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Published by The Salvation Army Pakistan, 2019-05-21 01:21:21



Restoring Broken Dreams:
The Story of Joseph

Day of Prayer for
Victims of Human Trafficking

Sunday School Lesson for Younger Children

Restoring Broken Dreams:
The Story of Joseph

(Genesis 37, 39-46)


Choose the option that works best for your class.

1. If your children share freely with each other, you can simply ask the question
and encourage them to respond. Always be ready to share your own answer to
the question. When children see you are willing to say something personal, it
makes them feel more confident about sharing something about themselves.

2. If your class is not used to sharing personal information with each other,
consider playing charades. List different occupations: police officer, fire fighter,
teacher, chef, doctor or nurse, construction worker, librarian, etc. Then have
the children act them out for everyone. This does not have to be competitive.

3. Provide props or pictures of items to represent different occupations. Have the
children work in teams to list the occupations.

Ask: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Encourage response.

Say: Everybody has a dream of what they want to be when they grow up—a dream
about what they want their life to be.


Ask: Who has heard the story of Joseph from the Bible? Did you know Joseph
had dreams about what was going to happen when he grew up? Then a lot of
things happened that broke Joseph’s dreams. Do you think God could fix Joseph’s
dreams? Let’s see.

Choose the option that works best for your class.

1. If the children are mostly churched, have them tell you what they remember
about the story of Joseph. Correct anything that is incorrect and fill in anything
that is missing. Make sure the following is included:

• Joseph is Israel’s favorite. (Genesis 37:3)

• Coat of many colors makes his brothers jealous. (37:3)

• Two dreams—11 stalks of wheat (Joseph’s brothers) bowing and sun,
moon, and 11 stars (Joseph’s brothers, and his mother and father) bowing.

• Brothers are jealous. When Joseph comes out to the fields, they sell him.

• Joseph sold again in Egypt. (37:28-36)

• Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph is put in charge, and the
famine starts. (41)

• Joseph’s brothers come for food. (42)

• The brothers bring Benjamin and Joseph tells them he is their brother.

2. If the children are unfamiliar with Bible stories, read the story as written here.

If you want to make the story interactive, do one of the following:

• Use really simple props if you want to use any.

-- Brown paper bags to be stalks of wheat. If they want to put them on their
heads for fun, otherwise they can hold them in front of their faces and

-- Yellow construction paper. The color is enough to represent them. Cut
into stars, moon, and sun if you want.

-- If you have a few colorful scarves, “Joseph” could drape them over his

• Use simple paper plate and craft stick puppets. You will need paper plates,
markers, craft sticks, and masking tape or a heavy-duty stapler. Make them
ahead of time or have children make them before the story. You will need
Joseph; Jacob/Israel; the brothers (they could be on one plate or separate
plates, depending on the size of your class); sheaves of wheat (on one plate);
sun, moon, and stars; the travelers who bought Joseph; skinny cows and fat
cows; skinny corn and fat corn; and Pharaoh. If you have a small class, give
each child more than one. Have the children hold up their puppets when their
characters are mentioned in the story.


The story of Joseph is found in the first book in the Bible—Genesis. This is how it
goes. There was a man named Jacob who was also called Israel. He had twelve
sons. He loved one of his sons a lot more than the others. His favorite son’s name
was Joseph. Joseph was 17 years old. His brothers were all a lot older than him.

Jacob gave Joseph a really fancy, colorful coat. He didn’t give coats to his other
sons. Whenever Joseph wore the fancy, colorful coat, his brothers got angry. When
they saw the coat, they knew their father loved Joseph the most.

One night, Joseph had a dream. It was an exciting dream! In his dream, he was
out in the field with all of his brothers tying up bundles of grain. All of a sudden,
Joseph’s bundle stood up tall. All the rest were in a circle around Joseph’s bundle.
They all bowed down to Joseph’s bundle.

Joseph told his brothers about his dream. It made them angry. They said, “You think
that all of us, your older brothers, are going to bow down to you?” They started to
hate Joseph.

Then Joseph had another dream. It was an even more exciting dream than the first
one! This time, the sun and the moon and eleven stars all bowed down to Joseph.

Joseph told his brothers about the dream. Joseph also told his father about the
dream. Jacob, Joseph’s father, got angry with Joseph. He said, “What kind of dream
is this? Do you think your mother and I and your brothers will actually bow down to
you?” Jacob didn’t like the dream, but he didn’t forget about it. He wondered what
it meant.

