We have been in school for 2 months already.
Doesn't seem possible until I look at all of the papers in the kids' binders.
Well, I guess they have been working hard!
We took this past week off school because it was a special week at church.
Which can sound odd because it doesn't mean we don't focus on missions the other 51 weeks of the year. It just means that we have some extra special things planned.
It started Sunday evening with a guest preacher from Missouri.
He reminded us about being missions-minded to those near and far; to those who walk into our church that may be very wealthy or very poor; to those who speak another language and are difficult to understand; to those who have different skin color and are of a different ethnicity.
I thought, "Really? Do we still live in a society that is so intolerant of differences that we have to be reminded to love and respect everyone? Does the Bible not say that we are ALL made in God's image and that He created us all?" To make fun of, or criticize someone because they speak or look different is criticizing God. Ouch. I wouldn't want to have to answer to that one when I stand before God someday...which we all will...
Wednesday was the day when two of our missionaries came in to town, along with another guest preacher and his family from Ohio.
That night we heard from a family who has been living for a long time in Guatemala. It was very interesting to see how they were working in that country, and how excited they were about the progress that was being made. And, of course, there had to be food and fellowship after the service. We've come to learn that Baptist Churches and food are almost required to be together! :)
Thursday...I got to babysit 10 kids. And I'm still here.
Some members of our church took the missionary husbands and wives shopping for new suits, shoes, dresses, or whatever else they needed. I think I heard one of the ladies even mention "bling!" The kids and I hung out...baking, watching movies, playing instruments, drawing, and just having fun.
That night was all about Nicaragua. Again, the missionaries were so excited to report to us what was happening in their area, and how God was opening so many doors for their upcoming move to another area. Yes...food and fellowship followed. Do you see a trend here?
Our guest preacher from Ohio gave us a lot to think about, too. He spoke about how missions...not kids' ministries...not music programs...not men's and women's groups...but how missions should be the top priority of every church because it supports the Great Commission:
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (NIV)
At home, the kids and I watched one of the Torchlighter movies. They are great, and I'd love to get the whole set. I had good intentions about watching a DVD about Billy Graham's younger days, but the time slipped away from us.
We also took time to start organizing our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse. More on that later.
We also squeezed in some history reading and coloring. I love that my bigger boys will still sit and color.
And we're taking in as much outdoor time as we can before the winter sets in. Is anyone else less than thrilled to see kids running around in winter coats?
We've had a great week, and it's been refreshing to have a week away from school books.
It has also been great to see the kids involved in missions this week. They have served at church through music and setting-up for fellowship, as well as befriending the guest kids. We can't stress enough with our kids that we need to be serving and getting away from self-centered attitudes. But it's something we have to focus on daily, as it's so easy to get caught up in "what I want" vs. "how I can serve."