Blog, Mission Ideas

Prayer Meal Idea: Afghanistan

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It’s a land that seems so mysteriously beautiful to me. I’ve never been there but have seen it’s mountains and desert hills in pictures. We’ve all seen pics of this country (usually from the news and usually cast in a negative light) but I know there is so much more beauty to this place. There has to be because God created that land and He only creates beautiful. I know there is beauty in their homes as they serve tea and welcome the stranger. Beauty in their villages as they gather to learn new trades to better their world. Beauty in their sweet children playing and laughing and loving life. 

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My sweet friend has been working in this country for several years now leading a group of women to weave rugs by hand so that they can provide more for their families. Their rugs are beautiful but their stories are even more so. We recently returned from visiting this friend (in a different country) and my heart was challenged and encouraged as she shared stories of her dear friends and coworkers who are working hard and are learning and serving and hosting and welcoming. I pray that one day I can meet them. 

 

They recently created Christmas stockings that are absolutely beautiful. They don’t necessarily celebrate this holiday but I pray that one day they will. As we hang our stockings made by their hands this year, we will be preparing an Afghani meal and praying for ladies we’ve never met, for our dear friend who works so hard to lead and love them, and for the Christmas story to be told in that beautiful land that God loves. 

Here are a few links to yummy Afghani dishes that you could prepare too and spend some time praying for our friend serving in a beautifully hard place.

Afhghani Pulao Rice 

Afghani Chicken Pulao Rice

Afghani Pulao 

You can also support the work of their hands by purchasing the beautiful rugs and stockings that they have created over at their online shop, Qadimi Rugs.  Also, If you live local, we will be hosting a PopUp Shop on Dec. 1st from 4:00-6:00pm. Send us a message for more details!
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Mission Ideas

Serving through the Fall

 

 

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Fall is such a FUN season here in the South! The weather is cooler and it’s bearable to be outside for more than ten minutes. Wait – who am I kidding? It’s still 90 degree here…  But, the apples and pumpkins are ready to be picked. Football and campfires with SMores are back. It’s just a fun season!

In this fun season, there are LOTS of ways that we can love and serve others and lead our little ones to do the same! Here are just a few ideas:

1. Prayer Walk – Enjoy the cooler days, if you have them! Get out and go for a nature walk and embrace the beautiful fall colors but as you do, pray! Prayer walking is a simple fun way to focus your prayers and “pray as you go.”  Our little ones can learn so much from walking and praying with us too!

2. Homeless Blessing Bags – As the seasons begin to shift from hot to warm to cold, many of our homeless friends are needing encouragement. And what better way to encourage them than with a blessing bag.  A blessing bag can be super simple. Just grab a zip-loc bag and fill it with items like travel size shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, crackers and a water bottle. I promise you though, for many of our homeless friends, what will matter most will be the encouragement that you saw them and took time to acknowledge them. It will also help your little one begin to see others  in need too.

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If you are a local On Mission Mom, we are combining the top two opportunities and hosting a Pray & Play (and Serve too!) Event! Be sure to follow us over at Instagram for all the details and to sign up HERE to be a part of the fun! 

3. Smore’s Night in the Neighborhood – What better way to get to know your neighbors and friends during the fall than to sit around a campfire, and make Smore’s! So YUMMY!  You can make this simple or as fun and “Pinteresty” as you want, but the purpose is to get to know your neighbors, encourage them, share Jesus with them, laugh with them and build community!  I’ll be posting more about this idea soon!

4. Bake Treats for a Helping Agency in Town – We love to bake special treats and take them to our local helping agency, The Bridge, for those who are coming in for assistance. I’m so grateful for the atmosphere at the Bridge. They have coffee available for friends as they wait to be seen and helped, but many places don’t offer that. (Agencies often can’t justify the cost to do that and I totally get that!) This is a way to bless the agency, our friends in need, and your little ones as you bake and take the items to the agency. We’ve made cookies, banana bread and apple bread for friends to enjoy and look forward to making pumpkin bread and some of our favorite apple muffins soon. Be sure to check with your local agency to see if they are open to you doing this before you bake all the yumminess!

What fun ideas do you have for sharing Jesus and encouraging friends during the Fall season?  Be sure to follow along over at our Pinterest page for fun ideas or share an idea or two on our Instagram page!

