OMS’ heartbeat has always been to encourage the next generation to grow their missionary hearts. In fact, One Mission Society’s children’s ministry began more than 100 years ago when Aunt Julia Kilbourne introduced the monthly prayer coin calendars. The money collected supported mission projects around the OMS world. News articles were even written for kids in the OMS Standard publication.
OMS family conferences introduced the PALS program allowing kids to rub shoulders with OMS missionaries. They also raised funds for OMS projects learning first-hand that OMS is a family. Kids knew by name Pat Winfrey, Gwen Pinkerton, and Aunt Ruth Hunter. Their use of puppets, songs, games, and exciting missionary stories brought missions to life every year.
In the 1990’s, God burdened Susie Howard to bring missions to kids beyond missionary conferences through the quarterly Missions to the Max newsletter. Cartoon characters Otto the Missionary Sender and the Max the Dog joined the OMK team to introduce each article. Each issue focused on a specific country or region allowing kids to get a snapshot of what God is doing. A prayer and birthday calendar for OMS MKs was also included.
In 2004, OMK cooperated with Men for Missions to produce the first Kids Can Do (and Big People, Too!) book (KCD)of ten lessons to help raise funds for the Operation Saturation solar radio project. The lessons used by Sunday school classes, VBS’ and other groups helped to raise money for pre-tuned radios for Radio 4VEH in Haiti. Soon more mission projects were given the Kids Can Do treatment. Then, kids could experience” a mission trip at home, through the interactive Missions to Go lessons.
In 2006, Jason Campbell brought his audio skills to the team and produced the Music-to-go CD for kids. Workshops became a yearly focus with trips to EQUIP in Peoria to educate parents, teachers, and church workers to train their kids in missions.
In 2007, Jason was tasked with creating the MAXers summer program (previously PALS) resulting in the creation of the Good News Reporters, later released as a VBS in 2013. Jason continued his summer ministry of speaking at youth camps as a way to test the VBS type programs. To date, One Mission Kids has developed 8 VBS type mission programs.
In 2009, Jason remained the only OMK missionary. Missions to the MAX! morphed into an interactive website allowing kids to explore the world of OMS. In 2010, when OMS changed their name to One Mission Society OMS’ children’s ministry rebranded to become known as One Mission Kids. During this time, the Champions of the Great Commission book series began with the story of Charles Cowman.
In 2015, Lora Jones Campbell joined One Mission Kids bringing her skills as an educator and curriculum developer.
In 2016, with the help of cartoonist Brian Rees, OMK reimaged the Missions to the MAX! cartoon characters for web animation to breathe new life into the OMK website. Mr. Jason and Aunt Lora, continue the long-honored tradition set by Aunt Julia to find new ways for kids to grow their missionary hearts through the ministries of OMS.
We also acknowledge others who have helped to pave the way for OMK today including: Pat Winfrey, Aunt Ruth Hunter, Lori McFall, Marylou Skinner, Karen Hogrefe, and many more.