preschool

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.

Celebrate Preschoolers!

Preschoolers learning

What do you love about preschoolers? It may be their energy, the questions they ask, or their willingness to try something new. It could be their laughter, their hugs, or their creativity. It very well might be that all of these things are wrapped up in one special group of people: preschoolers! Across our nation, we celebrate preschoolers especially during the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) which is April 16–20, 2018. At church we can celebrate the precious lives of preschoolers whom God places in our care. Think of 1 way that you can celebrate preschoolers, reach out to families, or show appreciation to preschool teachers during WOYC. We share some simple ideas for making this a great week to celebrate your preschoolers in Mission Friends.

Easter with Your Preschoolers

Easter with Preschoolers

Easter is a time of joy and celebration. We are reminded of the price Christ paid for our sins on the cross and the power of His resurrection. We think about the empty tomb and the eternal life that God gives to us. For preschoolers, though, there is much about Easter that is beyond their understanding until later in their lives when they develop more abstract thought. There is also the temptation to focus on bunnies, colored eggs, and candy. How do we make Easter have meaning for preschoolers so they will grow toward God?

Selfless ambition — doing all things for the glory of Christ

Mahon Family

Through preaching, praying, and having a raw desire to be hospitable and evangelistic, the Mahon family have learned what it takes to rest, and grow in selfless ambition, for the glory to God. In 2006, Brian and Jenny married, after meeting at Clemson University. A couple of years into their marriage, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, for Brian to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While at Southern, they had their son, Luke, and daughter, Kate. Jenny suggested that Brian pursue ministry when, “I couldn’t do much of anything without landing in a conversation about Christ,” shared Brian.

Extending the Story: I Like to Go to Church

An activity related to a story book helps preschoolers make connections to learn more from the book. In helping preschoolers learn about your church, read the downloadable book I Like to Go to Church. Take the ideas below and extend the story for more learning about your church and missions.

Boldness to proclaim truth in the midst of persecution

Amazon rainbow

Decimation, hopelessness, and abuse. Three words that describe the indigenous in the Colombian Amazon,” shares Bronson Parker.* Diego, a 60-year-old Cocama man, grew up seeing the aftereffects of the rubber boom industry in which thousands of indigenous were enslaved. Diego “is a fisherman, a carpenter, and an artist. Now, he is a Christ follower and His messenger,” says Bronson. Discipling is what Bronson Parker enjoys most about his ministry in the Amazon.

Bronson, Anna,* their three daughters and son share the gospel through storytelling. “The people are without hope, and are living in the consequences of their sinful lives,” shares Bronson. His family and missionary friends strive to encourage one another in the work being done.

My Church and Missions

Church and missions

Our Mission Friends took turns holding the extra-large knitting needle with one hand and pulling the yarn around with their other hand. Mrs. Mary Ann showed them how to make a stitch. She also showed them the baby booties and small caps made by the knitting group at our church. They give the caps and booties to preemie babies at local hospitals. Mrs. Mary Ann told our Mission Friends that this is how our “knitting ladies” show God’s love to the families of the little babies.

As preschoolers grow in missions awareness, we want them to know how their own church tells others about Jesus and shows His love to others. The objective of WMU states this as “participate in the work of the church and denomination,” but for preschoolers, I think of it as “my church and missions.” Preschoolers need to know about the ways their church reaches out to others in Jesus’ name. They also need to know that their church works with other churches to send missionaries in North America and around the world.

Nice to Meet You

Nell Branum

My name is Nell Branum. I am one of your Preschool Team writers, and it is a joy! I love preschoolers (good thing, as I have 8 grandchildren!) and I love writing. But as 2018 picks up steam, a new opportunity has presented itself to me, and it has to do with your WMU Preschool Team.

Our beloved editor, Robin McCall, is making a shift in her job responsibilities at WMU. For the past 5 years, Robin has served as editor of Preschool Resources, leading the team that produces our helpful Mission Friends curriculum and products. Robin was a Mission Friends teacher long before she became an editor, and she has a true love for preschoolers and missions. She has done an amazing job. But the trouble with multi-talented people is that they can do many things! And God has led Robin to shift into helping our WorldCrafts and WMU customer engagement hubs to deepen their ministries. Robin, we thank you for your energy and commitment, your invaluable contributions to preschoolers, and your sweet spirit, and we are praying for you as you follow this new path.

How Do We Teach about Places So Far Away?

As we talked about the ministries of Ryan and Seané Rice in New Orleans this month, my little Kathryn said, “I went to New Orleans.” I could tell a spark of recognition in her expression. Then I was able to ask her what she saw there and what she did in New Orleans. This was unusual because my Mission Friends have usually never been to the missions areas we learn about in Mission Friends. How do we teach preschoolers about a place they have never been before?

Preschoolers are limited in their understanding of time and distance. To them, and hour’s drive to their grandmother’s house seems like a long distance. They do not fully understand a map because on the map another state or country is only a few inches away, and that doesn’t seem like very far. They cannot yet translate in their minds how many miles those few inches on the map represent. How do we teach about places so far away?

Extending the Story

Extend the story of I Can Do It! through activities related to the story. As you read the book with preschoolers, use these activity ideas with your Mission Friends® to continue learning about the concepts in the book.

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