TAKE A WEEK OFF SCHOOL &
EXPLORE THE WORLD
by Alcyon Ruth Fleck
- Child of the Crossfire is
the true story of a young boy who was brainwashed, trained
in guerrilla warfare, captured
at his family's massacre, tortured to reveal war secrets,
and orphaned - all before he was
10 years old. Surrounded by his captors, little Oscar was unable to comprehend
the horror of the war. Forced to march 24 hours with live bombs strapped to his
back, Oscar still would not talk. How long could he resist the army's torture?
Would he tell them where his father was? His name was changed to Salvador, but
his inner hatred and bitterness were not as easy to erase. How could
such terrible things happen if
God was really love?
Salvador's quest to find his
heavenly Father and earthly father takes many unexpected twists and turns in
this heartrending true story of survival and triumph.
This is a good family read aloud. It is a true story. And it is a great
family read and discussion book. It is hard to believe that in the last 20
years a small would have to endure what Oscar did, however, that is not the
focus of the book. The Focus is on
what Christ did in his heart and
how it changed him. One of the best stories we have read as a family in a long
time. To order your copy of this book
click here .
Choose from any of the
following activities to enhance your reading of this book.
It is important to ask
questions when you read aloud as a family. Discuss why
things happened the way they did
and the response of different individuals in the
story. It is important to think
about the things that happen in life and how they impact
us and how powerful God is to
take the most awful of situations and bring about much good. In the story, for
years Salvador harbored bitterness and hatred toward those
that hurt his family. It is
really important to note that the harboring of this hate made
it difficult for him to sleep at
night and have peace in his life. However, once he
released this to the Lord, the
peace that came into his heart and the change wrought there enabled him to sleep
peacefully at night and have peace with the Lord about the events in his past
that he had no control over. This is a book that is rich with substance to talk
about. Salvador became a very godly young man. It should give our children
something to aspire to in the strength of God for their high calling in Christ
Locate Guatemala on a map.
This is the area that Salvador grew up. Draw a map of Guatemala. List the
surrounding countries. Draw in the mountains, rivers, lakes,
There are four land regions
in Guatemala: 1. The Pacific Coastal Plain, 2. The highlands, 3. The
Caribbean lowland, and 4. The Peten.
Show where these are
located on a map of Guatemala. Explain the type of weather each area gets. Is
there is difference? Explain the the Seasons that Guatemala has. What months
cover the different seasons?
Guatemala is rich in
nature and wildlife. Make a poster, scrapbook or collage of the different types
of birds, animals, insects, trees and flowers that live and grow in this
area of the world? Draw or find
pictures of the different species. Label each for its
name and scientific name.
Do some research Online or
through an encyclopedia. Find answers to the following questions:
What is the Official name for
What is the Capital of
What is size or area of this
What kind of government does
this country have?
What is the title of the Head of
What is the National anthem?
What is the Population?
What is the language/languages?
What is the education of the
children - are many educated?
Where do the people live?
Mountains? Near the Ocean? - What is the difference between the population
in different locales? Why do more people live in certain areas? What crops do
grow in the different areas?
What is the decent of the
Indians of Guatemala? Find information on this group of Indians. These
Indians make up more than 50% of the Guatemala population.
What type of homes do the people
of Guatemala live in? Draw or find pictures of their dwellings?
What is the economy of
Guatemala? What do families in the different regions make a living?
Figure out what the wages
compare to what an American doing a similar profession makes?
Find the main crops that grow
in Guatemala. On a map label by picture or words where each crop grows. Make a
graph to show each crop grown and exported and show the difference of each crops
value in money made by exportation. Which crop/crops are most valuable? Where
are the crops exported to?
What other items do the
Guatemala people make, raise, or sell?
What is the history of
What civil war was taking
place in the story of Salvador?
Is there still unrest in
Create a timeline to show a
brief history of this country.
