Preschool Blog

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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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:

Learning from a Preschooler

Preschoolers always teach me a lot, but this was particularly true last week as a preschooler taught me about Indonesia. Each year during the first week of December, national WMU has a program and open house to observe the Week of Prayer for International Missions. People from many surrounding churches come to sing Christmas carols together, meet retired and stateside missionaries, pray for missions, and sip a cup of hot apple cider. Sometimes we might Skype a missionary or show a video of a missionary, but this year we were blessed to have special workers who serve in Indonesia as speakers at our Week of Prayer program. They are on stateside assignment and will return to Indonesia soon.

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Mission Friends and the Holidays

So, what does your December schedule look like? If you are like most Mission Friends leaders, you are probably looking at a church calendar with at least two fewer Mission Friends sessions than usual. There are many ways to get creative in completing your Mission Friends unit and the International Mission Study in the month of December.

Creating Connections in Denver

Ben and Lynley Mandrell have worked tirelessly to plant Storyline Fellowship in Arvada, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Since Storyline’s launch in February 2015, the church has baptized nearly 40 people. Mr. Mandrell says that the church has averaged 450 people in attendance on Sunday mornings. Of those 450 people, about 125 are children. The church has already had to move from its first location to a local high school. Mr. Mandrell shares, “We are praying for God to give us opportunities to bless teachers and staff at the high school in order to build community and relationships with those at the school.”

Pray for the Mandrells to receive opportunities in their community to create relationships and connections with those who need to hear the gospel.

The Mandrells enjoy building relationships with the people of their community. They enjoy inviting people into their home for dinner. They enjoy learning about others’ life stories. They enjoy exposing their children to diverse cultures. As they develop relationships and build the trust of people in their community, they remain open to opportunities to tell people why they have placed their hope and trust in Jesus.

Ongoing Missions Education Is Important

Ongoing missions education for preschoolers through Mission Friends is vitally important.

Churches are learning they need more than just a monthly mission story or an annual mission project for their preschoolers. A couple of weeks ago, Heather Keller, WMU children’s consultant, and I attended the LifeWay Kids Ministry Conference. At our booth, which featured our curriculum and resources for missions education, I talked with several people whose churches were interested in starting ongoing missions education. These meaningful conversations helped me think of a number of reasons that ongoing missions education for preschoolers through Mission Friends is vitally important:

Helping Preschoolers Overcome Fear

 “Do not be afraid. God is with you wherever you go” (see Josh. 1:9).

October is a month in which scary images have become the norm. We see scary jack-o-lanterns and skeletons and commercials for horror houses. As adults, we have seen these images so often that they may not even cause us to take a second glance. But for children, this season can bring out many fears.

From about the age of 2, children begin to develop the ability to form mental images. And, while having a great imagination can lead to all kinds of fun play, a great imagination can also lead to all kinds of fears. Never belittle or ridicule a preschooler’s fears. Do not make light of children’s fears. Be grateful that they trust you enough to share those fears. When they tell you they are afraid, take their fears seriously and be proactive in helping them to deal with the fears.

Here are a few suggestions for helping preschoolers overcome fear:

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.

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:

Two Dozen Painting Ideas

Why paint with just plain paintbrushes all the time? There are a myriad of items that preschoolers can use in painting. Preschoolers love to paint, and they can gain so much from painting: eye-hand coordination, large muscle control, small muscle control, color identification, color mixing, left-right and up-down concepts, creativity, a sense of accomplishment, and responding to God in wonder. Listed here are 2 dozen items for preschoolers to use in painting.

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