mission friends

How Do We Teach about Places So Far Away?

As we talked about the ministries of Ryan and Seané Rice in New Orleans this month, my little Kathryn said, “I went to New Orleans.” I could tell a spark of recognition in her expression. Then I was able to ask her what she saw there and what she did in New Orleans. This was unusual because my Mission Friends have usually never been to the missions areas we learn about in Mission Friends. How do we teach preschoolers about a place they have never been before?

Preschoolers are limited in their understanding of time and distance. To them, and hour’s drive to their grandmother’s house seems like a long distance. They do not fully understand a map because on the map another state or country is only a few inches away, and that doesn’t seem like very far. They cannot yet translate in their minds how many miles those few inches on the map represent. How do we teach about places so far away?

Extending the Story

Extend the story of I Can Do It! through activities related to the story. As you read the book with preschoolers, use these activity ideas with your Mission Friends® to continue learning about the concepts in the book.

Outreach—a way of life and who we are

Ryan and Seané Rice’s lives revolve around relationships with people. “Living in New Orleans as a church planter is all about building relationships with people. In fact, this is what our city is all about,” says Ryan. Though Ryan grew up loving VBS and Sunday School as a kid, when he got older, he stopped going and, even disliked the idea of church. He started to go his own way and, in his words, became his “own sort of god.” When he met his wife in college, Ryan began to slowly take the truth of the gospel seriously. Seané would invite him to church and, of course, he tagged along.

Doing Missions

gift mug

Preschoolers learn by doing, and missions is no different from anything else. Doing missions needs to be a part of preschoolers’ missions experiences. They need to be involved in showing concern for people and sharing God’s love with others. The WMU® objective states this as “mission action and witnessing,” but for preschoolers in Mission Friends®, we call it Helping Others activities. By doing Helping Others activities, preschoolers have experiences in showing God’s love and care to others. Through Helping Others activities, preschoolers see that others have needs and they can help to meet other people’s needs.

Christmas

Christmas wish

Merry Christmas!

from the Preschool Team at national WMU

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.

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?

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.

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