WMU Blog

When a Child Hurts

 

Think about the children you teach each week. In your CA, GA, or RA group, is there a child who is withdrawn? How about one who blurts answers out of turn or constantly seeks your attention? What about a child who seems angry most of the time?

Instead being frustrated with the child’s actions, consider that something might have happened in that child’s life to cause him or her to act that way.

Children, like adults, cannot check their emotional baggage at the door. Unfortunately, they bring those experiences with them when they come to missions classrooms. And, those experiences sometimes cause children to act in ways that may take away from learning activities that are happening with other children.

Every week, you have the opportunity to reach out to the children in your care and remind them that regardless of what has happened outside of the walls of your missions classroom, they are valuable to not only you as their leader, but they are also valuable to God. Their lives have great purpose!

Hot Fudge Cake and the Gospel (Part 3 of 3)

I did not see that coming. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was not expecting a positive response. I assumed this entire scenario was about God testing me, and perhaps He was, but how self-focused of me not to realize that this wasn’t just about God working on me! This scenario was also 100% about a young waiter at a diner, feeling Holy Spirit conviction and needing guidance.

My waiter shared with me that his grandmother had been sharing Jesus with him, but he still had some concerns about his sin. God gave me the words to assure him of His grace, and then he sat across from me in the booth, bowed his head, and prayed to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

I couldn’t help but wonder if his grandmother had been praying for his salvation that very night. Maybe she prayed for God to send a messenger. Truthfully, if God had asked me to go to that diner to witness to a waiter, I may have given into fear and found some excuse not to go, but God knew He could get me there with hot fudge cake. Thank you, God, for hot fudge cake.

Author and speaker Kimberly Sowell calls women to live beyond themselves and surrender their lives fully to Christ.

Obedience and Mistakes

During our apprentice term with our missions organization, one of the things required was to share a Creation to Christ story in the heart language of our people . . . from memory. Sigh. I was seven months pregnant with our second child when this requirement needed to be fulfilled and while pregnancy brain may have been my excuse, I'm not sure how much easier it would have been otherwise.

To say that I struggled with this assignment would be putting it mildly. I had spent two years studying the language and still had difficulties with it daily. I knew who the Lord wanted me to share this set of stories with, but I was anxious. Roxanne was a friend who was a nonbeliever and I was convinced that if I messed this up, she was never going to want to accept Christ. Selfish? Prideful? Yes, to say the least but it was (however sadly) my mindset.

Trust and Obey

There is a hymn that I remember singing in church . . . “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.” Seems simple enough, right? Have you ever been a part of a team building exercise and had to do the “trust game”? This is where two people are standing, facing the same direction. The person in front is to fall back into the person’s arms behind her, the “catch” is that the person behind has taken a step or two away from that individual and her “fall” is a bit further down than anticipated. The goal is to teach trust.

I can be honest and say I always take a step back into the person who is supposed to catch me. Many times you don’t know the person very well with whom you are participating in the activity, which in turn makes it difficult to trust her.

Break Time

Dragging my feet down the musty, fluorescent lit hallway, I walk outside for my 15-minute morning break. In these windows of freedom I always scramble out of my cubicle to the fresh air to remember the world outside of my enclosed cave I spend 7.5 hours a day in.

As I walk up the road, praising God the snow has melted and not too many cars are passing on the street for a moment of reprieve in the noise. I ask Him to bring joy to my heart for my work and pray over the day.

This sidewalk has heard so many of my prayers to God. When in a really difficult season this fall I wanted so badly to put in my two weeks’ notice and march right out the door to my other, better opportunities I convinced myself were out there. The pond and the trees heard me ask God if I could quit.

The answer?

“No.”

Because it wasn’t time. He had spoken that so clearly; I needed to stay here. He had called me to this moment in time for a reason. For the co-workers I share life with, for the conversations I have with people all over the world. His work was not done.

What If the Sunday School Answer Is True?

Last August, I moved back to college early for a week of training for a leadership organization I was a part of. I had the opportunity to get to know students who I would work with for the upcoming school year, and I wanted to make a good first impression.

One of our meetings focused on motivation. We ended up breaking off into pairs to discuss our individual source of inspiration and purpose.

I immediately knew my answer: Christ is my source of motivation. However, did that sound like a cop-out? I was afraid that my partner would look at me like I just stepped out of Sunday School. It was my first chance to get to know this group, and I didn’t want to be labeled as the goody-goody church girl.

Despite these excuses running through my head, I knew in my heart that I needed to share the truth. God is my purpose, my life, and the reason that I live the way I do. He calls us to preach Christ and His gospel, even if people view us as weak or unintellectual.

WMU Names National Acteens Panel

National WMU has named four mission-minded teens with outstanding character and credentials to serve as missions influencers on the 2016 National Acteens Panel.

They are Sarah Golden of Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Pike Road, Ala.; Hannah Hutton of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, Texas; Jemima Louis of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas; and Ana Sandoval of Freeman Heights Baptist Church in Garland, Texas.

Acteens is WMU’s missions organization for girls in grades 7-12 to help them grow in their relationships with God and their peers. Together they live a missional lifestyle, develop leadership skills and become actively involved in ministry.

“Of all the things we learn, Acteens most importantly develop an ability to love,” said Louis. “The organization develops a love for serving, a love for others and a love for God.”

All four panelists have been involved with Acteens for six years and have demonstrated a commitment to service through the local church.

Hutton claims that being an Acteens member has helped her share the gospel within her sphere of influence.

Let's Get Started

“Pastor, where do I get started?”

Having served as a pastor for many years, I’ve heard that question countless times. Getting started on a new project can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t believe you have the needed tools to accomplish the work.

Being a missions leader can be a difficult job! It’s okay to be honest about that and understand that training is needed to be the best leader possible.

At national WMU, we know your struggle. That’s why we try to provide the very best missions education materials possible for you, your missions organizations, and your church.

If you are considering starting a missions organization or if you are new to missions, you might want to check out our “Get Started” videos. These videos offer great ideas on starting Children in Action, Girls in Action, or Royal Ambassadors.

As you have time, check out the following videos:

Seven Ways to Help Children Who Are Grieving

“Why did GiGi have to die?” “I really miss my daddy!” “Why did my mommy have to go to live in heaven? I need her here with me!” “My brother was the best brother ever.” All of these are real statements I have heard from preschoolers and young children in my church over the past 2 years. Grandparents, mothers, fathers, siblings. Our preschoolers and young children have experienced significant losses. And, we have struggled to help them through their grief.

I pray that the following suggestions will be helpful when you are called on to minister to preschoolers who are dealing with death:

Building a Philosophy

Let’s talk some more about our role as myMISSION leaders.

Here are some questions to help you decide how you will lead and what kind of leader you want to become. This would make for a good journaling activity. Think about each question and journal your answers so that you can come back in a few months and evaluate how you are doing.

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