WMU Blog

Get Plugged In

Arriving in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, NAMB church planter Jay Parks knew building relationships was vital to building New Life Church. When his son got involved in soccer, Jay attended practices and games, looking to “plug in where families already were,” he says. He soon began coaching, and after a year-and-a-half, he has met many families through it.

Jay and his wife April also committed to engage two families a week by inviting them to dinner, hosting over 100 families so far.

“This shifts a focus from just inviting them to church to simply trying to get to know them,” he affirms.

The soccer field and the Parks’ dinner table have brought many into the fledgling congregation. “Building relationships is so important when trying to reach people with the gospel,” Jay emphasizes.

(You can read more about the Parks’ story at www.newlifekona.com.)

 

By Ann Maniscalco

Make an Impact for the Kingdom

As a young professional, you’re probably working hard to make ends meet. (Maybe your ends meet just fine, but that hasn’t always been the case for me.) When you work hard to earn every penny, it probably means your two most valuable resources are time and money. You have to spend 40-ish hours a week at work, so the time you have left you want to spend relaxing, hanging out with friends and family, or participating in your favorite hobbies. These can all be good, God-glorifying things. Why the pressure to invest your precious moments in other people? Because people matter to God.

In Sorrow and in Joy

Easter offers open doors to share the message of hope found in Christ

The day before my daughter’s fourth birthday, we buried her two-year-old cousin. I watched my family try to cope at the funeral. When my brother carried the tiny casket from the church, I thought my heart would break in half. It is not right for parents and grandparents to bury children. From the words of the minister, I took comfort. He told us Oakley was in the presence of the Father. He reminded us of the pain Oakley endured every day of his life, and since his death, Oakley has been pain-free. I took strength from the words spoken by the minister at the funeral as he shared from the Bible. Those words of comfort sustained my family during a very difficult time.

Your CMD Stories (part 5)

Children's Ministry Day is a great way for children to show God's love to the world.

We’ve got more stories for you! Let’s hear what children from across the country did for this year’s Children’s Ministry Day to love their neighbors.

 

“Our kids baked, packaged, and delivered about 150 cookies to the residents at Harvest Manor nursing home in our home town. I was really proud to see that they took their time during the delivery—visiting with the residents and praying with them. More than once I peeked through a door to check on the kids and saw hands held and heads bowed.” (Take a look at the photo to the right to see the kids with their bags of cookies!)

—Brandy Tullos, for the children at Watson Baptist Church in Denham Springs, Louisiana

 

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:

Sowing the Seeds

Gina, Bob, and their children recently moved to a new city. To meet the neighbors and begin sowing seeds of kindness and the gospel message, they planned a “dessert on the driveway” event.

On eye-catching postcard-sized invitations, they introduced themselves and invited neighbors to drop by on a certain day and time to enjoy ice cream and cookies. Attaching a ribbon loop to each invitation, they dropped them off on the neighbors’ doorknobs early that week.

Setting up a few chairs and a table with refreshments, name tags, and balloons, Gina and Bob were delighted when a few neighbors stopped by. Children played together as the adults chatted. Soon a few more ventured over, and one neighbor volunteered to grill hot dogs the next weekend.

Friendships were formed. And doors were opened!

 

By Ann Maniscalco

 

 

 

 

Oh, Those Babies, Ones, and Twos! Part 2

Toddler

How would I describe a one-year-old? On the go! During this year one-year-olds literally take off with their newfound large muscle skills. We call them “toddlers” because of the way they bump and wobble around as they learn to step, walk, and then run. This is when they begin to climb too. They not only develop in the use of their legs, but their arms also. This is known as the “dump and fill” stage as they use their arm muscles to dump everything out of a container and then refill it. While this is a year to gain in large muscle development, ones also gain ground in their speech and vocabulary. Those ones are such fun, and we can help them use these new skills to learn about missions and Jesus’ love.

  • Use the Bible with ones by saying Bible thoughts as they turn the pages. Say a short statement about a picture in the Bible, such as “The four friends helped their friend to see Jesus.”

Three Ways We Invest Our Time as a Family

We moved from a South Asian city back to an American city. In South Asia, relationships trump tasks. You may begin to leave your house to run errands, but if a neighbor shows up, you stay and serve them chai. Relationships come before tasks.

Moving back to the Untied States made me question how I would spend my time. Add in being a new momma (and, for the first time, a stay-at-home mom), being a pastor’s wife, and living in a new town; I had many avenues where I could invest my time.

Love God. Love my family. Love my neighbor.

These three things have become themes in our family. Here are some ways we choose to invest our time as a family each day:

Your CMD Stories (part 4)

Children can share God's love through Children's Ministry Day.

We’ve got more stories for you! Let’s hear what children from across the country did for this year’s Children’s Ministry Day to love their neighbors.

 

“Our group made 6 fruit and baked good baskets and delivered them to shut-ins in our community.” (For a glimpse of the baskets and the girls loving their neighbors, see the photo collage to the right!)

—Becky Vick, for the GAs at Midway Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi

 

“GAs, RAs, and Mission Friends celebrated Children's Ministry Day with ‘Souper Saturday’! They prepared bags of bean soup mixes and attached notes from our church. We delivered the bean soup bags to a neighborhood behind our church. Children took turns knocking on doors and introducing the group. We then asked for prayer requests, which were later typed and distributed to adult Sunday School classes. It was a very good way to meet our neighbors! After we delivered our soup mixes, we went back to the church for a lunch of, what else? SOUP!”

World Water Day: Pure Water, Pure Love

How many times have you used water today? Did you stop and wonder if the water was clean? Most likely you use water more times in a day than you realize and you are blessed with not having to wonder whether the water you are drinking is safe and clean. However, this is not the case in many places around the world. Did you know that more than 663 million people lack access to clean water? The need for clean water access is great as the lack of clean water leads to numerous water-related diseases. Consider the following:

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