On Mission

Living “On Mission” for the Unborn

I recently asked my friend, Anna, to share her heart on how we can respond and live “On Mission” around the topic of abortion. I have to admit, she wrote this directly to me. I’m the “ostrich mom” that just wants to “pretend” it isn’t happening, but it is… sadly.

If abortion is a hard topic for you, I encourage you to read this, seek Godly council, and pray about how you can respond. If you have chosen abortion in your past, please know that you are loved and welcome here.

“I don’t wanna look! I cannot do it! My poor baby.” I have literally cried out these words at each of my 3 babies’ well check-up appointments as shots and immunizations are administered. I hide my face in my hands as an ostrich hides his face in the sand. I mean, if I cannot see it, it is not really happening, right? And, if I don’t see it, the pain of my heart will be spared. That sounds fair, right?

Wrong.

I never knew, in my “pre-kiddo” life, the heartstrings that would be tugged as I read stories of loss and death, especially with babies and young kids. After all, after you become a parent, you essentially see your babies’ faces in all the suffering babies around you. However, as their parents, we choose to advocate for our “babies” in every way because we know that they cannot speak up for themselves. This is why my family has felt such a tug recently to “speak up” for the most defenseless of all, the unborn children in America and in our world.

As Psalm 139 hangs on walls throughout Christian homes, are we really believing each person is “knit together in the womb”, if we cannot find the time to educate ourselves and take a stand to what is going on in abortion centers across America?

The videos and images are hard that are coming across our social media platforms these days. Recently, a former abortion doctor spoke about his previous work in an abortion center and how the baby is literally “ripped” in pieces from the mother’s womb and then put back together to ensure they got every body part. As hard as that was for my ears to hear and eyes to see, I forced myself to bear through it and become familiar with the reality of what is happening every 90 seconds in our country as babies are being torn apart.

So what can we do?

1. Watch the Videos & Read the Books.

Go see the recent movie, “Unplanned,” but be prepared to leave with a broken heart. But use that broken heart for good! Let those tears shed take action for the tears that are silently falling every day in wombs across the world.

My husband and I went to see Unplanned this past weekend.

2. Be informed! 

As easy as it is to say, “Oh, I cannot bear to watch those,” it cannot keep us from doing so! I’ve included resources below to help you start learning.

3. Get involved in your local Pregnancy Center.

Donate your time, finances and prayer to the ones who are “fighting the good fight” each day for the speechless and helping those mothers who feel utterly lost. These centers are providing help and resources for those who may feel as if abortion is the only option. We are so blessed to have the Carolina Pregnancy Center right here in SC.

4. Celebrate our Littles in life and on social media.

I am having to preach this one to myself on this one because I love a funny mom meme where the laughter can be heard from suburbs around. Sometimes as we consider the dreadful body changes, rigorous nighttime rituals, and potty training techniques that are “endured” through Motherhood they can either make us laugh or cry or laugh until we cry. But maybe when we post the stresses and the hard, that sweet mama begins to panic and think, “I don’t want to be a mom, not if I have to endure that!” May we celebrate the “blessings from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3) that these little ones are, and may we not be those who give the report that make others’ “hearts melt” (Deut. 1:28) at the thoughts of carrying/raising a child.

5. Pray!

We live in South Carolina where there are currently 2 abortion centers. Go to the buildings and pray, but if you cannot, pray where you are. Pray for sweet mamas who are making hard decisions. Pray for doctors and nurses. Pray for families to step up and support these mamas. Just pray! May the Lord hear the cries of our hearts as we know He is hearing the “innocent blood crying from the ground.” Genesis 4:10

As “On Mission Moms,” I pray that our hearts would come together to keep the hearts of little ones beating until the Lord chooses to call them home.

Here are just a few resources that my family recommends:

Unplanned by Abby Johnson. There is a book and movie which just released.

If The Walls Could Talk by Abby Johnson

Live Action Ministries (subscribe to their YouTube Channel)

The Carolina Pregnancy Center, Spartanburg

Ex-abortion Doctor Interview, https://youtu.be/A16gzm9eaa8

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Mission Ideas

Germany: Praying and Eating

When I think of Germany, I quickly think of yummy food like chocolate and schnitzel and chocolate and bratwurtz and chocolate…

But I also think of a sweet friend that I met while living in New Orleans many years ago. She now lives in Germany and serves the Lord with her fun family.

I asked Amy to join us and share a little of her world with us, as we lead our little ones to pray for that beautiful country and enjoy all that Germany has to offer!

1. Introduce your family, what you’re doing, where you are, etc.

Hallo, Guten Tag!

