WMU Blog

New Faces, New Disciples

South Asian people

Living in a city of 12 million people means you see new faces all the time. Unlike in the United States, where I can almost guarantee I’ll run into someone I know in the grocery store, it’s a rarity to see the same person twice in South Asia.

This plethora of new faces is not just a number but people who need to hear and respond to the gospel. It’s an opportunity for discipleship to begin with those who need it most.

For example, take Priya*. She’s a nursing student whom I met a year and a half ago. At that time, my teammates and I were leading her and her first-year classmates in a Bible study on discipleship. It was our prayer that several girls from this study would want to lead the next group of “first years” in the same Bible study during the next school year.

We began praying and talked with the girls to see who would be interested in knowing more about being a leader. To our surprise, Priya was one of the girls who was interested. She was one of the more soft-spoken girls participating in the Bible study and not one we thought of as a leader.

To Be or Not to Be

From Greece to the present day, actors and actresses have worn masks during performances to transition from one character to another. During Elizabethan days, one actor could portray various parts of a play simply by wearing a different mask on the stage.

While we don’t wear physical masks as we go through daily life, some of us nevertheless mask the feelings, thoughts, and even pain we are carrying around on the inside.

Recently, I was talking with a friend about a member of her family. Her family member is struggling with the consequences of a decision made years ago. From all outward appearances, the family member seems well adjusted and seems to have their life together. However, behind the appearance—behind the mask they are wearing—is a huge amount of pain and suffering few know about.

While my job as an editor and writer often requires me to share personal experiences, I tend to be more private about my personal life. No, I don’t hold a mask in front of my face. But, I am an expert at disguising what’s really happening inside.

A Grown-up Mission Friend

a heart for missions

A young man sat down on the bench in the WMU booth at the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas last month. He proceeded to say that he wanted to thank WMU, and how WMU had been an influence in his life. I thought in the back of my mind that he looked vaguely familiar. When I saw West Virginia listed on his name tag, I knew immediately who he was: Nathan!

The Rohingya: See Them, Hear Them

Rohingya mothers with their babies

I first heard the name of their people group when we were preparing to serve with them in Malaysia.

Rohingya—known as one of the most persecuted people group in the world.

Originally from Bangladesh, this Muslim people group migrated to Myanmar to escape persecution and found itself in the backlash of a Buddhist militia government. It’s estimated there are between 1 and 2 million Rohingya worldwide, yet this people group has no homeland of its own.

The Rohingya are the people no one wants. A people who are not seen or heard. Many have fled persecution in one area only to experience it in another. Most have no paperwork declaring their citizenship to any country. They are aliens, foreigners, and illegals in whatever country they enter.

They have had their property destroyed, their homes ransacked, their people tortured, and their self-esteem ruined. They usually cannot find work other than in secret because if a country’s government finds out they are there, it will usually deport or imprison them.

Bridging the Gap: Transitioning from GA, RA, and CA to Student Ministry

Change can be hard. It can be especially hard on a child. When the time comes for your GAs, RAs, or CAs to move up and move out, how can you help them with this transition? Here are three simple steps that might help.

Communication Is Key
Open lines of communication between children, parents, and student ministers are essential to a successful transition. Have conversations with your GAs, RAs, or CAs about what they will experience in their new environments. Keep parents informed about any potential events or recognition services that will help bridge the gap between children and student programs. Talk to the student leader(s) in your church. Plan a joint event that will provide the upcoming students with a positive and uplifting experience.

Trust Him as You Reach out to Someone New

young woman reaching out

With summer here in full force, maybe it is a good time to ask, “How are you doing?”

If you are like me, then you are feeling a bit behind on keeping up with the details. Or maybe you have everything planned out and are able to enjoy time with people. Either way, it is comforting to know God is in control and He has a plan.

The summer may not go exactly how we have planned, but God is bigger than our plans. And He is always doing something new, something more than we have imagined, something with potentially eternal results both in our lives and the lives of those around us. How comforting. How exciting.

Connect with Others to Be a More Effective Leader

group holding hands

The technology we have today is wonderful, isn’t it? When I enter Starbucks, I immediately connect with the wireless system. My car is equipped to sync with my phone so I can retrieve my contact list and make calls. When I arrive home, my phone connects with our wireless setup, and I’m ready to go! My oldest son gave me a digital photo frame, and I’ve downloaded photos from my phone to my computer and then to the frame. If I wander into my office during the night, the frame immediately flashes on because it has a motion sensor.

Similarly, learning to connect with others can help leaders be more effective in mentoring, training, and teaching. New and experienced missions leaders must realize the value of connecting with other leaders, church staff, and members of WMU missions organizations. An entry point for someone not involved in missions activities can come through one of these connection points.

What, then, are some ways you can make connections that will help you inform people? Here are several suggestions:

Do I know you? Meet the New Preschool Editor

Julie Heath

I’ve answered this question and asked this question quite a few times in my life. Do I know you? You look familiar. Have we met yet/before? Preschoolers don’t always ask those questions. Depending on just where they are in their preschool life, some preschoolers will just sit down and start to play—if you have toys, you are my friend. So, I’m going to start and assume, if we could get together around a large cherry diet Dr Pepper with easy ice and (insert your favorite coffee/soda here), we would be good friends and be able to find something in common—if you love preschoolers, you are my friend.

Floor Therapy

There were simply not enough hours in the day. One answered email prompted multiple responses, which then needed to be addressed. Multiply that by hundreds of emails waiting in my inbox. The aftermath of a huge event had taken its toll. Fatigue and exhaustion had engulfed my body. A problem I could not resolve was the last straw. I could feel the darkness of pervasive sadness and weariness threaten to consume my spirit.

It takes a great deal to get me to that point. I’m pretty positive by nature. Yet that’s where I found myself the afternoon I slipped into her office. My back hit the wall and I slid to the floor. I guess it was apparent something was amiss. She quietly rose from her chair and joined me on the floor. 

She showed no outward appearances of baring resentment for the interruption. Her hours had been as long as mine. She kindly offered attention without a trace of judgment. I don’t remember what counsel she offered at that particular moment in time. I am sure it was right on target because she always measures her words carefully and speaks with great wisdom that belies her age.

Which Children’s Program Is Right for Me?

When making decisions for your children's ministry programming, it's always a good idea to be aware of the issues involved. Deciding which program is right for you can be hard, and there are many paths one might take. We often receive calls from children's ministers and parents alike who find themselves stuck between two paths. Often, the choice is between our traditional children's organizations like Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors and the coed group AWANA. The following provides an in-depth look at the differences between these two programs. You can also look over this comparative breakdown between other popular program materials.

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