Family Devotional

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Kia ora! Bula! Talofa! Mālō e lelei!

The Salvation Army’s mission across the globe is to partner with God to help people experience positive, life-transforming change. You and your family are invited to be part of this work over the next six weeks by participating in the Self Denial Appeal! We encourage you to set aside a time each week to watch the Self Denial kids videos and have some family time together using the ideas and activities in this booklet. We hope your family will get to have some rich discussion, about how, with God, our actions can ripple far beyond what we could ever imagine!

Each week we’ll join Luka-Angel as she highlights some of the ways The Salvation Army internationally has impacted the communities and people it serves. We dare you to take on the challenges each week, and to explore ways to save/raise money to support the Sttelf Denial Appeal. You’ll also get time to connect with your family and discuss how God has worked in your lives.

So, are you in? We are already praying that your faith and family will be strengthened as you take part in supporting those who need our help.

The Children's Mission Team

Make It

Hey kids! Sometimes to be generous, we have to get creative. And that’s exactly what we want to see you do. Once again, in the spirit of sustainability, we aren’t going to send you a money box to collect your Self Denial donations. Instead, we challenge you to make your own
using recycled materials.

Use your imagination—could a milk bottle become a unicorn-head money box? Could a tissue box be repurposed into a little mail box-style container for collecting your donations?
It’s up to you!

Once you’ve designed and made your amazing new money box, snap a picture and share it with us. Email us a photo, your first name and your corps/centre to so that we can highlight it on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Fill It

The most important thing to do with your money box is to fill it, of course! Every single cent that you donate will be used to support The Salvation Army’s mission in countries like the ones we’ll explore during the Appeal. Even a tiny donation can make big ripples and have huge impact in the lives of others.

Here are some ideas of ways to fill it:

  • Ask your neighbours if they have any jobs you could do for them for a donation, like washing their car, weeding their front garden or taking their recycling to the recycling station. Tell them why you’re raising money and they’ll probably love to help.
  • Ask your parents/caregivers to give you some money for doing extra chores, like emptying and filling the dishwasher every day, vacuuming or taking out the recycling/compost.
  • Contribute some of your pocket money.
  • Ask people (like neighbours, grandparents and people at church) to sponsor you to do activities, like giving up TV for a week or walking to school every day for a month.
  • Choose not to stop at the dairy or go to the school canteen and put that money in your money box instead.

Give It

At the end of six weeks, our Self Denial Altar Service is that special time when we show our love for God and others by giving our money to God, through The Salvation Army. Every cent of these donations goes straight to help the work we do to support people around the world who need our help.

Bring your money box or envelope to church on that day and be part of the special time when your generous and sacrificial gifts are received.

Memory Verse

‘I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or Imagine. Amen.' Ephesians 3:20–21

Have you ever wanted to hear God’s voice talking to you? Me too! God, through his Holy Spirit, can speak to us in lots of different ways. One of the best things God invented to talk to us is the Bible. We call it ‘the Word’ because it’s a book full of God’s words, waiting for us! We can tuck these words away in our hearts and minds for when we need them by learning memory verses. Here are few ideas of ways you can practise and memorise our Self Denial memory verses from Ephesians 3:20–21 (CEV). We think you’ll surprise yourself with how much you can remember with just a little energy, creativity and time!

  • Write the verses in a creative way, then snap a picture of it and save it as your device’s screensaver or lock screen.
  • Create a poster with the memory verse and stick it somewhere you’ll see it lots—like on the back of the bathroom door, on the car seat in front of you or on the ceiling above your bed.
  • Create a jingle! Change the words of one of your family’s favourite songs, chants or jingles so that it uses the words of our memory verses, or perhaps you can create your own melody.
  • Split the verses up into smaller sections and learn one part each week, slowly building up to the whole thing! Perhaps you can practise after dinner each night.
  • Rewrite the verses using pictures or symbols.

Navigate to:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6



Week One | The Ripple Effect

Watch this week’s video at


Have you ever thrown a stone into the sea, a stream or a pond? Did you notice the way the water moved, creating circles that got bigger and bigger, further and further from where the stone landed? Those circles are called ripples. In a similar way, our actions can have ripples that spread further and have more impact than we could have first thought.

In this week's video, Luka-Angel mentioned some ways that money raised in previous Self Denial Appeals has helped people, including how a small donation helped provide a new water supply and sanitation in Zimbabwe. Perhaps you remember learning about the WASH Project in Kwazulu-Natal in a previous Self Denial Appeal?