We are the Jones Family and this month we are celebrating the completion of our first year in Leipzig Germany! I’m Amy and, along with my husband Casey and our girls Evelyn and Claire, we are getting to know the people, churches, and many joys of living in this part of eastern Germany. Claire was only 7 months old when we arrived in the snow last year – so much has changed! After years of service in churches in America, we are so grateful to plant our lives here to support local German-speaking churches as they call up new believers and new leaders, to start new congregations.

2. How can we pray for you specifically and for your people/city/country?

Thirty years ago, in a state church (Lutheran) near the University of Leipzig, Monday evening prayer services turned into vigils for freedom, which led to protests, which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in October of 1989. However, the wall that separates humans from the creator God is largely accepted or ignored. While this is one of the most family friendly cities in a country that loves children, it is also one of the highest concentrations of Atheism in the world. Luther, Bach, and Mendelssohn all expressed great faith in Christ in this city, but there is great need for a spiritual awakening among everyday people here. We need to continue to learn German better so that we can communicate the power of redemption through Christ more clearly. We are still in transition between full-time language school and slowly learning where God has prepared a ministry for us. There is still a huge learning curve ahead of us, so pray that we do not fool ourselves in to thinking we have to figure everything out, but to boldly cling to his mercy and wisdom through it all!

3. What’s one way that you serve and live on Mission with your kiddos where you are?

I have been going to mommy-baby/kid groups around Leipzig to learn “mommy-German”. It’s been great to get to know local churches and other communities. Those connections are leading into spiritual conversations and other opportunities to share the gospel and build partnerships in the gospel. Right now some friends and I are planning in a mommy group that I now host which, in part, will have a time to craft bedtime stories, somewhat in the style of Sally Lloyd-Jones,’ Jesus Storybook Bible, to build biblical literacy among the women and children I know.

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4. Any other foods that are popular where you are.

German food is actually a lot like American food, so if you think of “meat and potatoes” type food, you’re probably thinking German food! Potato pancakes are popular lunch thing, pork Schnitzel, french fries ( Pommes), and Frikadillen (kind of a meatloaf hamburger), and of course pastries and breads for days! At the same times, globalism and alternative lifestyles are quite accepted here, so vegan and gluten-free food are available. There’s so much to choose from.

At 10am mothers and kids have “Obstpause” which is morning snacks of all kinds of sliced up fruit. Sometimes, they also serve a cake with fruit in it, like plum cake. At 3-4pm we have “Kaffee und Kuchen”, coffee and cake. That is when Germans indulge their sweet-tooth with a home or bakery made treat. I love the Quarktasche, which is kind of like a less-sweet, fluffy creamcheese danish.

Amy was so gracious to send over a yummy dessert recipe. As you prepare this, would you take time to pray for Amy and her family as they live and serve there? Pray for their language learning to continue to grow so that they can share truth with their friends and neighbors. Please also pray that many would come to faith in Christ and for the church to continue to grow and disciple new followers of Jesus well.

Plum Cake

(Recipe provided by Amy)

Ingredients:

  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup sunflower oil (I use canola oil)
  • 2 lbs prune plums, pitted, quartered
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter

Instructions:

– Serves 10 –

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Into a large mixing bowl, mix 2⅓ cups flour, baking powder, ⅓ cup sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt.

Add yogurt, milk, and oil and using dough hook or wooden spoon, mix for a minute or so until dough holds together.

Press dough into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan or divide dough into two if using 9″ springform pans.

Place plum quarters in rows on top of dough.

Mix together the 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup butter to make the streusel dough. Crumble over top.

Bake at 350° F for about 50 – 60 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Let cool and serve.

Since this is a yummy desert, you could invite another mama over for an afternoon “Kaffee und Kuchen” time like Amy mentioned above and spend time praying for Germany together with your littles! Who doesn’t love a little afternoon pick-me-up!?

Be sure to share pics of your yummy plum cake and afternoon time together praying over on Instagram.

For more German recipes and ideas, check out Pinterest !

On Mission

Pray & Play

Our first Pray & Play was so very fun and simple – pray then play!

While the weather didn’t quite cooperate with us, we just went with Plan B and “prayer walked inside”. Our town has the coolest lightbulb sculptures all over the downtown area, so for our prayer time, we “found” pics of the lightbulbs hidden all throughout the play area and paused for a moment to pray at each picture. Each mama was given prayer points to guide their prayers and to remind us of different ways we could pray for our city. Plan A was to find the real lightbulbs outside and enjoy prayer walking outside – oh South Carolina weather…

Then we had a little snack time and enjoyed playing together!

