Overview: Quest for the Lost Window VBS, by Advancing Native Missions, focuses on teaching kids about how God is using native missionaries in the 10/40 window to get the Gospel out to the most unreached peoples of the world. Throughout the week long program four key elements are emphasized: learn pray, give, and go.
What is the 10/40 window? It is the area of the world located between 10 degrees and 40 degrees latitude north of the equator, stretching between Western Africa and Eastern Asia. It contains 65 countries. This window is the birthplace to every major non-Christian religion on the earth. Most of the people in the 10/40 window have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ… not once!
Format: All materials arrive in one binder that includes the director’s manuals, station manuals, and a preschool program. There is a data disc, a music CD, and a sample of the student book, passport, and stickers.
The curriculum arrives in a very Indiana-Jones-looking burlap messenger bag and fits the world traveling theme. I was immediately impressed by a note stating, “Because of a native missionary, the ladies who created this bag heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and were saved from a life of slavery. Your support in purchasing this curriculum has aided in their new life of freedom.”
- Day 1: Africa Care for Others Elijah and the Widow James 1:27
- Day 2: Middle East Prayer is Powerful Peter Freed from Prison James 5:16
- Day 3: South Asia Jesus is the One True God Saved from the Fiery Furnace John 14:6
- Day 4: SE Asia Jesus Saves The Good Shepherd Luke 19:10
- Day 5: Far East Go & Share the Good News Jesus Feeds the 5,000 Mark 16:15
Decorating: Decorating ideas and instructions are included in the manual. Be prepared to change the “set” each day to reflect the region of the day.
Stations: The 10/40 Expedition begins with a large group introduction to the day with songs, skits, and announcements. During rotations, smaller groups reinforce the bible story and bible truth of the day. The bible exploration site lays the biblical foundation each day. The Word of God literally comes alive before their eyes through dramatic scenery, costumes, props, and skits. At the native creation site, children create craft projects that are indigenous to the 10/40 window. Each day’s craft will correspond with the region being explored. Unlike the typical VBS snacks, the 10/40 Expedition is designed to let children experience a taste of the 10/40 window regions. This snack experience will help kids become aware of the scarcity of food in many regions, the need for safe drinking water, and nutritionally balanced meals. At “Global Games”, expedition groups will experience games played by children of the 10/40 window. The games also correspond with the daily bible truth.
Missionary Outpost: At the “Missionary Outpost, explorers will be introduced to the land, peoples, and needs in the 10/40 window. One extremely unique element of this program is that Native Missions will send a missionary to attend and speak daily at your VBS! Wow! Having a missionary attend your Expedition is really an easy process. Rebekah Snyder of ANM explains, “Basically, when you order the curriculum, I will send an email thanking you for ordering and letting you know that I am available to answer any questions that you may have. All you have to do is contact me and give me the dates of your Expedition or when exactly you would like to have the missionary visit your church. I will then work with our itinerary department to make sure we send someone your way. Again, this is free of charge. All we ask is that your church would host the missionary in a home and take up a love offering for his ministry. Please note that this is not limited to your Expedition. As a missions organization, we send missionaries to churches year round. If for some reason you cannot have a missionary at your actual Expedition, you could always invite one to your church a few weeks, or even months, later. I am a huge advocate of having the missionary come because I was one of those kids whose heart for missions developed because I had met a native missionary at my church. I know from experience how it brings missions to life in the eyes of a child.”
If you choose not to host a native missionary, you may download in depth native missionary videos to enhance the experience.
Missions Project: An Operation Child Hope (OCH) missions project allows kids to help native missionaries get the gospel to children in the 10/40 window. There are many projects in the OCH missions projects packet. A visit to the website gives you many projects to choose from, perhaps raising funds to purchase a portable nebulizer for children with asthma.
Music: The music CD includes ten songs, including a theme song. It also includes split tracks and instrumental versions of all the songs. You may also purchase additional CDs to give or sell at your VBS. Sheet music for voice and guitar can also be found in the manual. The instrumentation is awesome.
Student Materials: The Booklet includes incredible pictures of people from the regions, a creator’s corner that gives insight to God’s Creation of the region of the day, the daily scripture verse, the native mission moment, and an area for prayer. There is also a passport that includes the daily scripture verse and allows each to “stamp” their passport as they visit each region. Daily “snaps” are take-home reminders of the “Learn, Pray, Give, Go” outline. The books are very well done and truly give a cultural feel for the region.
Personal Thoughts: This a a unique VBS and I would encourage you to look at it and consider it. It is refreshingly different and yet very familiar and comfortable in format. I liked the simple theme – what is a native missionary? What is the 10/40 window?
Stations are connected well to reinforce the theme each day. Crafts are unique and fun to do with supplies being easy to find. Snacks include hummus and Chicken Adobo – very different. Games as well are unique from the region but also tie into the daily themes. Each rotation gives insight to God’s Character. There is a strong salvation message, and a mission project.
The music was great but I think the lyrics were challenging. I would definitely suggest having lyric sheets or have them onscreen. It would love to see ANM create a music DVD, especially if it was filmed regionally!
Perhaps my favorite part of 10/40 window is the one small line in the participants’ passport that says: occupation – native missionary. Although they are learning about the native missionaries of the 10/40 window, they are also learning that they are a native missionary in their own neighborhood, living out the Great Commission in their own neighborhood.
Kits and additional information are available at their website The10/40Expedition.com. Complete kits run $199.00 and student materials run $4.00 each. As you begin to look at VBS curriculum, I beg you to wait before deciding, and take a good look at 10/40 by ANM. This is a refreshing and unique VBS that deserves consideration.