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Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

on July 15, 2013

Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

Much Ado about Missions

As I mentioned in my last post, Global Missions has really been on my mind and heart recently, so I’ve joined forces with two amazing bloggers to do a series of posts on developing a missions mindset within the home.  This week our focus is on ways to teach or emphasize missions in our own homes.  Sarah from Love Notes and Angie from My Four Monkeys will be posting their ideas later this week!   I can’t wait to see what they come up with since they are both naturally creative. 🙂

When I began researching for materials on missions to use with our four children (ages 4 through 13) in the home, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of options available! I’ve compiled a list of favorite finds to share with you all.

Best resources for teaching Missions

Best resources for teaching Missions

1.       Growing Up Wild dvds and websitehttp://thewildbrothers.com –is about a family of missionaries living in a tribe in Indonesian Guinea (check info. to confirm).  This dvd series is unique because the missionary children are the ones narrating and introducing topics rather than the adults.   The Wild brothers even have their own blog! So far, we have only watched the video clips available on the website, but we plan to purchase or borrow a dvd or two from this series.

2.        Caravan Friends websitehttp://caravanfriends.org/ – is about the peoples of Asia – a country in the most unreached sector of the world.  I love this website and so did my four children (ages four to thirteen)! It is colorful and aesthetically pleasing.  The characters they have created help teach children about different areas of Asia, and my children love them!  The videos were interesting to watch and after watching one only twice, my seven-year old was spouting off facts about the people groups there.  The stories are easy to read and not too long.  In fact, I had our seven-year old read several to his younger siblings and he was able.  The website also includes resources for parents and teachers such as: printables, coloring pages, suggested activities (seriously, check out the activities tab for some amazing ideas), etc.  This would be the perfect site for someone wanting to lead a class on Missions for children, for a free homeschool curriculum resource, or for Children’s Church, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, etc.
3.       Traiblazer Series of books by Dave and Neta Jacksonhttp://www.amazon.com/Trailblazers-Featuring-Livingstone-Christian-Trailblazer/dp/0764207296/ref=pd_sim_b_4 –  we just discovered this series of books and so far, the kiddos love them, even our thirteen-year-old son! 🙂  This series doesn’t solely focus on missionaries, but also on other Heroes of the Faith, such as Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther, etc.  Each biography is told from the point of a young, fictional narrator.  Right now we are nearly finished with the Samuel Morris story, and we have requests to read more of it nearly every day.  It’s one book that I have actually been tempted to read more of on my own, even!  Our four-year-old twins will usually only sit for one chapter at a time, but older children could easily read several chapters.  I was happy to find that amazon carries used copies of volumes that contain 5 stories each!  We bought several volumes for less than $20.  The volume pictured below features Harriet Tubman, but it also has 4 other biographies in it. 🙂

trailblazers

4.       Kids on Mission websitehttp://kidsonmission.org/ – this website is put out by the International Missions Board of  the Southern Baptist denomination.   This website offers a subscription that will provide you with a quarterly release on DVD.  However, according to the website, if you are willing to download the files from the internet, you can access them for free!  Under the prayer tab, there are even prayer requests from missionary kids themselves.

5.       New Tribes Missionhttp://usa.ntm.org/ – is the organization that my parents worked through as missionaries to Papua New Guinea (PNG).  On this site you can find individual missionary pages and newsletters, as well as general information.  While this website is designed for adults rather than children, I included it because they often upload new videos from various tribes around the world. I know my children enjoy seeing what it’s really like on the mission field or hearing about missions from tribal people themselves.  One note of caution:  not all stories are appropriate for all ages.  Be sure to preview the videos before showing them to your children.  Also, I forgot to mention that NTM publishes a magazine full of brief missionary stories that we often read to our children.  This resource, NTM@Work, is completely free.  All that is required of you is to go to the websitehttp://usa.ntm.org/may-2013-magazine  to sign up for it! 🙂

Go therefore verse

6.       Torchlighter DVD series – is very similar to the Trailblazer books in that it focuses on Heroes of the Faith, but in a dvd format rather than a book format.  We do not yet own any torchlighter dvds, but they are on the wish list. J  You can also find them on Amazon and perhaps on e-bay, as well. The animated features are about 30 minutes in length.  See here for an example: www.torchlighters.org
7.       Windows on the Worldhttp://www.exodusbooks.com/details.aspx?id=7073 – is a curriculum that focuses on specific people groups, and their culture and beliefs.  Some of the information is factual in nature, but there are also stories about the people who live there and ways for children to pray for that particular group.
8.       Missionary Stories with the Millershttp://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0962764345 – This book of short stories about real life events that missionaries have experienced was recommended to me by a friend.  I have not yet purchased a copy, but according to my friend, the stories are shorter in nature.  You can find this inexpensive resource on Amazon as well.