And while it was “simple” and fun, I also believe that it is very important and foundational to raising little ones to love Jesus and love others. Our littles learn to pray for and love their community when they see us as mamas (and daddy’s) praying and loving our community and that starts at any age!

How are you praying for your community? Are you leading your little ones to pray for your community? For your mayor, for your city council? For the helping agencies and the homeless? For the college students and the international students? For the churches and the pastors? So much we can pray for!

If you are local, I hope that you will join us at our next Pray & Play. If you’re not, why not start your own group? Find a great park or local area to prayerwalk, invite a few friends to join you, and have fun with your littles!

Blog, Mission Ideas

Prayer Meal Idea: Oh, Canada…

As it gets colder, I often think of our Northern neighbors, Canada, and I often wonder how in the world they handle the cold?!?  I’m a summer gal through and through! I love a good snow, but I love the southern kind of snow that shuts everything down for a few days and then we head back to school and work and it’s 60 degrees a few days later. I was even complaining this morning because it was a cold 32 degrees. In Canada, their weatherman is already calling for SNOW! I just can’t…

This month we will be enjoying a popular Canadian dish, Poutine. This is an interesting combination of a few of my favorite things. Who doesn’t love fries covered in cheese? But covered in brown gravy and cheese curds? I can’t wait to give it a TRY and spend the evening setting our hearts and minds on people a little further up north and thanking the Lord that we are a little warmer…

For some great recipes for Poutine, be sure to check out our Pinterest board. I had a hard time just picking ONE – there seems to be LOTS of thoughts and ideas on how to best make this yummy messy super unhealthy dish!

poutine 1

And while we are enjoying all the yumminess, we will be thinking of one of our favorite families, the Ostrems , who live in Canada with their family working among internationals through various outreaches. As they get ready to gear up for the winter months, it’s a great time to pray for them and for all that God is doing through them.

Prayer Points:

1. Pray for their Christmas outreach event with around 150 Syrians. They will be hosting a meal and sharing the Gospel. I wonder if they will serve Poutine?! Ha

2. Pray for their sports ministry. They have some great opportunities ahead but are limited on money and staff. But we know God is NOT! So we are joining them in prayer for God to provide!

3. Pray for their family. With winter coming and families not getting out much, depression can begin to set in. Pray for great family time and opportunities during the cold hard months.

They are also a pretty talented family too – Brandy has an incredible doll making business called Blessum&Arrows that you should totally check out! Oh it makes my heart skip a beat to see these sweet little creations she has made with her hands and heart!

Let us know when you try the Poutine around your dinner table! Share a pic over on our Instagram Post!

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!

Mission Ideas

Idea: July Prayer Meal

 

Throughout July, we often think of a pretty important holiday for America and we celebrate with yummy burgers and hotdogs, corn on the cob, and apple pie. During this month, we decided to stick a bit closer to home and focus on a city and work in the USA so we will be praying for Rob & Annabeth Wilton as they are planting Vintage Church in Pittsburgh. They have already started the work there and will be officially moving there with their fun kiddos toward the end of the summer.

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We’ve actually never been to Pittsburgh, (yet…) but as they have been preparing and our church has been praying for them, we’ve been learning lots of fun things about this city. Did you know that the Klondike Bar is made there? Yep – that yummy goodness which always reminds me of my grandmother because she always had a box in her freezer. Pittsburgh also has more bridges than Venice – over 450 of them to be exact!  Also, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was right outside of Pittsburgh and he called the area home. Public TV was started there… Heinz Ketchup began there… so many fun facts!  And now it’s going to be the home of a great new church!

This month, as we pray for the Wilton Family and the other families that will be joining them, we will be praying and asking God for many more to be transformed by the gospel in that great city!

We will also be enjoying our rendition of a Pittsburgh sandwich. They are famous for putting cole slaw and french fries on their sandwiches…. weird yet yummy!

Primanti-Style-Sliders
Photo from https://www.macheesmo.com/primanti-style-sliders/

I also can’t NOT do a yummy Klondike Dessert! Yes, Please!!

main-klondie-bar-ice-cream-cake-RECIPE

 

As you enjoy this yummy meal,  pray for the Wiltons as they make this move and adjust to a new city and make it home! Pray for their four kiddos as they begin school, make new friends and share Jesus too! Pray for several other families that will be making this move with them. Pray for the right connections and favor with their neighbors. Pray for other pastors and churches to get on board and support the work that is being done through Vintage. Pray that the gospel will be proclaimed through word and deed. Pray that many in Pittsburgh will come to know Christ through Vintage Church.  You can learn more about Vintage Church Pittsburgh here!

Be sure to capture a pic of your family prayer meal and let the Wilton’s know you are praying for them!