Mission Friends

Sharing the Joy of the Lord

Russia train

Kimberly Grogan’s call to missions came when she was 25 years old while teaching school in Texas. Her parents were missionaries in Venezuela, South America, where she was born and spent 18 years of her life. At the age of 25, Kimberly resigned from her teaching job and began classes at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. There, she met her future husband, Nolan, and they now have 3 daughters—Maria, Reese, and Gabrielle.

Ideas for a Fifth Session of Mission Friends

Mission Friends Leader

Sometimes you just need more to do with Mission Friends®. It might be that you meet 5 times a month and there are only 4 sessions in Mission Friends Leader, what do you do?

 

Giving to Missions

School Roof Tile

The green tile is a great reminder to me of the impact preschoolers and children can have when they give to missions. This single tile that sits on a shelf in the WMU lobby has a chevron design and a flower. A plaque beside the tile notes that it is from the Tung Shan Church which was built in Canton, China, in 1908 by the Sunbeam Bands of the USA. Sunbeams was the forerunner of Mission Friends®, and the children at that time were encouraged to give their money towards building a church in China. The children were told about the need for people to hear of Jesus, and encouraged to give as their part in sharing the gospel with people around the world. I wonder how many people heard about Christ because of this Chinese church that the Sunbeams built?

Start Something New

Russia passport stamp

Start something new with the International Mission Study for preschoolers. This year the study focuses on the missions area of Russia and coordinates with the December unit on Russia in Mission Friends®. Some churches have the International Mission Study as a churchwide event in which each age level participates in the study at one time. Other ways to offer the study for preschoolers include:

You’re Invited

Popcorn Invitation

Make an invitation to Mission Friends by simply tweaking an activity in Mission Friends Leader. We took the idea for the Helping Others activity in January for Popcorn Invitations and made a couple changes to give this as an invitation to Mission Friends. Print an invitation with the time and location of your Mission Friends on construction paper. Glue a popcorn bag on the other side. Preschoolers can glue cotton balls in and around the bag for the popcorn. Give the invitation to parents of preschoolers who attend a Parents’ Night Out at your church and to families who visit your church’s worship.

 

Communicating with Parents

Parent Text

Parents of preschoolers want to be involved and like to know what their preschooler is learning at church. Communication with parents is a key to involving them in their preschooler’s missions learning. Communicate with them about the missions area and missionaries for the month, the Helping Others activities, or extra volunteer help needed. Parents also like to hear what their child said or did in your Mission Friends® session. In today’s world, communication can come in many different ways.

By All Means

Channapatana Nativity Set

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

As Christmas draws near, we are reminded of the greatness of God’s love for us. The above verse is not typically known as a Christmas verse. It does not refer to a Bethlehem stable, shepherds on a hillside, or wise men who saw the star. The verse does not speak of an innkeeper, swaddling cloths, or a manger. The verse does encompass the very meaning of Christmas in that God loved us so much that he sent his Son. Christmas is a time for us to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world and God’s love for each of us. We rejoice at this time of year as we are reminded of His love and the eternal life that we have through Christ.

Organizing for Mission Friends

Preschool classroom

How do you make the most of the interest areas in your preschool classroom? Preschool classrooms are set up in these areas because preschoolers learn from active play and interaction with various materials. The interest areas allow for the different learning styles of preschoolers. Using the interest areas supports learning in small groups.

Building Resilience within Preschoolers

resilient preschooler

When we think of a person as being resilient, we refer to the way he or she is able to regain strength after going through a stressful situation. The person is able to rebound emotionally when she experiences hardship in her life. Building resilience is a process that includes many different factors. Help preschoolers build resilience by focusing on 3 of these factors spelled out below.

Connecting

Preschoolers who have connections with others are more likely to regain emotional strength. Make connections through your consistency as a preschool teacher at church. Take time to sit with preschoolers while they are doing activities so you can ask questions and carry on conversations. Give support to preschoolers by really listening to them. Foster connections with others by helping preschoolers to become friends with one another. Talk about being friends, and what it means to be a friend.

Coping

Understanding Preschoolers with Special Needs

Special Needs child

He springs into the Mission Friends room and floats through the interest areas, not able to decide what he wants to do. He is fidgety and moves to the next activity before finishing the current one. He cannot seem to be able to wait for his turn. He pounds his feet throughout Group Time. He bursts out with a question that has nothing to do with the mission story you are in the middle of telling. You constantly feel like you are calling his name to ask him to listen.

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