Blog, On Mission

On Mission Mom Spotlight: J serving in Southeast Asia

* we can’t share her pic here, her name, or where she serves… but you can pray regardless and be encouraged by this On Mission Mom as she strives to be intentional and balance her time!

Introduce your family and what you guys do, etc.

My name is J and my husband is T. We have four children and we live in a Southeast Asian country that is primarily Buddhist; however, our main focus and people group are Muslim. In our country the people we serve are disliked and hated. They have very little freedom in our country and many struggle just to vote or travel. They are often happy to talk with believers. They feel a closeness to us because we hold many same beliefs, such as following one God.

What’s been your biggest joy in living and serving overseas?

The biggest joy in living overseas is learning this new culture and loving on these people. We have some great people here and they are happy to help. Whenever I am out with the kids, usually someone comes over and helps me carry them or helps guide them in the direction we are going. The people here love to help.

We are beginning to see our children have a love for the nations, because they see this country as home and they love their friends and want to share with them the Good News, even now as children.

What’s been the biggest struggle?

The biggest struggle here besides missing family like crazy, is remembering the culture we live in 24/7. There are days I would like to go to the store and back without someone pinching my kids cheeks. Or having to stop when we are at the park every few feet because everyone wants a picture with the foreign children. My children sometimes get shy and just want to hide when people start talking to them and they don’t understand all that is being said to them. This is not the culture I grew up in, and it takes effort to remember how to react to situations I would see as weird and they think is an everyday occurrence. It doesn’t mean their culture is wrong. It is just different. We look at it in a different way and see what they see. There are many times my baby loves posing for pics, so his brother and sisters get out of it. I think he now thinks it is weird to go somewhere and people not look at him. We love these people and every pinch and picture also shows that they like us also, and are willing to be around us. We can even use that to share with them life changing news!

How do you involve the kiddos in what you do?

Right now in our work there are very few believers in the people we are reaching. We are going out and pr* walking around their places of worship. Also T goes out regularly to share with people and I go to an English club where many girls are trying to learn English. Every Sunday we have a family pr* time for our people and the kids ask for them to hear the Good News. We go to parks and as a family hang out with other families and the children play together and naturally talk about what they know. My oldest child is passionate about wanting to share with people. Our older girls also attend a dance class and on Easter they wore the Easter story in henna on their hand and made cookies for their class to share.

Whats one way that you stay “On Mission” where you live?

One thing we try to do to keep “on Mission” is to remind the kids as we go out that we are being intentional. We are going to keep our eyes open for the person Father is sending our way today. That person may be someone who we are supposed to share with. That could be the kid on a slide with you or the lady giving you candy from her store. Just be ready and willing to share and help Mama and Daddy also recognize and share too!

What’s one thing you are learning as a mom?

The thing I am learning these days is balance. Our schedule can get very busy as most moms know. I am learning how to maximize my time and focus on what He has entrusted to me at this moment in my life. Right now my main focus is homeschooling and discipling my children. In doing that, we also go out to tell others.

How can we lift you up as you love and serve your families and others?

As you think of us just lift up that we use our time wisely. Ask that we recognize the opportunities in our path to share. Ask that our children will be bold and share with us. That we continue to learn language and culture to be better at reaching their hearts.

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Blog, Mission Ideas

Neighborhood Prayer Walk – Printable!

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I keep thinking in my head that the weather is cooler outside… it’s NOT! Especially here in South Carolina. We did have a few days of windier, cooler weather over the weekend thanks to Florence, but it was just a tease of the Fall Weather to come! As it does get cooler though and the seasons change, its a great opportunity to get outside and go for a walk with your kiddos and prayer walk through your neighborhood. Or maybe you could go for a family walk together. I’ve shared several posts about prayer walking so as you can see, I think it’s pretty important! But it’s also just an easy and powerful way to get your kiddos (and you!) moving and praying and thinking of others! And it’s FREE! And you don’t even have to put on makeup or fix your hair… if you don’t want!

One of the most important areas that you can prayer walk is your very own neighborhood. As you walk, look for things that might spark a thought in your head and simply pray. Pray for your neighbors as you walk by their homes. Pray for the mailman as you see the mailboxes line the street. You can let your mind recall all kinds of things and simply just bring them before the Father. I fear sometimes that we try to make “prayer walking” more spiritual than it has to be – just walk and talk to a Heavenly Father who loves to chat with you! But be intentional to use that time to pray for others – not yourself, but others!

