WMU Blog

Week of the Young Child

Preschooler and bubbles

Let’s celebrate our preschoolers next week for Week of the Young Child! April 24–28 is designated as Week of the Young Child across the country to rejoice over our youngest learners, their families, and their teachers. Start planning at least one way to celebrate Week of the Young Child in your church. We’ll get you started with the ideas below.

  • Emphasize how your Mission Friends share God’s love with others through Helping Others activities. Plan a Helping Others activity for next week’s session in Mission Friends®. See Mission Friends Leader, page 28, for two ideas for Helping Others activities this month.

  • Make a hallway display to celebrate your preschoolers. Place a large piece of butcher paper on the floor for each preschooler, and have the preschooler lie down on the paper. Trace around the outline of each preschooler, then have them draw their own features and clothes. Display these in the preschool area of your church.

Getting to Know Thailand

discover Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country where most people do not know about Jesus. As a believer, we need to learn as much as possible about countries like Thailand and about the Thai people who live there.

To learn more about Thailand and the people who call it home, go to each of these links.

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia about the same size as France. It is bordered by Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. To understand the size of the country, check out this map

There are beautiful national parks in Thailand. Some are tropical evergreen parks. Some are marine parks. In all of the parks, there are interesting animals and plants. 

Most of the people in Thailand do not believe in Jesus. Ninety percent of the Thai people are Buddhist. Three million of the people of southern Thailand are Muslim. 

Listening: A Relationship Builder

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It is an old quote and it holds the key to building deep and lasting relationships. One of the ways we genuinely show we care is by listening.

Offering Biblical hospitality in my home and office has generated spontaneous moments to listen and to show I care. Over a cup of hot tea served with scones or coffee served with muffins, what has started out as a generalized conversation turns into my guest sharing their most deepest needs. Once a person knows you can be trusted and that you truly care; pretenses crumble and the foundation is laid for an authentic relationship.

Everyone needs someone to simply listen. It isn’t that you hold the answers or can solve the problems, but there is something therapeutic about being able to voice our ‘whatever’ to someone who will accept us as we are with a listening ear and heart. Who in your life that needs Biblical hospitality and a listening ear is God placing on your heart?

 

If I Will, You Will

One minute I had my perfect post-college plans set, and the next I was convinced they would never come to fruition.

The plan (or so I had hoped) was to move overseas in 2015, a few months after graduation. I saw no need to look for a full-time job or move back in with my parents, because I was going to start my life as a cross-cultural worker when I wanted.

It quickly became apparent that my timeline and God’s timeline weren’t matching up, despite my best attempts to get my way. I went to my university pastor for advice, and he told me to pray and listen to what God was telling me about it.

I prayed and very clearly God told me, “If the Lord wills, you will do this, but wait.”

While that wasn’t the answer I wanted, I listened, and it paid off. I’m only a few months into my term, but I can see that if I hadn’t waited and listened, delaying my plans by a year, so much would be different.

Even as I try to stay focused on my work in South Asia, I find myself wondering about what’s next, and He continues to remind me, “If the Lord wills.”

More than Bunnies, Candy, and Eggs

This past Sunday at my church, children of all ages joyfully paraded into the sanctuary, waving palm branches and singing loud hosannas. What a simple act to actively involve kids in a meaningful worship experience!

But do you struggle to explain the meaning of Holy Week to your child? After all, we just celebrated the birth of baby Jesus a few short months ago! Yet now we are going to celebrate His death and Resurrection? And what do bunnies, chocolate candy, and colored eggs have to do with any of it? For many kids, particularly younger ones, this concept can be especially difficult to wrap their heads around.

This Easter, I encourage you to sit down with your kids and read the Bible together. As a family, share the amazing stories surrounding Jesus’ death and Resurrection. Be prepared to answer their questions by pointing them back to the one true source, the Bible. In doing so, you set a positive example as you connect kids to God’s Word for a lifetime.

I have laid out a daily Bible reading plan that you can use to guide you as you move through the week.

Greetings from Guatemala

Please read below for an update from one of April's featured missionary families!

Greetings from Guatemala!  The hot season has officially arrived, bringing with it daily temperatures of over 100 degrees. It also means water shortages and power outages. It is definitely not the easiest month to live here. On top of that, we are all battling head colds and chest congestion. Pray that we will all get well and start feeling better soon.

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Update from Guatemala

White family in Guatemala

David and Regina White recently sent us an update on their ministry. We pray that these updates will help shape your prayers for the White family:

In Guatemala now, the hot season has arrived. With daily temperatures over 100 degrees, families have to deal with water shortages and power outages. The Whites have been experiencing some head colds and congestion. The heat makes these illnesses even more difficult. Please pray that their health will be fully restored.

The Whites held 10 Bible studies last month. In 1 village, there is only 1 family of believers. Pray that this family will remain strong and will be a light in their community. Additionally, a Bible study group from 1 village is visiting another village to begin a weekly study. Please pray for the visiting group to soon see fruit from their visits.

The Whites are involved in the construction of a new church building. They report that this construction is going well, and ask for continued prayers for this project. They ask that we especially pray for the construction workers and the project manager.

Mother's Day Giveaway

WMU Mother's Day Giveaway - wmu.com

We can all agree that being a mom is a tough job. It is rewarding, tiring, sometimes thankless, often messy, and always beautiful. Have you ever thought of motherhood as a mission field? Moms (and dads, too!) are raising tiny humans who grow into adult humans who are--hopefully!--becoming more and more like Christ each day.

So, to the women who are on the ongoing missions trip called motherhood, we want to celebrate you! We are giving away a Mother’s Day-themed prize pack for you or a wonderful, deserving mom in your life. The basket includes:

Coloring for Jesus

Disaster relief volunteers often work with children whose families have gone through natural disasters. These volunteers help families and children on a temporary basis with basic needs like food, water, and shelter. They also help children by just being a friend when they need one the most. One special thing they do is to look after children so that parents can take care of other things. The volunteers play with children, talk to them, and give them guidance when they don’t understand the horrible things that have happened.

One way disaster relief volunteers help children cope is to let them draw and color pictures about their feelings. Volunteers can then follow up with the children to let them know that Jesus loves them and wants to take care of them. They let the children know that Jesus can take things that are messed up and make something great out of them.

Did you know that you can help friends who are going through a rough time in the same way that disaster relief teams do? You can recycle old, broken crayons and reshape them into something new and beautiful. Then, you can give them to friends and talk to them about their feelings.

Are You Listening?

My toddler, positioned on my left hip, was jabbering away. Suddenly he realized I wasn’t listening. With his two chubby hands, placing one on each side of my face, he turned my head so it was positioned directly in front of his face. Happy that he now had my full attention, he continued to speak to me as if I understood every word. That scenario happened almost 38 years ago and I still find myself having a problem listening with my full attention.

Listening is something which does not come naturally to us. In our selfishness we talk first and listen lastly. Listening is a skill, an art. It means consciously making the effort to listen with our mind and hearts, being intentional and disciplining ourselves to learn the skill. Listening involves all of you. It is eye to eye contact with full attention devoted to the person who is sharing.

Over the years God has placed women in my life who have listened in that way. Ears attuned to my joys, sorrows, problems, and giving me their undivided attention. They have listened, prayed and invested in my walk with Christ. Are you that kind of listening friend?

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