 

Blog

everything has its season…

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I love the Fall – but I also love the summer and the spring and every time a season changes, honestly.  The change from winter to spring speaks such life and joy in my heart because it reminds me of the fresh and the new. Things start becoming green again and the sun shines longer and my heart rejoices. The changing from summer to Fall though is different and sometimes hard. It’s the dying away of the old. The green begins to turn to beautiful colors of red and orange and yellow. But sadly, it then turns brown. The old  dies…  So while I love the cooler weather, the pumpkins and the apples, and all things fall – it’s a different kind of love. It’s a knowing that things are dying and that’s okay, it’s their season.  The author of Ecclesiastes 3 says it best.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 

a time to be born and a time to die, 

a time to plant and a time to uproot, 

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build, 

a time to weep and a time to laugh, 

a time to mourn and a time to dance, 

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,  

a time to search and a time to give up, 

a time to keep and a time to throw away, 

a time to tear and a time to mend, 

a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

a time to love and a time to hate, 

a time for war and a time for peace.

So, as we head into the new season of Fall, what needs to die or fall away this season in your life so that Jesus can begin to grow a new thing in your heart and life? Just like a farmer has seasons of planting and harvest. He (or she) also has seasons where the things just need to be torn up or simply die – in order for new life to grow. And it’s hard and beautiful and eventually life-giving.

Mission Ideas

Prayer Meal Idea: India

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*A Prayer Meal Idea is just that – an idea to use to help you lead your little ones to experience different cultures, foods, and peoples and hopefully help you have conversations that will open up their hearts to a bigger world out there. It also gives you an opportunity to spend time praying for that country and learning how God is at work over a yummy meal.

One of our favorite meals to eat around the table is Indian food! One of my favorite people, Katie J.  passed on a recipe to us that she was given when she visited another friend living there, nearly 10 years ago. She’s used it and I’ve used it and probably along the years, it’s been changed here and there but it’s so very yummy and probably not even legit Indian food (ha).  But serve it over rice with Naan and eat with your fingers and it’s so very YUMMY! In fact, I’ve really never had Indian food I didn’t love! It’s all so very yummy!!

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For my favorite Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, keep reading!

As I was preparing to focus our hearts on India these next couple months, I reached out to a friend who has spent some time in this beautiful land hoping she could tell me some amazing things about what God is up to there in the land of over 1.3 billion people. And she did! She reminded me of the deep need for Christ to be present in this land where many are far from Him as they follow the Hindu religion and worship many different gods. She encouraged me to pray for the believers there to have boldness, to grow in truth, and to reach out to their neighbors with the love of Christ.   Pray that the many foreigners serving in this beautiful country will walk alongside of nationals and not “do” the work for them. Pray that many will come to know the Father and make him known in a land filled with such beauty and brokenness.

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For more info about India and ways to pray, Operation World is a great resource!

There are also some great resources over at Color&Kindness  where she highlights India, as well as other countries with great books, games, foods and lots of FUN ways to bring our kids into learning about other cultures!

Some other fun ways to learn more about India and enjoy their fun country is to try your hand at a game of cricket or pause in the afternoon for an Indian tea time but most importantly spend time praying for that beautiful land and her people.

Now try your hand at our favorite yummy Indian recipe or if you live near a legit Indian restaurant, head there and pray and give them your support!

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe 

  • 1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it hot like we do!)
  • 2 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. 1 Tsp, ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 boneless chicken, cut into pieces

 

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (if you like it hot!)
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cans tomato sauce (12 oz. total)
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine the first set of ingredients and let marinade for at least an hour in the fridge – the longer, the more flavorful!

In a large skillet, cook chicken until done. Discard the extra marinade.  Place the chicken in a bowl and wipe out the skillet. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic and jalapeño for one minute. Season with the cumin, paprika, and salt and sauté for another minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Simmer on low until the sauce thickens. (20 minutes or so) Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice and eat with your fingers and Naan.

*This can be super spicy! When we are making it for our family, we omit the cayenne  and only use half of the black pepper it calls for in the marinade. We also omit the jalepenos used in the sauce. My hubby likes it spicy though so he adds his own jalepenos on top on his own plate.