When they heard the dream, Joseph’s brothers got even angrier with Joseph. They
hated him.

A while later, Jacob sent Joseph to find his brothers who were out in the fields with
the sheep. His brothers saw him coming from a long way away. They decided to get
rid of him.

When Joseph reached his brothers, they tore his fancy, colorful coat off him. They
threw him down a well. Luckily, the well didn’t have any water in it. Then they had
supper while they thought about the next part of the plan.

While they were eating, a group of people on camels came by. They were taking
things to sell in Egypt. The brothers sold Joseph to the travelers. When they got to
Egypt, the travelers sold Joseph.

The brothers took Joseph’s coat. It was already torn. They put some meat blood on
it. Then they went home and told their father that Joseph had been killed by a wild
animal. Jacob was really sad. The brothers could not make their father feel better.

When he was sold in Egypt, Joseph’s dream was broken. A lot of things happened
to Joseph in Egypt. Some of them were good. A lot of them were bad. Joseph
forgot the dreams he had when he was young.

After he had been in Egypt for several years, Joseph was brought to see Pharaoh.
Pharaoh was the ruler over all of Egypt. He had two dreams and he wanted Joseph
to tell him what they meant.

In Pharaoh’s first dream, seven fat cows came out of the river and started eating
grass. Then seven skinny cows came out of the river and ate the fat cows. Even after
eating the fat cows, the skinny cows were still skinny.

In Pharaoh’s second dream, there were seven healthy ears of corn on a single stalk.
Then seven more ears of corn appeared. They were sick. The sick ears of corn
swallowed the healthy ears of corn.

Joseph explained the dreams meant there would be seven years of plenty. Egypt
would have all that it neede. Then there would be seven years of famine. There
would not be enough food. Even after the famine was over, people would still suffer.

Then Joseph told Pharaoh what he should do to keep his people from suffering.
They should store up the extra food for the first seven years so they would have
enough to share for the next seven years. Pharaoh liked Joseph’s ideas so much
that he put Joseph in charge.

After the seven good years, the seven bad years started, just like Joseph said they
would. Egypt had enough food because of Joseph’s plan but all of the countries
around Egypt did not have enough food. Jacob and his eleven sons and their families
did not have enough food.

So Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to get food. When they got to Egypt, they had to
ask Joseph for food. They did not recognize Joseph, but Joseph recognized them.
Joseph told them he was their brother. They could hardly believe it. They were also
afraid that he would pay them back for selling him. But he was so happy to see
them that he forgave them.

Then he told them to go back and get Jacob and their families. He invited all of
them to come live in Egypt.

When Joseph was first sold, he probably thought none of his dreams would come
true. How could God make the dream come true when Joseph wasn’t even with
his family any more? Then God fixed Joseph’s dream and made it even better. God
brought Joseph’s family back to him. Joseph was able to save his whole family.


For the youngest children:

Say: God can fix things that are broken. God fixed Joseph’s dream. He can fix broken
things in our lives and in other people’s lives. Let’s pray. Thank you God for loving
us. Thank you for fixing broken things in our lives and in other people’s lives. We
love you. Amen.

For slightly older children:

Say: Everybody has a dream but some people’s dreams get broken, like Joseph’s.
Even today some people are not with their families. Greedy people lie to them
and say they will have a good life and a good job. They will even have money to
send back to their family so everybody’s life will be better. Then they are taken
somewhere else—like Joseph was. They have to work hard maybe in someone’s
house, in a mine, in a factory, in a field, or somewhere else. But they don’t get paid.
Usually it is work they do not want to do. They are not treated right. But there are
people who try to help them get away from the greedy people. These people are

Ask: How can you help? How can you lend a hand? Pray.

Use the attached visual of a hand to help them pray. You could give the children
crayons to color the fingers while you talk about each one. Then have them practice
with their own hands.

Say: Ask God to:

• (Point to pinky finger): Protect and free people who have been taken from
their families.

• (Point to ring finger): Help people to stop lying and being greedy.

• (Pont to middle finger): Help people to treat others with respect, as people
created in God’s image.

• (Point to index or pointer finger): Help people to be brave and try to help.

• (Point to thumb): Help people find and accept Jesus.


Know Jesus.

Be brave and help.
Treat people right.
Stop lying and being greedy.

Protect and Free

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