  • As a family, chat together about which Self Denial stories from previous years have stuck with you or created ripples in your life.
  • If you can’t remember any previous stories, or this is your first time being part of the Self Denial Appeal, share about which of the stories Luka-Angel mentioned today spoke to you the most.


  • Thank God for the way he uses small things, donations and people (including kids like you!) to change lives and communities around the world.
  • Ask God to help your family during the Self Denial Appeal, showing you ways you can share his love and mercy with others.
  • Ask God to help you all hear his voice and recognise it with more and more confidence throughout this Self Denial Appeal.


If you haven’t already, make a money box to collect
your donations in. We encourage sustainability and creativity, so why not make your money box out of items you have at home like plastic bottles, egg cartons or cardboard packaging?


  • Luka-Angel’s friends shared lots of different ways you could try to raise money for your money box, and there are a few ideas in the introduction of this devotional. As a family, decide upon one way you’d like to try to raise money this week and give it a go.
  • Let’s start strong and get cracking on learning our memory verses, Ephesians 3:20–21 (CEV). If this is your first time ever trying something like this, all good! Choose an idea from page 4 to help you get started.


Week Two | Ripples from the corps

Watch this week’s video at


Let’s take a closer look at one of the corps that we visited with Luka-Angel. Two years ago, the Self Denial Appeal visited Malakais in Greenland. Malakais had been a fireman for 25 years, but he was injured and could no longer work. He was scared he would become homeless and turned to The Salvation Army for help.

Malakais visited William’s Café, which is supported by the local corps and funds from Self Denial. He not only avoided homelessness with the help of The Salvation Army, he also met Jesus. That’s a pretty amazing ripple effect! And it doesn’t stop there; Malakais now serves at William’s Café, helping others who need support.

A few small donations from all over the world, and the love and service of local corps members, have made a huge impact in Greenland. People who come for practical help also receive the hope of Christ and pass that hope on to others. Who knows how far the ripples from William’s Café reach?

  • As a family, chat about some ways you observe your corps/centre create ripples through its ministry. Perhaps you are a ripple? Are you someone who has helped others, or someone who has been helped by corps ministry? How could you share your story of help and hope?
  • Are there ministries in your local corps/centre that could use your support? Maybe you could volunteer to help or pray for that ministry?


  • Pray for the ministries in your corps/centre. Thank God for all who volunteer and are employed to serve in your community.
  • Ask God to continue to work through those people and ministries and show you the ripples they make.


  • If you don’t know what ministries are run from your corps/centre, take some time to find out how your faith community serves others. You might like to check your corps Facebook page or website, ask other members of your corps/centre or talk with your corps officers to find out. We bet if you dig deep, you’ll find out about something amazing you didn’t know about!
  • How is your family getting on memorising our memory verses? Kids, challenge the adults to a friendly competition to see who can remember the most so far! Then choose a new activity from page 4 to help you learn more!


Week Three | Doing it like a pro

Watch this week’s video at


Did you see the awesome jewellery being made in Kenya? The Self Denial Appeal visited Kenya back in 2017. There were lots of people unemployed, which meant they weren’t earning any money. But money from the Self Denial Appeal was used to help women in Kenya set up their own jewellery making businesses.

The women bought supplies and were taught about managing a small business so they could earn their own money and be their own boss. That’s pretty amazing.

  • If you could have any job, what would it be? What ripples do you think could be made by doing that job?
  • Grown ups, can you see ripples from your job? Do you work in an area that cares for people? Do you help build things that make life easier for others? Or maybe your job means you earn enough money that you can give your time or money to help people around you, even in really small ways?
  • God is already working in the lives of people all around us. How do you think God might already be using your work, your gifts and your skills to help others?


  • Thank our Creator God for the way he helps The Salvation Army to support creative and innovative people to set up their own businesses and teach essential and productive skills to people all over the world.
  • Ask God to bless the small businesses and business owners who have been supported to get started by receiving funds from the Appeal.
  • Pray that the profits earned by small businesses will help struggling communities to thrive.


Luka-Angel asked her friends how they could make some money for the Self Denial Appeal. They had some great business ideas. This week, as a family, brainstorm some ideas of how you can raise money for the Self Denial Appeal by providing goods or a service to people in your neighbourhood or community.

Maybe you could have a bake sale at church? Or wash some cars? There are so many possibilities! (Just remember to check your idea is safe under current Covid-19 protection guidelines).

If you haven’t put too much effort into learning our memory verses yet, that’s okay! It’s not too late to start; head on over to page 4 and pick something you can do right now and give it a go. Set a timer for five minutes and spend that time practising.