*I have no idea who to give credit to for this recipe as it was passed to me from a friend who visited there over 10 years ago…

 

As always, tag us at @OnMissionMoms and share a pic of your family enjoying this yummy meal and praying for this beautiful country!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Mission

Sending Well

I’m usually the one that is “going” so it was just kinda weird to not be the one packing the bag or boarding the plane this time. It was his turn though and I was determined to send him well!

We baked the cookies and hid the notes in his bag. We made a countdown paper chain to help us all visualize how many more sleeps we had. We had prayer points for each day to remind us how to pray for him. We FaceTimed a few times to be silly and giggle. We made the welcome home sign and drove to the airport.

But for me this time, it was also about more than just doing those little things. It was about preparing my own heart to see God work there with him and here with us too as we stayed home. It was about walking in faith and not in fear or anxiety, which I’m sometimes honestly prone to do.

I had to remind myself of these things (often):

1. God is the same loving and caring God here with us and present with him, 2000 miles apart.

2. God has called us to GO (and send, welcome, pray, and give) and He alone will sustain us whether it’s a week or a lifetime.

3. God is at work all around the world and also right here and He has welcomed us to be a part of His work!

Isn’t that worth celebrating!?

Was it hard, sure!

Were there tears? From all of us, at different times and different days!

Am I tired – it’s 7:30 and I’m already in my PJs…

But if God is calling us to go and send again, our answer is yes! In fact, I’m already planning my trip! Ha

And now that daddy is home, all is right in our little world.

On Mission

Local Mamas: Pray & Play

Join us for a fun morning of praying and playing at Jesse Boyd Elementary. While I wish we could do this at every school, we had to choose one. BUT, we will be spending some time praying for those schools that are represented.

We also want to bless the school and the teachers so please be sure to bring the best school supplies or a gift card that can be given to a teacher to use in her classroom as a simple way to say thanks and that we love them!

Be sure to sign up HERE to let us know that you are coming!

See ya there ready to pray and play and start our school year off with lots of fun!

On Mission

A Mom Who Goes, Carol Ann’s Story

I’m so thankful for my dear friend and former teammate, Carol Ann, who loves Jesus, her hubby, and her family and is such an example to me in her going – even with little ones!  I pray she encourages your heart to go too!

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Before you read my story, here is a quick word about me.  My name is Carol Ann.  I live in Norman, Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!).  I am wife to Blake, who runs Life For All International an International Pro-Life Ministry.  I am mom to Jordan (7) and Marcus (4).  I homeschool.  I serve in my church in many areas, but I especially love discipling college students.  I go on short term mission trips to Guatemala every year and last year went on a college trip to South Padre Island.

Missions is in my blood.  I can’t help it.  It’s how I was raised…in Panama (Central America) with a mom and dad who were called to take the Gospel to the nations.  My childhood was exciting and a blessing, which is something I took for granted until adulthood.  The lessons I learned were numerous.  I know what true poverty looks like.  I’ve seen a church planted and growing.  I’ve worshipped in a completely different context and culture.  I did not always appreciate where God placed my family, but I would not trade my childhood for anything.

As an adult, I’ve wrestled with my call to missions.  I married a guy who felt called, even though I was unsure of my call.  God worked that out and we headed off for two years in North Africa.  Even though we were passionate, we failed miserably and learned tough lessons on reliance on God and not on our own pride.  It was a hard season, but we always assumed we would land back on the mission field.

“Assume” is not a good word for a follower of Jesus.  We also assumed that we could have kids whenever we were ready.  God had other plans and more lessons to teach us about reliance on Him.  After some hard years of waiting, we adopted Jordan in 2012.  He was a fire cracker; full of energy and life.  He also had some bonus challenges as a result of pre-natal exposures.  But we loved being parents and tried to adopt again three times.  Once again, we assumed we knew what God had in store.  After a year of loss and grief, God surprised us with a biological baby.  Marcus was born in 2014 and is the sweetest boy I know.

So, there we were with this call to missions and yet, because of the challenges our then 3 year old was facing, we did not know what God had in store.  We had “assumed” that our call to missions meant our going, but God made it abundantly clear that this was not His plan.  It took a lot of wrestling to figure out that God wanted us to stay.  We handled it in our own ways, but to summarize, we are called to be Senders in our church.  We give, we pray, we teach, we encourage, and we go!

