Preschool Blog

An Update from Josh Lenon:

Lenon family

The past year has been a crazy one for Red Door. We have experienced a lot of joy in seeing the gospel take hold of our lives: believers beginning to share their faith, new believers being baptized, and growing as a church as a church both in numbers and in passion. We have also experienced a lot of loss. Recently one of our core leaders who has been with Red Door since the beginning, and who was working with us in the new plant, was tragically killed in an auto accident. He left behind an awesome wife and three awesome kiddos (7, 3, and 1). This tragedy has rocked our church pretty hard and we have grieved in many ways. But we have grieved as those with hope! (1 Thess. 4).

Prepare Preschoolers for a Postmodern Culture

Our preschool group looked at a photo of the missionary family we studied that month in Mission Friends. We had been learning about this missionary family for a few weeks. I had just finished telling our mission story for the week of how the missionaries tell others about Jesus. One of the 3-year-olds leaned in to look at the picture and asked, “Are they real?” At first, it struck me as an odd question. Of course, they are real. As I thought about it, I realized that this question is indicative of the current times in which photos are altered and what seems to be real may not be the truth.

Searching for reality and truth is part of the postmodern world of which our preschoolers are a part. Preschoolers are growing up with a postmodern worldview that people can determine their own truth. Growing up as postmodernists, preschoolers will also have a much more global worldview than previous generations.

Thank You!

Christmas in August

Does Christmas in August® make a difference? According to Arlene Miller of Impact Ministry in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, your Christmas in August gifts last year made an eternal difference in the lives of many people:

“Thank you for allowing Impact Ministry to be included on the Mission Friends (Christmas in August) list of ministries to get donations. It has been such a blessing to get boxes and letters. Many of the boxes contained pictures and items that the children had made. Most of them had a note saying they had prayed for us . . . We know that the prayers of all of those collecting and packing the boxes were heard and His Holy Spirit touched hearts and people were saved. Several people gave their heart to Jesus these past few months as they met with our spiritual counselors the day they came for assistance. . . .

It was one day that I had opened a box of Christmas in August gifts and read the note that they prayed for us as they packed the box, that I realized this is why we are seeing more people saved. More people are praying . . . What an awesome God!!!!!”

Helping Preschoolers with Fear

comforting fearful child

Sometimes I am afraid. How many times have you heard preschoolers express fears? It may be about something that seems small: “I am afraid to climb to the top of the slide,” or “I am afraid of spiders.” Other times it may be about something big: “I am afraid when Mommy and Daddy yell” or “Mommy died. What if Daddy dies, too?” How can we help our preschoolers move beyond fear and stress and help them learn to live in joy and peace?

At a recent conference, I was intrigued by the thoughts of a panel of experts who spoke about helping children develop resilience by teaching them to move from a place of fear to a place of calm. As one speaker shared that children innately know that we are not created to hold to thoughts that keep us locked in a place of bitterness and fear, I thought of Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (ESV1).

Use the following suggestions to help ease your preschoolers’ fears and stress:

Kindness

Learning to share

It seems like our world could use a little more kindness. When I see what is happening in the news around the world, it is easy for me to become overwhelmed and think, What can I do? I’m only one person. And then I remember—I teach preschoolers in Mission Friends! One of the greatest things I can do is teach my preschoolers to love God and love others. We show that we love others by being kind to others. Here are some things I want to say about kindness.

As preschool teachers, it is up to us to intervene when we observe a preschooler who exhibits unkind behavior toward others, physically or verbally. We can no longer just let it go. We must use those times as teachable moments to help preschoolers express frustration in a better way and learn problem-solving skills. It may seem minor to us when a preschooler pushes another to be first in line or takes a toy away from another. If we do not intervene though, the child begins to learn that those negative behaviors help me to get what I want. We must step in whenever a preschooler is unkind to others.

Ministering to the Medical Community

Getting ready to share cupcakes

Christine Andrews* serves as a nurse at a refugee camp in the Middle East. There, she offers hope and healing to hurting people. Those in the medical profession pour out their lives for people who are sick and in pain. While this is their calling, don't you imagine that they would appreciate an act of kindness or word of encouragement for the good work they are doing in their communities?

What can your church do to minister to those who minister so selflessly to others? Use these suggestions as a springboard for going on mission to your local medical community:

Go Outside!

Go outside!

What would it be like to have Mission Friends outside? During the summer is a great time to include an outdoor element with your Mission Friends group.

Exploring Project-Based Learning

missions explorers

“Why . . . ?” “How . . . ?” “Show me . . .” Preschoolers are natural explorers. Capitalize on your preschoolers’ natural excitement and tenacious curiosity about all things new by planning a project learning experience. Use the following tips to enjoy the project approach with your preschoolers:

Reflections from WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting

Native Praise

Blessed. That is how I feel after attending the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting last week. There are many moments that I want to remember such as Wanda Lee’s last address at a WMU Annual Meeting as our executive director. Moments such as the special prayertime for missionaries, many of whom had taken the early retirement package from the International Mission Board. Seeing the Native Praise choir in their colorful dresses and hearing them sing and pray in their Native American languages. Hearing a child sing in her clear voice, “Here I Am, Lord.” Such special moments in which I was blessed to experience.

Even more than those moments, I want to remember the people who touched my life. There are too many to list, so here are a few snapshots of moments with several people.

Significance

I listened as a colleague in the early childhood field passionately talked about the impact we make as we work with preschoolers. I attended a meeting of persons within our community who work in various agencies that serve preschoolers. This friend gave the example of one child her agency had helped, and how their influence on the preschooler opened doors to serve the whole family as they were able to help the mother locate literacy classes to learn to read. With tears in her eyes, my friend stated that when you work with a preschooler, the impact you make is significant.

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