Girls in Action

A Love of Calgary

I have been serving as children’s minister at Dixie Hills Baptist in Bolivar, Tennessee, for 16 months. Earlier this year, I started using the Children in Action curriculum during our Wednesday night ministry. I was so excited to see Calgary as the featured city for June! I’m originally from Mississippi, but God called me to attend the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains just a few miles from Calgary. I had no idea God would have me on mission in Canada for almost 14 years! For most of those years, I served in full-time children’s ministry.

Creating an Inclusive Missions Learning Environment for Kids with Special Needs

When we create learning environments for missions education, we often forget to plan for kids with special needs. Many preparations for special needs children are easy to include in the classroom, but there may be some you haven’t considered. Understand that some adjustments need to be made as new children begin to participate in your ministry.

Physical Adjustment
Make your learning space clutter-free. Kids with mobility issues have enough difficulty navigating space without additional barriers such as toys, chairs, or other obstacles. Make sure the tables and chairs are the correct height to accommodate children with physical handicaps.

Sensory Adjustment
Some kids are negatively affected by loud noises and colors. Soothing, quiet music and low conversation tones help reduce sensory overload. Bright and busy classrooms often agitate special needs children. Include just the basic instructional tools for your learning space.

God Speaks to Us in the Quiet

Have you ever noticed that you hear a lot of sounds at night that you don’t usually hear during the day? Maybe it’s a dog barking, a quiet clock ticking, or even the wood in your home making clicks and pops as it settles. The Bible tells us that when Samuel was a young boy, God spoke to him one night as he was lying in bed. Samuel did not know it was God at first, but once he figured it out, he responded, “Speak. I’m listening.” Then God gave him a message. For the rest of Samuel’s life, God continued to speak to him in this way.

God speaks to us, too, but we often have to settle down and listen so that we can understand His message. This is one reason it is so important to make time to spend in prayer with God. When nothing else can distract us and we can listen carefully, God can speak to us the best. Samuel knew this well.

Do you want to find out what God has in store for you? Just start listening!

Have children practice these exercises with a friend to see just how much they can hear when they are focused. Give these instructions:

Pen Pals

Making friends is so important for kids! It is especially fun to make friends who share your interests but live somewhere else—a different city or state, a different culture or family. Connect with other missions groups to pair children with a pen pal. Missions leaders can connect over social media with other leaders. Post a photo of your group and then send details.

Lead children to write a letter or email. Or, send a package as a group filled with items. Here are some fun ideas children can include:

  • natural items that you find in your hometown, such as flowers, leaves, rocks, or sticks
  • handmade items like a special photo album, artwork, a keychain, or a craft
  • a postcard from your hometown or state
  • a candy or snack item
  • a favorite Bible verse
  • a map you drew of your town and church
  • a copy of your favorite song
  • a sheet of stickers to share
  • anything from a dollar discount store

Summer Isn't for Boredom!

“I’m bored!”

“Me too.”

“There’s nothing to do around here!”

Ever hear your children say something like that? Especially during the summer? After school ends and before summer camp takes place?

Most parents have heard their children or the children in their missions organizations complain about being bored during the summer.

Here are a few ways to get your boys and girls up and moving and serving others during the lazy days of summer:

Teaching Kids about Pure Water, Pure Love

Water is kind of a big deal. Having clean water is an even bigger deal. Access to clean water can be a real challenge in some parts of the world. This is where Pure Water, Pure Love comes in. You may not know much about Pure Water, Pure Love or the ways it eases the challenges of obtaining clean drinking water; but don’t worry—I’m about to tell you all about it!

Pure Water, Pure Love is a pretty incredible ministry of WMU. It provides missionaries with water filters and the people they serve with wells that offer clean drinking water—free from disease-causing microorganisms. Pure Water, Pure Love provides thousands of filters to missionary families and helps to fund clean water projects through grants. This ministry is a very tangible way to provide for the physical needs of our missionaries and the people they minister to.

So now that you know more about Pure Water, Pure Love, how can you teach your kids about it?

Connect the Dots: Share the Benefits of Missions Education with Others Around You

As a kid, I loved connect the dots puzzles. Most of the time, I could easily see the hidden picture long before the dots were connected. Occasionally, however, the completed picture eluded me until I was almost done with the puzzle. With missions education, we often don’t see the finished product for years, if at all. Remember that child you taught years ago? He’s now a missionary in Asia. Remember that missions offering your church collected for world hunger? A family of six was able to survive until their crops were harvested. Only God can see the big picture of your church’s missions involvement, and it’s up to us to continue connecting the dots. The WMU Growth Plan gives us an easy way to do this.

D: Discover new members. In your church, you can easily find people of all ages who are not currently involved in missions organizations. Make sure parents know the details of your missions organizations and personally invite them to bring their children. Encourage participation in missions education for all age groups.

When the Church Gets It Right

Wheels of the World

Have you ever felt burdened by the woes of the church? I know I have. It seems like every morning there’s some new scandal or financial indiscretion plastered all over the daily news. Sometimes the weight of it all gets a little hard to handle. That’s why stories of encouragement, like the one I’m about to share with you, are so important to tell!

Salt Dough Recipe

Who doesn’t need to know how to make salt dough for an upcoming craft project?

Here’s a quick recipe to make your own salt dough to use in class and various other art projects!

What you need:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup salt
• 1 cup cold water
• food coloring (optional)
• large bowl
• mixing spoon

What you do:

1. Combine the salt and flour. Mix well.

2. Gradually add a 1/2-cup of water and mix well.

3. Knead the dough on a counter or table. Add a few drops of water as needed, but be careful not to make it too sticky.

4. Add food coloring, if desired.

5. Put the dough in a sealed container until you are ready to use it.

Mission Complete: Time to Celebrate

Ah, May! Welcome to the busiest month of the year! If you look at my family calendar this month, you will have to channel your inner sleuth to crack the code. Every single white block is filled with colorful reminders to help me juggle multiple kids’ activities—recitals, concerts, sporting events, open houses, banquets, parties, and exams. The list goes on and on, but, whew, you get the gist. I say it every year—May is even busier than December!

Even with the end-of-the year hustle and bustle, it's a great time to recognize the boys and girls in your missions organizations for their accomplishments this past year. How did they complete the Mission: My Life special assignment? Did kids participate in Children’s Ministry Day or the International Mission Study? Did they raise awareness and collect funds for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering? Did they participate in an individual achievement plan like GA Journey, RA Trek, or Missions Expedition? If so, celebrate their missions involvement and give them the recognition they deserve!

Jump-start your planning with one of these fun ideas:

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