by Beth Thomas, courtesy of Mission 360 magazine
Elaine Steffen is the assistant primary Sabbath School leader at the Cashmere Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington State. Late this fall, she came across an interesting article in the Mission 360° magazine she was reading. A teacher at an Adventist school in Wisconsin had been using the “Mission to the Cities” Prayer Map as a tool to help her students develop a deeper, more focused prayer life and draw attention to the needs of others around the world.
The Prayer Map, highlighting the more than 580 cities of one million or more worldwide, was created as part of the General Conference’s Mission to the Cities initiative. The poster is designed to look like a subway or metro system with tracks snaking here and there, representing the various regions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Stops on each line indicate cities of one million or more in specific world divisions.
Elaine had been brainstorming on how to involve the children more directly in mission. As she read the article, she felt inspired that the Sabbath School students would enjoy this project as a mission activity. She took her idea to Primary leader Angela Ford. Angela looked briefly at the Prayer Map and said, “Go for it!”
One Sabbath in early November 2020, Elaine tacked the Prayer Map poster to a bulletin board in the classroom and introduced the idea to her Sabbath School students. She explained that each subway line is a different region of the world and that the large circles on each track represent large cities in that country. She asked each child to choose a metro line and pray for one city on that line per week.