WMU Blog

New Beginnings

Fall is the time for new beginnings—school, football, and a new church year. What are you dreaming up new for your myMISSION group this year? What worked well and made you determine it was a keeper?

Did you use Missions Mosaic and myMISSION Leader with your group? Faith, community, and missions continue to make up the core of myMISSION, and meeting plans are centered in those areas.

This year some tweaks have been made to the meeting plans. The meeting plans for faith are built for the Bible study in Missions Mosaic. These plans are interactive, fun, and move us to make life changes. We’ll also consider where we could take this Bible study (women’s shelter, jail, dorm, neighborhood) or what other group could join us for the study.

The missions meeting plans help us learn about the featured missionary in Missions Mosaic. But we are going to do more than just learn; we’re going to try to apply the missionary’s missions project ideas to our own local projects.  

Blocking the Distractions

Bike tires squealing, people selling their goods, goats and cattle making their presence known . . . these are the sounds that fill the space outside my window. It seems when I seek a quiet space, the outside sounds only get louder. Living in a foreign land has its challenges, but one of the biggest is tuning out the distractions.

Distractions in Madagascar might look a bit different than they do in America, but they still accomplish the same goal: they keep my attention from being focused on God. The funny thing is that it's my choice. I choose to let them distract me. My mind finds itself in a whirlwind of outside activity coupled with the toddler tornado that's happening inside my home.

Part of being a follower of Christ means that I am called to listen. I must choose to prioritize time alone with God and studying the Bible. Making this a priority for me looks like waking up before my toddler does (with the sun), turning on some Ellie Holcomb music (drowns out those outside noises), and sitting still.

Forgetting Step 1: Prayer

I walked into my college internship ready to lead my first meeting. Armed with a stack of papers and my red pen, I was eager to present my project to the staff. But before I could tackle my agenda, my supervisor asked if she could pray for the meeting. “Lord,” she prayed, “We want You to work through this project. Please guide our decisions because we need Your wisdom.”

Wow. I realized that praying for God’s guidance in this project was not even on my radar! I had become so caught up in my planning that I completely forgot to invite God into the picture. Did I want God to work through this project? Absolutely. Did I stop to ask Him for guidance? No.

It’s easy to ask God to help us with life’s big issues, like choosing where to go to college or deciding on a major. However, we often forget to ask God for leadership in decisions that we make every day. I wanted to do God’s will through the project, but I failed to seek His counsel in the first place.

Packaged with Love

In an earlier blog last spring, I described how my church does missions during the summer. We take a break from traditional children’s missions programming to better accommodate summer schedules. Now, that’s not to say we take a break from doing missions. Oh, no—not at all! This summer has been packed full of engaging, hands-on missions opportunities for children of all ages!

It’s been a fun summer for everyone, but now all area school systems are back in session. As school teachers have been getting ready to welcome students back to school, my church’s missions leaders have been busy, too, getting ready to welcome returning and new children back to missions!

This past Wednesday night we kicked off a new year in missions with a Christmas in August party. Each missions group was assigned a different Christmas in August missionary and asked to bring items from their list. Rooms were decorated with Christmas trees, wreaths, and lights. Christmas music played in the halls as children gathered in their missions meeting spaces.

Sleep vs. God

6:30 a.m. The song begins to play, telling me it is time to wake up.

Shower. Get Ready. Quickly eat breakfast. Out the door.

Work. Work. Work. Home. Errands. Friends.

Then repeat.

Do you ever feel like you are on the wash cycle on repeat? It’s so rhythmic. It’s so consistent. It’s alarming.

The routine wrestles with my time with the Lord. I convince myself in the middle of my morning that I can find it, but oftentimes the bed calls my name more than my drive to have time with Jesus.

In those moments, sleep matters more to me than the living water.

The more I allow this cycle to repeat, the more desperate and thirsty for the Lord I become. I forget that the stillness is where I find Him. In the moment of pause.

If we allow the rhythm, the routine, to dictate our lives—working, living, moving at a syncopated pace—when do we stop? When is the pause?

Every song ever written has a moment of rest. How naive for me to think my life-song should never pause.

It’s in the silence that I hear God.

Welcoming Preschoolers to Mission Friends

Do you have new preschoolers in your Mission Friends® class as the new church year starts? You may also have preschoolers who have been away for the summer, so they feel like they are starting again. Some preschoolers may be promoting into your Mission Friends class. Use these tips for giving preschoolers a welcome to Mission Friends.

Our Changing Times

In the 1960s, Bob Dylan sang a song titled, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

I would go out on a limb to say those words still ring true in 2015, wouldn’t you?

Our favorite soap is new and improved. Our year-old car has now been redesigned. Our six-month-old computer is considered outdated and in need of upgrading.

The times truly are changing. Things change, people change, churches change, and ministries change. I suppose change isn’t terrible—it’s just a reality of life.

However, just as real is the certainty that while all of life changes around us, God and His Word never change! The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

I am so thankful that I can depend on a Savior who is changeless! I am thankful that I don’t have to stand on a foundation that was built this morning or yesterday, but was formed before the foundation of the earth itself!

Picture Set Ideas and Activities

What can I do with the Mission Friends Leader Picture Set after we have completed a unit of study? Check out these fun ways to extend the usefulness of this resource and to help your Mission Friends® revisit the missionaries they have already met:

Laying a Foundation

The WMU® Executive Board had gathered in the Kentucky Room at the national office for a regularly scheduled meeting. The day had been filled with committee reports, awards for scholarships and grants for a variety of individuals, and the usual business of WMU. As a second-year state president, I had come to love the comradery and fellowship with this group and looked forward to the two board meetings each year.

Financial concerns for the ongoing work of national WMU had been discussed on numerous occasions. A development office was in place to discover potential funding for the work of WMU. A new proposal came to the floor; one that would move the development office to a full-fledged foundation. The idea was to create a separate entity for the sole purpose of securing the financial support for WMU. The reaction among the board members covered a wide spectrum of thought, from “What a great idea!” to “We absolutely cannot do that.” After much debate, a motion to table the idea was received with a challenge to think and pray.

Meet Sheila Barksdale

Sheila Barksdale is serving her community of Sturgis, Mississippi, as the 2015–2016 Oktibbeha County Assistant WMU Consultant and the Oktibbeha County GA, RA, and CASM Consultant. She and her husband have five children and three grandchildren whom they love to see growing in Christ.

Growing up, Sheila and her friends participated in GA activities, which Sheila says they lived for. She went on to serve her church as Children’s Director, Vacation Bible School Director, and Sunday School teacher. After five years of service as an interim piano player at a friend’s church, Sheila says God called her back to her home church, Morgan Chapel Baptist, where the church’s GA leader asked her to join in leading. “God opened the door wide for the opportunity,” she says.

Sheila says she knows that girls in the GA age range are impressionable. Like sponges, they soak in everything. “This is the time to be training, teaching, and motivating them to a life of servanthood, a life of continual service to God’s plan for each of them.”

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