Preschool Blog

Praying for Disaster Relief Chaplains and Workers

pray for disaster relief volunteers

In one of my earliest experiences with Baptist Disaster Relief, I learned firsthand the precious value of those who support the ministry from behind the scenes.

Hurricane Hugo had devastated huge areas of our state of South Carolina. A friend from our church offered to care for our two preschool-aged children so that my husband and I could both serve with a Disaster Relief (DR) unit in a hard-hit area. Others in our church prayed as we served. The experience convinced me that those in support roles back home are just as much a part of the ministry of Disaster Relief as those on site in the disaster area.

You can be part of the DR ministry by praying for the chaplains and other volunteers who respond to offer help, hope, and healing to disaster survivors.

 

Pray for open eyes to see inner needs.

Reflections of a Disaster Relief Worker

Disaster relief child care

This month in Mission Friends, we will learn about chaplaincy in disaster relief. Several years ago, I felt led to receive training in Disaster Relief Child Care through Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief, which is part of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief through the North American Mission Board. Though the Disaster Relief Child Care workers are not officially trained as Disaster Relief chaplains, I feel that we serve in a similar capacity to the children as we care for them and help them at the time of a disaster. I have been privileged to serve on Disaster Relief Child Care teams in a couple different places. One was a year following hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and in northeast Alabama the week following the 2011 tornadoes. These are some of my reflections on serving in disaster relief.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Preschool Resource Team

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Non-Food Treats

non-food treats

Christmas parties, goodie bags, and gift exchanges. This time of year gives us opportunities to give little treats to our preschoolers we teach in Mission Friends. What do you do if you have a preschooler with allergies? This can make all the difference in what we give and serve to preschoolers.

This year I have a preschooler who has severe allergies to food items, and we have to be very careful about what we offer to our Mission Friends. We do not want to single him out, so we serve all the preschoolers in our class the same snacks that he can have. The nature of his allergies is so severe that we always get prior approval from his mom for anything we serve.

So for Christmas when we want to give our preschoolers a special treat, what can we give? I started searching and making a list of non-food items for preschool teachers to give as treats. What other items can you add to the list?

  • Nativity ornament

  • stampers

  • fun drinking straws

  • small packages of play dough

  • silly sunglasses

  • finger puppets

  • shoelace charms

Relational People Serving a Relational Savior

Dove Family

Do you ever wonder what life is like for special workers who live internationally? What do they most enjoy about their work? How do they make connections? What are their dreams?

Zach and Jennifer Dove, IMB Church Planters in Norway, have not been called to pastor a church or lead a particular group. Instead, they spend their time working “behind the scenes.” The Doves partner with people in their communities who are interested in beginning new churches or who wish to revitalize churches that need revival and growth. They provide training and direction and discipleship for local church leadership, and they work to connect people who can meet each other’s needs.

When asked what they most enjoy about their work in Norway, the Doves share that they love meeting people and developing relationships. They enjoy hearing life stories and learning what is most important to people.

The True Meaning of Christmas

child and Nativity

What parts of Christmas do we bring into our Mission Friends classrooms at church? There are so many aspects to celebrating Christmas: shopping, gifts, cookies, candies, parties, ornaments, decorations, trees, lights, Santa, elves, snowmen, and greeting cards. There is such cuteness revolving around these aspects of Christmas, it can be easy to leave out the very meaning of Christmas. How do we focus on celebrating that God sent His Son, Jesus? How do we include some of the fun aspects of Christmas while teaching preschoolers about Jesus’ birth? The points below give suggestions for being intentional about teaching preschoolers the true meaning of Christmas.

  • Tell parts of the Christmas story from Luke 2:1–20 during each session. Look for preschool books that tell the true story. I even found a board book at a discount store that told the Christmas story in simple words.

Introducing Preschoolers to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

December is drawing near, and our focus on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is growing. The Dove family, whom we will study in December, says that it is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that meets their daily needs and allows them to focus full-time on the work that God has called them to in Norway. Use some of the following suggestions to teach Mission Friends more about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and to encourage their families to involve them in missions giving.

Thankful

Thankful Turkey

The Preschool Resource Team made this turkey to show what we are thankful for. We used the turkey outline and each person took 3 feathers to write 3 things for which we are thankful. We’re sharing our list with you here.

 

Joan Hicks, administrative assistant:

  • Salvation: Jesus and the Lord
  • Family
  • Church

 

Clay Allison, graphic designer:

  • My salvation
  • Medical miracles for the time in which I live
  • My family, job, and co-workers

 

Teri Easterling, copy editor:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • WMU work

 

Robin McCall, editor:

  • Jesus
  • Love
  • Children

 

Joye Smith, consultant:

Myself

Myself Cover

My Mission Friends had the most fun making self-portraits on paper plates as suggested in Mission Friends Leader  for last week. We also drew around each preschooler’s hands on a piece of paper and asked them to decorate their hands. As our preschoolers drew and colored, we talked about things we do with our hands and how God made each of us different. After Ashlyn finished drawing, she said, “Now I’ll put them together.” She put her paper plate face on the table and placed the paper hands below the plate. Then she smiled a big smile and held her own hands right below her face as if she were saying, “Ta Da! Here I am!”

Praying with Preschoolers

Always Remember to Pray

“I don’t know what to pray,” said one of my preschoolers after I read the title page in Always Remember to Pray. Several new preschoolers had just promoted into our Mission Friends class a couple weeks before at the beginning of this church year. I decided to read Always Remember to Pray before our prayertime to help us talk about prayer. I responded to this preschooler, “Let’s find out what we can pray!” I read several pages of the book until the preschoolers started fidgeting, and then I flipped the pages over to read the last page. Before we prayed, we talked about ways we could pray for the missionary family.

Preschoolers are learning that we can pray anywhere and at any time. In order to learn how to pray, they need to hear the prayers of their parents and teachers at church. In Mission Friends, we can model how to pray for others as we teach preschoolers of ways to pray for the missionaries featured and the people with whom they serve.

Tips about Praying with Preschoolers

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