pray for families who have the same number of children as their family. Here’s a prayer for suffering children from Tony Kummer’s Ministry-to-Children website.
we pray for the suffering children whom we do not see.
We know that your eyes see their tears,
that your heart knows their sorrow,
that your hands can reach them now.
We remember that Jesus was once a child,
that poverty stole his bread,
that tyrants sought his life,
that his mother tasted tears.
We ask you to send friends for the lonely,
food for the hungry,
medicine for the sick,
saviors for the enslaved,
rescue for the perishing.
Give us the wisdom to do our part,
share our possessions,
leave our comforts,
lend them our voice,
send them our food,
love them with more than prayers.
We call on you in the name of your child Jesus.