You can also make it fun for the little ones by letting it be a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt. We’ve pretended to be on an “adventure” and walked and talked and prayed and it’s one of our favorite things to do!

Here’s a FREE Neighborhood PrayerWalk Printable that you can use with your kiddos too for some ideas of what to pray about.

Be sure to hop over to the socials to share pics of your crew as you are on your fun scavenger hunt prayer walk or comment below new ideas of things that we can pray for in our neighborhoods!

Also, if you haven’t downloaded the Back To School PrayerWalk, you still can!

 

 

Blog, Mission Ideas

Service Project Ideas for the Fall

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Every season change reminds me how much I just love the season to come! Okay, maybe not winter, but that’s just me… I’m a summer and fall kinda gal! And after a great summer, I’m even more excited about the new season coming. What’s not to love about cooler weather, beautiful leaves, mountains, and apples and pumpkins! If you don’t live in the south, I’m sorry…. hehe

In the midst of all the Fall Family fun, I want to make sure that we, as a family, are focused on the most important things, the eternal things,  and I pray that is the desire of your heart as well. Here are some simple and fun ideas for ways to serve others this Fall. 

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Love and Serve a HomeBound Neighbor or Friend. 

Who doesn’t love getting flowers?! Let your little one go with you to Lowe’s or Home Depot and let them pick out a small mum or other fall plant. Schedule a time to stop by and let them deliver the sweet little gift. The cool thing is  that both of you will love it! Your neighbor will love the visit and gift and you will love watching your little one take part in something simple. Offer to rake their leaves and help them with their yard! This is a fun way to serve and love and little ones love to jump in the pile of leaves at the end of a hard days work! 

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Adopt an International College Student.

We live in a college town and there are students from all over the world, right at our door step! We decided this year to not miss out on helping one of those students get settled and have a great experience here in America. You could invite your student apple picking with you and your little one. Or invite them over to make s’mores or roast hot dogs. Invite them into your home and share your lives with them and share Jesus too! Become a friend to someone who is “different” than you and watch how blessed both of your lives become! If you are unsure where to start, just contact your local college or your local Baptist Association office more than likely has a way to connect you. 

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Mail a Missionary Package.

This is a perfect time to put together a package for that family that you know and love that serves Jesus in a really hard place! Find out things they love, but chances are anything that you put together – especially handwritten notes and pics will put a smile on their face! It will also more than likely arrive before Christmas and who doesn’t love extra goodies around this time of year! Make sure to check their security status and whether they can receive packages beforehand! You don’t want them paying customs and taxes on a gift you send their way… 

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Host a Neighborhood Fall Festival.

Get together with another neighbor and put on a neighborhood fall festival. Now this could be a bit more work and planning,  but I’m sure all the neighborhood kids would love it! This is a great way to introduce yourself to those neighbors that you haven’t met yet. It’s also a way to love and encourage neighbors that you do know! Pull out the last of the summer fun like water balloons or sidewalk chalk. Carve Pumpkins! Grill hotdogs and make s’mores (are you seeing a trend in food here yet?) just have fun and love and serve those truly at your door step! 

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Serve friends when they are sick. 

I’ve noticed since school started back, so have the mommy posts about sick kiddos and germs spreading. When you notice a friend mention sick kiddos, take a few minutes and reach out to them and see if you could help out! It’s hard being a mama, much less with a house full of sick kiddos! If it’s a really close friend, just show up with that container of soup and flowers and leave it at their door. (cause you know you don’t want to catch anything either! ha) Have your little one draw the kiddos a card and pray for them. 

What ideas or service projects have you done with your little ones in the Fall? Share your fun ideas below in the comments or over on our Instagram Post! For more fun ideas, be sure to follow our On Mission Moms Pinterest Page! 

 

Blog, Mission Ideas

September Prayer Meal Idea: Myanmar

Myanmar is such a beautiful country. As I was scrolling through the socials looking and researching for this prayer meal, I was blown away by the beauty of her people and her land. When you look deeper and past the beauty of this country though, you will see a country that has faced much strife and conflict and a country with differing peoples and religions, which is what led us to choose this beautiful land to pray for over the next couple months. Also, dear friends of ours have the privilege of calling this their home and they have been striving to make it an even more beautiful land and we journey with them through our prayers!

