Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Education of Missions

A couple of weeks ago, our church had it's missions emphasis week.  It's always a blessing to not only remember and offer special prayers for our missionaries but also to have the opportunity to meet some of them.

What was really cool was how God worked our history into the last Sunday of missions emphasis week!

In history, we were studying the Islamic invasion of Spain.  Long
story short, the Berber muslims came from the Morocco area into Spain across what we now call Gilbraltar.  The became known as the Moors.

Well, our missionary on Sunday was a Berber from Morocco who had accepted Christ.  He ended up in Spain which had once been Islamic and now reaches the lost in Northern Africa!  (I can't tell you his name because it could put his life and ministry in danger.)

Now, not everybody can have missionaries whose appearance prohibit the church doing the usual live-feed during the service, but everyone can include missions as part of their education!

Here's just a few ideas that come to mind:

1. Geography (I know, duh.)  Flags, capitals, etc.
2. Culture--Oh, and don't assume the culture issue.  Sure Spain has a general culture, but I know another missionary that reaches out to the Gypsies.  That's a whole different culture!
3. Language--Learn some basic phrases your missionary would use everyday.
4. Literature--What are some of the fairy tales or classics from the country?
5. Letter writing--Practice letter writing and penmanship skills.
6. Stamp collecting--We once had a missionary to Japan that would always include used stamps in their letters for those who collected.
7. Money--What's the money like there? What's the current excange rate and how does that work?  Why would a family of four serving in Japan proabably need more support than serving in Mexico?
8. Art--Who are some of the famous artists from that country.
9. Music--What's the traditional music? 
10. Holidays--What are some special holidays they celebrate OR what special ways do they celebrate the same holidays you do?
11. Food--We used to arrange prayer dinners at a church we used to attend.  We had food that was from the country we were covering, decorated, and then prayed for our missionaries and the country.
12. Fellowship--Nothing makes praying and learning about missionaries easier than getting to know them.  Invite for dinner or dessert when they are in town.  Get on their regular prayer letter list.
13. Service--In what ways can you minister to them on the field?  Save all the money from not drinking soda pop for a month to donate to a well to be built.  Pass on your homeschool curriculum to a missionary homeschooling on the field.
14. History--It meant a lot more to hear from our missionary when we knew the history of the peoples and countries involved.
15. Mileage/Measurement--Distance they have to travel from one place to another.  Which missionary is the furthest and which the nearest?  Do they use the metric system?  Do some conversions?
16. Architecture--Why are those Roman Roads everywhere?  ;-)
17. Astronomy--This would be really cool if they lived in a different hemisphere.  My missionary friend and their church members in Australia didn't get much out of Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 since it wasn't seen there.
18. Seasons--Again, totally different in northern to southern hemispheres.  Why?

Okay, so that's off the top of my head.  What are your ideas?


meandmy2monsters said...

way to go, My husband and i both grew up as MKs (missionary kids) with New Tribes Mission and many of our close friends are now on the mission field, so we know how important it is for kids to learn to pray for missionaries. If you want any stories or resources let me know,i can hook you up. :)

Meryl said...

This was a super post. It shows how learning can be real and meaningful, and how concepts can and should span across 'subjects'.

Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse said...

What an excellent post! I love the list of ideas that you shared. Those are great ideas for integrating missions into your homeschooling.

Chelsey said...

Ok, you've given me some EXCELLENT ideas. Love this!!!

And thank you for linking up in the Koinonia Community! :)

Betsy Price said...

Thanks to all you ladies for dropping in. I'm glad you liked the post. Missions has always been close to our hearts (we were actually on deputation to go to the mission field at one point!)

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