mission friends

Mission Friends Teachers Summer Camp - Day 1

Welcome to Summer Camp for Mission Friends Teachers

Welcome to Summer Camp for Mission Friends Teachers!

Caring for a Foster Child at Church

heart in hands

My heart melted. I felt two little arms wrap around my legs in a hug as I stood helping parents get their preschoolers’ belongings at the close of our Mission Friends session. I looked down and saw the brightest smile on her sweet face looking up at me. My heart was so touched because this was her first time to come to Mission Friends, and the first time she had ever seen me. All I knew about her was that she was a foster child and 3 years old. Monica* had come to live with a dedicated family in our church who serves as a foster family.

A Grown-up Mission Friend

a heart for missions

A young man sat down on the bench in the WMU booth at the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas last month. He proceeded to say that he wanted to thank WMU, and how WMU had been an influence in his life. I thought in the back of my mind that he looked vaguely familiar. When I saw West Virginia listed on his name tag, I knew immediately who he was: Nathan!

Be Genuine

Dietzes at worship service

Jason and Cheryl Dietz were appointed to serve as church planters in Dresden, Germany, in 2006. The part of the world they live in has been called the most secular region on earth. Religion and faith are almost a foreign concept for most, and the Dietzes’ approach is to initiate spiritual conversations with everyone they come in contact with. “Those who show interest hear more and more from us, the whole gospel presentation, and an invitation to respond,” said Mr. Dietz.

When Trauma Is Ongoing

Helping preschoolers

When we think of preschoolers who experience trauma, we might think of a child who has gone through a tornado or house fire, a car accident, or witnessed a violent event. These are all one-time events, even though the consequences of these events might last a long time. What about preschoolers who deal with trauma on a regular basis? I’m thinking of a preschooler who is dealing with a serious chronic health condition or has a family member with a continuing health condition. Some preschoolers live with the ongoing trauma of living with a parent who has an addiction or substance abuse disorder. Other examples are preschoolers who live with a parent or sibling who has mental illness or those who live in a household in which there is domestic violence and emotional abuse. These preschoolers live in a constant state of fear because their trauma is ongoing.

Serving Him by Teaching and Encouraging

While taking a philosophy class in college, Bart Gibbs was assigned a book titled, Man’s Search for Meaning. After reading the book, he was drawn to continue seeking God’s leading to find true meaning in life. Through volunteer experiences, while visiting Burkina Faso in 1981, he “found meaning in life through serving the Lord in bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God to people in West Africa,” shares Bart. Bart and Jane Anne Gibbs met while in college at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), at Calvary Baptist Church, and were married in 1983. They have 2 daughters and a son.

Building with Blocks

Amazon Pool

Do you ever notice when your group of Mission Friends tend to gravitate towards certain activities? My group this year seem to be drawn to the Blocks area. Every week, that is the first interest area that they go to. It is not just our boys who gravitate towards activities in Blocks. Some of the girls are in the Blocks area each week, also. Our preschoolers, who are 3s and 4s, spend a lot of time building really elaborate structures. A couple of our preschoolers concentrate so much on what they build, that sometimes the Blocks area is the only interest area in which they play in 1 session of Mission Friends. I have to make sure they learn about missions in this interest area.

Organizing for Mission Friends

Art supplies to clean up

Summer is a good time to go through your Mission Friends classroom to clean and organize. Take a look at your room and see what needs to be spruced up. We share some ideas to freshen up your classroom.

Meet the Martins in Las Vegas

Cynthia, Alicia, Tom Martin

In 2006, Tom and Cynthia Martin faced a difficult decision. They had been serving as International Mission Board missionaries in South America for 17 years, but needed to return to the United States because of medical issues. Cynthia says it was an intensely emotional time, and she grieved that she would no longer be on the front lines of cross-cultural ministry. “But God promised me that He wasn’t through with me,” says Cynthia.

Mission Friends Restaurant

The little 3-year-old waitress at our exclusive Mission Friends restaurant asked me, “Would you like the mac and cheese, tacos, or veggables?” I chose the mac and cheese, and she scribbled my order on a toy magnetic writing board that was in the classroom. She instantly served my imaginary mac and cheese on an imaginary plate, and told me it would be $3.00. I paid my imaginary money and pretended to eat my food. There were squeals of laughter as the 4-year-old cook joined in to bring me more food that I had not even ordered!

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