We’ve seen this beautiful country all over the news lately after a catastrophic explosion in Beirut. I honestly did not know much about this place before this happened, other than the food was yummy and the Lebanese people were so very resilient and strong. As the news has been coming out, it’s truly heartbreaking at the loss of life and the devastation that is so evident in Beirut and all across the country. This month, our family will be learning as much as we can about this beautiful country and praying for them as they continue to rebuild and recover.
As we prepare a meal, read books, and learn, we will also be enjoying a yummy meal and spend time praying for the devastation in that land. There are a LOT of recipes over on Pinterest for making Lebanese food. Be sure to follow our On Mission Moms Pinterest Page for Lebanese Recipe ideas. We also have a yummy restaurant that serves great middle eastern food near by which we hope to support as well. Do you have a local restaurant that you can support during this time?
A prayer meal is simply that – an opportunity to pray for a country or place as you eat a yummy meal that is from that land. It’s also an opportunity to eat some things that may not necessarily be something you eat all the time or maybe you’ve never tried before. This helps our little ones learn about how places are different and cultures have different foods and while they are different than what we are used to, it’s not “bad”. This is a simple way to help our little ones see that there is value and importance in other cultures around the world.
There are also several great non-profits currently on the ground there that are working to help those in need. If you would like to learn more about what is happening and how we can support financially during this time, be sure to follow: Preemptive Love and Heart for Lebanon.
This year is going to be so very different. We’ve all been hearing and talking about it and many of us have had to make really hard decisions for this coming year, especially our education friends. Many are learning day to day of the changes that they are having to make to their classrooms and the way they teach. Many are moving from in person teaching to virtual teaching. Many are parents themselves and are having to figure it all out for their children too. So much is being placed upon their shoulders right now and I’m so very thankful for the great work that they are doing!
One of the most important thing that we can do for our teachers and administrators this upcoming year is to pray for them. A simple way that we can pray for them is praying straight thought the alphabet, a tool many of them use in their classrooms daily! As you pray, let each letter and word guide your prayers for them. You could pray each of the letters each day over your child’s teacher or take a letter a day or week, whatever pace you want to take. But the most important thing is that we are intentional with our prayers for those in education this year! And maybe even more important and special, would be to actually let them know that you are praying for them.
Regardless of the decision that we each make for school this year, we all have friends and family who will walk into our schools daily or teach from their computer. Let’s be faithful to pray for them, encourage and cheer them on!
Praying the ABC’s :
Ability to adapt
Yay (ability to celebrate!)
Zealous – to be the best teacher they can be!
What words would you add to this list or change out?
For a fun printable that you can print at home and hang up to remind you throughout this school year to pray for teachers, download here!
The news has been filled with lots of stories lately centered around human trafficking and at times I’ve almost been paralyzed in the where and the how and the what to do next with all the info coming our way. I asked my sweet friend, Mary Beth Williams, if she would tackle this really hard subject for us to help us know some simple first action steps. I’m so thankful for sweet friends like her that even in the midst of raising her super adorable kiddos, she’s living on mission, learning, and leading us to learn more and step up more too!
Also, a local ministry working with trafficking is Switch and they are doing an amazing job of rescuing and coming alongside women who have been trafficked because it happens right here in SC and right where you live too!
Thank you Mary Beth for the wisdom that you share below!
Human Trafficking – what do you know about it? Do you think it happens in the US or just overseas or in developing countries? Do you think young children are involved or is it mainly teens and adults? Do you think it requires traveling/transporting people to different cities or countries? Until recently, I had uninformed answers to these questions. But then I began to research and learn about the horrific circumstances people – especially young children – are subjected to in this multi-billion dollar industry that operates in the US and all over the world.
As a mother of two toddlers, it is hard to read and learn about instances of children as young as six months old being exploited and sold (even by their own families within their own homes) for sex. I look at my children and know I would do anything to protect them, and it makes me physically ache to think about children being exploited, abused, tortured, raped, and all of the unimaginable evils that are really happening to trafficked people in what is literally modern-day slavery (also including forced labor and organ harvesting operations). But we, as adults and especially Christ-followers, must be aware and informed of these realities in order to be spurred into action to stop these crimes. It is a battle against evil, and we must bring light to the darkness. We must be the voice for the voiceless. I became overwhelmed at the beginning of my awareness journey in wanting to help these victims, but there are many practical ways that everyone can be involved as abolitionists against human/child trafficking.
First, be aware. As a starting point, visit OURRESCUE.ORG or follow O.U.R. Rescue on socials to learn more about their fight against trafficking and what the realities are in this industry. Watch their free documentary on Amazon Prime called “Operation Toussaint” that gives a first-hand insight into their operations and how trafficking occurs. This will take time and will affect you emotionally, but we can’t stay uninformed because it’s “too hard” for us to think about when these children and people desperately need our help. Pray that God would give you the endurance to learn and seek justice for these victims.
Second, receive training on identifying and reporting suspected trafficking activity. Complete the free online training (takes about 1 hour) on OURRESCUE.ORG to learn the signs of trafficking and what to do if you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking. Did you know that the US is the largest producer AND consumer of sexual exploitation material in the world? It’s happening everywhere. Also, learn how to protect your own children from online predators and be involved in their media usage.
