Play-by-Play | November 17, 2023 | God's World News


Jonathan Boes • 11/17/2023
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(AP/Fernando Llano)

Tiny birds, big volcanos, and refugees in need.

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 shelter. Look for examples of shelter as you explore these stories.


She saves tiny birds.

(Read it at God's Big WORLD.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Years ago, a Mexico City woman named Catia Lattouf nursed an injured hummingbird back to health. Now she cares for any injured hummingbird people bring to her apartment.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Consider the theme of stewarding God’s creation. How do we take care of the world around us? Also, what does the Bible say about God’s care for animals—even birds? (Hint: Check Matthew 10.) If God even cares about fallen birds, what does that say about His care for us?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Encourage your kids to slow down and notice the animals that come near your door. They might be surprised by the creatures that pass by unnoticed every day! Consider building a birdhouse together as a family activity.

Conversation Kickoff! What animal would you be most excited to see arrive at your door?

Out of the Lagoon!

(Read it at WORLDkids.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
An earthquake shook the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in Grindavik, Iceland. Fearing volcanic activity, local officials evacuated the entire town.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Notice the tension in our relationship with the world around us. How do we see people in this story enjoying the goodness
of God’s creation? Where do we also see the fallenness of God’s creation? Also, notice how the people in this story responded to danger. What does scripture call us to do when faced with danger?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Pray for the safety of people in Iceland. Research earthquakes and volcanos to learn more about God’s design for our planet. (For some great info, search for “volcano” at

Suffering Afghans Flee Pakistan

(Read it at WORLDteen.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Afghans are fleeing Pakistan to avoid arrest and deportation, but Afghanistan’s Taliban government isn’t prepared. Many refugees lack shelter and other basic necessities.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Consider the theme of leadership. How do ungodly leaders affect a nation? Also notice the theme of belongings and necessity. Many refugees had their belongings seized at the border. What might you own that you take for granted? What do you really need?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Pray for the Afghan refugees. Look up “refugees” and “sojourners” in the Bible. You could also research refugee ministries in your area to learn about practical ways to help people in need.


For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. — Matthew 25:35-36

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

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