Girls in Action

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:

Are We Spending Too Much?

Imagine this conversation between a pastor and a WMU director:

Pastor: “You know, I’ve been thinking about our missions education program. I’m concerned that we spend too much money on curriculum and missions products.”

WMU Director: “Pastor, I’m with you! We all want to protect God’s money that is given to the church. And, as the WMU director, I constantly watch how much we much spend and why we spend it. Our leadership team regularly evaluates our missions education budget and we try to squeeze as much out of it as possible.”

Pastor: “Have you considered dropping WMU materials and going with another missions education program? There must be a lot of them out there.”

CA: On the Grow!

I recently traveled to Seattle, Washington, for the Northwest Baptist Convention’s CM52 conferences. I led a series of conferences about kids’ missions discipleship and spent time hearing about children’s ministry work in the Pacific Northwest. While I loved every bit of my time there, a certain pastor will stick out in my mind for quite some time.

I never thought to ask him why a pastor was at a children’s ministry conference. I suppose that he was there to support his children’s workers who came to the conference. But when he found out that I work for national WMU and was there to talk about Children in Action, he and I became fast friends.

I heard stories about what the CA leader at his church is doing each week with children. And I got to meet her in person. The pastor’s excitement for missions discipleship was more than obvious—it was contagious! The CA leader was eager to share her work with me, and I was excited to walk away with a few new ideas.

Girls' Friendship Party

Celebrate your girl friends by hosting a party or sleepover. Have girls take the lead in planning the evening—they will plan the food, games, and activities.

Here a few ideas:

Are Summer Camps Still Relevant Today?

We live in a world where technology is integrated into just about every aspect of our lives. Self-driving cars, microwaves, phones with computers in them (or is it the other way around?) and even electric toothbrushes! And yet, every summer, thousands of children and their leaders flock to summer camps all over the country. How can this be? No WiFi? No phones? Say it isn’t so!

Getting to Know Thailand

discover Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country where most people do not know about Jesus. As a believer, we need to learn as much as possible about countries like Thailand and about the Thai people who live there.

To learn more about Thailand and the people who call it home, go to each of these links.

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia about the same size as France. It is bordered by Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. To understand the size of the country, check out this map

There are beautiful national parks in Thailand. Some are tropical evergreen parks. Some are marine parks. In all of the parks, there are interesting animals and plants. 

Most of the people in Thailand do not believe in Jesus. Ninety percent of the Thai people are Buddhist. Three million of the people of southern Thailand are Muslim. 

More than Bunnies, Candy, and Eggs

This past Sunday at my church, children of all ages joyfully paraded into the sanctuary, waving palm branches and singing loud hosannas. What a simple act to actively involve kids in a meaningful worship experience!

But do you struggle to explain the meaning of Holy Week to your child? After all, we just celebrated the birth of baby Jesus a few short months ago! Yet now we are going to celebrate His death and Resurrection? And what do bunnies, chocolate candy, and colored eggs have to do with any of it? For many kids, particularly younger ones, this concept can be especially difficult to wrap their heads around.

This Easter, I encourage you to sit down with your kids and read the Bible together. As a family, share the amazing stories surrounding Jesus’ death and Resurrection. Be prepared to answer their questions by pointing them back to the one true source, the Bible. In doing so, you set a positive example as you connect kids to God’s Word for a lifetime.

I have laid out a daily Bible reading plan that you can use to guide you as you move through the week.

Greetings from Guatemala

Please read below for an update from one of April's featured missionary families!

Greetings from Guatemala!  The hot season has officially arrived, bringing with it daily temperatures of over 100 degrees. It also means water shortages and power outages. It is definitely not the easiest month to live here. On top of that, we are all battling head colds and chest congestion. Pray that we will all get well and start feeling better soon.

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Coloring for Jesus

Disaster relief volunteers often work with children whose families have gone through natural disasters. These volunteers help families and children on a temporary basis with basic needs like food, water, and shelter. They also help children by just being a friend when they need one the most. One special thing they do is to look after children so that parents can take care of other things. The volunteers play with children, talk to them, and give them guidance when they don’t understand the horrible things that have happened.

One way disaster relief volunteers help children cope is to let them draw and color pictures about their feelings. Volunteers can then follow up with the children to let them know that Jesus loves them and wants to take care of them. They let the children know that Jesus can take things that are messed up and make something great out of them.

Did you know that you can help friends who are going through a rough time in the same way that disaster relief teams do? You can recycle old, broken crayons and reshape them into something new and beautiful. Then, you can give them to friends and talk to them about their feelings.

Sharing Our Faith

As a seminary student, I was required to take a class on personal evangelism (in simple terms, a class on how to share Jesus with others). Before the end of the semester, we were required to make a certain number of personal visits with people in the community.

Some people will say that a seminary student shouldn’t have to take a class to be taught how to share Jesus with others; it should come naturally for someone called to serve God.

But for busy students who are trying to complete their academic work, maintain a family life, and work full- or part-time in a secular or church position, it is often difficult to focus on personal evangelism. Yes, I know seminary students should be about “God’s work,” but it’s still difficult to find time to focus on sharing Jesus with others.

That last statement probably isn’t limited to busy seminary students. More than likely, most of us need a little push to reach outside our comfort zones, to share our faith with others, and to lead others to a personal relationship with Jesus.

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