Lent is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It begins on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14, 2024) and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday (March 28, 2024). Lent is the time when Catholics all over the world prepare to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection at Easter. By using this activity guide, you can help your children grow closer to Jesus and follow his example of loving the poor. We hope your family experiences an inner conversion of the heart through Lent’s three main pillars.
Talk to God and seek him by reading Sacred Scripture.
Practice the virtue of self-discipline and learn to depend on God.
Serve others by sharing what we have with the poor.
Catholics honor the season of Lent in many special ways. This activity guide will connect your family with families in sub-Saharan Africa who go every day without clean, safe water sources. Each week, you’ll learn about the challenges they face, the importance of faith in their daily lives, and how we are all connected through the body of Christ. Here are just a few ideas for a meaningful Lenten journey:
We asked boys and girls in remote villages what they pray for, and we’ve shared their special prayer requests throughout this guide. When you pray, you can ask God to look out for these children and help them reach their full potential.
Fast by giving up an unhealthy habit. Poor children in Zambia and Malawi can’t afford candy or sweets. By giving up treats, you can stand with them in solidarity as you draw closer to God.
Give what you can to help the poor. Almsgiving is an expression of Jesus’ love for the poor. Prayerfully consider giving to Cross Catholic Outreach’s Wells of Salvation outreach. A gift of any size will help bring safe, clean water to the children and families you’ll meet throughout this activity guide.
Jesus said, “But those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
As Jesus hung on the cross, blood and water flowed from his side. Today, Christ’s living water flows through his Church — and families like yours! By laying down his life, Jesus gave us a priceless gift — and tasked us to share his love with others.
As you journey through Lent, complete the reflections and activities in this book. Then, there will be an opportunity to help drill village wells in Zambia and Malawi to bless 49,000 people with a lifetime of clean, safe water.
1.) What does Lent mean to you?
2.) How does Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross teach us how to sacrifice for others?
3.) What do you think life is like for children in Zambia and Malawi who don’t have clean water to drink? (You will learn more about this as you continue using this activity guide!)
Lord our God, we lift our hearts to you as we enter this season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Just as families in Zambia and Malawi thirst for clean water, we ask that you quench our thirst to know you and love you. Help us in this season of Lent to focus on hope and truth. We ask that you guide us in this mission of mercy and unite us in sacrifice with Christ your son. We pray for these things in your heavenly name. Amen.