WMU Blog

Making Educational Choices

During our first overseas missions assignment, our children attended an international school that catered to children of the international diplomatic and business communities as well as the wealthier citizens of the local community. The school was bilingual. Our kids learned all subjects in English and in the local national language. Due to the heavy demands of the school and the travel required to and from school, our kids woke up early and came home late. By the time our children completed their nightly homework, ate dinner and took a bath, it was bedtime. That doesn't take into account the extracurricular activities they were involved with. Our family life quickly revolved around school. Our family began to pray about alternatives, including homeschooling.

When we returned to the United States for our first furlough (now called stateside assignment), the teachers in our school district went on strike. We had to make a choice about how to finish the children’s school year. We chose to homeschool.

An Inside Peek into MK Schooling

I zipped up my backpack and stepped outside into the dark night. To arrive at school on time, my dad woke me at 5:30 each morning. Faith Academy was over an hour away, but I was used to the commute. Outside, the street was quiet. My next-door neighbor was a senator, and I imagined he and his family were still snug in their beds. Sometimes I climbed onto our roof after school and peeked into their stately property. They had the nicest private pool I had ever seen in the Philippines!

Celebrating Mission Friends Teachers!

Preschoolers and teacher

As we celebrate preschoolers during Week of the Young Child, we also celebrate you for all you do as a Mission Friends teacher! Thank you for investing your time and efforts to teach preschoolers by doing all of these things.

Growing Deeper in Relationships

Growing Deeper

Picture this: You’ve just met someone new and you’re really excited to get to know them and become friends. Over the next few weeks, you learn more about this person, but in small fragments. You find yourself wishing you were already close friends with this person because you can tell how wonderfully you would get along and how much you would have in common. But it just seems as if you’ll never get there.

Have you ever felt this way? I have. There’s even an unofficial word for it. John Koenig created an online dictionary of words to fill in “holes” in the English language—to give us a sense that we are not alone in some of the ways we feel and think. Koenig describes the “frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone” as adronitis. Do you feel better after hearing that a word semi-exists for this feeling? The thought calms me.

Making Difficult Decisions About Schooling

We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 1990, with an 8-month-old baby boy. In all the thoughts of transitioning to a new country, it never occurred to us that there wouldn’t be a school for our children to attend. In one of our first missionary team meetings after we arrived, we found ourselves listening to a lively discussion about the cost of international schools and about the decision that, moving forward, all missionaries would homeschool their children until high school.

This news came as a bit of a shock to me. When the time came for us to choose a curriculum, the process was pretty simple. We looked around at all the missionary kids and went to the mother of the family whose children seemed to be doing well with their education. We asked her what curriculum she used to teach her children. That’s what I ordered.

Some of the things our children said they enjoyed about studying at home were:

“We would learn about another country, and then we would go there.”

“It was so easy to get from one country to another.”

Volunteer and Let God Work through You

group of volunteers

I have spent many hours volunteering at local ministries, but it wasn’t until I was a program director at a ministry that I fully understood the impact of volunteers. I could do everything I needed to prepare for Monday night classes for those in my program, but without volunteers, the classes we offered would not have taken place. Each volunteer brought a unique set of skills and gifts and impacted the lives of the women in the program, perhaps in ways he or she will never know. And for some of the women, it was through the life and testimony of a volunteer that they came to know Jesus and His love for them.

Have you ever wondered how your church might serve your community? Have you considered volunteering in your community as an individual or a family? What impact might volunteering for a local ministry have on your life and the lives of others? Here are a few tips to consider as you seek ways to serve:

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I've Never Planned a Recognition Service! Now What?

I know who you are. I talk to someone just like you several times during spring recognition season. You’ve never planned or prepared a recognition service, and you have no idea where to start. You’re a tad bit overwhelmed with the idea of a formal service, and you’d just like a simple plan.

The good news is that you’re not alone. The even better news is that you can make a recognition service as simple (or as complicated) as you’d like to make it. As long as girls are being recognized for what they’ve learned and experienced this year in missions discipleship, you are on the right path!

Together, let’s plan a simple recognition service that will allow your GAs to be recognized for all their hard work this year.

Unshakable Pursuit: The Devotional

There’s an eternal momentum coursing through our veins.

There’s a God pursuing us in love, tapping our shoulders and telling us life will only find its rhythm when we chase Him back with everything we’ve got.

There’s a world walking the paths God has orchestrated, just waiting for someone to be fully engaged in His story — and share it with them.

It’s the story we see in Acts 17:16-28, the story this book focuses on for 30 days of devotionals. It’s the story that gives us the unshakable foundation to the chase of our lives, the one that leads us to Him.

We’ve been invited on the chase, and if we say yes, life will never be the same.

Unshakable Pursuit, a 30-day devotional, is the companion book to the new WMU churchwide emphasis for 2018-2020. It will quicken your heart to see God’s steadfast pursuit of His people. Award-winning journalist Grace Thornton shares stories from around the world as she calls you to engage the eternal momentum coursing through your veins. God wants you to live fully engaged in His story — and share it with others.

Tips for Mentoring New Leaders

So, good news and real-talk news (because there is never any bad news when we talk about investing in someone’s life). Which one do you want first?

Let’s go with the good news first: The good news is that you have found your new leader! Yay! Give yourself a pat on the back for that one. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

Now . . . real-talk news: You have to plan and be intentional about mentoring a new leader. Mentoring someone takes more than just a one-time effort. You’re in it for the long haul. So develop a plan of action.

While this is not an exhaustive list, to get off on a good foot and effectively engage in a mentoring relationship, you must have the right (1) mindset, (2) commitment, (3) availability and (4) integrity.

False religion to personal relationship

Eric Maroney, his wife Julie, and 2 children, Nathan and Kayleigh, have served in Croatia for 18 years. Both children have spent their whole lives there. Sixteen years were spent in Split, while the last 2 have been in Zagreb. The Maroney family is involved in a church plant just outside of Zagreb that is around 2 years old. Mr. Maroney serves as the lead team strategy leader for south central Europe, which means he serves as an administrator and coach for 4 countries, including Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and parts of Bosnia. He grew up on the missions field in Africa, and felt his call to missions in his late teens. Mrs. Maroney felt the call after meeting others in seminary with a similar call.

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