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During the summer holidays we often go on journeys. We might go away on holiday, out for a day trip somewhere, or we might just pop to the shops or to the park near our house.
These prayer activities will help you and your family to reflect on the journeys that many people around the world have to make as refugees, when they are forced to leave their homes by hunger, war, or natural disaster.
Pack your bags
Each member of the family packs a bag, or writes a list with all the things you would need to take if you were going away on holiday.
When you have all finished, announce that there's been a change of plans. You can only bring two items each. Discuss as a family what you would each take, what you would leave behind and why.
Many refugees have to leave their homes very quickly and can only take what they can carry. Consider what it would be like to leave your home and not know when you will return. Would that make a difference to the two items that you would take?
Say a prayer together for people who are forced to leave their homes and most of their belongings behind. You can use your own words or say this prayer together:
Jesus, friend and brother,
we pray that by welcoming refugees
we may show our love for our neighbour
and be close to you.
Build a shelter
Build a den in your garden, living room, or a local wood or park if you have one. You could use rope, bamboo canes, fallen sticks, blankets or tarpaulin.
If you're feeling adventurous, and it's safe to do so, could you sleep in the den overnight?
If you don't have space, or the weather is dreadful, you could build a small Lego® or carboard house instead. Or use any other materials you have to hand.
When you have built your den or house, think about all the refugees around the world who have had to build a new shelter to live in after leaving their homes.
One refugee who was given a shelter pack so her family could build somewhere to live in the refugee camp, described the kit as "the thing I treat as my treasure."
Hold all refugees in your prayers, using your own words or these:
God our refuge,
fill our hearts with your love
and move us to reach out to all those who are in need,
so that everyone may have
a safe and welcoming
place to live.