Mission Friends

Meet Angie Quantrell!

Angie and her grandchildren

I like to tell people we live in a horse pasture. This is technically true. But the horses have moved on and we don’t share space with any large farm animals, just cats, birds, bugs, and the occasional skunk. My husband, Kevin, and I sold our home last summer and moved into an RV trailer. Our son and daughter-in-law graciously invited us to park in their pasture. RV living is an adventure. We are learning so many new things! We plan to live in the RV for a few years while we research and build a small home. Until then, RV life it is.

Extending the Story: Let’s Learn About . . .

Let's Learn About . . .

Get more out of the preschool missions storybooks in your Mission Friends® classroom by extending the stories with activities related to the books. This month we’ll share a few ways to extend the story for the book Let’s Learn About . . . by Angie Quantrell. Read the story to your Mission Friends class, and then follow up with these activities.

From Loneliness to Love

Kerns Family

In 2013, Travis Kerns’s love for Utah and yearning to help the lost hit its peak. Travis says, “While in a college class, we studied Mormonism and I began to fall in love with the Mormon people and have a heart for them to hear about the saving grace of the Jesus of The Bible.” Time passed, and Travis and his wife, Staci, felt convicted of some of their idols in life—family and comfort. Travis shares, “We had no idea where or even what type of work we would be doing; we just knew it was time to go.”

In the months following, through seeking God’s direction for their move, Travis received a call from The North American Mission board inquiring his interest in moving to Utah to become a SEND City Missionary. Travis, Staci, and their son, Jeremiah, knew that God had a plan and wholeheartedly committed to what lie ahead.

Leading Multiple Ages

I walked about the preschool space holding a 6-month-old in my arms, and doing the activities with a 2-year-old. My co-teacher did an activity with the 2-year-old using chenille stems while the 6-month-old and I carried on conversation about what they were doing. At another time during the session, I had to pay more attention to the needs of the 6-month-old. During that time, the 2-year-old worked quietly with a puzzle.

This may be a familiar scenario if you work with multiple ages in one Mission Friends® class. Many smaller churches have one preschool class with all ages combined. Even if there is a class for younger and older preschoolers, there might be multiple ages within those broad age ranges. Blended age groups can sometimes be a challenge, but it can be done!

Organizing for Mission Friends

Organizing for Mission Friends

 

Do you want a tool that will help make your planning for Mission Friends® easier? The Mission Friends Plan Sheet is your tool! Using the plan sheet helps you to plan the whole month at one time, and cuts down on the amount of time you have to spend in weekly planning.

Understanding Preschoolers with Special Needs

Autism image

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability identified in about 1 in 68 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 Autism can be diagnosed in preschoolers as early as age 2, and many parents notice developmental delays in their child during the first year. As a preschool teacher at church, you may have a time when you teach a preschooler who has autism. What are some ways of teaching and caring for a preschooler with autism?

  • Begin by including the preschooler and his or her parents in your prayers. Pray for God to guide you as you become a part of this preschooler’s life through church activities.

  • Stay connected with the preschooler’s parents. Ask the parents what skills they are working on at home and how you can include these as you care for the preschooler at church. Communicate with the parents often.

Building Resilience within Preschoolers

Resilience

“Get up, brush off, and run on,” a teacher says to a preschooler who falls on the playground as she helps him brush the leaves off his knees. This may be an example that comes to mind when we think of a preschooler’s resilience. What helps them bounce back after something bad happens? From a fall on the playground, they might have a scraped knee where we can see they are physically hurt. How can we help preschoolers to build resilience when they experience emotional trauma or stress?

Start Something New

Preschool classroom

Think about having Mission Friends® in a new way! Does your church have a day care center, part-day preschool weekday program, or Mom’s Morning Out? Mission Friends is excellent in these settings, also. This is a way to connect preschoolers and missions learning in new ways. Talk with the director and teachers of the program. Show them the materials and resources for Mission Friends. Brainstorm together about ways to incorporate missions discipleship into their curriculum plans. The options below will give you some ideas for missions learning within a church weekday child care setting.

Developing a Heart for Missions

Jason and baby

We are thrilled to share the following devotion from Jason Hyche, one of the preschoolers in Robin McCall’s first Mission Friends® class. We pray that as you read Jason’s words, you will see that by teaching preschoolers today, you are touching the future.

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means, I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings”
(1 Cor. 9:22–23).

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