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Chutes for Colombia and Prayer Reminder

Parachute
Mini-parachute prayer reminder

In Colombia, missionaries drop Bibles and other Christian materials attached to small parachutes out of airplanes into jungle areas controlled by violent guerrillas. The materials are supplied through gifts from VOM supporters. (Guerrillas are people who carry out illegal acts of war and terrorism.)

Groups all over the U.S. have made the small parachutes from kits provided by VOM. The director of a children’s program in New York sent the following letter to VOM about her group’s participation in the project.

“During our church’s mission month, the kids learned about Colombia, watched a video about work in the guerrilla areas, heard missionary stories, constructed parachutes, and prayed for the work in Colombia. This was such a great opportunity to teach the kids about God’s work around the world and the ability to reach others for Christ, even from home. The kids were so excited, and we will continue to pray. We serve a great God! Sincerely, Ginny N.

Activity

To learn more about how to make chutes for use in Colombia, go to http://www.persecution.com/parachute.

To make tiny mini-chute prayer reminders as prayer reminders or to announce a lesson or project benefiting Colombia at your church or group, follow the following instructions.

Background: Actual parachutes used to drop radios and Christian literature into guerrilla-controlled areas of Colombia are 34 inches in diameter. Make a miniature version of the chutes using the instructions below.

Some of the Bibles distributed in Colombia have a camouflage pattern on the cover. People who make the chutes write “Dios es amor” (“God is love” in Spanish) or another Spanish phrase on the chutes.

Needed: Scraps of muslin material; circular pattern 6 inches in diameter made of paper or cardboard, or other material (or use a 6-inch wide bowl); 1/8-inch wide red ribbon; craft bond fabric and paper glue; camouflage scrap book paper; thin cardboard; 2-inch by 3-inch zip lock plastic bags; pencils; scissors; hole puncher; and black pen or fine-tipped marker.

Instructions: You may want to prepare some of the steps in advance for younger children.

  • Using a pencil and the 6-inch pattern, trace a circle on the muslin. Cut out the circle.
  • Cut three 24-inch strips of red ribbon for each parachute.
  • Fold the fabric circle in half, then in half again. Make a tiny dot with a pencil on the pointed end of the fabric to mark the center. Unfold the circle and lay the ribbons across it, spacing them evenly around the circle and dividing the circle into six equal sections. The ribbons should overlap on the center pencil dot. Mark the circles with pencil lines to show where you placed the ribbons.
  • Remove the ribbons. Apply glue on the markings. Fold each ribbon into two equal lengths. Mark the folds with a pencil to show the center of each strip. Glue the strips to the circle along the lines, overlapping them at the center and matching the center markings on the ribbons with the center dot on the circle.
  • Allow the glue to dry for several hours.
  • Write “Dios es amor” (“God is love” in Spanish) with a pen or fine-tipped marker in three sections of the circle, leaving an empty space between each section.
  • To make a camouflage “Bible,” cut a 3-inch by 2-inch rectangle out of camouflage-pattern scrapbook paper. Fold it in half to form a 1½-inch by 2-inch book. Glue or tape 1¼-inch by 1¾-inch pieces of their cardboard inside the Bible for weight. (The more weight, the more likely the parachute will glide.)
  • With a hole puncher, punch a hole in the top corner of a 2-inch by 3-inch zip lock bag. Put the Bible in the bag and zip the bag shut. Move the Bible to the top of the bag, fold up the excess length of the bag, and tape it shut to make the bag the same length as the Bible.
  • To attach the bag to the parachute, pull the ribbons through the hole in the top of the bag, keeping the ribbons even. Tie the ribbons in a knot to secure them.

Children may want to try dropping their parachutes from a balcony or other high places.


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