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Next Generation Vision

As a parent, I’ve always strived to teach my children about missions and involve them in mission action whenever possible. My children are now 16 and 13 and grew up in Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors. They know what it means to be on mission.

My vision for them is to continue being on mission every day of their lives. There are many opportunities with our church and their school to continue to develop this mind-set.

I plan to encourage them to be involved in missions by having them participate with me, helping them find ways they can do missions, and educating them about current events so they can brainstorm ways they can be on mission.

It’s up to us to cultivate a vision to encourage and teach the next generation to live a missions lifestyle that honors God.

Jennifer Booth writes from her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Connect with her on her blog at JenniferBooth.com.

Vision Casting

Often on the missions field we talk about "vision casting.” Having a vision for what you are doing is important because it causes you to focus on the long term goal and what you can do currently to help achieve it.

Through the Lord's grace, I am "mommy" to two funny and beautiful gals. Long before they were born, I was praying for them and asking the Lord for wisdom in parenting and raising the ones He was entrusting us with. Little did I know then, that I would be praying that more and more as I try to live out this calling of motherhood.

Now, I'm not sure I've ever called it "vision casting" but if you ask me what my vision is for them, I know what it is. My vision is that they would walk intimately with the Father, that they have joy that is unspeakable and peace that passes all understanding. I pray for them to know His salvation the very first time His Spirit calls them to Himself and that we, as parents, have given them the knowledge of who He is and the gift that He has given.

Becoming an Effective myMISSION Leader

Just because someone has been a leader for a long time doesn’t mean she has arrived. All leaders can learn, grow, and develop. Leadership training is offered through state WMUs. Classes are now provided through Develop, WMU’s online, on-demand leadership training. We want you to be an effective Christian leader through your leadership role with myMISSION.

Being effective means producing the desired results. As a myMISSION leader, you want your group to learn more about missions, give to missions, and do missions. It is the leader’s responsibility to continually and clearly keep this vision at the forefront.

Into His Hands

When you hear the word vision what first comes to mind? The sight you have from your eyes? The dreams you have had? A mental image of a hope for the future?

Vision can also be expressed by the desires of our heart, the goals we desire to be lived out by ourselves and those we love. Is there anyone in your life that you have a vision for? As mothers, I am confident to say that our children come to mind. We desire the best for them from their education to future spouses. We want to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed and to be best prepared for the world when they leave our nest.

It is only natural for us to have these desires. I, myself have these visions for my children. I also desire for my boys to be men of God and my daughter to be a woman of God. The visions I have for them I lay into the hands of God. I am well aware of the world outside my front door and around the world, but I know we serve a mighty God—a God Who will call and equip my children and yours.

The Woman She Was Made to Be

As I hang up the phone, there is a yearning deep within my soul for more. More than this current pain, more than what life seems to be dealing to her. From the very beginning of our relationship, I have seen a strength in her. A strength willing to do anything for her family, willing to sacrifice herself for the needs of others, and can face countless circumstances that would break the will of many human beings.

She perseveres. She always has. In a season where money was tight, her father passed away unexpectedly, and she suffered a stroke. She carried on. Filled with grace to put one foot in front of the other. She continued living, continued listening to God, and continued loving the world around her. And now—the pain is loud.

The throbs of a broken heart echo in her voice, this pain is not foreign to her, she has felt it before, but this time it cuts deeper hitting her core. She thought this would be different, that he would be different. But countless lies later, here she stands—alone and fighting for hope.

Loving for the Long Run

She’s the girl who doesn’t realize her boots went out of style three years ago. She’s the girl who constantly brags about her accomplishments and drives you crazy. She’s the girl who knows she’s an outcast. She’s also the girl who has no clue what people say behind her back.

We can all think of someone like this, and our first inclination is usually not to love them. Instead of saying, “She looks like she needs a friend,” we think, “I hope she doesn’t sit next to me!”

Jesus says that people will know that we are His disciples if we love one another (John 13:35). So how do we love people? By inviting them to dinner one Friday night, helping them study for an upcoming test, or stopping by their dorm room to ask how their day went.

These are all great ways to reach out to people, but they’re only the first steps to developing a relationship. If all we do is invite someone to hang out for 30 minutes, is that showing them that we really care?

Wrap-Around Care

Wrap-around care. I was struck by this phrase that was new to me. I learned of the phrase in the article, “Contagious Love for One More Child,” 1 in Sharing, the newsletter for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. The article focused on a church whose members have become invested in caring for vulnerable children by becoming foster families, adoptive families, or wrap-around families. The article speaks of wrap-around care as offering resources or support to adoptive and foster parents. Wrap-around care is a way of showing these families they are not alone by giving them encouragement and assistance in various ways.

As a Mission Friends teacher, you may have families in your church who are foster parents or adoptive families. Though not all children in foster or adoptive care have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), all of these children have gone through some type of trauma. I like the idea of giving wrap-around care to these foster and adoptive families so they can concentrate on providing for the emotional and physical needs of the child.

What are some ways of providing wrap-around care to these families?

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Missions for Advent

I love Christmas, especially now that I’ve learned to pull back and focus more on the eternal gift of Christmas. Incorporating Advent practices into our family’s celebration was the turning point.

This year, I added an international missions emphasis. Our weekly Advent prayers included 2 of the missionaries featured in the Week of Prayer for International Missions prayer brochure.

Prayers flow into action. Invite your friends and neighbors to a WorldCrafts party. Consider hosting the Intriguing Indonesia party since Indonesia is the focus of this year’s International Mission Study. VisitWorldCrafts.org/parties.asp for everything you need to introduce your friends and neighbors to this country and this WMU ministry that develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world.

Prayers, action, and joyful giving draw the season to a close. A bountiful Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is the result. The heavens sing, and God multiplies it all for good.

Lucretia Mobbs loves this season of light.

Are You Tired Yet?

Thanksgiving is behind us. So is Christmas.

Only one more holiday to go, New Year’s Day!

Then, after we get past the first of the new year, we can settle down again. We’ll put away the decorations, return unwanted gifts, get to spend a few nights at home, and try to figure out a way to pay the bills for all the “specialness” that we enjoyed over the last month or so.

And, oh, let’s not forget that we will need to create a list of resolutions for the new year ahead. We will definitely want to lose weight, exercise more, spend less time on social media, and spend more quality time with God and our family.

Whew! I’m tired! How about you?

I’m tired just typing those words and thinking about the effort we’ll put forth in the weeks ahead.

Does the end of one year and the beginning of the next really have to be that way? Do we have to rush and hurry and overspend and over plan every minute of every day?

No!

Learning, Praying, Giving, Going

Do you know all the different ways that the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering helps missionaries? Below are just a few of the ways that the Christmas offering has helped Jacob and Robin Talley as they serve in Indonesia:

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