Adults

The Failed Lemonade Stand

I was the kind of kid who would do anything to make money. Whether it was washing the car or watching my little brother, I jumped at the chance to make an extra dollar.

In the summer after fifth grade, I decided that I wanted to set up a lemonade stand at our neighborhood pool. My parents said that was fine, but I would have to pay for the supplies.

After recruiting my brother as a co-investor, Mom took me to the grocery store where I learned that investing in a lemonade stand wasn’t cheap. After getting cups, lemonade mix, ice, and a cooler, I realized that I needed to sell a lot of lemonade to make a profit.

As the day went on, I grew more and more disappointed with my results. Even though I sold a few cups of lemonade, I was still in the hole. Worse yet, my business partner/brother had abandoned me to play in the pool. “Does he have to cover more of our debt if I ended up doing all the work?” I asked my mom.

Looking back, I can see that working that lemonade stand taught me a lot about earning money. While I felt like a failure in the moment, I now realize that the situation was a great lesson.

Called to Action

I love being active. I love playing sports and games, exploring new neighborhoods, and doing hands-on projects that show others love and compassion. This call to action is apparent in our Christian life in many ways. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to sit tight and watch the work of the Lord. We are called to take up our cross and follow the Lord—through action. This is great news! We get to be an active part of God’s plan for His people.

For many years, I’ve been active in missions, taking trips to places like Thailand, Haiti, and even Iowa, but God has more often and with more impact called me to action in the places I have lived. There is nothing like the joy of seeing a friend or neighbor come to know Christ. There is greater love shared through continuous relationship with those hurting around us.

Not-So-Nice People

I’m not sure how it fell on the ears or landed in the hearts of the disciples when Jesus called them to deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow Him (Mark 8:34), but for me, it painted images of beautiful sacrifice.

I’m talking about teaching Bible stories under a scrubby tree in sub-Saharan Africa, climbing rocky hillsides to take the gospel to an unreached people group tucked in high-elevation villages, eating raw fish to take one for the team (the missions team, of course), or studying long hours over complicated Bible passages. These are the self-denying, cross-bearing activities I was ready to embrace. But when a selfish, whiny, paranoid woman wandered into my life and God told me to deny myself and love her unconditionally, well . . . it knocked me for a loop.

Don’t get caught up in the larger-than-life, grandiose ideas of what sacrificial living has to look like for a believer. It can be all those things, but it can also mean sitting at the bedside of an aging parent or learning to love a difficult person who has never known Christ’s love. Look far away and then look close to home: how is God calling you to deny yourself?

Hmong WMU

Hmong WMU

Celebrating the Heart of Missions

As the Minnesota-Wisconsin Hmong WMU prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our May Retreat, we want to focus on the heart of missions.

As a Hmong woman, I am so grateful for the great love of my heavenly Father who reached out to every corner of the earth to bring His children to a relationship with Him. Missions is at the very heart of God. God loves His creation so much that He would sacrifice His only Son to bring His children back home.

The Hmong people are scattered throughout Asia because they have no country of their own. They are called the mountain people because they live very high on the mountains. They are superstitious, uneducated, and very hard to reach. They worship and sacrifice to demons to appease them, so that no harm will come to their family. God’s love was able to reach the mountain people through His faithful missionaries. Their hearts were opened to the gospel and they were set free from the chains of the evil one. Many Hmong became believers because of the love for the heart of missions.

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Simple Love Goes a Long Way

Three weeks after I moved into my new apartment, I met Kana. Kana and her daughter had just moved in across the hall. The immigrant single mom had recently lost her job and didn’t have much outside support.

After a couple of “hellos” in passing, Kana and I ran into each other one day as she was looking for a job. We had a long conversation about her recent hardships and how discouraged she was; she also expressed deep gratitude for her new home and how she hoped this was a starting point for her and her little girl. As I stood and listened, I realized how much she needed the love and support of a family. I told her about my church and how much it means to me to have a church family to support me when things are hard.

Prayer Quilt Ministry

Following are more best practices that the women of First Baptist Church in Cherryville, North Carolina, shared with us, in addition to those featured in the March 2011 Missions Mosaic article, "Covered in Prayer."

 

Structure

This ministry can easily be structured to meet at two different times of the day to accommodate anyone wanting to attend. First Baptist Church in Cherryville, North Carolina (where this project originated) chose to have their meetings on Tuesdays. In the morning session, mostly retired women attended and then in the evening, they generally drew in women who worked during the day. They shared that some women came to both sessions. 

 

Mats for the Homeless

Help the homeless in your area

See a step-by-step video and print instructions for creating lightweight and easily mobile plastic bag mats for the homeless.

Printable PDF instructions (one page, with photos)

Printable PDF instructions in Spanish


Instructional Video on YouTube (five minutes)

Featured in the September 2012 Missions Mosaic.

Hemming Children in Prayer

Dust off that sewing machine and find your pins and scissors. Use your sewing skills to weave God into the lives of children around the world.

Mary Beth Turberville, a school nurse, returned to her home in Phenix City, Alabama, with a renewed heart for ministry after a Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International trip to Nicaragua. The Lord put a vision in her head and a deep passion in her heart to share Christ through a children’s clothing ministry.
 
Turberville explains, “Missions has always been a part of my life, but in the past if I had time, I was willing to serve. Now I serve the Lord first; then if there is time left, I might do what I want. Life is not about me, but about God and what I can do for others.” With this heart change, she began to use the sewing skills she had always possessed to minister to children in other countries.

 
Sewing Seeds

Here’s how:
1. Set a date and location for a sewing bonanza. Invite women of all ages—from girls to grandmas. Bring your non-believing friends to this non-threatening event.
 
2. Organize and collect your supplies.

Backpacks for Human Trafficking Victims

Download a printable pdf with instructions for making backpacks that will promote awareness for human trafficking victims.

Printable PDF instructions (Two Pages)

Project mentioned in the February 2013 Missions Mosaic

All Dolled Up . . . Dolls on Mission

Finished dolls

The Dolls on Mission (DOM) feature was such a hit with groups all around the country! Here is all you need to know to start and finish this unique mission project.


Build-A-Doll Workshops
Instructions
Helpful Tips
Patterns
MORE: Salvation Necklaces
MORE: Backstory of Dolls on Mission


Finished Product Photos:

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