mission friends

Giving Support to Missionaries

Making a card

“We need to send my postcard to the family in Utah,” said 5-year-old Caroline one morning. When her mother, Lesli, went to get Caroline out of bed that morning, this was the first thing her daughter said. Caroline told Lesli of learning about the Kerns family in Mission Friends® the night before. Lesli and Caroline prayed for them and mailed the postcard Caroline decorated along with a note about their family. The Kernses sent back a note to thank Caroline for the encouragement, and included a picture of their family. Caroline’s church, Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, had just started Mission Friends that month. What a difference Mission Friends was already making with their preschoolers as they began learning about missions!

Sharing the Joy of the Lord

Russia train

Kimberly Grogan’s call to missions came when she was 25 years old while teaching school in Texas. Her parents were missionaries in Venezuela, South America, where she was born and spent 18 years of her life. At the age of 25, Kimberly resigned from her teaching job and began classes at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. There, she met her future husband, Nolan, and they now have 3 daughters—Maria, Reese, and Gabrielle.

Ideas for a Fifth Session of Mission Friends

Mission Friends Leader

Sometimes you just need more to do with Mission Friends®. It might be that you meet 5 times a month and there are only 4 sessions in Mission Friends Leader, what do you do?

 

Giving to Missions

School Roof Tile

The green tile is a great reminder to me of the impact preschoolers and children can have when they give to missions. This single tile that sits on a shelf in the WMU lobby has a chevron design and a flower. A plaque beside the tile notes that it is from the Tung Shan Church which was built in Canton, China, in 1908 by the Sunbeam Bands of the USA. Sunbeams was the forerunner of Mission Friends®, and the children at that time were encouraged to give their money towards building a church in China. The children were told about the need for people to hear of Jesus, and encouraged to give as their part in sharing the gospel with people around the world. I wonder how many people heard about Christ because of this Chinese church that the Sunbeams built?

You’re Invited

Popcorn Invitation

Make an invitation to Mission Friends by simply tweaking an activity in Mission Friends Leader. We took the idea for the Helping Others activity in January for Popcorn Invitations and made a couple changes to give this as an invitation to Mission Friends. Print an invitation with the time and location of your Mission Friends on construction paper. Glue a popcorn bag on the other side. Preschoolers can glue cotton balls in and around the bag for the popcorn. Give the invitation to parents of preschoolers who attend a Parents’ Night Out at your church and to families who visit your church’s worship.

 

Focus on WMU

WMU logo

Highlight Mission Friends® during the week of Focus on WMU, February 12–18, 2018, by concentrating on how your preschoolers have grown in missions. Use these ideas as starting points.

  • Share stories of ways missions learning has made an impact on preschoolers. Your church may have a time in a worship service for WMU leaders to share. Tell how your preschoolers have prayed for a missionary or share what they learned about missions through an activity in Mission Friends.

  • Write a brief paragraph for your church newsletter or website to tell about your preschoolers’ involvement in missions through a recent Helping Others activity. You could also share of ways your Mission Friends participated in giving to missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®.

  • Provide materials for your Mission Friends to make thank-you cards for your pastor and church staff.

Meet the Writer: Janora Skeens

Janora Skeens

In our ongoing "Meet the Writer" series, we would like to introduce you to Janora Skeens. Janora has written for Mission Friends for many years. This year, she has written the International Mission Study 2017 Preschool Teaching Guide: Russia. Thank you, Janora, for sharing your heart for preschoolers with us!

Using Bible Thoughts with Preschoolers

Bible and Bible-thought puzzles

Preschoolers grow toward God as they come to understand Bible thoughts that are used throughout the month. As they understand the meaning of Bible thoughts, they grow spiritually as the missions concepts become a part of their lives. Today we wanted to share with you several different ways of using Bible thoughts with your preschoolers.

From College Campus to Church Planters

Brian Frye, collegiate ministries missionary

Seventeen years ago, Brian and Heidi Frye were married, after meeting in college through the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Oklahoma State University. After earning their degrees from Oklahoma State, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where Heidi earned a Masters of Art in Christian Education (Women’s Ministry Focus), and Brian earned a M.Div. in Theology and Ph.D. in Evangelism and Church Growth.

In December 2006, Brian and Heidi, with their 3 sons, moved to Toledo, Ohio, to start collegiate ministries at Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo. Two years later, they moved to Delaware, Ohio, where they still reside and are actively engaged in Lifepoint Church. “Our family’s favorite verse, and core verse, is Colossians 3:2, ‘Set your minds on things above and not on earthly things.’ As a family, we seek to live in such a way that we live, love and show the gospel in order that we can see others come to know Christ and spend eternity with Him,” shares Brian.

Growing Toward God

Looking at the Bible together

The first 5 years in a child’s life are crucial, as these are the years of the most growth both physically and mentally. Their personalities are set during this time as they grow emotionally. Preschoolers’ social development is also enormous during these years as they learn language skills and how to relate to others. If growth in all of these areas is of such importance during the preschool years, it stands to reason that their growth spiritually is also crucial during these years. What a privilege we are given to have a part in guiding preschoolers’ spiritual growth. Our purpose in teaching preschoolers about missions is to lead them in developing a heart for missions so that a missions mind-set becomes part of their lifestyle.

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