Annie Armstrong Easter Offering

Four Ways Kids Can Make a Difference

Kids continually surprise us with their care and compassion for others. As their missions leader, how are you fostering that compassion during your time with them each week? Believe it or not, participating in a good old-fashioned fundraiser is a great way to begin! The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering collects funds for missions work right here in North America. You and your kids have a chance to directly impact the same ministries they read about each week. Not sure where to begin? Here are 4 ways your kids can make a difference:

All Things Big and Small

When I think of missions, my first thought is a big trip taken overseas. I think of going to Africa or Asia, eating strange new foods, forging new relationships and working hard, and meeting the needs of people who have never heard of Jesus.

Then I look around me and realize there are people right outside my front door who have never heard of Jesus. I realize that anywhere I am is a missions field if I’ll just let God use me as a missionary.

It’s hard to remember that we are called to be missionaries as soon as we accept Jesus into our hearts. It’s hard to be intentional about sharing His love with others as we go about our sometimes mundane day-to-day tasks.

We don’t have to pack a giant backpack and head to Africa in order to be missionaries. In fact, there are over 269 million lost people in North America, so we need to consider taking off our giant backpacks and reaching out to our many neighbors who are lost.

Pique Their Interest

Church members’ interest is piqued when they can support something (or someone) they can personally relate to. Capitalizing on this thought, to promote our AAEO (Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®), we’ll focus on two NAMB missionary families from our home state.

Both families send out monthly blogs, so we’ll present material and photos on Sunday mornings during April. Adults, youth and kids will portray the MKs, briefly describing aspects of their ministry. Colorful displays around the church campus will show pictures and details of things the offering facilitates.

During a Wednesday night supper, one missionary family will Skype with us, sharing an update, answering questions, and giving us current prayer needs. Sunday bulletins will include the NAMB prayer guides, an AAEO fact sheet (https://www.anniearmstrong.com/about), and envelopes.


By Ann Maniscalco

 

 

 


 

Day 8 - Together for the Kingdom

Day 8 Week of Prayer

When Philip preached in Samaria, crowds of people saw God’s power and believed in Jesus. Lives were changed because Philip was obedient. Later in Acts 8, Philip had a divine encounter with an Ethiopian eunuch and another life was changed because of Philip’s obedience to God’s call to go.

Like millions of people across North America, the eunuch had knowledge of the Scripture but no understanding. When Philip explained the good news of Jesus, the eunuch believed and was baptized. He returned to his homeland full of joy, the bearer of a life-changing message.

Imagine what will happen when Southern Baptists across North America—everyday people like you and me—obey the call to pray, give, and go. When we work together and embrace the missionary call to bear that same life-changing message of the gospel to communities and cities across North America, lives are changed and joy results.

Day 7 - Dan and Amanda Coleman

Day 7 Week of Prayers

Augusta, Maine

At community events in Augusta, Maine, the green shirts of Kennebec Community Church draw attention, exactly the reaction Dan and Amanda Coleman want.

“When someone sees the green shirt, they know it is us,” said Amanda. “They see us out there loving on people and taking our mission seriously.”

In their role as North American Mission Board church-planting catalysts, the Colemans have helped their congregation grow from 70 members to more than 900 by establishing a presence in the community and consistently showing up to meet needs. People sometimes refer to Kennebec as “the church who is always doing free stuff for kids,” but the result of that outreach is a thriving ministry to families with children and teens.

Reaching the lost in Maine is not an easy task. In national surveys, Maine consistently ranks as one of the least religious states in the United States. Few people in the state grew up attending church and most have no knowledge of the gospel or Jesus, Amanda said. In Augusta, that sad statistic is changing one family at a time.

Day 6 - Kelly and Brandi Parrish

Day 6 Week of Prayer

Fort Collins, Colorado

The beauty of the Rocky Mountains inspires awe and reverence, but few in northern Colorado know the Creator responsible for the majesty. Church planters Kelly and Brandi Parrish hope to introduce them.