This month the prayer meal idea might be a little different and hard, especially if you have picky eaters. Maybe you could prepare this meal and see what they do?! Kids will surprise us! Or better yet, get them in the kitchen to help you and talk about how it’s gonna be different but different doesn’t always mean bad!? Again, please do what works best and just know that the reason behind prayer meals is to PRAY for the country and fellow believers and to expose our little ones to different cultures along the way! So regardless if they eat one bite or ask for seconds, they have experienced a new place and new food and can pray either way, right?!

Now- on to the yumminess! Our friends shared this recipe with us and how most national families will eat something like this, even for breakfast!  Many dishes include fish too but this seemed simple enough, yet still authentic too.

Burmese Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup

Photo from Tara’s Multicultural Table Blog 

Prayer Requests:

Pray for our friends, T&J and their four kiddos as they live and serve in this beautiful hard place! Pray for the kiddos as they learn and grow! Pray for great friendships for each of them. Pray for opportunities to share truth with their friends and those that they intersect with daily.

Pray for the many people who have had to flee this country in search of a new home due to violence and harm against them.

Pray that this country would be beautiful inside and out…for heart and life change!

 

Let us know what your kiddos thought of this meal idea? Did they like it? Was it too different and strange? Did it lead you to have great conversations at the table or just a puddle of tears and frustrations!? Even though the meal is different, how can your family be praying for the work in Myanmar? This fun family will be local with us during October and we will be hosting a time to get together and learn more about how to cook a fun different meal and lead our little ones to love Jesus and love others. If you would like more info, email us at onmissionmoms@gmail.com !

Blog, On Mission, Uncategorized

A Mom (and daughter) On Mission: Angela & Sierra

One of my most favorite families and mentors, Angela, recently took her youngest daughter to Brazil to serve and share Jesus! Angela has great wisdom as a wife and mom, but most of all, she’s a lady that loves Jesus and wants other to know Him here in Spartanburg and around the world!

1. Introduce you and your fun family!

My name is Angela and I am wife to my best friend Greg, and mom to seven of my most favorite people in the world.

2. How/why did you feel led to go on this trip and bring Sierra with you? Or did she want to go first?

My parents are missionaries in Brazil, so the opportunity to minister in this country is ever present. My four older kids have all been to Brazil to do missions work and two of them have been there for an extended amount of time. About a year ago, Sierra, who was 15 at the time, said she really wanted to go. At that time I was not sure if she was just curious about a country that she had heard so much about or if she was hearing God’s call to go. After Christmas, I begin to feel God calling me to go out of the country on mission. This surprised me a bit, because I had felt for some time that I was content to stay home and “hold down the fort” allowing several of my family members to travel and be on mission.  Shortly after that, Sierra came to me and said she really wanted to go to Brazil in the summer. We have typically tried to cultivate curiosity for mission trips in our children but desire that the calling come from God. From that point on, Sierra was convinced she was supposed to be in Brazil this summer.  God confirmed to me and to her that this was something he had put the desire in her heart for.  One evidence was that her desire did not waiver. She was comfortable missing out on things that had previously been valuable to her, in order to be where God was leading her. For those of you with teenagers, you know that stepping out and doing something different is not the norm.

3. How did you prepare yourself and help her prepare?

I wanted our time in Brazil to be as profitable as possible. I knew we needed to prepare for the trip just as much spiritually, as we were physically. I went to the IMB (International Mission Board) website and found a Bible study to help us prepare. The study was a tool to cultivate spiritual conversations to help us prepare. We talked about why we should share our faith and how to share faith, what happens when share our faith and even practiced sharing our faith. We read scripture together and prayed for the people that would be in our path as we went. The study even covered things to be conscience of while we were in route and how to prepare for a different culture. The most valuable part was just talking with Sierra about the Gospel and hearing what it meant to her.

4. What lessons did you learn serving together?

I was reminded how much freedom there is in obedience. When we obey God, we don’t have to worry about the outcome or even the process. We leave that to Him. In obedience we are able to get a clear picture of God and all He wants for us.

