Children in Action

CMD 2018: Go Serve

Children's Missions Day (CMD) 2018 is coming soon! In fact, this annual February event will celebrate its 11th year this Saturday, February 17. It's not too late to join other children's missions groups nationwide in a great day of service to share God's love with people right in your own community. So, lace up your sneakers and get ready to hit the road and go serve!

Appropriately, the theme for this year's event is Go Serve. As you prepare your group for this special day, help children identify people in your area who are hurting — whether it's physically, spiritually or emotionally. Remember that a successful CMD project gives children the opportunity to tell someone what they know to be true about God while also meeting a physical need or offering words of encouragement. Ask children, What would you do for these people to share the love of Jesus with them?

Get 'em Before They're Gone!

I guess I'm like most men. I really don't like shopping. Oh, I'll go to the hardware store. That's okay. Or, I'll go to the sporting goods store if I really need something. But, most of the time when I have to shop, I'd rather do it online in the comfort of my own home or office. And when I shop online, I love the fact that I don't have to wait in long lines to accomplish the task at hand — you know, "Need it, find it, buy it and wait for it to be delivered to me."

Once a year, national WMU offers an incredible clearance sale that even I like — great items, great variety and really great prices! All I have to remember for this particular sale is that when the stock has been depleted, it is sold out. There are no back orders.

Right now is the time for the annual clearance sale! There are some great items available — at great prices — for children's missions leaders like you! But if you don't want to miss out on these great deals, you'd better hurry. Once an item has sold out, it is gone for good.

The following items are included in this year's WMU Clearance Sale:

Spring Break Is Right Around the Corner!

It's winter now, but spring break is on its way! Got plans yet? I would think many of the families in your church already have plans for spring break and maybe even have trips planned. That makes this month the perfect time to go ahead and put missions projects into families' hands for them to do while on vacation.

Consider sharing these ideas with the families of your church. (Tip: You can post these individual suggestions in social media or share a link to this blog in your church or children's ministry newsletter.)

Ideas for family spring break missions:

Doing a Lot with a Little

I recently had the opportunity to re-read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.

To recap, over 5,000 people came to hear Jesus and even be healed by Him. Gathered out in the middle of nowhere, people started getting hungry as the day wore on. Jesus perceived the need at hand and asked His disciples where they could find food for the people there. His disciples were not very optimistic. Even if they could find something for everyone, it would cost as much money as a single man could earn after 200 days of work just to give 1 person a tiny piece of bread to eat. What they did find was a small boy who offered to share what he had: 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

Spoiler alert: with those 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish, Jesus was able to abundantly meet the needs of the people. Not only was He able to meet their stomachs, but there were also 12 baskets of food left over! It was a miracle! Something only God could do.

Lead with Confidence

As a small child, I was afraid to go to the counter at a fast food restaurant to ask for a drink refill. I hated it so much. I couldn't tell you why—the people behind the counter didn't have a reason to refuse me a free refill. And I highly doubt the scenarios of humiliation I pictured in my head would have ever happened in real life. Nevertheless, I was too shy. My parents would usually make me go anyway; otherwise, I wouldn't get a refill. I’m thankful to them now for trying to get me to be less shy, although I'm certain I didn't appreciate it at the time!

When I was in school, I had so many opportunities to speak up and answer questions posed by my teachers. I probably only spoke up about 15 percent of the time. I felt a desire to raise my hand when I thought I knew the answer, but I didn't want to risk being incorrect and humiliating myself. As it happens, I usually had the correct answer and would be disappointed that I didn't speak up. But I couldn't risk it, right?

Beat the Wintertime Blues: Plan a Cool Missions Event

Here in the Deep South, we have been experiencing some unusually frigid days this past week. For this Goldilocks-type girl—you know, not too hot, not too cold—the sub-freezing temperatures make me want to stay indoors, all bundled up in my sweats and furry socks in front of a warm, crackling fire. It's even been too cold for my "It's-not-cold-I-wear-shorts-all-year-long" 12-year-old son. Needless to say, he has a bad case of cabin fever and can't wait to get outside to ride that new bike he got for Christmas.

More than Resolutions

I've never been very good at making—much less keeping—New Year's resolutions. Oh, I'll give it a passing thought as I hear others talk about their resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with their kids, etc. However, I've learned over the years that many, if not most, of those people who made those resolutions never kept them for more than a few weeks. Don't believe me? Visit a local gym on January 2 and then again on February 16. See if you notice the difference!

What it comes down to for me is not so much about making yearly resolutions I won't keep as it is about digging in and doing the hard work to accomplish what needs to be accomplished—in other words, setting goals and accomplishing them.

Last Minute Lottie (Moon Christmas Offering) Ideas

Christmas is over, but the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) season is not! And, guess what? It's not too late for your GAs, RAs or CAs to help take up the offering through a fun project. Consider any of these projects as ways to continue a focus on this special offering and help your kids learn that it's always the right time to support missionaries.

Mangerside Reflections

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas season, let's take time to consider some of the people who saw this story unfold firsthand.

Mary was intimately connected with this event. Jesus was born to her in a humble stable. Her willingness to let God work wonders through her life was truly inspiring.

Joseph may have been a little confused by the whole thing! Engaged to be married, he was shocked to find Mary was pregnant before their wedding day. Faced with a difficult decision, Joseph stepped up to the plate to help raise this child after a little heavenly intervention.

The shepherds were nothing special. These dirty, flea-bitten dregs of society found themselves in the presence of a mighty host of angels. Imagine their surprise when they discovered they would be the first among men to bear witness to the coming of the Messiah.

Wise men from the east saw a star in the sky that signified a spectacular event had taken place. Traveling from far away, they set out seeking the one true King. They brought their best gifts to give to a Savior they had not yet encountered.

In Honor of Lottie

She sailed across the sea
To a land so far away.
She left behind her expected life,
When she heard what God had to say.

God placed a call on the heart
Of a woman named Lottie Moon.
She gave her answer faithfully,
And would arrive in China soon.

She made her new home
Among the people there.
They didn't trust her at first,
But she always showed them care.

She learned the language of the people,
And dressed like those around her.
She baked her cookies happily,
And drew people in closer.

At last, they trusted Lottie—
She was finally able to share
About the love of Jesus Christ
And His sacrifice laid bare.

Lottie dearly loved these people
With all her heart and hand.
But she knew she couldn't do alone
Everything God had planned.

So she sought out help for God's work
From her Christian brothers and sisters.
She wrote letter after letter after letter after letter
To all the misses and misters.

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