FENTON, MI – How are you providing missions education to the next generation? Great question. Missions is a lifestyle! Learning begins at a very young age so the WMU missions education starts with a very simple foundation.
It is important to see a child learn and understand the ways of our Savior, accepting His gift of eternal life. Then, as the student continues to learn about missions, their foundation is build up. As this young person enters high school and grows into their young adult years the Holy Spirit does a work in their hearts leading them to be open and obedient to the call of God on their life and to the mission field they are to serve. This is how we are providing mission education to the next generation and the next and the next.
One young woman who had the opportunity to learn in the WMU missions education program, "AJ” now serves as an IMB missionary. For security reasons, we cannot share her name. For AJ it all began at GA camp (Girls' Mission Camp). Here is her story:
I was the child that would rather have a book in my hand than playing with the other kids on the playground. I was not a talker, and that kept me from sharing my faith with others.
GA camp at Bambi Lake was the place where I learned that God's heart is for all the Nations of the World to know Him. GA camp was where I met real world missionaries. They told awesome stories and shared amazing pictures, including some with them riding camels. They were rock stars to me! At that time, I had never thought that God wanted me to go to some faraway place and talk to people about Him. I had trouble talking to people at my middle school so, to me, the idea of going to a place to talk to people was probably the scariest career choice ever. Even so, I felt God tug at my heart telling me that one day I was going to be the one going to some far-off place to share the gospel. SAY WHAT?!!!
However, scared as I was, I determined to follow what God had called me to do. With each passing year talking with people got easier and easier until it became natural to share my faith with strangers. Now whenever I meet a new person I am looking for a way to begin to tell them about the greatest, most life changing story ever. It began small by me going on short term trips in America, and then I got to spend a summer working at Bambi Lake. From there God called me out of my Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth. I signed on with the International Mission Board (IMB) and spent 6 months in France and England and then two years in South East Asia as a Journeyman.
The country I was in was mostly Muslim. It is a place where most people have NEVER heard the story of Jesus. I constantly had young women over for dinner and they would continue to ask questions about Jesus far into the night. I was even able to give a few girls Bibles. We began a Bible study and would meet regularly to read through the Gospels together. I prayed God would give these young women a dream or vision to reveal His truth to them. It became routine to ask Nita, a local girl, if she had any dreams since we last saw her. In Islam, they believe that Allah speaks to his people mostly through their dreams. Most Muslims who end up converting to Christianity will say they had a dream where Jesus revealed who He is to them.
"Nita, did you dream about Jesus last night."
"No... but I did have a dream." She then describes a very vivid dream where she confronts a snake and a baby boy. After Nita woke up she went to look up what her dream meant. Teachers of Islam have published many books used for dream interpretation. Nita said the interpretation was "Someone will come to me and give me Good News." After a moment of shock, I slide over a Bible that was on the table and placed it right in front of her so she could see it had the words "Good News" printed on the cover in her local language. I told her, "Well that just came true."
A closer look into her dream brought us to the book of Isaiah chapter 11. Not only does this chapter talk about a baby playing over the hole of the cobra, the chapter itself is a prophecy of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. God has allowed me to do some pretty amazing things and to be part of something so much bigger than me. I am constantly humbled by it all. I would like to thank the WMU and other women who have supported the IMB and making programs like GA camp possible. Thank you for helping me find my voice and sending me out.
“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
We are thankful to the home church AJ attends. They understand the importance of providing WMU missions education for their members. If you are interested in learning more about WMU missions education for your church, life group or home schooling program, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to share the many resources and passion we have for missions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sue Hodnett is the Women’s Ministry & WMU Consultant for the BSCM as well as the Executive Director for WMU of Michigan. She attends Lakepointe Church in Macomb, MI.