Jonathan Boes • 01/26/2024
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(AP/Armin Durgut)

Tiny krill, big messes, and a tragic outbreak.

Welcome to the Play-by-Play. Every other week, we’re taking three recent stories from our God’s WORLD News publications and breaking them down to help you spark conversation in the home or the classroom.

As you move from discover to explore to discern, the themes go deeper. But any of these stories can work for conversation with the whole family. We’ll also include a Conversation Kickoff to help you break the proverbial ice if your kids aren’t ready to dive deep right away.

This week, we’re noticing a theme of little things with a big impact. As you discuss these stories, look for ways that little things make a big impact in the world.

Small things have big jobs.

(Read it at God’s Big WORLD.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Tiny krill play a massive role in the food chain. Humans use them for all sorts of purposes. United States officials now warn of over-hunting.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Look for the theme of using resources. Why do officials need to warn fishermen about over-hunting? What does “over-hunting” mean, and why would someone do it? Also consider our theme little things with big impact. If these tiny krill disappear, what will happen? Who would feel the consequences?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Discover the ecosystems in your area. Go to the library or search online to learn how the plants and animals in your region—even the tiny ones!—benefit one another.

A River of Garbage

(Read it at WORLDkids.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Twice per year, Bosnia’s Drina River fills with garbage. War and poverty have damaged the nation’s ability to control waste.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
What does Bosnia lose when the Drina River fills with trash? What makes cleanup hard? What is the duty of government officials in this situation? Look at the theme of waste. How can one person’s wastefulness impact others? What would happen if everyone chose to act wastefully? On the contrary, what happens if everyone chooses to act wisely with resources?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Take an afternoon to clean up litter in your area. Consider organizing a group or friends to help make your community cleaner. As you go about your day, pay attention to public means of handling waste. Are there trash and recycling receptacles at your park or sports fields? Notice their locations. Preventing litter may be easier than you realize.

Conversation Kickoff! They say “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Have you ever found a hidden treasure in the garbage, at a yard sale, or donated to a thrift store? What was it?

Cholera Outbreak in Zambia

(Read it at WORLDteen.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
A cholera outbreak began last October in Zambia. Hundreds have died from the disease. Lack of clean water and global vaccine shortages make the problem even worse.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
If doctors have effective treatments for cholera, why do nations like Zambia still experience deadly outbreaks? What prevents victims from receiving treatment? How do smaller problems add up to bigger problems? The United Nations attempts to provide cholera vaccines. What makes this difficult? In what other ways could nations help?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Pray that the people of Zambia would get the help they need. Does your church support missions to Zambia or other nations where people struggle to access healthcare and clean water? Consider ways to give as a family.


He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” — Matthew 13:31-32

Together, let’s get the conversation started. He has equipped you for the work.

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