Give the kids 30 mins to walk out into the surrounding neighbourhood to find things they could build a shelter with – a box, newspapers, etc. The goal is to find enough items to build a Shantytown with. When they arrive with their items, they have another 30 mins to build the Shantytown in the church parking lot. A 55 gallon drum for a fire will increase the shantytown feel. After they’ve set it up, gather around the fire and ask the following questions: How did it feel to scavenge? How did it feel to have to beg (for supplies)? What would it be like if you had to live like this night after night? Continue in the discussion.
Example situation: The youth fellowship was extremely involved in the workcamp; the sun was blazing. They were in need of a break and gathered in the shade of a nearby tree with some of the people who worshipped at the church. The teenager in charge read the account of the “Last Supper” in Matt 26:17-29. There was a watermelon sitting in the middle of the circle of 30 tired and thirsty teenagers. It was passed around (intact) and each person was asked to share how the watermelon helped him or her understand the passage. It was amazing how the students found a relationship between the watermelon and the passage. (i.e.: watermelon became the symbol of poor people.) After praying in a circle, the worship leader took a knife, cut the watermelon and gather the worshipers pieces of it.
At the beginning of the night youth groupers are put through customs (arrest a few for drug smuggling along the way, put them in jail). Give them money to buy things along he way (Monopoly money).
Send them off on a plane (do stuff on the plane – e.g. a hijacking).
At each stage of the night, we had some “guerillas” come and kidnap the group, blindfold them and take them to the next part of the world tour, e.g. an indian market, a jungle, night animal spotting (real or stuffed). Give them the experience of travelling overseas and plenty of third world hassles, even third world food, passports and problems etc etc. During some of the kidnaps, drive them to different places (suitably “guerrilla type” driving), and have tour guides rescue them.
This is an idea. The fun is in the plot and variations that YOU make up! Depending on your resources. E.g., we had animal spotting in a darkened church, an Arabic market at a friends house with sheets on the ceiling, candles, money to buy things, being ripped off by vendors etc. But YOU make the plot and the tour. Kidnapping and drug busts are good, so is jail.
Can be used as an experience of what missionaries go through in some countries. Tie in a talk along this theme.