A massive boat sailing into port. An airplane flying high above the clouds. A suitcase packed with personal belongings. All of these things are fascinating to preschoolers—and each of them can be used to open discussions about the world and the people in it who need Jesus. There are many fun and creative ways to involve preschoolers in the International Missions Emphasis, both at home and at church.
- Read stories about international missionaries. All About Lottie Moon**, for example, tells the story of Lottie Moon, a missionary to China. Young readers may recognize her name from hearing people talk about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Check your church library for other picture books about missionaries. Snuggle together and explore international locations as you read of workers who tell people about Jesus.
- Enjoy learning activities and a story about the December special workers, Aaron and Sophia Robertson*. Download the free International Mission Study for Preschoolers. This study can be used for a classroom of preschoolers, your preschool-aged child, or the entire family. Learn more about Mexico City as you celebrate missions together.
- Adopt a missionary family serving overseas. If you personally know a missionary, contact her by email and ask for specific needs and prayer requests. Or ask your missions leader to suggest a missionary. Write letters, draw pictures, or send a care package. Packages from home are an encouragement to people serving far away. Go shopping with your child, package the items, pray for the missionary, and mail the package together.
- Food is a fun way to learn about an international location. Choose a dish from a specific place, such as tacos from Mexico City. Prepare the food together and taste flavors missionaries eat in the places they serve.
- Praying for missionaries is a great way to involve preschoolers in international missions. Ask your child’s teacher for a copy of the Mission Friends Leader December “Mission Friends at Home.” Read about the featured missionaries. Pray together for the listed prayer requests. God will bless your prayers and grow love for others in your child’s heart.
- Search online for songs in a specific language to hear the language missionaries must learn before they can communicate with the people they serve. “Jesus Loves Me” is a great title to search for in other languages. Try singing along with the singers! Pray for missionaries as they speak in new languages to tell others about Jesus.
- Make a bank or use a Missions Bank** to collect an offering for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Talk about how Southern Baptist churches all over the world give an offering together to help international missionaries. Let your child give the offering to your church. Discuss how the offering will help missionaries tell people about Jesus.
As you can see, there are many ways to involve preschoolers in the international missions emphasis. Little ones with a heart for the world grow to be big people with hearts for the world. We are blessed that God allows us the joy of helping mold these young hearts for the furthering of His Kingdom.
**Borrow from your child’s Mission Friends classroom or visit wmu.com/preschool.
Written by Marsha Butler