“People in Colorado are highly connected to nature, but they don’t know Jesus,” said Kelly, who pastors Living Rock Church in Fort Collins, located about an hour north of Denver. Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins is the fourth fastest-  growing community in Colorado. The tech industry draws workers from all over the United States and Asia. The people are highly educated, well off financially, and very independent.

“Tolerance is big,” said Kelly. “The mind-set is ‘You believe what you want to believe; I’ll believe what I want to believe.’ Rarely will people bring up God.”

Jacob and Jessica Dahl

Week of Prayer Day 5

Ellensburg, Washington

When they encounter college students who are cynical about church, North American Mission Board church planters Jacob and Jessica Dahl are not surprised. In fact, they see themselves in those students.

Jessica spent her first two years of college at Washington State University (WSU) believing a career in journalism was her future. An engineering major, Jacob was just as determined to pursue financial and career success. Both surrendered to the Lord during their college years and found authentic Christian community at Resonate Church, a gathering that launched in 2007 with the goal of reaching college students for Christ.

The Dahls met in 2009, graduated soon after, and joined Resonate Church as interns. Both had the idea that God could have a year or two of their lives before they entered the professional world.

“Neither of us saw this as long term,” Jessica said. “We were still telling God, ‘You can have some of our lives, but not all of it.’ ”

Kim and Ron Carr

Week of Prayer Day 4

Jacksonville, Florida

The large refugee population of Jacksonville, Florida, creates a high demand for English as a second language (ESL) programs. The International Learning Center (ILC) led by NAMB Send Relief–ILC national director Kim Carr meets that need daily by investing in the lives of those displaced from their home countries by poverty, war, and persecution.

Carr and her husband, Ron, founded the ministry in 2000, and they officially opened the ILC in 2003. Since then, they have enrolled over 5000 ESL learners representing 108 countries. Often, ILC students have worked as professionals in their home countries yet find few job opportunities in the United States. To help this situation, ILC programs focus on English language acquisition, reading, workplace skills, citizenship classes, and youth tutoring. The ILC’s focus on family is important.

Garth and Patty Leno

Week of Prayer Day 3

Windsor, Ontario

We Love Windsor is an annual three-day event in Windsor, Ontario. Last year, members of The Gathering stood near the warehouse where the church meets and distributed water and soft drinks at one of the busiest intersections in the city. The simple act of kindness is just one of the ways Garth and Patty Leno, church planters with the North American Mission Board, and their church, The Gathering Windsor, seek to engage the largely unchurched population of Ontario’s 10th largest city.

“We try to take advantage of existing opportunities and create some of our own,” said Garth Leno, pastor of The Gathering Windsor. “Every chance we get, we throw a party.”

The Gathering’s first birthday barbecue in May 2015 was an especially popular event, drawing a packed house of 350 people. The celebration included testimonies, baptisms, and afterward, carnival games and food. The first birthday party was so successful, the church did it again in 2016 and attracted an even larger crowd.

James and Natarsha Roberson

Week of Prayer - Day 2

Brooklyn, New York

The Bridge Church in Brooklyn, New York, has incredible diversity and creative talent, which means every day brings new challenges for NAMB church planters James and Natarsha Roberson.

“In this city, people have all types of belief and all types of lifestyles,” said James, pastor of The Bridge Church. “The goal can’t be to just gather a bunch of people who are going to come on Sunday and be in the building. We had to embrace that some will take 7–10 years to come to faith.”

The city presents an interesting ministry environment, and The Bridge Church reflects that. About 75 percent of the church’s 125 or so attendees are single adults in their mid-20s, a comfortable demographic for James, whose background includes many years in college ministry. Most are natives of Brooklyn but grandchildren of immigrants, so ethnically they identify closely with Caribbean, Latino, and Anglo communities that came to America with a strong faith foundation. The problem is that many of their grandparents’ churches worship in their native language rather than English.

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