WMU Blog

Building with Blocks

Amazon Pool

Do you ever notice when your group of Mission Friends tend to gravitate towards certain activities? My group this year seem to be drawn to the Blocks area. Every week, that is the first interest area that they go to. It is not just our boys who gravitate towards activities in Blocks. Some of the girls are in the Blocks area each week, also. Our preschoolers, who are 3s and 4s, spend a lot of time building really elaborate structures. A couple of our preschoolers concentrate so much on what they build, that sometimes the Blocks area is the only interest area in which they play in 1 session of Mission Friends. I have to make sure they learn about missions in this interest area.

Embrace the Nations as Your Neighbors: Help Refugees Dream Again

woman grocery shopping

My favorite grocery store remodeled recently to my frustration. Imagine your first visit to an American grocery store after spending several years in a refugee camp. Add in a language barrier, and a task we take for granted can be overwhelming.

Refugees entering the United States come seeking housing, schools, jobs, and community. Displaced by violence and persecution, most refugees lost belongings and even family members to arrive in crowded camps with limited resources and then wait up to 10 years before resettling in a receiving country. Fear of the unknown often accompanies relocation to the US, increasing stress and often leading to anxiety disorders—including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—may surface within a few months of arrival in their new home. Refugees may have suffered a loss of self-esteem and the ability to dream, and many are living in survival mode.

Near and Far: Sharing the Gospel in New Places

praying hands

My heart beat wildly as I felt the plane wheels hit the runway on that late October night. After almost a day of traveling, I was anxious to get off the plane and hit the ground running in South Asia again.

I wondered many times if I’d ever get to return to this area after my first summer there, and by God’s provision, I was there again. I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving to God and stepped off the plane into what has been one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding seasons of my life.

Before coming to South Asia a second time, I never thought I’d attempt to learn a new language and culture in order to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I never thought of myself as someone who’d go up to a student I didn’t know on a college campus and share the gospel.

I was fortunate to grow up learning about other religions and the cross-cultural workers who gave their lives to share the gospel with people who followed other gods. But never did I think that I would get to be a cross-cultural worker like the ones I learned about.

Reach Out to Refugees with PTSD

refugee and child in a camp

Do you remember what it was like to cram for a test in high school or college? You made sure that everything you could possibly need to know was fresh in your mind so you would be ready to answer any question that might be thrown at you. Then, at some point after the test, all or most of that knowledge slowly faded from memory.

Don’t let that happen with what you’ve learned over the last 4 years about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Knowing how to walk alongside those with PTSD will come in handy as WMU shifts its focus for Project HELP to refugees beginning with the 2018–19 church year.

IMS Participation Leads to Missions Involvement

Hosting the International Mission Study is one sure way to give missions knowledge to church and community members. Participation in the study often leads to prayer for missionaries and their people groups. Many times, attendees are spurred to join missions efforts.

Gwen Moor, former president of Northwest WMU and a member of Dayspring Baptist Church in Chehalis, Washington, said prayer, advance delegating, and working out details are keys to success when hosting the study.

“We use the wonderful materials from the promotion kit to try to spark interest, [do] bulletin boards, [find] posters,” Moor said. In addition to the pastor promoting the study, it is announced in the bulletin for 3 or 4 weeks beforehand. A “guess how many of something that pertains to the country” game is presented. Church members have to attend the study to get the prize given to whoever is closest.

Making Bible Stories Stick

There is a beloved storyteller in my community. In fact, she’s very well-known throughout the state, the Southeast and probably the entire United States. She has a following of people who faithfully gather to hear her tales, and this past spring I was able to attend one of her storytelling events for the first time. I was amazed at the ease with which she captivates listeners with her descriptive words, luscious alliterations and dramatic flair — all the while creating beautiful pictures in everyone’s minds. From her very first sentence, she hooks her audience and holds them mesmerized till the very end. How can an hour or even more go by so quickly? You become so enthralled in her story that you don’t want it to end . . . at least not yet!

Authenticity: Less about What I’m Doing, More about Who I Am in Christ

authenticity explanation

OK, blog readers. It’s confession time.

In a season when I find myself living in one country but longing for the comfort of the one I call home, I have to admit that being authentic in my relationships is hard.

So when I was asked to write a blog post about that exact topic, well . . . you see the dilemma.

In the country I live in, I don’t tell everyone that I’m a cross-cultural worker because, for my safety, not everyone needs to know. Several friends do know more about what I’m doing here and why, but I struggle to share the details of what my life is like even with those friends.

As a result, I tend to open up more to my American friends who understand life here and less to my South Asian friends.

The longer I’ve lived here though, the more I’ve learned about how to be authentic with my South Asian friends who are believers. I bring them into what I’m doing, share my heart about my work, and encourage them to share with their lost friends. I’ve learned that my authenticity is less about what I’m doing and more about who I am in Jesus Christ.

Summer in Mission Friends

Preschool Summer Fun

Put some zest in Mission Friends this summer! Times at church might be more relaxed during the summer, so it’s the perfect time to do something a little different such as going outside for an activity. Keep the energy going in Mission Friends with these ideas to try throughout this summer.

  • Go outside for Group Time. Once a month, or maybe even more, take your preschoolers outside to tell the mission story and have Prayertime. I put a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth down on the ground for my preschoolers to sit on, and this gives them a parameter for our Group Time outside.

The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Jesus and Leading Our Children

mother leading child by the hand

This season of life is simple—exhausting, but simple. Between the diaper changes, the newborn feedings, the 2-year-old’s “magical” moments, and finding time to bathe everyone in the house, we have entered a time of basic survival mode.

There are some days when it would be easy to get lost in the sleep deprivation, toddler tantrums, loads of laundry, and singing the ABCs too many times to count and forget who Christ has called me to be in all seasons.

Where is that missionary, the woman who loves to cross cultures, try new things, and share the gospel? Who has time to plan a mission strategy? I can’t even escape my house long enough to meet my neighbors.

I know this season is temporary and motherhood overall brings more opportunities to share Christ than it limits. Yet, even through a temporary season when life and ministry can feel “limited,” it’s good to remember that my calling as a mother is just as important as my calling as a minister and missionary. If anything, the calling of motherhood brings about an important reminder that I am completely in need of Christ’s grace and presence in every moment of my day.

Getting to Know Children in Action

The Children in Action Guide for Leaders describes CA this way: “Children in Action is an exciting and fun-filled coed missions education organization for boys and girls in grades 1–6. . . . In CA, children learn about the world, pray for the world, and learn how they can be used to tell others about God’s Son, Jesus.”

But CA is far more than just words found in a guide!

CA is a time for girls and boys to explore the world around them, both near and far, in North America and globally. CA is a time for children to expand their worldviews beyond their churches or neighborhoods or schools. CA is a time for children to learn that not only is God is at work around the world but that He has called children to discover their place in His calling.

Pages

Back to Top