Third, speak up and get involved. Spread awareness to family/friends/coworkers/via socials, make a donation/become a monthly donor or become a volunteer for an anti-trafficking organization such as O.U.R., write to your elected officials to bring awareness and show support for legislation regarding trafficking, attend events and peaceful demonstrations to bring awareness, commit to staying informed, and pray daily for the liberation of trafficking victims.
July 30th is internationally recognized as a day against human trafficking. There are many ways you can advocate for freedom for victims and get loud on this day. You can join a peaceful demonstration (visit O.U.R.’s website for locations all over the country and for specific details) and/or get loud from home (share on socials, fly yellow and blue balloons for awareness, make signs to display in your yard, etc.). It’s time we speak up for the voiceless, bring healing to the victims, and demand that this evil be brought to justice.
And while we combat this evil together, we will find peace and hope in knowing that Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory over Satan, and the power of Jesus’s name will prevail over darkness. Brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s put on the armor of God, spread the Light of the World, and go to war.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:12-13
The summer is shaping up to be super different this year, but that shouldn’t distract us from serving and loving others with our little ones. There are so many fun ways that we can still serve this summer despite the restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and all that is going on our world and in our own hometowns.
Here are some fun and simple ideas that you could use and adjust for your family as needed to love and care for your neighbors at the same time:
1. Host a Sunday Sundae Party! Invite a few neighbors over to your front yard, serve ice cream or make homemade ice cream and have lots of fun toppings to go along with all the yumminess. You can also do this socially distanced by inviting your friends to bring their own chairs and ice cream yumminess and just provide a fun evening spread apart yet hanging out together!
2. Showing Love to Healthcare workers! Most of the media has sadly moved on from highlighting those serving in this capacity in our region; however, our numbers are higher than ever and they are working more and more! Spend an afternoon baking cookies, making cards or posters, praying for those that are sick and serving the sick, and drop off at your local hospitals and doctor offices to offer encouragement and a little joy!
3. Love missionary friends well! Several of our missionary families from our local church have had to make the difficult decision to come back to the states because of virus related issues in their countries. They need our support and love and encouragement during these weird days! If you know a missionary family who is back, drop off a gift card to a favorite store, invite them over for dinner (if you can safely do so), text or call and just say hey! Include them into your friend groups and hangouts and welcome them back “home” during this season.
4. A little Happy Fri-yay Gift! Do you have a friend who just needs a little encouragement and happy? Take a few minutes to grab their favorite little goodie and drop it off to remind them they aren’t alone and you are praying for them! Ask your little ones to pick a friend that they are missing or just want to love a little extra and let them do the same! Take some time out of your Friday to make it extra special for someone else. Don’t forget to remind your little friends that Jesus loves them big!
5. Go on a Summer Fun Prayerwalk/Scavenger Hunt! Look for summer fun things like pool floats, bicycles, sidewalk chalk and beach balls and point out simple ways to pray around those items! Here’s a simple printable to guide you along the way!
Now more than ever is the time to show love and kindness to those we meet along the way and friends and neighbors who need encouragement! Have a blast this summer being creative as we love Jesus and serve others! Be sure to share your fun ideas with us too, by tagging us over at Instagram!
Typically for our Prayer Meal, I choose a different country around the world or city here in the states where I have friends serving and sharing Jesus. The first reason is to pray for those specific countries, peoples, cultures, and missionaries. The second reason is to expose our children (and maybe even us) to different foods and cultures with the thought that the more exposure that one has, the most excitement and passion one may have for that particular place, etc.
But this month, I couldn’t seem to shake the desire to simply pray for our very own cities, right where you are. It has been quite a “weird” few months as we have all dealt with the Coronavirus and the effects it has had on our own families, churches, and towns where we live. Many people are without jobs. Some are so very sick. Restaurants and local businesses may be struggling greatly because of this time. Our very own cities need our prayers and they need our financial support. This month, will you set aside a meal time to pray for your city and support it by purchasing a meal from your favorite restaurant?
Some Prayer Ideas:
Pray for your mayor and town leadership. They have such hard decisions to make in the days ahead as they figure out how to reopen their cities. Whether we agree or disagree with them, they need our prayers!
Pray for your pastor and church leadership. The same applies to them! The decision of how and when to open is daunting and many people will have lots of thoughts and opinions. Pray for wisdom and grace.
Pray for restaurants and small business owners. The stress that they feel is huge. Ask the Lord to expand their businesses and to bless them during this time.
I’m thankful for Spartanburg, SC the county where I live and I know that I will have a super hard time choosing my favorite restaurant to support but now more than ever, I want to support my city in simple fun ways like eating and praying!
How are you praying and supporting your city during this time? Hop over to our Instagram @onmissionmoms or our Facebook Group and share what your family will be doing to love and support your very own city!
For another fun little way to support your city, go on a prayer walk with the kiddos around your city. Our city has fun lightbulbs all around and it’s fun to use those as prayer points all around the city. Does your city have a fun way to prayerwalk around it?