WMU Blog

MK Schooling

We truly counted it a privilege to serve as International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries. Our family was blessed beyond measure, not only for the financial support, but for the spiritual and emotional support as well.

Our MK schooling story includes many moves. Serving in a restricted access country means that you don’t really know what might be next. God was faithful and led us every step of the way. We landed with a 2-year-old and an almost- 4-year-old. Our first year of language study by immersion had us balancing tutors, child care in our home and some kindergarten homeschooling. The lessons and creative arts gave us a needed routine for the day. And it was fun! Little sister even got her own sheets to color, and almost every day we had a fun family time of interacting with something new.

There Are 5 Seasons?

In elementary school, I learned there are 4 seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.

Working on the national WMU staff, I learned there are actually 5 seasons. You read correctly . . . 5!

What’s the fifth season I’m referring to? RECOGNITION SEASON!

It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I love it because it reminds me of when I was a GA and received my Mission Adventures badges in front of my church congregation. I remember feeling like the adults thought what I had learned and had to say about the projects we did during the year was important. And I remember adults asking questions and wanting to see things I had done during the year. Empowering!

Does It Matter that I Teach Preschoolers in Mission Friends?

Teaching preschoolers matters

One of the advantages to being—um, seasoned—in life is that I have been able to watch children around me grow up. Well, OK, granted, it’s a little less than flattering when your dental assistant turns out to be your former student—when she was in elementary school. Or when you call for an appliance man to fix your freezer, and the young man who shows up at the door says, “Oh, hi. Weren’t you my librarian in sixth grade?”

Children do grow up! But maybe you have discovered, as I have, the feeling of gratification that comes as you realize you had a small part in helping that grown-up become what he or she has become.

It’s Worth Your Time: Reach out to Refugees

reaching out to refugees

Have you ever moved to a new place where you didn’t know anyone? It seems as if it takes forever to find your way around and get used to new roads, grocery stores, and schools. Without family or friends nearby, it’s easy to withdraw.

Then it happens. A new colleague at work or person at the church you’re visiting offers some advice or recommends his or her most trusted mechanic. Life gets easier and you settle in. While we can probably all identify with this experience at one time or another, can you imagine doing it without knowing English? The majority of the refugees in our midst encounters this reality daily.

We focus in our churches on the need for refugees to learn English, and that is important. But in the meantime, how do they find housing, enroll their children in school, and understand how to get insurance or a driver’s license? The details of life can be overwhelming for a person who has never had to register his or her child for school or go to the health department for immunizations.

The Impact of a Friend

two women having coffee

As we look at this month’s focus on relationships, I am drawn to think of how our commitment to friendships impacts missions. When Jesus sent out His disciples on their first missionary journey, He sent them out 2 by 2. We need each other. Even in missions, God wants us to have someone to travel with, to share with, and to do missions with.

I remember Michelle, a friend of mine in a past season of missions. We were ministry partners. We prayed before each house we visited and held each other accountable for spiritual goals. One time when my husband was out of town and I was ill, she stayed with me until I had enough strength to take care of my children. God used her in my life for 5 years until He moved us to another place of service.

Only an “Obstacle” Illusion

I love to hear words children use and things they say. Our neighbors in Illinois were Catholic. When my daughter, Hannah, was young, she would always tell me things her friend Meredith said about the “nums.” The “nums?” I wondered. It took me a while to figure out she meant “nuns.”

When Hannah was very young, she said to me one day, “Mom, you’re getting on my nerds.”

A neighbor girl was singing in the back of the car, “Crazy the Lord, hallelujah; crazy the Lord, hallelujah.” Her Mom said, “Allison, I think that’s supposed to be ‘praise ye the Lord, hallelujah’ not ‘crazy the Lord.’ ” Allison tried her best to get the words right. Finally, she said, “Mom, I like my way better,” and she went back to her version of the song.

Your CMD 2018 Stories (Part 5)

We have more stories for you! Let's hear what children from across the country did for this year's Children's Missions Day to serve their communities.

GAs and RAs at Rice Memorial Baptist made valentines for the residents at an assisted living in Greenwood, South Carolina. They sang songs and gave their cards to each resident. The residents loved their visit and told them to come back again!” (For a glimpse of their awesome day, check out the photo to the right!)

— Kim Stackhouse, for the GAs and RAs at Rice Memorial Baptist Church in Greenwood, South Carolina

Doing More Together through the CP

Offering plate with open Bible

Call me an overgrown toddler. I still like to think, “I can do it myself!” even though I know I can’t. Jesus said so. See John 15:4 about the vine and the branches.

Southern Baptists figured out long ago that we could do more together than we could alone. In 1925, we created the Cooperative Program (CP), a unified method of giving to fund the missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with every state convention and every local church.

Loosening Our Grip on Time for the Gospel

young woman holding pocket watch

One of the first differences you learn about when you’re living in a different culture is how people value time.

In the United States, we love schedules and strictly adhere to them. We spend money on agendas and apps that will help us manage our time. We make sure we’re on time for meetings and lunch dates with friends, because being late says we don’t value other people’s time.

South Asia, on the other hand, is completely different. Being late is OK, whether just a few minutes or a few hours. Things don’t always start at the time they’re scheduled. Getting from one place to another on time is a daily challenge due to traffic in some places.

South Asians don’t value their relationships any less because they’re late or because they see time differently. In fact, they might value them more than Americans. For them, spending time with people, no matter the hour or what they have going on later in the day, is important.

As followers of Jesus, spending time with people should be just as important to us. No matter our culture, people whom we’re close with but who are far from a relationship with Jesus should be those we are investing in regularly.

A Few Good Ideas

It’s March! But April’s coming!

April is just about here! With the new month comes Easter, the most holy of all days in the year. Boys and girls will be celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. The celebration will focus on how the grave and the cross are empty and how much our Savior loves us.

With the new month also comes a focus on North American missions. GAs, RAs and CAs will focus on the North American Mission Study and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Leaders will encourage children to not only give to the offering but to learn ways the offering supports the work of those who serve in North America.

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