Mission Friends

Kindness

Learning to share

It seems like our world could use a little more kindness. When I see what is happening in the news around the world, it is easy for me to become overwhelmed and think, What can I do? I’m only one person. And then I remember—I teach preschoolers in Mission Friends! One of the greatest things I can do is teach my preschoolers to love God and love others. We show that we love others by being kind to others. Here are some things I want to say about kindness.

As preschool teachers, it is up to us to intervene when we observe a preschooler who exhibits unkind behavior toward others, physically or verbally. We can no longer just let it go. We must use those times as teachable moments to help preschoolers express frustration in a better way and learn problem-solving skills. It may seem minor to us when a preschooler pushes another to be first in line or takes a toy away from another. If we do not intervene though, the child begins to learn that those negative behaviors help me to get what I want. We must step in whenever a preschooler is unkind to others.

Ministering to the Medical Community

Getting ready to share cupcakes

Christine Andrews* serves as a nurse at a refugee camp in the Middle East. There, she offers hope and healing to hurting people. Those in the medical profession pour out their lives for people who are sick and in pain. While this is their calling, don't you imagine that they would appreciate an act of kindness or word of encouragement for the good work they are doing in their communities?

What can your church do to minister to those who minister so selflessly to others? Use these suggestions as a springboard for going on mission to your local medical community:

Go Outside!

Go outside!

What would it be like to have Mission Friends outside? During the summer is a great time to include an outdoor element with your Mission Friends group.

All for You—Surrender, Sacrifice, Serve

Follow Me

In the world of social media you can like, comment, share, repin, or retweet the people whom you follow. To follow someone takes on a whole new meaning in social media. When you follow a person or become a friend, it means you keep up with that person. Their posts come into your newsfeed, and you can see what the person has been up to. Sometimes it is mundane day-to-day happenings, such as a photo of a plate of their food at a restaurant. Other times you learn exciting news about the person you follow, like where they are on vacation or the arrival of a new baby.

Exploring Project-Based Learning

missions explorers

“Why . . . ?” “How . . . ?” “Show me . . .” Preschoolers are natural explorers. Capitalize on your preschoolers’ natural excitement and tenacious curiosity about all things new by planning a project learning experience. Use the following tips to enjoy the project approach with your preschoolers:

Reflections from WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting

Native Praise

Blessed. That is how I feel after attending the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting last week. There are many moments that I want to remember such as Wanda Lee’s last address at a WMU Annual Meeting as our executive director. Moments such as the special prayertime for missionaries, many of whom had taken the early retirement package from the International Mission Board. Seeing the Native Praise choir in their colorful dresses and hearing them sing and pray in their Native American languages. Hearing a child sing in her clear voice, “Here I Am, Lord.” Such special moments in which I was blessed to experience.

Even more than those moments, I want to remember the people who touched my life. There are too many to list, so here are a few snapshots of moments with several people.

Significance

I listened as a colleague in the early childhood field passionately talked about the impact we make as we work with preschoolers. I attended a meeting of persons within our community who work in various agencies that serve preschoolers. This friend gave the example of one child her agency had helped, and how their influence on the preschooler opened doors to serve the whole family as they were able to help the mother locate literacy classes to learn to read. With tears in her eyes, my friend stated that when you work with a preschooler, the impact you make is significant.

Follow Him

Follow Him

Do you remember playing the game “follow the leader”? Perhaps you still play the game with your  Mission Friends. To play the game, you have to imitate every move that the leader makes. This means that in order to stay in the game, you have to keep your eyes on the leader and observe her actions very carefully.

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).

Jesus said that in order to be his disciples, we are to follow Him. To follow Him, we must keep our eyes on Him and carefully observe His actions and His attitudes and His words. While we cannot physically see Jesus with our eyes, the Bible gives us a beautiful record of His life and His instructions to us.

Co-Teach and Multiply

Plan together

As spring winds down and summer rolls in, I always begin thinking about our upcoming year in Mission Friends. Who will my new preschoolers be this fall? How much will they already know about missionaries? Will we need to start at the very beginning? Will they know how to interact with one another? What behavior issues will we face? And . . . WHO is going to help me teach?

For many years, I taught solo. We are learning, however, that bringing in co-teachers is a wonderful way to multiply your organizations. Pairing novice teachers with veteran teachers gives the novice an opportunity to observe and learn tried-and-true methods. It gives veteran teachers the opportunity to learn new methods. And, it gives your church a proven training method for developing new leaders.

So how does co-teaching work? Communication is key as you:

Best Planning Tip

Planning with Plan Sheet

For the final assignment in the Develop course Leading Mission Friends, the participants are to reflect on what they will do with what they have learned from the course. In their responses, a few of the leaders have mentioned that they will use the Mission Friends Plan Sheet. One leader wrote, “I will use the planning sheet to map out each month’s Mission Friends sessions. This provides a better layout than the monthly notes I have been using.”

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