Blog, Mission Ideas, On Mission

Reclaiming Halloween

I strongly believe that what the world meant for evil, God can redeem for good. It’s somewhere in the Bible, right? (Actually Gen. 50:20, where Joseph is speaking to his brothers after they sold him…)

I tend to view Halloween a lot like that. While the world often sees it and pushes it as evil, it doesn’t have to be. As believers, we can reclaim it and use it for His good and for His glory!

Here are a couple ways to do that!

1. Use the evening of trick or treating as an opportunity to get to know your neighbors. Have candy for the kiddos but also provide something for the adults too – maybe a cup of hot coffee or cider, maybe a bag of popcorn. Our Life Group (Sunday school class) did this and not only had a great time together but we were able to help some of our friends meet their neighbors and pray with a few parents too! It led to great conversations and connections and who doesn’t love a quick warm drink when you’re walking around forever with your little super hero or princess.

2. Treat (don’t trick) your Neighbors! We have great neighbors and it makes it so fun when we get to surprise them with extra goodies! And they are so sweet to do the same!! Make some special treats for those that live right beside you or those neighbors that maybe aren’t believers and you are developing a great friendship with. Attach a special note and let them know you are thankful for them and praying for them! Look especially for that neighbor that maybe isn’t able to get out or is alone… this can be a stressful and lonely evening for some! So pray for them and stop and chat! You may be their only conversation that day…

What ideas can you share to help us reclaim Halloween and use it as an opportunity to share Christ with our little ones and our neighbors?

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Mission Ideas

Service Idea: Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

 

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It feels weird posting about Christmas Shoe Boxes when we just celebrated the first day of Fall but it’s time! Shoe boxes have been around for quite some time and are a great and easy way to get your kiddos involved in serving and thinking of others. If your church is focusing on the shoeboxes during this time, just grab a box from them and pack it full of fun items for either a boy or girl, depending on their age. Then return the filled shoe box back to your church. If not, be sure to follow the instructions on their website (link below).

Here are some great ideas to do with your box as you prepare and pack and serve with your kiddos.

1. Let your children go shopping with you!

I know, I know.. it’s so much faster and easier to just go grab the items while the kids are in school but that takes part of the fun away from the kids. Let them make a list of things that you could put in the box, let them use some of their money, and let them actually buy the items from the store. It becomes their own project at that point.

2. Draw a picture or write a note for the kid receiving the box!

Samaritan’s Purse has a great little letter template on their website too that you can download for your kiddos to color and fill out. Let them draw in the box too! Be creative and fun and it will be fun for your kiddos – and the child receiving it.

3. Pray over the box (or boxes) as a family!

It’s so important to model to your kiddos and it helps them become a bit more attached to the box and who might be receiving it, what their story will be, and how we can have a part in a child’s life that lives around the world.

4. Talk about the Box and how it will get to where it’s going! 

This could lead to some great conversations with your kids about why you are packing a box, what their child might be like, how you can pray for children around the world, poverty and serving others. Don’t shy away from these conversations! These are great building blocks for our children to learn and be a part of! You can even track your box too, which is fun!

 

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For more info about Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes and how to pack, etc. be sure to check out Samaritan’s Purse Website !

Also, hop on over to our Pinterest Page for more Shoebox Ideas and Wisdom!

Have you packed a shoe box before? If so, what items do you pack? How do you involve your kiddos? Hop over to OMM Instagram and share those ideas so we can learn from one another!

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, 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, Mission Ideas

Prayer Walking Scavenger Hunt: Free Printable

 

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If you have followed along for any length of time around here, you will see that one of the most talked about activities for us to use with our children is prayer walking. Our little town has made it so very easy to go for a quick prayer walk around the city center by installing these really cool lightbulbs. So we’ve gone on several prayer walks through our city on a hunt for lightbulbs. So much so that when my four year old finds a new lightbulb, she makes us stop and pray. (Haha)

Prayer walking is easy and fun and a great way to expose our little ones to the constant need for prayer. It also helps them see the needs around them and emphasizes the importance of praying right then. And of course there is always the added bonus of helping them think of other things and people besides themselves. And to top it off, what little one doesn’t love to go on a fun scavenger hunt?!

As the new school year begins, we’ve created a fun “Back to School” Scavenger Hunt Printable that you can print and use with your little ones as you prayer walk at their school or a school in the neighborhood.

As a family you can look for the items and stop and pray together. If you’re one of those competitive families though, make a game out of it and see who can find and pray for the most items in a certain amount of time. Whatever you do, let’s make praying fun! Let’s encourage our little ones to see things like flag poles, school buses, and crayons differently this year!  And most importantly, let’s begin our school year by praying!


Back to School Prayer Walk Printable

 

And as you’re starting the school year, be sure to check out the Back To School Tips for you and your family to start the school year ON Mission!

Be sure to post pics in our On Mission Moms Facebook Group of your fun Scavenger Hunt Prayer Walk or tag us at @OnMissionMoms!
Please only use the printable for your personal use!