World Vision’s Online Chapel and Devotions for Students at Home
With schools closed across the country, World Vision Ignite has launched a weekly chapel, devotions, and other online resources for students and families at home.
Our first online chapel features worship songs, Scripture reflection, and a message from World Vision storyteller and former journalist Kari Costanza. She’s traveled to over 40 countries, meeting many of the amazing people World Vision works with and sharing their stories through words, photos, and videos.
We’ve created a series of daily devotions to guide students in reflecting on that week’s chapel. It’s a chance for you to set aside 15 minutes — independently, or as a family, each day of the school week — to reflect on specific questions, seek God’s wisdom, and pray for our friends and neighbors around the globe.
Devotion for Monday:
Begin video at 21:12. Watch through the end of Jet Mark’s video at 25:15.
World Vision has been serving children and families in China long before COVID-19 started. When the crisis began, our local staff sprang into action, distributing masks and working to source critical medical equipment.
We’re particularly focused on COVID-19’s psychological and social impacts on children across the country, including our 55,000 World Vision sponsored children. These stay-at-home orders are impacting children around the globe: from China to Nicaragua, India to Zambia.
Watch the video that Jet Mark, a 17-year-old World Vision sponsored child currently in quarantine, filmed from his home in the Philippines (starts at 23:49).
- Right now, Jet Mark is submitting his schoolwork online. Graduation has been canceled. He’s afraid of getting the virus himself, but particularly afraid for his 80-year-old grandmother, who has a higher chance of getting sick. What are you afraid of? How are your fears similar or different from Jet Mark’s fears?
- No matter where we live, everyone is impacted by COVID in some way. How might Jet Mark’s experience be different from yours? How could you pray for him, his grandmother, or sponsored children in other countries around the globe?
Each day this week, choose one person to lift up to God in prayer: friends, family, people in your community, and global neighbors living far away. Pray for God’s protection, comfort, strength, and hope to surround them as they go about their day.
Devotion for Tuesday:
Begin video at 1:53.
As Audrey reads Psalm 18:1-2, which words catch your attention? What stands out to you?
Read the verse again. Notice if any other words stand out to you this time.
“I love you, my Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:1-2
Read the verse again, pausing on the areas that caught your attention. Take a moment to pray and ask God what he wants to show you in this passage.
Take five minutes for a time of reflection. You could journal about what you’re thinking and feeling, listen to a worship song, or spend time in prayer or quiet meditation. What questions do you have?
- In times of uncertainty and fear, what does it mean to you that God is our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer?
- Whenever we feel uncertain, God is our strength. We can trust him. But trusting God isn’t always easy! What are some ways you could focus on trusting God this week?
- Ask your family, mentors, or loved ones what they do to help feel closer and more connected to God. Do they have a favorite song or Bible verse? What encourages them? What helps them trust God more?
Read the verse aloud one final time. End today’s devotion by praying for one of the people you chose yesterday. Take time to thank God for being our strength, our rock, and our fortress. After praying for others, you can pray for yourself, too: asking for God’s wisdom and peace to strengthen you and guide you as you go about your week.
Devotion for Wednesday:
Begin the video at 25:18.
In her 25 years with World Vision, Kari Costanza has traveled across the globe. This past November, she visited the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. It’s home to Rohingya refugees. Right now, nearly one million people are crammed together in a camp the size of New York City’s Central Park.
- Children and families living in this camp only have lentils and rice to eat — there is no other food available! Think of the past three meals you ate. Can you imagine what it might be like to eat only lentils and rice, every day, for more than a year?
- COVID-19 impacts everyone differently, but it’s limiting many people’s access to food (in big or small ways). Since self-quarantine began, have you and your family not been able to get certain food or supplies? What foods or items couldn’t you get? Were you able to get some of those things later?
- Consider how your experience during COVID-19 might give you a glimpse of what children from impoverished communities around the globe experience every day. Of course, your lives are still very different. But can anything that’s happened recently give you a deeper understanding, or a feeling of deeper empathy, for the reality of their daily lives?
As you pray for today’s friend, pray also for people who are living in refugee camps right now: packed together in crowded space, with limited access to hygiene supplies or medical care.
Pray also for the many children and families in the developing world who have lived with limited access to food, cleaning products, or hygiene supplies long before this time of COVID-19.
Devotion for Thursday:
Begin video at 36:29.
For the past three years, World Vision has been teaching Rohingya children about hand washing and hygiene. Working in partnership with UNICEF, we’re also distributing soap to Rohingya families to help prevent the spread of COVID.
(Note: This video was filmed before guidelines about wearing masks in public became commonplace.)
Not being able to find hand sanitizer was frustrating. Can you imagine if you barely had any access to any soap or hygiene products? The next time you wash your hands, think about children and teenagers who lack access to soap or clean water.
As you pray for the friend you chose on Monday, also take time to pray for the medical workers who are on the front lines: both close to home, and in communities around the globe. Thank God for them, and as for God’s peace, strength, and protection to surround them as they serve our world so faithfully.
Consider how you might be able to encourage a medical professional or another essential worker you know. Can you write a letter of thanks and encouragement? Catch up over a phone or video call? Donate or send supplies to support those doing this work?
Devotion for Friday:
Begin video at 38:34.
COVID-19 has impacted everyone … all across the globe. People are suffering: in our neighborhoods, our cities, and around the world. The Bible never promises that our lives will be from suffering, but it does promise that God, our savior, is with us and loves us unconditionally.
In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul writes to Christians in Rome who are experiencing suffering. He encourages them to shift perspective:
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” -Romans 5:3-5
When we — or people we care about — experience suffering, we can find hope in Jesus. He chose to leave heaven and became fully human, which means any suffering you experience … Jesus knows exactly what it feels like.
Any pain you feel, Jesus has felt that and more. He is there for you. When you pray, are you 100% honest about what you’re feeling? You can bring every worry, fear, or doubt to him. Jesus wants to be there for you. He wants to surround you with his love, hope, and peace.
Right now, you have a choice: you can allow fear to control you. Or you can reject fear. You can choose to care for others. You can choose to infuse the world with God’s love.
This is a time to look outward, not inward. Instead of being consumed by worry and fear, this is time for us to reach out and care for others. This is a time for us to pray for others.
In this time of social distancing, it can be easy to feel alone. But technology has given us ways to be more connected than ever before, even if we can’t see each other in person. Brainstorm different ideas talking and connecting with friends and family this week. Look for ways you can encourage and support others. And keep an eye out for ways God might be encouraging you.
Times of trial can bring out the best in us or they can bring out worst. So what will you do with this day that you’ve been given? The choice is up to you.