Last year I was brainstorming about how to make a little family harvest party that had a deeper meaning to it than just candy and costumes. And this idea came to me. It is our 2nd year to do this, and it's definitely going to be a tradition that we continue.
In Matthew 9:38, Jesus tells us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers into the fields. It is these fields that pull at my soul. The lost. The ones who have never ever heard the name of Jesus. So, we built our little harvest party around this theme.
It all centers around a treasure hunt of sorts. I create riddles to hide to throughout the house. I give our children the first riddle. If they solve that riddle, it will lead them to the place where the next riddle is hidden. This year, we hid riddles in the deli drawer of the refrigerator, on a guitar, on a puzzle of China, etc.
The final riddle is WITH the hidden treasure...
Their treasures are individual baggies filled with candy...
And each bag has a "treasure of the nations" inside of it. This is the fun part. Last year I went to the International Mission Board's site to choose some completely unreached people groups, and I gave each child a people group to pray for for one year. (Go to THIS LINK to discover some amazing facts about people groups that have yet to have a single Gospel witness!). This year, we had some bookmarks of other people groups, so I used those to give each child a "treasure of the nations" for them to pray for over the next year. They are always excited to see which country they will receive, as they are the chosen prayer warrior for that one country or people group. It's a special job!
I hid all the riddles and the candy, and then we invited the crew downstairs to begin our evening of activities. They were dressed in some fun costumes of inspirational characters from Christian books or movies (our oldest daughter made most of the costumes). This year we had 2 characters from Narnia and one police officer from Courageous...and one princess that insisted that she needed to be a butterfly (one of God's creations, so we rolled with it!). :)
The different parts of the meal were named after each character, and we enjoyed some family time together with our grandmother who was in town for the special celebration.
And of course, there was dessert...in case the candy wasn't enough sugar... ;)
Then began the treasure hunt, with all the riddles to be solved. This really was so much fun!
The night drew to a close with everyone digging into their bags of goodies and reading about their "treasure of the nations" to pray for over the next year.
Because there really IS a harvest, and it's more than pumpkins and apples and candy. It's a harvest of souls. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers into the fields.