As I shared previously, I sometimes struggle with the question of “Am I doing enough?”  But I know that this is a good start, to teach my children of the great need. (It doesn’t hurt for me to learn more about the various people groups in need, either!)  Who knows?  We could be raising the next generation of missionaries right within our own homes!

The next post in the bloghop can be found over at  Love Notes . Sarah shared more about engaging our children’s hearts in missions in Missional M&Ms!

If you have a tried and true resource for teaching Missions at home, would you please share with us in the comments?  Thanks!

Jen 🙂

Also sharing this post with: Hive Resources

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22 responses to “Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

  1. […] It Was Ugly (A Five Minute Friday) Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions » Jul […]

  2. Mitzi says:

    I love how God links our hearts together in His perfect timing!
    Can’t wait to share this with my networks, thanks!

  3. These looks like wonderful resources. Will get my daughter to look at them with me. Thanks for sharing and visiting my post.

  4. Some great ideas here. During our homeschooling years we enjoyed some of the Trail Blazer books, but one of our favorite books ever was Missionary Stories with the Millers. We still remember some of these stories although we read the book many years ago.
    My daughter and her husband are moving to Peru tomorrow in a business as missions venture they are starting.

    • How exciting for them! 🙂 I pray the move goes smoothly. Even though I’m not a homeschooler, we have really enjoyed using these resources with our children. We usually read from the Trailblazer book before bed most days of the week. It has prompted some very interesting conversations in our home, that’s for sure. Thanks for visiting!
      Jen 🙂

  5. Thanks for the great resources -I grew up reading missionary stories, and look forward to sharing stories of Saints & Missionaries with my little one. And thanks for dropping by my blog & leaving a sweet comment. I’m subscribing, so hoping for more virtual visits in the future : )

    • I’m so glad to hear you were blessed with a godly heritage and that you plan to pass that on to your little one. We need more of that in this world! Thanks for visiting.
      Jen 🙂

  6. […]  4. If you homeschool, incorporate that country or people group into history reports, research reports, or choose a book for reading class that relates to that culture. Check out these fabulous resources for more ideas whether you homeschool or not! (8 Resources for Teaching Missions) […]

  7. Hi, Jen,
    Thank you so much for visiting me at Deep Roots! What a beautiful, inspiring post and blog! I would like to invite you to consider linking up (if you haven’t already) on the link-up party that happens Wednesdays weekly. The encouragement you bring would be a blessings to the community at Deep Roots! Blessings to you 🙂

    • Hi, Jacqueline. 🙂 It’s nice to “meet” you. I’ve been enjoying linking up at your blog for a month or more now. I appreciate you extending an invitation, though. It’s confirmation for me that your blog is a good place for me to link to. I greatly appreciate your kind words as I really admire your blog and community.
      Jen 🙂

  8. Pouring Down Like Rain says:

    Thanks for stopping by my site today. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of teaching your children about helping others spread the gospel and about serving/loving their neighbor. I will have to check out your similar post. Kim

  9. Tina says:

    Thanks for compiling this list. I was familiar with about half of them, so I’m excited to find some new ones! Hopped over from Mom’s Library.
    Tina

    • I’m glad you found some new ones, Tina! 🙂 If you’re interested in looking for more, click on the link at the bottom of the post to head over and check out my sister’s ideas for emphasizing missions in the home. She has some very creative ones posted!
      Jen 🙂

  10. This is a fabulous list of great resources – such a useful thing to share.

    I linked here from 1-minute Bible Love Notes and thought you might want to link this post at the linkup I host called Essential Fridays.

    http://essentialthingdevotions.com/2013/07/19/family-life-quality-time-part-2/

    I’m sure my readers would love to see this!

    Blessings.

    • I’m so sorry, Melanie, but your comment got lost in my spam folder for some reason. 🙂 Now that I have found it, I’ll definitely look up Essential Fridays. Thank you for the invite!
      Jen 🙂

  11. Rachelle says:

    It’s not about “missions” in the sense we normally think, but Compassion International can be a great resource, too. When you sponsor a child, your own children can write to the sponsored child. Compassion also puts out a magazine for sponsors maybe three times per year. You can opt in to receive a children’s insert in that magazine. It’s geared toward younger children, but it’s very well done. The insert contains information about children in other cultures, hands-on activities to do, stories about children doing something to help others, etc.

    • Compassion was one on my mind as well, Rachelle. However, I didn’t know about the insert for children – how neat! 🙂 Thanks for sharing that tip with us!
      Jen 🙂

  12. What a great list of resources. I can’t wait to delve into these as my kids grow older! I love Dave and Neta Jackson’s books – I am sure I’d find the trailblazer series fascinating to read with my kids. Thank you very much for a wonderful and informative post!

    • Thanks, Rosilind! I know there are many resources out there, but these ones were the most interesting for my family. We just finished the Samuel Morris story and it prompted a really good discussion about missions and about following God wherever He leads!
      Jen 🙂

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