preschool

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.

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?

Meet the Writer: Janora Skeens

Janora Skeens

In our ongoing "Meet the Writer" series, we would like to introduce you to Janora Skeens. Janora has written for Mission Friends for many years. This year, she has written the International Mission Study 2017 Preschool Teaching Guide: Russia. Thank you, Janora, for sharing your heart for preschoolers with us!

Using Bible Thoughts with Preschoolers

Bible and Bible-thought puzzles

Preschoolers grow toward God as they come to understand Bible thoughts that are used throughout the month. As they understand the meaning of Bible thoughts, they grow spiritually as the missions concepts become a part of their lives. Today we wanted to share with you several different ways of using Bible thoughts with your preschoolers.

From College Campus to Church Planters

Brian Frye, collegiate ministries missionary

Seventeen years ago, Brian and Heidi Frye were married, after meeting in college through the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Oklahoma State University. After earning their degrees from Oklahoma State, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where Heidi earned a Masters of Art in Christian Education (Women’s Ministry Focus), and Brian earned a M.Div. in Theology and Ph.D. in Evangelism and Church Growth.

In December 2006, Brian and Heidi, with their 3 sons, moved to Toledo, Ohio, to start collegiate ministries at Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo. Two years later, they moved to Delaware, Ohio, where they still reside and are actively engaged in Lifepoint Church. “Our family’s favorite verse, and core verse, is Colossians 3:2, ‘Set your minds on things above and not on earthly things.’ As a family, we seek to live in such a way that we live, love and show the gospel in order that we can see others come to know Christ and spend eternity with Him,” shares Brian.

Growing Toward God

Looking at the Bible together

The first 5 years in a child’s life are crucial, as these are the years of the most growth both physically and mentally. Their personalities are set during this time as they grow emotionally. Preschoolers’ social development is also enormous during these years as they learn language skills and how to relate to others. If growth in all of these areas is of such importance during the preschool years, it stands to reason that their growth spiritually is also crucial during these years. What a privilege we are given to have a part in guiding preschoolers’ spiritual growth. Our purpose in teaching preschoolers about missions is to lead them in developing a heart for missions so that a missions mind-set becomes part of their lifestyle.

Cultivating Relationships and Sharing the Gospel

Praying friends

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor. 9:22—23 NIV1).

Cultivating relationships often begins by meeting the needs of those around us. In communities where arts are valued, missionaries develop creative studios. In areas where international students need after-school care and homework help, missionaries open their homes for dinner and tutoring. In cities where sports are esteemed, missionaries offer free summer sports camps. In towns where men and women enjoy quilting and woodworking, missionaries purchase supplies and provide crafting workshops.

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.

By All Means

By All Means

Our first session of Mission Friends® for the new church year started in a most exciting way. We had a big group of preschoolers coming up into our class of 3- and 4-year-olds. The first session is usually a little more hectic because the preschoolers don’t know the schedule, and you are trying to figure out preschoolers’ names. I expected to have 8 or 9 preschoolers, but we had 13! I had planned the painting activity suggested in Mission Friends Leader for the session, and it took a while for the preschoolers to take turns in sets of 2 or 3 preschoolers at a time. When we finally gathered for Group Time, the power went out in the whole church! We spent the remainder of our session in the dark, using the flashlights from our smartphones.

Praying for Missions

A preschooler came home from church with a prayer reminder he made in Mission Friends®. His mother told me that when she put him to bed that night, she heard him pray the sweetest prayer for the missionary family. God is working in the lives of preschoolers as we teach them to pray for missions. As preschoolers learn about missions, one of their responses is to pray for the missions work they are learning about.

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