Preschool

Decode the WMU Emphasis for Preschoolers: I Can Help Others

By All Means

From a young age, we want to involve preschoolers in helping others and sharing God’s love with others. Here are a few examples of Helping Others activities from different Mission Friends groups:

  • Packing items for personal hygiene kits for a missions team to give people in Nicaragua.

  • Making sandwiches to include in sack lunches for a ministry to homeless people.

  • Taking cookies to a local fire station to thank the firefighters for their work.

In the WMU emphasis, By All Means, we are encouraged to step into the world around us. We must make connections with others in order to share God’s love and His Word with them. For preschoolers, this means giving them opportunities to help others. Lead your preschoolers to know of ways they can help others around them. This could be as simple as being a helper by passing out the napkins at snack time. We can also lead preschoolers to be more intentional in serving others through the Helping Others activities we plan for them to become involved in.

Mission Friends Leadership Certificate

Would you like to shape your leadership skills as a Mission Friends® teacher? Taking the online training courses that make up the new Mission Friends Leadership Certificate will help you sharpen your leadership skills. The following courses are included in the Leadership Certificate offered by WMU® through Develop online training. When you purchase 4 of the courses, you can get your 5th course free!

  • Leading Mission Friends—Explore the purpose of Mission Friends, the main teaching components, resources, planning, and teaching through activities and Group Time.

  • Uniquely Designed: Preschoolers—Take a look at the unique characteristics of preschoolers and how they grow physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

  • How Preschoolers Learn—Discover the 4 learning styles of preschoolers and the ways preschoolers learn. Consider how to encourage preschoolers to learn about God and missions.

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.

By All Means

By All Means

A new year brings thoughts about resolutions to eat better, exercise more, and get organized. Some people make New Year’s resolutions to get out of debt or do better at time management. Other people’s resolutions involve doing a specific task, such as walk 3 times a week. One friend resolved to try a new recipe every week. I knew another person whose New Year’s resolution was to read a book every month. I have a friend whose resolution 1 year was to run in a half marathon. She made it, too!

Many of our resolutions are about bettering ourselves, which is good. As this year begins, consider making a resolution about being involved with others in the world around you. What could you do this year to get to know the families of your Mission Friends better? It may mean stepping out to sit with a family at their preschooler’s T-ball game or taking a meal to a family with a new baby. Resolve to step out within your neighborhood to get to know families with preschoolers. You will have to be intentional about coming alongside people in order to get to know them and share your faith with them.

Ideas for a Fifth Session of Mission Friends

Mission Friends Leader

Sometimes you just need more to do with Mission Friends®. It might be that you meet 5 times a month and there are only 4 sessions in Mission Friends Leader, what do you do?

 

For Interest Areas:

Use the Extra Activities on pages 43 and 44 of Winter Mission Friends Leader.

See pages 35–41 in First Steps in Missions, vol. 22, for additional activities and information about chaplaincy.

Preschoolers can role-play some of the ministry activities mentioned in the unit.

Look in the other age groups in Mission Friends Leader for activities your preschoolers might enjoy.

Discuss the Winter Mission Friends Leader Picture Set Pictures 5–8 in more detail. Talk about the people and places. What is happening in each picture?

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.

Products for Mission Friends, Teachers, and Parents

These are just a few of our helpful books, resources and a Mission Friends T-Shirt. Many other books and resources are available as well as finger puppets and other items perfect for your preschool classroom or home! Order using the links to the WMU online store or call 1-800-968-7301.

Mission Friends Guide for Leaders

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