WMU Blog

Board the Bus

As a child and youth, I rode a bus for nearly 5,000 hours, not counting field trips, ball games, and band trips. I’ve been on countless bus trips for church activities including riding from Illinois to Virginia for the centennial celebration for WMU in 1988. In college, I drove a bus for a private high school. Each afternoon I would transport students to different locations in the city for their physical education class. In Arkansas, I drove a church bus. In Texas, I drove a school bus converted into a WorldCrafts market. I’ve spent lots of time on buses.

One year we placed the WorldCrafts bus inside a convention center for an annual gathering of Baptists. Children begged to sit behind the huge wheel of the large bus. What tickled me was the fact that some adults asked to do the same. There was something magical about stepping onto a school bus. Several talked about riding a bus as a child, and the experience transported them to that carefree place for a moment.

Telling the Story with Bible Storying

Bible Storying

I love the old hymn, “Tell me the Story of Jesus, write on my heart every word. Tell me the story of Jesus. Sweetest that ever was heard.” As believers, telling others the sweet stories of God’s word is so important.

Are you looking for new ways to tell the sweet story of Jesus?

If so, Tell the Story: Bible Storying for Kids was created for you! With Bible storytelling tips and tools, 40 chronological stories, 60 customizable activities and a Bible story cloth, this resource makes Bible storying simple. Tell the Story also comes with a 5 day plan that provides you with five stories, craft ideas to reinforce each story, recreation ideas and more.
 

Serving in the Ordinary

buffet style snack table

It was still early in the morning when I climbed into my car and buckled my seatbelt, the backseat full of suitcases, boxes, and bags. The sun was shining brightly and I cranked up the air-conditioning to combat the end-of-summer Iowa heat. I took a deep breath as I pulled out of the driveway. This wasn’t just any road trip; this was the beginning of an entirely new season of my life.

I was leaving the comfort of home for a new adventure—serving as a semester missionary in the inner city. I was joining missionaries to serve and witness to a community impacted by poverty. My emotions ran high, made up of nervousness and excitement.

As I drove off that day, I didn’t know what to expect on the field. I had an abstract understanding of the concept of missions, but what that meant for everyday life was a mystery to me. Part of me assumed doing missions equaled constant superspiritual moments. What I found when I got there, however, was a bit different from what I expected.

Tips for Getting to Know Your New Missions Group

Your first gathering with new GAs, RAs, or CAs is a great opportunity to set a joyful tone for the year. Show children your care for their lives and your enthusiasm for the people of the world with games, great conversation, and prayer.

To persevere and never give up

Lovelace family

Ken and Lygia Lovelace start every day in God’s Word and prayer. They are church planters serving the Lord in St. Louis, and have 10 children, 5 biological and 5 adopted. “Two of our sons are grown and gone, 8 of our children have been with us and have helped start this church (Amazing Love Community), since the beginning,” shared Ken. The Lovelaces have a mixed family, with 3 African American children. “God has used our family to open positive doors among the racial tension here,” said Lygia.

Transformation in the Unexpected

Rwandan cityscape

At the beginning of January, I had the incredible opportunity to study development economics in Rwanda. For our course, we visited with government officials, nongovernmental organizations, for-profit businesses, schools, and health clinics. Throughout the trip, I got to see God work in my classmates’ lives. It was apparent that God was radically working in my friend Sydney’s life, and I am so excited now to share part of her story.

By choosing to do something new, Sydney witnessed the transformational power of God.

She said, “I know international business/missions/service is now what I am called to do. It was not until this last semester that God showed me a passion for this area that I never knew I had.

“I never would have known this passion and identified this calling inside of me if I had not tried something entirely out of my comfort zone in an area I knew nothing about.

“God had been developing this interest in economic development and service for months while studying, and going on the trip to Rwanda just confirmed it. I had never felt more alive and more confident in myself and what God could do through me.”

Getting to Know St. Louis

This month, we hope you'll lead your group in learning about the Lovelace family and the gospel work that is happening in St. Louis, Missouri.

Throughout the month, you'll learn about:

  • the Gateway Arch
  • the answered prayers of the Lovelace family
  • how the Lovelace family makes disciples in their hometown
  • the value of teamwork
  • the importance of participating in Christmas in August

Here are some St. Louis fun facts you can share with your group as you dive deeper into understanding the people, city, and spiritual needs of St. Louis:

Anticipating Christmas in August

Christmas in August logo

Do you remember the anticipation you felt as a child on the days leading up to Christmas? You tried to be good by being nice to others. You tried not to fight with your brother and sister. You kept looking at the tree in your living room, and wondered what packages would be under the tree on Christmas day. You wrote your list way before Christmas, and now waited to see if the things on your list would show up under the tree.

Mission Friends Teachers Summer Camp - Day 5

Friday Means Fun!

Friday is Fun Day at camp! There are so many fun things to do at camp — swimming, nature hikes, crafts, games, races, skits, canoeing, cookouts, and canteen visits. Campers are kept engaged with hands-on activities. While doing these activities with other campers and camp counselors, campers build relationships and learn about working together.

 

Learning Through Play

Mission Friends is also fun for preschoolers as they learn in hands-on ways. Play really is the way preschoolers learn. In Mission Friends, we want them to learn about missions through their play. When we include activities and props to play with, preschoolers learn about the missionaries, missions areas, and people in those places who need to hear about God’s love.

How can you insure your preschoolers learn in the best ways?

Mission Friends Teachers Summer Camp - Day 4

I Will Sing to God (See Ex. 15:1).

Let’s have a sing-along around the campfire! We also will share a special devotion for you in the video below.

Silly songs are a great part of camp. Do you remember a silly song from your childhood? At camp there are also praise and worship songs at vespers and chapel times. When I went to Girls in Action camp, we even sang songs for the meal blessings and for flag raising and lowering ceremonies each day!

 

How to Teach with Songs

Preschoolers love to sing. Music is one of the ways they learn. Use music in your Mission Friends classroom to help preschoolers learn about God and missions. Sing a Bible thought to help preschoolers learn the words. Some preschoolers learn easier when they sing the words. Songs are also a way to get preschoolers’ attention. Songs are helpful to sing at clean-up time or to start off Group Time. A movement song helps preschoolers get their wiggles out before the mission story.

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