Be Intentional in Helping Others

Guy and Elena Key have been serving in Brazil under appointment of the International Mission Board since 1984. Brazil has been in the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Key’s families for many years. Mr. Key is a second generation missionary in Brazil, and Mrs. Key is a third generation missionary to Brazil. Her grandparents served there as missionaries with the Foreign Mission Board from 1920 to 1960. Yes, Mrs. Key’s family has served in Brazil for almost 100 years!

One component of the Keys’ work in Brazil is to help Brazilians who are called into missions, both in Brazil and cross-culturally. Likewise, as Mission Friends leaders, one component of our work is helping the families of preschoolers to engage in sharing God’s love with those in need. Immigrants to the United States are 1 segment of our population who have many needs. Mr. Key gave the following suggestions for specific ways to befriend Brazilian immigrants, but these suggestions would be applicable to any immigrants to our country. Share these suggestions with your preschoolers’ families and encourage them to be intentional in helping others:

  • Invite an immigrant family or international students to your home for a meal. Ask them if they have favorite foods. Also, ask if they have dietary restrictions.
  • Find ways to help them settle into life in the United States. Check to see if they need assistance in getting a driver’s license or identification. Tell them about your favorite grocery stores or farmer’s markets. Show them how to use automated services, such as self-serve gas stations and ATMs.
  • Invite them to your church. If they are not comfortable with large groups, invite them to a Bible study.
  • Call on them frequently to see if they have needs you can meet.
  • Invite them to holiday gatherings. When you invite them for special holidays, offer them the opportunity to share their traditions with you.

Remind families that as they seek ways to help immigrant families and students, the most important thing they can do is to pray for them, and to seek the Lord’s guidance. When you ask families to seek ways to help immigrants, you may be asking them to step out of their comfort zones. Mr. and Mrs. Key’s favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Share this verse with your preschoolers’ families and give them this encouragement from Mr. Key: “Our dependence is on Christ and not on our own power. We are in the safest place when we are depending on Christ’s strength.”

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