Have you ever felt discouraged? Most of us have. Sometimes when we feel discouraged, we think of all the reasons that things are not going to work out. We fear the worst.
- What kinds of experiences make you feel discouraged, perhaps to the point of losing hope? (Answers will vary. Be prepared in this set of questions to share your own experiences in order to get your students talking.)
- When have you been in a situation where no matter what you did you knew the outcome would still be unpleasant? (Answers will vary.)
- When have you felt that things were already bad enough and then something else bad happened? (Answers will vary.)
This past spring the city of Baltimore was struggling with a number of issues, including high rates of violence, congested traffic, water main breaks, and questionable leadership. Getting things under control seemed hopeless to those who kept seeing things get worse instead of better. Just when it seemed like the city had more than enough problems to address, the city fell victim to a cybercrime.
Show the following video [3:12]:
Baltimore ransomware attack is ‘very aggressive’, according to city officials
If the city were to pay the ransom of $100,000 to regain access to its systems, the cybercrime could be repeated, making matters even worse. If the city chose not to pay the ransom, there would be difficulties in running the city, some that would affect the citizens.
No matter how the city responded to the crime, there would be more problems for a city already experiencing hardship.
This attack on the city’s computer systems crippled the city’s services. It froze the city’s computers, making it impossible to access documents such as those needed for the buying and selling of property, and it kept the city from processing water bills among other things. This meant that at a later date people would be billed for a number of months of water usage all at once, placing a burden on those who already struggled with bills.
- Where does a city, or an individual, find hope in the middle of problems that seem endless? (Accept all reasonable answers: Other cities or people; remembering how things worked out before; coming together; prayer; church; God, etc.)
- How do you stay positive or encouraged when things around you seem hopeless? (Answers will vary; parents, teachers, or grandparents help; prayer, etc.)
The Israelites found themselves in what seemed like a hopeless situation. The Egyptians were chasing after them, and they found themselves caught between the enemy and a sea of water. For sure they were doomed. Or were they? Let’s find out about the key to their hope—and ours.