Girls in Action Blog

Summer Isn't for Boredom!

“I’m bored!”

“Me too.”

“There’s nothing to do around here!”

Ever hear your children say something like that? Especially during the summer? After school ends and before summer camp takes place?

Most parents have heard their children or the children in their missions organizations complain about being bored during the summer.

Here are a few ways to get your boys and girls up and moving and serving others during the lazy days of summer:

Teaching Kids about Pure Water, Pure Love

Water is kind of a big deal. Having clean water is an even bigger deal. Access to clean water can be a real challenge in some parts of the world. This is where Pure Water, Pure Love comes in. You may not know much about Pure Water, Pure Love or the ways it eases the challenges of obtaining clean drinking water; but don’t worry—I’m about to tell you all about it!

Pure Water, Pure Love is a pretty incredible ministry of WMU. It provides missionaries with water filters and the people they serve with wells that offer clean drinking water—free from disease-causing microorganisms. Pure Water, Pure Love provides thousands of filters to missionary families and helps to fund clean water projects through grants. This ministry is a very tangible way to provide for the physical needs of our missionaries and the people they minister to.

So now that you know more about Pure Water, Pure Love, how can you teach your kids about it?

Taking your kids to the next level

Here’s a tough question: How much are the kids you teach each week learning about missions? Unlike public education, in the missions classroom, we don’t have a series of tests we administer to determine how much children are learning. As a leader, you must rely on your knowledge of the kids in your group. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you ensure your children are learning as much as possible in your missions classroom:

Connect the Dots: Share the Benefits of Missions Education with Others Around You

As a kid, I loved connect the dots puzzles. Most of the time, I could easily see the hidden picture long before the dots were connected. Occasionally, however, the completed picture eluded me until I was almost done with the puzzle. With missions education, we often don’t see the finished product for years, if at all. Remember that child you taught years ago? He’s now a missionary in Asia. Remember that missions offering your church collected for world hunger? A family of six was able to survive until their crops were harvested. Only God can see the big picture of your church’s missions involvement, and it’s up to us to continue connecting the dots. The WMU Growth Plan gives us an easy way to do this.

D: Discover new members. In your church, you can easily find people of all ages who are not currently involved in missions organizations. Make sure parents know the details of your missions organizations and personally invite them to bring their children. Encourage participation in missions education for all age groups.

When the Church Gets It Right

Wheels of the World

Have you ever felt burdened by the woes of the church? I know I have. It seems like every morning there’s some new scandal or financial indiscretion plastered all over the daily news. Sometimes the weight of it all gets a little hard to handle. That’s why stories of encouragement, like the one I’m about to share with you, are so important to tell!

Pen Pal Badge

Electronic forms of communication such as email, text messaging, FaceTime, and Skype have greatly diminished traditional means of communication. Letters are becoming rare. However, for the person receiving such a treasure, the response is still the same—joy!

Providing the opportunity for Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and Children in Action to earn a Pen Pal badge is a valuable learning experience that also has many blessings and benefits for both the receivers and senders of letters. Writing letters helps children develop writing skills, learn how to express kindness and compassion with words, and share with another person interesting information about themselves, which can boost confidence and self-esteem. Letters from a pen pal help a child learn about the life of another person, understand how they are similar and different, and appreciate how another person lives in another part of the state or around the world.

Here are three ideas for planning a pen pal project:

Write to senior adults within your church or community.

Salt Dough Recipe

Who doesn’t need to know how to make salt dough for an upcoming craft project?

Here’s a quick recipe to make your own salt dough to use in class and various other art projects!

What you need:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup salt
• 1 cup cold water
• food coloring (optional)
• large bowl
• mixing spoon

What you do:

1. Combine the salt and flour. Mix well.

2. Gradually add a 1/2-cup of water and mix well.

3. Knead the dough on a counter or table. Add a few drops of water as needed, but be careful not to make it too sticky.

4. Add food coloring, if desired.

5. Put the dough in a sealed container until you are ready to use it.

Mission Complete: Time to Celebrate

Ah, May! Welcome to the busiest month of the year! If you look at my family calendar this month, you will have to channel your inner sleuth to crack the code. Every single white block is filled with colorful reminders to help me juggle multiple kids’ activities—recitals, concerts, sporting events, open houses, banquets, parties, and exams. The list goes on and on, but, whew, you get the gist. I say it every year—May is even busier than December!

Even with the end-of-the year hustle and bustle, it's a great time to recognize the boys and girls in your missions organizations for their accomplishments this past year. How did they complete the Mission: My Life special assignment? Did kids participate in Children’s Ministry Day or the International Mission Study? Did they raise awareness and collect funds for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering? Did they participate in an individual achievement plan like GA Journey, RA Trek, or Missions Expedition? If so, celebrate their missions involvement and give them the recognition they deserve!

Jump-start your planning with one of these fun ideas:

Are We Spending Too Much?

Imagine this conversation between a pastor and a WMU director:

Pastor: “You know, I’ve been thinking about our missions education program. I’m concerned that we spend too much money on curriculum and missions products.”

WMU Director: “Pastor, I’m with you! We all want to protect God’s money that is given to the church. And, as the WMU director, I constantly watch how much we much spend and why we spend it. Our leadership team regularly evaluates our missions education budget and we try to squeeze as much out of it as possible.”

Pastor: “Have you considered dropping WMU materials and going with another missions education program? There must be a lot of them out there.”

CA: On the Grow!

I recently traveled to Seattle, Washington, for the Northwest Baptist Convention’s CM52 conferences. I led a series of conferences about kids’ missions discipleship and spent time hearing about children’s ministry work in the Pacific Northwest. While I loved every bit of my time there, a certain pastor will stick out in my mind for quite some time.

I never thought to ask him why a pastor was at a children’s ministry conference. I suppose that he was there to support his children’s workers who came to the conference. But when he found out that I work for national WMU and was there to talk about Children in Action, he and I became fast friends.

I heard stories about what the CA leader at his church is doing each week with children. And I got to meet her in person. The pastor’s excitement for missions discipleship was more than obvious—it was contagious! The CA leader was eager to share her work with me, and I was excited to walk away with a few new ideas.

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