This true story by Connie Oman serves as an important reminder:
While readying a classroom before Sunday school, I noticed a missionary family on home assignment. I hugged the mom and greeted the children saying how wonderful it was that they could be in Sunday school today.
The smiles disappeared from the children’s faces.
The mom told me she wasn’t sure about sending the kids to class since they were feeling uneasy.
I turned to the children and said, “In our classrooms we have pictures of your family. The children in your class know your face and your name, and they have been praying for you! They will be so happy to see you!”
Smiles reappeared on their sweet faces.
The following Sunday, I saw the mom and inquired as to whether her children had attended Sunday school. She said, “Yes, and they loved it!”
What made the difference? The children in the class already knew them and had been praying for them. They were not strangers. This is such an important reminder for us!
Here are some additional ideas for keeping in touch with missionary children when they are out “in the field” (Note: Always check with the children’s parents first.):
- Send pictures of the classroom experience from their own particular age group.
- On a quarterly basis, send them copies of curriculum workbook pages and take-home pages.
- Have the class remember special occasions, such as birthdays and Christmas, and send cards and even a small gift.
- Ask the missionary parents for specific prayer requests that can be prayed for during class time.
- Make a “Get to know us” book—Give each child in the classroom a piece of special paper on which to introduce himself or herself… “My name is… I like to…” etc. Bind the pages together and send them to the missionary child.
(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)