WMU Blog

Missionaries, Cookies, Kids, and Stickers

A few weeks ago, we learned about a missionary who bakes cookies and shares them with neighbors in an effort to eventually share the gospel with this new friend. Making cookies to become someone’s friend and eventually tell him or her about Jesus seemed like a very long process to my GAs.

“Why not just tell them that Jesus loves them?” one of my first-grade GAs asked.

This conversation led to a discussion about what it means to be a friend, why we do nice things for people, and how being nice to someone may make him or her want to be our friend.

We waded through a ton of comments and questions.

“I don’t have to give people cookies to be friends with them.”

“Does the missionary keep any of the cookies for herself?”

“Does she get to pick who she gives the cookies to?”

By the end of the discussion, I realized that my first-grade GAs were not going to fully understand this concept until they tried it for themselves.

Because I didn’t have cookies or the time to make them, I did the next best thing.

Extending the Story: Always Remember to Pray

Always Remember to Pray

Using activities related to a story or book is a way of extending what preschoolers learn by giving them experiences connected to the story. When you read Always Remember to Pray, by Robin McCall, extend the story with activities related to prayer. Talk about prayer and tell preschoolers we are talking to God when we pray. Encourage preschoolers to think about ways they can pray at any time and any place. The following activities will extend the story and help preschoolers learn more about prayer.

Recognizing the Humanity in Refugees

Refugee. It’s a heavy word laden with nuances in our world. There are so many types of people who fall into this category—those who are fleeing war-torn countries or persecution and those who need respite from poverty and famine.

But the meaning of the word refugee doesn’t stop there. Mention the word once in a group of people, and politics inevitably comes into the conversation. People have their opinions about the plight of refugees and what everyone should do to address it. Let’s be real, though: behind the word refugee is a human being. There’s a woman fleeing war to protect her children. There’s a man moving his family to ensure their survival during a time of famine.

Every person who becomes a refugee is a human life precious to the Lord. In the past couple of years, God has been working on my heart to ignore the political rhetoric and Facebook debates and focus only on His hurting children. If we are to live a missional lifestyle, then we must set aside societal prejudices and discover ways we can help save the lives of the people God loves.

Reverse Trick or Treat

Many churches throw open their doors at Halloween with fall festivals to attract new people and create a positive impact on their community. Reverse trick or treating takes church members outside the church walls and into your neighborhood.

Almost every household is prepared to receive trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. Homeowners sit out with their buckets of candy or leave their front porch lights on as welcome symbols. So, what are we waiting for? This is an open-door opportunity to meet the people who live around your church!

Christmas in August Update

As a kid, Christmas Eve was a day I looked forward to all year long! Christmas Eve was when Santa would stop by our house and bring us presents. Every year, I was so excited about what was to come that I’d voluntarily put myself to bed extra early with hopes that the morning would come sooner. I would not sleep under the covers on Christmas Eve. You see, my mother had a rule that we could not leave our rooms each morning (including Christmas morning) until our beds were made. So, on Christmas Eve I would sleep (if I slept at all) on top of the covers so that I could prevent the 2–3-minute delay of getting to my presents!

I often wonder if that’s how Christmas in August missionaries feel as they approach WMU’s focus on their ministries. Are they excited? Curious about what to expect? A little concerned about how many RAs, GAs, or CAs might give in support of their work? More than likely, there’s a mix of emotions going through their minds as they wait for Christmas in August to roll around.

Are you familiar with Christmas in August? A little history might be good at this point.

Change the World with WorldCrafts

Want to change the lives of poverty-stricken and exploited men and women around the world? There’s no better time to start than October, which is Fair Trade Month. And there’s no better way to start than by supporting WorldCrafts, a division of WMU.

WorldCrafts develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people worldwide. Its vision is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life to every person on earth.

WorldCrafts is committed to its in-country partners and artisan groups. It develops viable employment for poverty-stricken and exploited women and men.

WorldCrafts is holistic. Its artisan groups meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of their workers. Men and women receive job training, comfort, camaraderie, and the promise of eternal hope.

Prayerwalking

Prayerwalking can be a difficult concept for children to grasp.

“How are we supposed to walk and pray at the same time?”

“Are we supposed to close our eyes?”

“Just who are we praying for anyway?”

“It’s hot!”

“I’m tired!”

“Squirrel!”

I think you get the picture.

Going on prayerwalks with your children may seem like a challenging task, but I promise it’s worth it. Walking through your community in prayer does 2 things:

  • Children get out of the church building and see the folks who live and work around them.
  • Children learn how to look at the world with a lens of empathy. They see the world as Christ sees it.

By leading your children around your community in prayer, you teach them to see each person they meet as someone valuable to and loved by God. This is an incredible gift for the children who participate. Just think about it: if children are taught to see the world in this way when they are young, what might they be capable of as adults?

Trick or Treat for Missions

Turn Your Home into the Place for Halloween Outreach

During the Halloween season many churches develop events in an effort to reach their surrounding community. Some community members will attend, but many people fear coming anywhere near a church building. Have you ever considered how your family can use Halloween to bring the gospel into your community?

Here’s how:

Set Free to Share

In the heart of Rome is a sacred place few know about. Millions will be within steps of this ancient treasure as they walk to the Roman Forum or Colosseum. We had the museum to ourselves the day we went. Our small group politely looked at the archeology artifacts for what we considered an appropriate amount of time. I found myself anxious to put my feet where he had been. Someone finally asked, “Will we get to see the actual prison?” The museum official said, “Yes, I will escort you below.”

We exited the main floor of the museum down modern metal stairs placed above the hewn rock steps built by the Romans 20 centuries ago. The reality of what the Apostle Paul experienced during his imprisonment came to life before my eyes. It was vivid and painful. On the first level underground, we saw where prisoners were dropped through a hole in the rock floor into their cell.

Reaching the Deaf around the Globe

Deaf interpreter

Over 20 years ago, Doc and Dee Douglas* started their journey, across the world, sharing the gospel through Bible stories to the Deaf community. Dee was born to deaf parents, and her first/heart language is American Sign Language. She is gifted when it comes to sign language and Deaf culture. Doc was born to hearing parents and had no background in American Sign Language. He is gifted in administration, theology, and leadership.

Doc says, “Our primary way of sharing the gospel has been through Bible stories. Whether in random conversations or if we are in a planned strategy to engage deaf people in a particular city, there is always the introduction of a story—the ‘avenue in’ to sharing the gospel.” The Deaf are storytellers themselves, and a natural way of drawing them into conversation of the gospel is through Scripture stories.

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