Girls in Action

#CMD2016 Project Ideas

Children’s Ministry Day is just around the corner (February 13). If you don’t yet have an activity planned for the children of your church, don’t fret. Consider one of these easy-to-incorporate ideas:

A Childlike Faith

This past week in GA, as we learned about missionaries serving in Miami, Florida, I asked girls to think about their own personal testimony and how they could share it with a friend. Children, being concrete learners, need examples, so I shared my story with them:

I was born into a loving, Christian home in the heart of the Bible belt. My parents took me to church every Sunday (not once, but twice) and every Wednesday night. I was blessed with wonderful Sunday School teachers, missions leaders (Mission Friends, GA, and Acteens), and ministers (children, youth, and music) who taught me Bible stories, engrained biblical principles into my daily living, and demonstrated God’s love through missional lifestyles. At the age of seven, I asked Jesus into my heart and made a personal commitment to follow Him as my Savior through baptism. From that moment on, God gave me a desire to serve people and a heart for missions.

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Christmas Traditions

Growing up in Mission Friends, Girls in Action, and Acteens, I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know about Lottie Moon or the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Giving to this special offering each year is just as much a part of my Christmas traditions as decorating my house, baking holiday treats, and caroling with family and friends!

While Lottie Moon will forever be my “missions hero,” she was very much like the missionaries serving around the world today. She heard God’s call to go to China, and she obeyed. For 39 years, Lottie faithfully lived among the Chinese people and shared the love of Jesus with them.

While there, she wrote numerous letters home asking Southern Baptists for their support through prayer, financial gifts, and missions involvement. As a result, Southern Baptists gave enough money to send three more missionaries to China.

To honor Lottie Moon and her missions efforts, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is collected each year at Christmastime. The entire offering—100 %— directly helps missionaries around the world tell all God’s children about Jesus!

Fully Nourished

Global Hunger Relief Badge

During the month of October, Southern Baptists focused on Global Hunger Relief and ways to respond to food insecurities of millions of people all around the world. One hundred percent of all gifts made to Global Hunger Relief go directly to help meet some of these hunger needs. As physical needs are met through hunger relief ministries, something even greater happens: spiritual needs are also met as thousands come to know the love of Jesus.

Packaged with Love

In an earlier blog last spring, I described how my church does missions during the summer. We take a break from traditional children’s missions programming to better accommodate summer schedules. Now, that’s not to say we take a break from doing missions. Oh, no—not at all! This summer has been packed full of engaging, hands-on missions opportunities for children of all ages!

It’s been a fun summer for everyone, but now all area school systems are back in session. As school teachers have been getting ready to welcome students back to school, my church’s missions leaders have been busy, too, getting ready to welcome returning and new children back to missions!

This past Wednesday night we kicked off a new year in missions with a Christmas in August party. Each missions group was assigned a different Christmas in August missionary and asked to bring items from their list. Rooms were decorated with Christmas trees, wreaths, and lights. Christmas music played in the halls as children gathered in their missions meeting spaces.

Meet Sheila Barksdale

Sheila Barksdale is serving her community of Sturgis, Mississippi, as the 2015–2016 Oktibbeha County Assistant WMU Consultant and the Oktibbeha County GA, RA, and CASM Consultant. She and her husband have five children and three grandchildren whom they love to see growing in Christ.

Growing up, Sheila and her friends participated in GA activities, which Sheila says they lived for. She went on to serve her church as Children’s Director, Vacation Bible School Director, and Sunday School teacher. After five years of service as an interim piano player at a friend’s church, Sheila says God called her back to her home church, Morgan Chapel Baptist, where the church’s GA leader asked her to join in leading. “God opened the door wide for the opportunity,” she says.

Sheila says she knows that girls in the GA age range are impressionable. Like sponges, they soak in everything. “This is the time to be training, teaching, and motivating them to a life of servanthood, a life of continual service to God’s plan for each of them.”

Meet Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is a GA leader at the First Baptist Church in Marshall, Missouri. The wife and a mother of two says God has given her the gift and love of teaching the Bible. Naomi’s personality shines with a love of Jesus and a passion for spreading His love to her community.

Naomi decided to become a GA leader after attending a GA sleepover with her daughter. Through interacting with the girls at the event, she felt led to share her faith and invest in the girls’ lives. She signed up to become the leader of the first- and second grade GA group at her church.

Through GA, Naomi says God has shown her how the Great Commission is an important part of Christian life in which she can take part and see lives change in her own community. “It’s the basics of life, really—a childlike faith, strong enough to move mountains and transform entire households’ lives and wellbeing from the inside out.”

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Got Camp?

Many years ago, I had my first spend-the-night camp experience at Girls in Action camp at Shocco Springs Baptist Assembly in Talladega, Alabama. One of my very best friends—another GA at my church—talked me into going with her. I loved GA with all my heart, so it was an easy sell!

I still remember that experience like it was yesterday. I enjoyed all the typical camp activities like swimming, hiking, canoeing, arts and crafts, staying up late, and making new friends. But, more importantly, I also got to worship God, learn about missions, meet missionaries, and participate in daily devotions with other girls who loved GA as much as I did. Apparently, my only complaint was all the walking up and down the “great big hill” from our cabin to the dining hall and swimming pool. (At least, that’s what my parents say—and they still have the letters to prove it! For the record, it is really steep!)

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