When my kids were born, short term missions was not on my radar, because most of my time and energy were spent restraining an overstimulated Jordan and keeping Marcus alive (if you’ve met him, you would understand that statement).  I was drowning in diapers, potty training, toys, discipline…you know the drill.  Being a mom to little humans is so hard.  But somewhere in the chaos, God whispered “You need to go”.  At our church’s annual missions banquet, a friend shared about his experience in Guatemala and his desire to take a group from our church.  I said “yes” to God and signed up, but the trip was still seven months out.

As the trip approached, my anxiety grew.  Marcus was 2 and Jordan was 5.  They were wild, and as I mentioned earlier, Marcus is extremely accident prone.  The day before the trip, my anxiety level was at an all-time high.  I purchased an overpriced security system and wrote an 8 page schedule (manifesto) with every single detail I could think of, including warnings about parking lots and water in the area.  Blake is a great dad.  He was willing to let me go, but I was a mess.  I was having nightmares about my kids getting hit by cars or drowning (hence the manifesto).  I forgot why I wanted to go.  I didn’t want to leave my kids.

But I did leave.  I got on the plane, only after one last call to my mother-in-law to remind her about the small lake by the ball fields.  But I got on the plane.  And I’m so glad I did.  Turns out, God protected my children even though Blake never read my manifesto.  I got home after a week and there they were with their unmatching clothes and dirty faces.  But they were alive!  All of the anxiety was for nothing.  And I’m so grateful that I went, because God showed me He was faithful and gave me a deep love for Guatemala in the process.

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I recently returned from my 5th week-long trip (3 to Guatemala, one to Padre, and one to Virginia).  This time I only had one pre-trip nightmare and my schedule for Blake was just a schedule with reminders about ball games and birthday parties.  Blake travels for his job, so my kids have adjusted to parents who go.  They even are counting down the years until they are 16 and can go to Guatemala with me.  Even though they are a little sad to send one of us off, they do just fine and they have learned so much from having parents who go.

So what does being a mom who goes look like?  Why do I do it?  Well, because I am a mom who loves Jesus and He can use me in all of my “Mom-ness”.

1. I do it for Jesus.  He saved me and He wants to use me.  He called me and He provides.  I can stay here and share the Gospel but I am honored that He would allow me the privilege of telling people in Guatemala about Him.

2. I do it for my kids.  I want them to understand God’s call for us to take the Gospel to the nations.  I’m so thankful that I can be an example of obedience.  They make sacrifices, yes.  But they do it for Jesus and for the people who are hearing God’s Word in Guatemala.

3. I do it for the moms in Guatemala.  I love sitting and encouraging a sweet lady who is overwhelmed with parenting children.  And many of them are parenting children in very difficult situations like extreme poverty or absent husbands.  On this past trip, I was able to share with a group of moms, all raising kids in the shadow of the dump, just how proud I was of them for how they were raising their children.  I have had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with many moms who have then accepted Christ.  They are now trying to teach their children and are praying for unbelieving husbands.  It’s a blessing to hug them and encourage them and pray for them.

4. I do it for the students on our teams.  I have several high school and college students who call me their “Guatemala Mom”.  This is a very specific passion that God has given me…to encourage and disciple students who are experiencing missions for the first time in their young lives.  I’ve held girls while they sobbed about the poverty and brokenness they had witnessed.  I’ve encouraged and counseled students as they struggle to share the Gospel.  I love the “on the ground” time with the girls on these trips and they have always turned into discipleship relationships here in Norman.  I’m even “mom” to a few boys, which means they can come to me for hand sanitizer and hugs.  I cheer them on and have had the joy of watching them mature into leaders who are experienced and passionate about sharing the Gospel.  I love being “Guatemala Mom”.  It’s a joy and a privilege to walk with these young people.

Being a mom who goes is a blessing to my family and to my church.  It’s not for everyone; I understand that.  It takes a lot of faith to get on that plane and leave your kids behind.  It takes a rock star husband who holds down the fort.  It takes lots of conversations with the kids about God’s heart for the nations.  That first trip was brutal.  I came very close to not going, but I’m so glad I did.  I would have missed out on so many blessings.  God doesn’t need me, but He’s chosen to use me and I get to go be a part of His work across the ocean.

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