This past Sunday evening at our S&L meeting with 8th grade Confirmation students we explored the Works of Mercy in a very unique way. They learned specifically about 3 of the Works of Mercy. We split 125 teens up into 3 groups where they rotated to 3 different stations.
Here is a description of each Stations:
Feed the Hungry
Kids came into a room where they were given a colored piece of paper representing the country they were from. Then they sat together at a table and would be given a certain amount of food based on how much food is available in that country. The teens were asked a series of questions: 1) Did any of you get to choose what country you were from? 2) Is the population of the world evenly distributed on each continent? The teens were then shown 1 large pizza which represented all the food in the world. Africa got 8%, Asia 23% Europe 36%, South America 11% and North America 22%. Teens quickly realized after we distributed the food by continent how not all the food in the world is distributed equally. A third question was then posed: What do you notice about the food distribution. Some examples were: Asia doesn’t have enough for everyone, Europe sure has a lot, North America has a lot also, South America does not have enough to go around. Then every table was able to share their portion of the food (pizza). A representative from each table then shared a little about their experience.
Give Drink to the Thirsty
At this station the large group was broken up into 4 smaller groups where each participated in a relay. Here’s how it went: They went to the first line and took off 1 shoe and sock and then ran to the 2nd line where they had a pick up a 40 pound piece of luggage and carry it about 20 feet to a small water bucket where they had to stick their foot into it and pull out a twizzler (I’d recommend a gummy worms) and then they had a carry the luggage back to the place to they originally picked it up. Finally they put their sock and shoe back on and tagged the next person in their line. The 40 pound luggage represented the weight of the water that people have to carry back to their homes (average is about 2 miles). The twizzlers represented all the kinds of tapeworms that are found in unclean drinking water (resulting in malnutrition, diseases & infections). Putting their feet in the water shows that the water was not clean but 884 million people in our world do not have access to clean drinking water. We discussed what we could do to make an impact and live out this work of mercy. Giving money so a community could get access to clean drinking water, making spiritual sacrifices like taking shorter showers and not wasting water are some examples that we discussed.
Shelter the Homeless
At this Station we had a woman who was homeless as a teenager. She’s now 23 and doing alright. She shared some of her experiences of being homeless. The teens were mesmerized by what she had to share.
At each station there was a donation basket where kids donated spare change they brought. We probably raised between $25 and $35 (I am going to have to get it counted today). We will donate it to Catholic Charities.
We closed the night by showing a video by Audio Adrenaline called Hands and Feet and had different students read a line from a prayer by St. Faustine about serving others. It was a great night!!!
What have you done in your ministry to help make the works of mercy more concrete?