The Guatemala people speak
Spanish or a dialect of the language. Find the Spanish words for the following
and learn to speak them somewhat fluently. Write them down and keep them in
your journal for this study.
House Rain Jungle
Mountain Land I Love You
Good-bye Friend Mother Father Sister
Find other words of interest
Create a meal of
foods/dishes that Salvador may have eaten. From the story we already know that
he enjoyed Tortillas and beans quite often. In Guatemala you would eat alot
of corn products, beans, vegetables and some fruits. Below is a fun meal:
Refried Beans -
1 chopped onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic peeled
Sauté the above in a little
olive oil or margarine or water till soft. Then add:
2 cups of canned refried beans
or your own cooked and mashed beans
Add salt to taste.
The beans can be layered in
Taco Shells with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives and grated cheese or wrapped
in either flour or corn tortillas with some grated cheese,
olives and tomatoes and lettuce.
There are many other
recipes that can be made with corn and bean products. Try
Haystacks - which is beans
layered on top of corn chips with some grated cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. You
can also add Guacamole, Salsa and Olives to your haystack. Look through
cookbooks and find other recipes using corn and beans and try them out. Write
out your favorite recipe for your journal.
Try your hand at some
fun crafts like the Mayan Indians would make. The Indians of Guatemala make
beautiful Pottery, Hand-woven Baskets, and embroidered cloth. The find
information on creating your pottery, baskets, cloth or embroidery do a search
Once at the about.com website
do a search for each craft of interest.
Check out this
This site is for children
to go through a short interactive maze learning a little about the Maya. The
Maya were not Christians and of
course, believed in things that we as Christians do not. At the end of the
adventure there are links to
more Maya Sites. Worth Checking out!!
Guatemala Web site (lots of
information - mostly travel):
There are many orphanages
in poor countries. It is amazing how inexpensive it is in our money to sponsor
a child in another country. I heard of a place in India where a family can
sponsor a child to go to
school, pay their room and board
and upkeep for only $15 a month. This is incredible. This is doable for
us. This may a time consider
taking on such a project as a family or to help with a one time donation to a
orphanage. It might be fun to
consider a fundraiser to help support a child or an orphanage facility. Some
fundraising ideas are:
Making and selling bread or
muffins or cookies
Making and selling soap or
Collecting and turning in soda
shoveling driveways or mowing
Doing errands for mother and
father or grandparents
Selling craft projects
We are sure that you can
find more ideas. I have heard of Self Denial boxes - this is just a shoe box or
mason jar that a child (and a parent) can place money that they would normally
spend on things like candy, soda, snacks and toys. Yet instead they place the
money in the jar till they raise a certain amount to send away to help a child
or ministry. Choose any ministry or the address for ICC is below:
INTERNATIONAL CHILD CARE
2711 NE 134th St., Vancouver, WA
CHECK YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY FOR
THESE TITLES TO HELP WITH YOUR STUDY:
Hands - on Latin
America: Art activities for all ages by Yvonne Merrill
Picture Map geography
of Mexico, Central America and the West Indies by Vernon Quinn
Guatemala by Marlene
Guatemala by Sean
Guatemala by Tricia
Guatemala is my Home
by Patricia Lantier
Guatemala in Pictures
by Geography Dept of Lerner Publications Co.
Caribbean Lands by
Take a trip to Central
America by Keith Lye
Central America by
Ancient Maya by Irene
Mystery of the Ancient
Maya by Carolyn Meyer
Children of Guatemala
by Jules Hermes
Guatemala by Ronnie
Let's Visit Central
America by John Caldwell
Revolution in central
America by Glenn Cheney
Getting to Know
Guatemala and the two Honduras by Grace Halsell
Land and People of
Central America by Ruth Karen
Celebrate! in Central
America by Joseph Viesta
Song of the Quail,
Wondrous World of the Maya by Ruth Karen
Ancient Maya JWM
Mystery of the Maya by
Lost Kingdom of the
Maya by National Geographic
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