Not Just a Catch Phrase- Helping Grow Missionary Hearts
“Helping Grow Missionary Hearts” is not just a memorable tag line for One Mission Kids, it helps to drive everything we do as a ministry. We want to encourage kids to reach their maximum missions potential to learn, pray, give, and to make disciples of Jesus Christ. OMK resources are crafted to help churches, schools, and families teach world missions to the next generation through the ministries of One Mission Society.
One of the highlights of our ministry is to travel each summer to camps and churches to test our newest mission materials. Our newest program Illumin8 encourages kids to let their life shine for Jesus, after all, It’s W.A.T.T. We Do! That simple phrase, combined with the OMS tagline and the story of Gideon, provided the framework for our five teaching points. Our first lesson, taken from James 4:14b, reminded us that none of us are guaranteed a long life. Each of us must use our One Life to do God’s Work. We saw the importance of God’s timing demonstrated at camp in the life of a girl named Jordan. Lora had created a friendship with Jordan over several days and two days before camp ended she accepted Jesus into heart during the missions morning session. When we looked for her after lunch, we learned that she had left camp and would not return. How happy to know that we will see her again someday in heaven.
In our second session, we focused on Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and how our job is to Adore the One Lord. God used a six year old girl named Libby to teach all of us that often our fear of what others might think about us hinders us from worshipping God. Her grandmother warned left her number in case her granddaughter was too much of a handful for us. We assured her that “God works through the wiggles” and we would be fine. The first thing Libby did was run and jump on the stage. We quickly learned that Libby lacked a fear filter, but when she was given structure she had no problem giving her all in everything she did from learning her verses to singing songs, and raising her hand to volunteer for everything. She reminded us that we can and should worship God without fear with our whole heart.
In session three, we learned that Matthew 10:27 spoke about Telling others, which is part of our One Calling. Mission projects to help practice what they have learned. We have seen God use kids to raise thousands of dollars over the years including one girl named Hannah, whom God has used at the last two OMS conferences to inspire us all to give cheerfully. (You can read her story later in this issue.) Hannah’s story has many ignited kids to get involved in raising funds for missions, including a boy named Henry. Henry didn’t let a broken arm stop him from getting involved on missionary day. At the camp store, he found a child’s vending machine which he purchased with his own money as way to raise money for the missionaries. He stocked the plastic machine with his own snacks, M&Ms, goldfish and pretzels. After you put in your change, he helped you work the machine to get you snacks, which he handed to you and then promptly asked for them back to restock his machine. His ingenuity was inspiring to all of us at camp.
In the fourth session, we taught about our need to have mustard seed faith (Matthew 17:20b.) It was in this session that we introduced the One Billion-One Opportunity vision which went perfectly along with our teaching of having One Vision, and that our Target is the world. Kids (and adults) were all encouraged to give God whatever is their mountain and to let him melt it (Judges 5:5.) We saw God use this lesson in people of all ages. One of the unique aspects of growing a missionary heart is that it can happen in any person at any age, not just in children! In fact, two teens from our church helped us at CROSS Training. During this lesson, we saw God grow their missionary hearts as they learned first-hand that missionary kids face some of the same big struggles that they faced. Savannah and Kensey told us after the session that serving with us and meeting MKs will forever change both the way they look and pray for missionaries.
Our final session is WATT We Do together, the One Mission. Along with practicing and coloring their Greatest News Lightbulb witnessing tool, we also announce the grand total for the mission project. May I have a drum roll please…the kids helps to raise more than $17,000 for project Illumin8 which benefitted Bibles for Cuba and African Literacy. Our Cuban friends joined us for our last session and were treated to the kids singing, reciting verses, and revealing the grand total. One of the highlights is when we ask the children to surround our new friends so we can pray for them. One boy named Daniel surprised us when he prayed for our visitors in Spanish. He could’ve easily prayed for them in English, but he wanted to connect with them and show love to them in their heart language. The Cubans, not to mention the workers, were touched at this demonstration of God’s love.