Traditionally, the gift for the 25th anniversary is silver, 30th anniversary is gold, and 60th anniversary is diamonds. For the WMU 125th Anniversary, the celebration is with cake! May 14 marked the beginning of the 125th Anniversary year for national WMU®, and it seems like each anniversary celebration involved cake or cupcakes. A few state WMU offices hosted 125th Anniversary parties this week, and photos of the events have shown 125th Anniversary cakes and people eating the cakes. National WMU had a celebration for our staff, complete with cupcakes and ice cream.
How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? Did your church recognize mothers? Some churches recognized all of the children who were in attendance. Our minister of music organized a mother and child choir to lead us in worship. Some families even had 3 generations in the choir as several grandmothers joined the celebration. The palpable love in this special choir was breathtakingly beautiful.
What a difference a few months makes! At the beginning of this church year, all of the preschoolers in our group were new to Mission Friends®. I remember the first week when I realized none of them knew what the word missionary means. The preschoolers looked at me blankly when I talked about the missionary. I realized we needed to do a lot of explaining about missionaries and how they tell other people about Jesus.
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in disaster relief training sponsored by the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. While learning how to facilitate temporary child care in the wake of a disaster, I began to think about the unique position that the Lord has given child-care workers within the church. While teaching preschoolers about missions is our first goal, our position encompasses much more. As a Mission Friends® leader, you are given the opportunity to minister to young families holistically. You are truly on the front line.
A missionary couple in Alaska was overwhelmed last summer and fall with supplies they received from children’s groups across the country. Were they featured in WMU® publications? Was it Christmas in August®? Good guesses, but the supplies actually came from Vacation Bible Schools! Missions in VBS? Yes!
Do you ever feel the need to drop everything, pick up your Bible, and just soak in God’s Word? One morning recently, as I was praying for our missionaries, I suddenly felt the need to pick up my Bible and read the account of Jesus’ birth. Every time I read Luke 2, God’s perfect plan fills me with awe. The description of the shepherds in verse 20 is so moving: “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”
I have recently led several conference sessions on Project HELPSM: Human Exploitation for preschool and children’s leaders. In a way, these are easy conferences to teach because leaders appreciate anything I can give them about using these tough issues with preschoolers and children. The conferences are difficult to lead because the issues within human exploitation are not easy to confront. Most of the leaders choose to attend this conference topic because they want practical ideas for using the issues of human exploitation with ones so young. They want to know, “What can I do with the preschoolers in my church?”
He pushes against his mom and desperately fights her attempts to shove him over the threshold into your classroom. Do you have a Mission Friend who doesn’t want to be your friend? One who sits when he should stand, and stands when he should sit? Who talks incessantly in group time, yet refuses to speak during a game?
Is missions just a culture lesson? In Mission Friends® we teach many different aspects about cultures, but Mission Friends is so much more than simply a culture lesson for our preschoolers. Everything we teach should have the purpose of leading preschoolers to learn more about God’s desire for all people to know and worship Him.
While traveling to work last week, I listened to Alistair Begg teach about the importance of prayer. Pastor Begg asked a question that has continued to weigh on my heart, “Do you consider prayer a fundamental part of your life, or are you treating it as a supplemental part of your life?” While I consider prayer fundamental in my life, this question has made me wonder if I am teaching my Mission Friends® the value of our prayer ministry for missionaries. Am I emphasizing prayer during Mission Friends, or am I treating prayer as just another activity that we add into our class time?