:: 07/21/2014 - 7:45am :: Read more...

I recently received a newsletter from friends who work in Asia. My husband and I met S and C at the International Learning Center in Virginia. At that time, they had a daughter and were expecting child number 2.

Fast-forward. S and C have 5 children. As I read their newsletter, I couldn’t help but be thankful for their service to the Lord.

S and C use daily events like meals and walks to engage people. Their blond, blue-eyed and dark-skinned, dark-eyed children draw crowds and provide opportunities to speak about Jesus. S and C just live life and wait for the Holy Spirit to show who has ears and a heart open to the good news. They make contact with spiritually receptive individuals and arrange to meet again. They invite new friends home.

I love how S and C use hospitality, family life, and guidance from the Holy Spirit to share the gospel in Asia.

Angie Quantrell is delighted to live, love, teach, and write in Washington, where the Holy Spirit is her constant Companion.

:: 07/14/2014 - 7:50am :: Read more...

I never would have willingly taught at that little school on the Yakama Indian Reservation.

My husband and I pursued serving through the International Mission Board. We felt led to serve in France. But after a very short time on the field, we were back home. Living with relatives and searching for a job, I tried to make sense of my life. I had dreamed of serving overseas as I had learned about the lives of missionaries while teaching Mission Friends®. We sold our belongings, settled our adult children, and headed out. Why had it all fallen apart?

I still don’t understand. But I know God uses all things. Through 2 separate incidents, the Holy Spirit connected me with the principal from that little Christian school (where I did not want to teach). The Lord specifically gave me a teaching position—1 week before school began.

The Holy Spirit took us around the world and led me right into my own backyard to serve in a school that focuses on evangelizing and discipling young believers. In the midst of hop fields, farms, orchards, and cattle yards, I love His beautiful children with the Holy Spirit as my Companion.

Angie Quantrell is delighted to live, love, teach, and write in Washington, where the Holy Spirit is her constant Companion.

:: 07/07/2014 - 8:28am :: Read more...

“What can we do with all of these preschoolers?” I asked my pastor.

That was more than 20 years ago. And this woman on mission has never looked back. My husband and I had 2 young preschoolers with nothing to do on Wednesday nights while others at our church were in Bible study or youth group. I decided I would rather be doing something with my babies at church than not participating in Wednesday night activities.

Enter Mission Friends®. That was the curriculum and missions organization suggested by my pastor. He didn’t force it but said, “Why don’t you check this out?”

It was love at first read! I adored the Mission Friends materials, activities, and missionary stories, placing the whole world at my fingertips. That was the year my preschoolers and their friends became Mission Friends. We learned together and journeyed together around the world through missions.

Though I came to missions as an adult, the Lord has led me on blessed paths of participation. The Holy Spirit, my Companion, has consistently guided me to become involved on a deeper and more committed level.

But it all began through the hearts of my children.

Angie Quantrell is delighted to live, love, teach, and write in Washington, where the Holy Spirit is her constant Companion.

:: 06/30/2014 - 4:19pm :: Read more...

Some months ago I began to think about how I wanted to spend my 60th birthday. I had read and heard of people doing an amount of acts of kindness equal to their birth year. Well, that’s a lot of acts of kindness when you’re turning 60. So I decided on 60 minutes of service as a way to celebrate.

I shared this idea one day at lunch that maybe I would invite six friends to enter into 60 minutes of service with me on that day. However, my birthday falls in the middle of the work week so when it got right down to it, I didn’t really act on planning that one out. But one co-worker didn’t forget. Today, as my team surprised me with an indoor birthday picnic, I was given a basket of pledge cards for 60 minutes of service that some of my work friends had signed and identified ways they planned to serve in honor of my birthday. No gift can ever compare to this.

Tomorrow, I will serve more than 60 minutes weeding and trimming in the community garden of M-Power, a Christian Women’s and Men’s Job Corps site in Birmingham. In the past I have worked with the participants of these ministries but on this day, I’ll get to participate in the behind-the-scenes work that assists this ministry. I’m ready to get started.

I’d like to invite you to join me. What 60 minutes of service has God equipped you to do? Will you do it? Share your story with us.

 

 

Team Blog
:: 06/30/2014 - 7:47am :: Read more...

I’d like to share this experience I just had with an old WMU® book for preschoolers, My Mom and Dad Are Missionaries by Gayle Lintz.

I am a longtime Southern Baptist preacher’s kid (PK)/missionary kid (MK) (when the North American Mission Board was still the Home Mission Board), and so I had a strong missions-minded childhood! And so it is really no surprise that eventually God called my husband (also a PK) and me to the mission field—in our middle age no less—as short-term teacher and IT specialist with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Papua, Indonesia. Because of our backgrounds, we have always had a love for and a desire to support MKs. With MAF, we were able to provide the behind-the-scenes educational and technology support to missionary families so they could be out there doing what God called them to do as pilots, doctors, translators, etc. We love how MAF supports more than 600 organizations all over the world, including Southern Baptist missionaries, with aviation and other technologies.

Well we are back in the United States now working at MAF headquarters. I was recently asked to organize and lead a 2-week MK orientation session for grade-school children who are getting ready to leave for the field with their parents. MAF does not have a specific curriculum but relies on resources from many different organizations to help prepare children for their transition to life overseas. I was shown a shelf of resources from which to pull as I planned for this orientation, and you can imagine my surprise and delight to find the book and teaching guide telling a bit of the story of the Land family and its ministry in Ivory Coast. Stamped on the front of the book are the words “LIBRARY Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC” (with a red “DISCARD” stamp over that)!

