Mission Ideas

Serving through the Fall

 

 

IMG_6981.PNG

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.

IMG_7007.PNG

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!

 

Advertisements
Blog, On Mission

Laying a Foundation

We had a great On Mission Moms event, Helping Hands for the Homeless, this past weekend and we had so much fun getting together with our little ones and leading them to serve others. It was a simple morning but one I pray will impact our kiddos in the years ahead.

I believe firmly that every time I provide an opportunity – big or small – for my girls to learn about serving and loving Jesus, He is honored and well pleased. He will take our moments on Saturday when they were enjoying their yummy snacks and listening to the Good Samaritan story and one day lead our little one to be that one who stops and helps. He will take walking around a table filled with soap and shampoo, socks and wash clothes, and he will give them a heart that is ready to see and give to others in need.

He will take those moments and use them for His glory either today or years down the road. I just want to be faithful in the now, with my four year old and almost two year old, to build a foundation that teaches them to love Jesus and love others – brick by brick, moment by moment…

For more fun pics of our great morning and other resources and connections, join our On Mission Moms Facebook group!

Blog, On Mission

Do No Harm: Be Prepared

We will be sharing over the next several weeks a Series called “Do No Harm” – teachings that I’ve learned and practiced in my time working with the homeless from New Orleans to Spartanburg and a few other places along the way.

IMG_4641

 

A pretty important lesson that I learned in my early days working with homeless was that I had to be prepared. Prepared in all kinds of ways. Prepared to help them physically, spiritually, emotionally or socially. Prepared to tell them yes or no, depending on what and how I could help them. Prepared with knowledge to share about where they could get help. Prepared in prayer and God’s word and ready to respond as the Holy Spirit led me. 

There are several simple ways that you can be better prepared as you interact with our homeless friends. One way is to know about what services are available to our friends. Do you know which shelters take men and women, or which shelters only take families? Do you know where they are located? Do you know if your town has a place where they can get a hot meal each day and when they serve that meal? Spend some time looking around and learning about what resources and services your community offers.  One word of caution though is to make sure that your info is correct! Imagine you are a single mom on the street and someone told you that the local shelter takes single moms and you walk 20 minutes with your bags and child to find out that they don’t. It can be quite frustrating when the information is wrong. One resource that is often overlooked would be 211. Did you know that anyone can call 211 or go online and find out resources in their community for their specific situation. This is a GREAT resource from the United Way.

Another simple way is to have something to give them tangibly when they ask or when you come across someone in need in a parking lot or at a street corner. Often times it’s in these moments, we can be caught off guard and our only option is to give them money or tell them “No”, which isn’t always the best way to love and serve our friends. When I lived in New Orleans, I kept at least three or four bags for the homeless ready in my car so that I was always prepared to love and serve.

A “blessing bag” can also model to your children several important life lessons such as:

  1. You care about and value others, and they should too.
  2. Homeless people matter, as do all people because they are created by God.
  3. We should value helping and serving and loving others because God commands it! 
  4. Helping others can be easy, cheap, and fun! 
  5. You always strive to be prepared and ready to help, and they should too! 

You can let your little’s help you as you put them together and talk about homelessness, and how we are called to love and serve all people. You can pray with your little ones as you work to put the bags together. You can let them color a picture or write a note and add it into the bag. Below are some of the items that I make sure to have in my bags. 

Blessing Bag

  • Travel size toiletries such as soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion
  • Washcloth
  • Socks
  • Chapstick 
  • $5 fast food gift card from places like McDonald’s
  • Bottle water
  • Granola Bar
  • Fresh Fruit (banana or orange) if giving away quickly
  • Pop top canned tuna or chicken
  • Crackers 
  • Info about a local ministry where they can get assistance (for me, it’s Refuge info) 

There are a few more ideas over on our Pinterest Page. 

So are you prepared when you met a friend on the street? How can you better prepare yourself and your family to respond in love and with wisdom?