Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Much Ado about Missions: The Experience

Much Ado about Missions

Today marks the beginning of week two of our Much Ado about Missions blog-hop series.  In case you’re joining us for the first time, in the first week we zeroed in on the need for emphasizing global missions and how we can accomplish that even within our homes.  I shared an introductory post about why the need is so great (and so often misunderstood) and then followed up with a post on 8 Resources for Teaching Missions in the Home.  Sarah, from Love Notes, wrote an excellent post on how to engage children’s hearts by engaging their hands in The Missional M&Ms.  Angie, from My Four Monkeys, finished off the week with a fantastic craft to introduce the concept of missions in Introducing Missions to Little Ones.  If you missed any of these posts. you might want to catch up before we delve into this week’s topic. 🙂

While we discussed impacting our homes in week one, this week we’ll be discussing how to impact our communities and even our world.  So, week two will be more about missions experience opportunities and outreach opportunities for you and your family no matter what your circumstances!

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my husband is a minister in a small country town.  So, by nature of his job, our family experiences a lot of community outreach through our church and even aside from the church.   However, we also want our family to be involved in things that have an impact beyond our community.  We want to be mindful of the needs in that great big world out there and have the Lord’s heart for the nations.  I listened to a sermon recently given by a missionary who said that he drove a single mile  to the church he was speaking at that morning and passed 3 churches on the way! Yet in an unreached people group in China that is 15 million strong, not a single church exists. Not. One.

So, I’m going to start out the week by challenging you to leave the comfort of your own home, your own city, your own state and try something as a family that could potentially change many lives.  My husband and I want our children to understand the importance of global missions as much as they understand community service and outreach, and that requires us to stretch beyond what is comfortable.   Experiencing firsthand is so much more powerful than just hearing about it from missionaries who come to speak at church or your former MK wife/mother. 🙂 So, we’ve put together a very brief list of experiences that could benefit the whole family.

the missions experience

Church missions trips – If your church is offering a missions trip experience, this would be the perfect way for you, and possibly your family, to experience and serve alongside a missionary that your church is already connected with.  While  heading into unfamiliar territory, you would at least have the comfort of travelling and experiencing right alongside other members of your church.  This type of trip helps you to better understand the need as well as the missionaries you help support.

Wayumi – if  leaving your home country to serve in a remote location scares the pants off of you, or just isn’t possible for medical reasons, etc., why not start with a missions experiences available right here in America through New Tribes Mission?  You can spend anywhere from 1 day to a week at Wayumi, a center located in Pennsylvania, and be exposed to other cultures, the trials of language study, and so forth.  Although the experience offers very realistic replications of tribal huts, tribal foods, and so on, some modern conveniences are still available.  It’s a way to learn about missions and perhaps even stretch yourself and your family a bit, but the cost is significantly less than an overseas trip.

Serve with New Tribes Mission (NTM) – http://usa.ntm.org/go – this non-denominational mission that focuses on church planting along with scripture translation offerst a variety of opportunties for families and even college students.  Short term, service-based trips last anywhere from 2-4 weeks, while longer stays of a year are necessary for associate workers who go to fill an immediate need.  College students can even earn credits through the Interface internship program in Papua New Guinea.

World Changershttp://www.lifeway.com/worldchangers/index.php/about/ – is a program for youth through college age students.  These trips usually take place in the summer months, when groups travel to specific cities to complete community service projects.  In the past, some groups have gone to inner city ministries, disaster areas for restoration projects, etc.  This is not your everyday community service.  Students complete bible study/training beforehand, including learning how to use evangelistic tools.  If you have or know a youth, this program is an excellent way to teach them how to be someone who changes the world!

These are just a very few of the multitude of opportunities to serve your world beyond your neighborhood, your town, your state, even your country!  What can your family do to stretch and grow beyond what is normal and familiar to you?  How might you consider helping to reach the most unreached peoples of the Earth, the third of our world  population who currently have no hope?

I know that God asks believers to fill a variety of roles in the Body, of which missions is only one.  But I also know that God’s heart is for all nations, not just the one we live in.  I read another missionary comment recently that said what is most needed is not more money.  He reminded us, “Jesus is the fishes and loaves guy.”  What is needed is those who will be willing to advocate for the most unreached people groups and those who will be willing to answer the call of “Whom can I send?”

Deny self

As I mentioned in the Introduction of this blog-hop, I don’t have all of the answers, even for our family.  I believe it is something that all Christians should prayerfully consider. How will you respond?

Jen 🙂

If you know of another firsthand missions experience opportunity, please feel free to share with the readers in the comments!

Want to learn more about the value of a firsthand missions experience for teens?  Read here:
http://www.wordslingersok.com/2013/07/7-reasons-teens-need-to-go-on-short-term-mission-trips-2/

You may find me at any of these lovely blogs.

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Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

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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