I used this story, told from son Andrew’s perspective, during my MK orientation. And although the book and teacher’s guide were intended for preschool teaching, the story lent itself to the timeless themes of an MK’s experiences with new sights, smells, and sounds in a foreign country and was so appropriate for the elementary children in my class. The MKs loved hearing this story and seeing some of the photographs included in the teacher’s guide of the people of Ivory Coast . . . even though none of them were headed there. We even enjoyed the recipe for foutou included in the teaching guide.

I was just so thankful that someone saved this book from the discard pile and it ended up at MAF headquarters in Idaho! It was only a small part of our 2-week class, but it sure brought a smile to my face as once again, I saw how God loves bringing organizations together to further His kingdom work. I loved that I knew what it meant when I saw the WMU stamp on this book and was able to remember my girlhood learning about missions through GA and Acteens®. And I love how God is still using the Land family’s story today!

Carole Flegal lives in Nampa, Idaho.

:: 06/23/2014 - 9:15am :: Read more...

Chocolate milkshakes, fresh peach pies, crusty buttered bread, sloppy hamburgers with fries. Those are my weaknesses. Each time I resist something that is not good for me and choose a healthier option, it is a victory! Maybe it’s a small victory in the overall scheme of global importance, but it’s still a victory for me!

Changing our lives is about little victories as we bravely step out in faith. Changing from a me-focused life to an others-focused life doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a series of steps and victories toward change.

Steps toward missional living could be

  • choosing to spend 1 night a month serving at a local food bank or rescue mission;
  • sending notes of encouragement to missionaries around the globe;
  • spending 15 minutes a week praying for missionaries’ eyes to be opened to people’s needs.

Little changes mean little victories. Little victories lead to big change! Step out in faith and fearlessness toward little victories!

Deb Douglas loves celebrating little victories toward change.

:: 06/16/2014 - 7:34am :: Read more...

Work, church, grocery shopping, house cleaning, after-school activities, yard work, bill paying—we live hectic, stretched-to-the-minute lives! How do we live missionally in the midst of it all without overdosing on energy drinks and losing our minds? Being missional does not add hours to a day, but it does make our days interrupt-able.

Jesus was busy; His entire ministry was only 3 years. But He was interrupt-able. As He rushed to a dying girl, Jesus took time to relate to the woman with the issue of blood who touched His robes (Matt. 9:18–26). He was on the way to something important—very important—but the life of the woman on her knees desperate enough to touch Him became His priority.

Our schedule is about priorities. Living missionally is intentionally putting the lives of others before all the other good things on our list. Missional living means our lives will be interrupted by desperate people. Am I willing to live interrupt-able? I’m throwing out my schedule now!

Deb Douglas looks for interruptions wherever she goes as she lives life in Louisiana.

:: 06/09/2014 - 8:46am :: Read more...

I grew up in WMU®. My first ideas and understanding of missions came from listening through the open windows of our un-air-conditioned home as my mother led her group. I saw missions as something that happened in Africa or other foreign places. The likelihood of me being involved was just as far-flung. Missions was something other more gifted, more spiritual people did.

My ideas have changed! Missions is available to everyone, no matter where we live. It’s a lifestyle choice. Missional living is choosing to spend our time making a difference in the lives of others. That difference can be made with a smile, a meal, a word of encouragement. It doesn’t have to happen on the other side of the globe. It can happen right down the street, on a road trip, or just a flight away. It’s being willing to stop to help a stranger, speak a kind word, or pray for the hurting.

Missional living is traveling through life with our eyes, ears, and heart open to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.

Deb Douglas encourages the women of First Baptist Church, Bossier City, Louisiana, to live missionally, ready for any adventure in missions!

:: 06/02/2014 - 12:17pm :: Read more...

As young girls, we have an idea of how we picture our lives. As we mature, that picture becomes a plan, and we set about making that plan come true. Expecting a baby, we dream of what his or her life will be. Those plans go haywire as that baby develops a mind of his or her own.

When Mary was a girl, she couldn’t have imagined growing up to be the mother of the Savior. It wasn’t in her plan, but it didn’t slow her down. Throughout Jesus’ life, Mary followed, supported, and mothered Him, even to the foot of the cross. Mary pondered. She rolled things over in her mind; she understood her Son was going to die. She understood that her Son was her Savior, too.

Mary’s plan for her life was thrown out the minute she became pregnant. Her mission in life became being the mother who could watch her child follow His purpose. As mothers, our plans may not be God’s, but replacing ours with His gives our child the courage to follow wherever!

Deb Douglas dreams and plans in Bossier City, Louisiana.

:: 05/27/2014 - 11:20am :: Read more...

1997 to present

When my youngest child started kindergarten, I began writing part time for Missions Mosaic. I was excited to have a part in educating women about the world of missions. Little did I know I would receive more of an education than I gave.

I learned about feng shui and Confucianism from a missionary in Taiwan. A journeyman to an African village described children crowding around to touch her light skin and red hair. The wife of a doctor in another African country remembered a fellow missionary lost in a violent civil war.

Others told of their work saving babies who had been tossed away or witnessing to prostitutes and drug dealers. Many taught women about the Bible but also how to sew. Some struggled to grow new churches in parts of the United States and Europe where older ones have closed their doors.

And like Ken Hinton, they all inspired me to do more. I started volunteering for child care during my church’s English as a second language classes, where I learned to say “no running” in Spanish. I also began working once a week at my association’s ministry center, meeting physical and spiritual needs.

Looking back, I see my history with WMU® is all about inspiration. I pray many more would be inspired.

Writing about missions has allowed Anna Kathryn Hardin to discover the world, without jet lag, and she is very grateful.

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