Key Stage 1 Assembly

Lost and Found
Homeless Sunday Assembly – 22nd January 2017


By Becky May, Director of The Resources Cupboard 

Suitable for Primary School

Aim

To raise awareness of some of the issues surrounding homelessness and provide an opportunity to consider how we can respond.

Preparation and materials

You will need a large key, or a bunch of keys.

Please note; the text of this assembly assumes that homelessness is an unfamiliar subject to all children and not something they will have encountered in their own lives. Adaptations may need to be made in certain situations.

Assembly

1. Good morning, I wonder what you love most about home; perhaps you have a favourite place? Perhaps it is something you do together in your home? Perhaps it is where your home is, that makes it so special to you?

(Invite the children to share a few ideas, before holding up the set of keys).

2. You may have noticed your parents’ door keys. Perhaps you even have a door key of your own. These are important and valuable because they give us access to our safe, warm homes. Sadly, some children aren’t so fortunate and don’t have a safe place they can call home. I’m going to share a story with you, about two children called Bill and Martha. Let’s find out more about them…

3. It was winter when Bill and Martha left their home with their mum.

Early one morning, when it was still very dark and the rain was pouring down, mum woke Martha, who was nearly six, and told her to put on her clothes. Mum said that she could not have the light on but when she opened the curtain the street light was enough to let her dress and do up her buttons. While she was doing this, mum brought her little brother Bill, who was just three, into the bedroom and closed the door before getting him dressed. Mum had a small bag she used to put a few toys in, she told Martha to remember her cuddly cat and then said that they had to be as quiet as cats as they went down the stairs.

4. After getting their coats on, mum unlocked the front door and told the children to step out into the porch while she picked up the big umbrella, collected the bags she had and stepped out to them. She then did something that Martha thought was very strange.

5. Mum locked the door with the top and bottom keys then threw the keys away in next door’s garden. She then opened the umbrella, whispered for them to keep close together and try to stay under the shelter from the rain.

6. It took a long time to walk all the way into town and then they had to wait for ages at the bus station. But the big bus was warm and comfortable and both Martha and Bill slept most of the way to the new town they were going to stay in.

7. Lots of other strange things happened before mum and the two children had a place they could stay in for more than a few days. There seemed to be lots of people who liked shouting at mum, but somehow this was not as bad as being at home. When they moved into their new room together; despite there not being much space, and despite not having many clothes or toys or books, it was still somewhere they could all rest together in. It was also easier to get to the new school and, although they couldn’t have any one over for tea and to play, it was now possible to start to make friends at last.

8. Then, one Saturday, while Bill and Martha were playing a game based around her cat, his dinosaur and the flowery pattern on the duvet cover of the bed, Martha heard the nasty man who always came to take the rent and shout at her mum that they were going to be “out” and that he was “going to have their keys at the end of the week”. Mum said that he couldn’t do that, and the man just laughed and walked away. It was a long time before mum came over from the door and sat down with them.

9. In the morning, mum got them up and made sure they were nice and clean and tidy because they had to go to church. She said, “Now, remember. Say a prayer for us asking God to find us somewhere nice, soon.” Then she hugged them and they set off.

10. As they entered the church, Martha saw a set of keys on the steps and she bent down to pick them up.

“Look mum, here are some keys. Maybe they are for us. Are they the keys we are praying for?”

11. But mum was already distracted by other things so she didn’t hear Martha. Instead, she picked up Bill, took Martha’s hand and led her in to the hall where the other children were listening to a story together. Mum kissed her goodbye before hurrying back out into the church, as the service had already started.

Martha kept the keys in her pocket and imagined the sort of door they might open. It would be a place where she could have her toys again, a place where mum could do the cooking and they could sit and watch TV together, read books and do homework on the dinner table.

12. When the children were brought into the church, Martha spotted her mum and Bill straight away and, after showing their pictures and answering some questions, she trotted down the aisle to join her mum and brother. Martha then prayed very hard to God for a new home.

13. After the service they all went into the hall for a drink and a biscuit. Martha sat at a table with Bill and got out her keys while mum went off to get the drinks and things. She had just shown the keys to Bill when a voice said, “Where did you find those, young lady?”

Martha turned around to see a very well dressed woman smiling at her.

“I found them on the steps of the church.” She said.

“What a relief.” Said the woman, as she sat down beside them, “They are my keys and I was beginning to worry I would never find them.”

14. When the woman saw how sad Martha looked, she asked her what was wrong and Martha told her the whole story, from the early morning journey to the hopes behind the newly-found keys. By the time mum made it back with the drinks and a saucer full of biscuits, the lady and Martha were firm friends. And, after a long quiet talk with mum, while Martha and Bill nibbled on their biscuits and drank their cups of squash, mum seemed to be much happier.

15. As they were leaving, the lady said to mum, “So, you have the address. I will make sure that they are expecting you. Please try and get there as soon after nine as possible.”

“I will. And thanks again.”

“Don’t thank me,” said the lady, “Thank the young lady there.” And she gave Martha such a nice smile it made her feel quite strange, but strange in a good way.

16. Mum smiled, too and said, as they were leaving, “Martha, I think your prayers have worked. I think things are finally going to start to get better.”

17. And, after mum’s mysterious meeting the next day, things did get better and not long after that, mum really did have keys to show Martha. Keys that fitted a door to their own little place, at last.

(Story by Ian Smith)

Time for reflection

Let us make ourselves quiet for a moment and think about Martha and Bill and children like them who find themselves without a home, for all kinds of reasons. I wonder how it would feel to be in that situation. I wonder what we can do to help children like Martha and Bill.

In the Bible, Jesus said that we should help those who are hungry, or thirsty, or sick, or without homes and that when we do so, it’s like we are helping Him too!

(Consider setting a challenge to children to think about what practical steps they can take to support those who are homeless, when they return to their own classes, perhaps researching local charities who work to support those who are homeless).

Prayer

Dear Lord,
Thank you for our homes where we can feel safe and loved.
Please be with all those who do not have a home to call their own.
Help us to see what we can do to help those who are homeless.
Amen.

Song/Music

‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)
‘Help me be Your eyes, Lord Jesus’ by Doug Horley