5. What advice would you give Moms about going on missions with your children?

I constantly remind myself that my children are not my own and no matter how much I love them, God loves them infinitely more. If the goal for my kids is to love God and love other people . . .and it should be, then I must give them opportunities to do just that. Love God by sharing what he has done for us. Love God by sacrificing time and money to go where He has called. Being “on mission” with your child enables you to see them in a whole new light. You see the talents and abilities that God has given them. Knowing these strengths, you can look for opportunities to serve based on their giftedness. Remember when we are on missions with our kids sometimes we need to step back and let them lead. Let the Holy Spirit speak to them and don’t interfere. Many times God uses our kids to teach others and US!

Thank you Angela for your wisdom and encouragement to raise our kiddos to be World Changers who love JESUS and love others and for sharing your most recent journey with Sierra!

Blog, Mission Ideas

Service Idea: Sponsoring a Child

Sponsoring a Child type programs are a great and easy way to begin serving alongside of our little ones. It can begin to open their eyes and their hearts to others around the world. I asked my friend, Brittany, to share with us about their experience and how an opportunity like this is impacting their family.

Guadalupe is the name of the very first sponsored child that I can remember. My family sponsored her through Compassion as I grew up. I loved writing letters to her and getting her updated picture. She was like a long distance friend that we loved and prayed for.

As soon as I started earning my own money I chose my own sponsored child. I picked a cute little guy from Haiti, a country that was dear to my heart. A few years down the road, when I was pregnant with my first little one, I received word that this child no longer needed a sponsor so I would get to choose another.

Brad and I decided to choose a child that had the same birthday as Ben, a “birthday buddy”. We would easily remember this child and his birthday and as Ben grew we could teach him to love, pray for, encourage and share with his birthday buddy! Our hope is that as Ben grows and is spoiled on his birthday and Christmas he would feel led to give gifts to his “birthday buddy” and learn how to love others and be generous to others.

Compassion makes it super easy to find that perfect child to sponsor and gives so many opportunities for letters, pictures, extra gifts and even visits to your sponsored child!

Fun Ideas for Sponsoring A Child:

1. Choose a child with the same names or similar names. You’ll remember them often that way!

2. Place their picture and letter in a prominent place and view them as part of your family. Make sure to encourage your little one to pray for him or her. Talk about what you think that they might be doing, what their life might be like, their school, their family.

3. Write to them, send them packages, and stay connected as much as your organization will allow! Some will even let you visit them. This would be a great first mission trip opportunity.

4. Invite your little one into the process. If you haven’t chosen a child, let them help you. Encourage them to write or draw them pictures. The more they interact, the more they will develop a love and compassion for them and for others in the process.

5. Let your little one help with funding for the sponsorship. If they are old enough, let them host a bake sale or lemonade stand. When they are giving their money, it becomes more real to them.

6. Prepare a meal like your child would eat one evening and talk about their life and the similarities and the differences.

7. Read A Day in the Life, a sweet little book by Dr. Lorie Lee with your Little Ones.

If you are local to Spartanburg, the Compassion Experience is coming our way, September 7-10 and is a great way to help our little ones see what life is like. For more info, be sure to check our the Compassion Experience Event Page.

There are several organizations or even churches that you can sponsor a child through. We are not endorsing just Compassion International, although we do believe that they do a great job of serving families around the world! What other organization or ministry have you partnered with? What are some other creative ways to serve through Sponsoring a Child?

Comment below!

Blog

National Book Lover’s Day!

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Today just happens to be National Book Lovers Day and what better way to expose our little ones to other cultures than through reading books! Most of us can’t pack up and go to these different countries, but we can read to our little ones and help them understand a little of what it’s like to live in a country far away or live in a different culture 

Here are some of my favorite books that we have on our book shelf right now or we’ve grabbed from the library recently:

 

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My Name is Yoon

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The Name Jar

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Rain School 

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We all went on Safari 

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How many Donkeys? 

And here are a couple of my favorite missional books to encourage our Mama hearts: 

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Raising World Changers in a Changing World

Kristen Welch

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Imperfect Courage 

Jessica Honegger

*This book is set to release NEXT week! I was able to be a part of the Book Launch Team and had my hands on a prerelease copy and it’s GOOD! 

 

What books are your favorite to read or to read to your little ones?! 

 

*I am not being compensated for sharing any of these books or links to Amazon, just love them and want to share the love!