Mission Friends

Project HELP: PTSD—How to Use with Preschoolers

Project HELP logo

As WMU focuses on Project HELP: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), all ages in the church are encouraged to be involved in this critical issue. You may be wondering, How can I focus on this critical issue with preschoolers?

Following are recommendations about using Project HELP: PTSD with preschoolers.

Hints for Preschool Teachers

How to Grab Preschooler’s Attention—Introductory Activities

Introductory Activity

Getting preschoolers’ attention is no easy task! Keeping it is even harder. Preschoolers don’t always understand that you have to pause and listen when someone’s talking, or that it’s considered bad manners to talk and play while someone is speaking. They haven’t yet learned how to delay self-gratification! So, when you’re beginning your introduction to Group Time, it’s important to do something that will grab and keep your little ones’ attention! Here are some examples:

A New Year in Mission Friends

to-do list

Here is a To Do list for the beginning of the new church year in Mission Friends.

Caring for Families

Caring for families

As you teach preschoolers, you are in a unique position of showing care to families who have a child with special needs. You may have preschoolers with special needs in your class, and that gives you the opportunity to come to know the parents and the needs within the family. What are some ways that you can minister to a family with a special needs child?

By All Means

By All Means

“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 NIV1).

“Camp is for the camper.” I heard that statement many times from our GA/Acteens camp director, Ruth Bagwell, as I served as a camp counselor while a college student. When she said this, the camp counselors knew she meant that camp was not about us, but was about those girls who were coming to experience camp. As a camp counselor, that might mean getting up early when the girls in your cabin voted on a breakfast cookout, being in a silly skit to make the girls laugh, or sharing your testimony in front of a group of campers. It meant that we sometimes had to get out of our comfort zone to do things that would most benefit the campers.

Recycling Resources

reusing materials

Do you subscribe to the Mission Friends Leader Kit and Mission Friends Leader Picture Set or the Mission Friends Resource Kit and Pictures? Have you ever thought about recycling these resources after you have finished teaching each unit?

Picture set pictures could become puzzles in a unit about a similar ministry or missions area. Resource kit items, especially books, posters, stand-up figures, and teaching pictures are adaptable to other units. And, both provide pictures that could be cut out for use in activities calling for magazine pictures.

So, grab some boxes, folders, envelopes, or ziplock plastic bags, and pieces of poster board for dividers. Try these suggestions for categories to file the pictures and kit items so that you can easily find and reuse them:

Group Picture Set pictures by categories such as:

An Update from Josh Lenon:

Lenon family

The past year has been a crazy one for Red Door. We have experienced a lot of joy in seeing the gospel take hold of our lives: believers beginning to share their faith, new believers being baptized, and growing as a church as a church both in numbers and in passion. We have also experienced a lot of loss. Recently one of our core leaders who has been with Red Door since the beginning, and who was working with us in the new plant, was tragically killed in an auto accident. He left behind an awesome wife and three awesome kiddos (7, 3, and 1). This tragedy has rocked our church pretty hard and we have grieved in many ways. But we have grieved as those with hope! (1 Thess. 4).

Thank You!

Christmas in August

Does Christmas in August® make a difference? According to Arlene Miller of Impact Ministry in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, your Christmas in August gifts last year made an eternal difference in the lives of many people:

“Thank you for allowing Impact Ministry to be included on the Mission Friends (Christmas in August) list of ministries to get donations. It has been such a blessing to get boxes and letters. Many of the boxes contained pictures and items that the children had made. Most of them had a note saying they had prayed for us . . . We know that the prayers of all of those collecting and packing the boxes were heard and His Holy Spirit touched hearts and people were saved. Several people gave their heart to Jesus these past few months as they met with our spiritual counselors the day they came for assistance. . . .

It was one day that I had opened a box of Christmas in August gifts and read the note that they prayed for us as they packed the box, that I realized this is why we are seeing more people saved. More people are praying . . . What an awesome God!!!!!”

All for You

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34 NIV1).

Debbie Akerman closes her book Secrets to Surrender with these words: "We each have only one life to offer Jesus our Lord and King. What will our final words be at the close of our life? Will they reflect a life surrendered completely to Jesus? Will our final words be of the joy of giving our all as a living sacrifice? Will they be an encouragement to others to serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind until Jesus returns? Will they reveal an all-for-You life?"

Helping Preschoolers with Fear

comforting fearful child

Sometimes I am afraid. How many times have you heard preschoolers express fears? It may be about something that seems small: “I am afraid to climb to the top of the slide,” or “I am afraid of spiders.” Other times it may be about something big: “I am afraid when Mommy and Daddy yell” or “Mommy died. What if Daddy dies, too?” How can we help our preschoolers move beyond fear and stress and help them learn to live in joy and peace?

At a recent conference, I was intrigued by the thoughts of a panel of experts who spoke about helping children develop resilience by teaching them to move from a place of fear to a place of calm. As one speaker shared that children innately know that we are not created to hold to thoughts that keep us locked in a place of bitterness and fear, I thought of Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (ESV1).

Use the following suggestions to help ease your preschoolers’ fears and stress:

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