Week Four | Clean and healthy

Watch this week’s video at


Sometimes the actions that create the most ripples are not happy actions. It might be something we have to do. Sometimes it’s something that makes us sad, and sometimes it’s something that feels very difficult. That is how Thema felt when she began her journey making ripples in eSwatini.

There are a lot of sick people in eSwatini, some with sicknesses that can’t be cured. For fifteen years, Thema cared for her aunt who was sick. When her aunt passed away, Thema was very sad, but she cared deeply for people who were sick and needed care.

Thema trained as a carer with The Salvation Army and now walks many kilometres each day to check on patients and help them take their medications. Her work with The Salvation Army has helped many sick people in eSwatini.

  • What is the longest walk you have ever taken? How did you feel at the end of it?
  • Would you do that walk again? Would you walk that far if it meant helping someone else, or would you find a different way to help?


  • Thank God for care professionals, people like Thema, who help others in need around the world every day.
  • Think of people you know who are unwell (maybe write a list). It could be people who have ill bodies or mental health struggles. Ask God to heal them.
  • Ask God to speak to you and show you how you can help care for the sick people he loves.


  • This week Luka-Angel asked her friends what they could give up for the Self Denial Appeal. Is there something you could give up so you can put the money in your money box instead?
  • Remember that money is not the only way you can support the Self Denial Appeal; prayer is a powerful way to support the work of The Salvation Army, too. Is there a hobby or activity you really like to do that you could give up one day this week and instead spend time praying for the Self Denial Appeal and listening to God? Prayer can involve drawing, writing, listening, speaking aloud and/or enjoying being close to God.


Week Five | Loving school

Watch this week’s video at


A few years ago, the Self Denial Appeal helped fund a children’s home in Sri Lanka, the one that we saw in the video. The kids who live and go to school there have lost one or both of their parents and have nowhere else to go.

At the home, children are loved and cared for. They get hot meals and a warm bed. They get to go to school and learn about God, who loves them. If they didn’t live at the school, they might not have any of those things.

What is really special about this children’s home is that you can see the ripples that grow from it. Many of the children who have grown up in this home not only got an education that helped them to be independent and give back to their community, but they met Jesus, too. And because they love Jesus so much and want others to know him too, they now work in the children’s home, showing love and care to new generations of children. How amazing is that?

  • As a family, chat about the people in your lives who love Jesus passionately. What stands out about these people?
  • Brainstorm a list of people who have shown your family love and care because they love Jesus.
  • Who do you show love and care for? Is there anyone in your community who you think God wants you to show love to?


  • Tell Jesus what you love about him. Thank God for the people in your life who love and care for you,
    and for the people you love and care for.
  • Ask God to speak to you about, and show you, people who might need some love and care.


  • As a family, pull out some paper and art and craft supplies to make a poster of our memory verses, Ephesians 3:20–21 (CEV), to help you learn them. Perhaps you’d like to try collaging with coloured paper or recycled materials? You could try fancy lettering, or using symbols instead of words. Be creative! How can everyone contribute to the poster in some way? And where could you hang it so it can help you all in learning it by heart?


Week Six | Make ripples

Watch this week’s video at


As a family, take some time to chat about your experience throughout the Self Denial Appeal. You might like to take turns answering some or all of the below questions:

  • I wonder, which part of the Self Denial Appeal do you like the best?
  • I wonder, what part of the Self Denial Appeal is most important to you?
  • What is one thing you learnt during the Self Denial Appeal that you didn’t know before?
  • What is something that you have learnt about God over the past six weeks of the Self Denial Appeal?
  • What ripples have you seen in your community since you first learnt about the ripple effect?
  • Are there any small actions you want to take that could make ripples in your community?


  • Thank God for the amazing work The Salvation Army does all over the world.
  • Thank God for the lives and communities that have been changed by the work of The Salvation Army and Self Denial, both across the world and right here.
  • Ask God to bless the money donated to this year’s Appeal, so that it might create ripples all over the world.
  • Ask God to give you a picture about how he would like your family to keep making a difference, making ripples, in your neighbourhood.


  • As a family, think of a person from the Appeal who really stood out to you. Write that person a letter. You might like to encourage them, or tell them how their story has made a difference in your lives. You might write a prayer for them. Keep the letter in a safe place, as a reminder of this important time you have had as a family these past six weeks.
  • It’s time to share how you have gone with learning our memory verses! Show each other how much you know, and celebrate any progress you’ve each made. Perhaps you’d like to create certificates for each other or celebrate one another by posting about it on your social media?


How did you go with filling up your money box? Don’t forget to take it along to the Self Denial Altar Service to donate it. Even the smallest donation and the shortest prayers make a huge difference to people in need. Thank you for all your support for this year’s Self Denial Appeal.