preschool

Hot Off the Press! A Resource for All Preschool Teachers!

First Steps in Missions, vol. 24

Wait, what? Is it a resource for Mission Friends?

Definitely! And it’s also for other preschool teachers! It’s called First Steps in Missions, and the 2018–19 edition, volume 24, has just been released.

Perhaps you already know that each year we publish this supplementary book of activities to go along with the 12 missions areas that will be found in Mission Friends Leader teaching guide. Or maybe you don’t know about it—sometimes we feel like it should win the prize for Most Valuable Best Kept Secret in Mission Friends!

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.

Christmas in August: Preschool

Little girl in front of christmas tree

Involve preschoolers in sharing with others through Christmas in August. Encourage preschoolers to bring items listed below for a North American missionary to be used within his or her ministry.

False religion to personal relationship

Eric Maroney, his wife Julie, and 2 children, Nathan and Kayleigh, have served in Croatia for 18 years. Both children have spent their whole lives there. Sixteen years were spent in Split, while the last 2 have been in Zagreb. The Maroney family is involved in a church plant just outside of Zagreb that is around 2 years old. Mr. Maroney serves as the lead team strategy leader for south central Europe, which means he serves as an administrator and coach for 4 countries, including Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and parts of Bosnia. He grew up on the missions field in Africa, and felt his call to missions in his late teens. Mrs. Maroney felt the call after meeting others in seminary with a similar call.

Celebrate Preschoolers!

Preschoolers learning

What do you love about preschoolers? It may be their energy, the questions they ask, or their willingness to try something new. It could be their laughter, their hugs, or their creativity. It very well might be that all of these things are wrapped up in one special group of people: preschoolers! Across our nation, we celebrate preschoolers especially during the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) which is April 16–20, 2018. At church we can celebrate the precious lives of preschoolers whom God places in our care. Think of 1 way that you can celebrate preschoolers, reach out to families, or show appreciation to preschool teachers during WOYC. We share some simple ideas for making this a great week to celebrate your preschoolers in Mission Friends.

Easter with Your Preschoolers

Easter with Preschoolers

Easter is a time of joy and celebration. We are reminded of the price Christ paid for our sins on the cross and the power of His resurrection. We think about the empty tomb and the eternal life that God gives to us. For preschoolers, though, there is much about Easter that is beyond their understanding until later in their lives when they develop more abstract thought. There is also the temptation to focus on bunnies, colored eggs, and candy. How do we make Easter have meaning for preschoolers so they will grow toward God?

Selfless ambition — doing all things for the glory of Christ

Mahon Family

Through preaching, praying, and having a raw desire to be hospitable and evangelistic, the Mahon family have learned what it takes to rest, and grow in selfless ambition, for the glory to God. In 2006, Brian and Jenny married, after meeting at Clemson University. A couple of years into their marriage, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, for Brian to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While at Southern, they had their son, Luke, and daughter, Kate. Jenny suggested that Brian pursue ministry when, “I couldn’t do much of anything without landing in a conversation about Christ,” shared Brian.

Extending the Story: I Like to Go to Church

An activity related to a story book helps preschoolers make connections to learn more from the book. In helping preschoolers learn about your church, read the downloadable book I Like to Go to Church. Take the ideas below and extend the story for more learning about your church and missions.

Boldness to proclaim truth in the midst of persecution

Amazon rainbow

Decimation, hopelessness, and abuse. Three words that describe the indigenous in the Colombian Amazon,” shares Bronson Parker.* Diego, a 60-year-old Cocama man, grew up seeing the aftereffects of the rubber boom industry in which thousands of indigenous were enslaved. Diego “is a fisherman, a carpenter, and an artist. Now, he is a Christ follower and His messenger,” says Bronson. Discipling is what Bronson Parker enjoys most about his ministry in the Amazon.

Bronson, Anna,* their three daughters and son share the gospel through storytelling. “The people are without hope, and are living in the consequences of their sinful lives,” shares Bronson. His family and missionary friends strive to encourage one another in the work being done.

My Church and Missions

Church and missions

Our Mission Friends took turns holding the extra-large knitting needle with one hand and pulling the yarn around with their other hand. Mrs. Mary Ann showed them how to make a stitch. She also showed them the baby booties and small caps made by the knitting group at our church. They give the caps and booties to preemie babies at local hospitals. Mrs. Mary Ann told our Mission Friends that this is how our “knitting ladies” show God’s love to the families of the little babies.

As preschoolers grow in missions awareness, we want them to know how their own church tells others about Jesus and shows His love to others. The objective of WMU states this as “participate in the work of the church and denomination,” but for preschoolers, I think of it as “my church and missions.” Preschoolers need to know about the ways their church reaches out to others in Jesus’ name. They also need to know that their church works with other churches to send missionaries in North America and around the world.

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