Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is a missionary? Children's sermon

Today we had a wonderful opportunity during our Sunday School hour to have Alissa (Cooper) Sandea, a missionary, and the founder of Heart for Uganda, with us to tell her story from Uganda. Alissa is a former Clarion-Limestone School teacher who heard the call from God to go to Uganda and spread the love of God. In the last 2 years, she has married Pastor Victor Sandea and had little Caleb, and all 3 were with us today. Their mission is Heart for Uganda , where they are working towards a Medical Center and a Children's Village.  But as I prepared for the Children's sermon for during the worship service, I wondered if the younger children really understood what a missionary was, where she came from and what she was doing.

So I took with me a dictionary and a globe. As I started I said that I had heard Alissa speak this morning, but what was she again? A , ah?? (and the kids helped me with the answer) A missionary! When to my surprise, the boy sitting right beside me said real softly "what is a missionary?" Which is what was going to be my next question. So I replied, I wondered that too, which is why I had the dictionary. (Now I had taken a College dictionary because it had multiple definitions) So how do we spell missionary? And the kids started spelling and got the "mission" part but they weren't quite sure of the "ary" part, but we found it in the dictionary. And the dictionary said "A person sent into a newly settled or foreign region to carry on religious, educational, or medical work. Also a person who is trying to persuade others to their point of view." Hum so is Alissa doing educational work? (they answered - Yes) Is Alissa doing medical work? (Yes) Is she doing religious work? (Yes) And is she in a foreign area? (Yes) Okay so she fits the definition, but where is she doing this?
With this I pulled out the globe and we found Pennsylvania. Then where is she serving? (Africa) Yes she is in Africa, but do you remember where in Africa? To which we had some tries but not the answer, so I found Uganda on the globe and talked about it being in the center region of Africa and that it is near the equator so what would the weather be like? (Hot and sunny were the answers that I got) What about snow? Do you think the kids have seen snow - no.

So who can be a missionary? To this one boy answered, that our church had sent out a Mission team to Jamaica. Correct I then asked all those who were on the mission trip to stand and remain standing. But who else, just them? What about the people who have collected cell phones to raise money for missions, would those count? Yes, so if you have added a cell phone to the box please stand and a few more people stood. How about Operation Christmas Child? Is that a Mission? YES! So if you helped in any way with that please stand and more of the congregation stood. And the last one that I think I added was at Vacation Bible School we have a mission project that we collect money or school supplies,or food for the local food cupboard, if you have ever helped with any of these please stand. By this time I had almost everyone in the congregation standing. (Which was my goal) I asked the kids to look at the people standing and explained that we can be a missionary right where we are. Then I challenged them to try to be a missionary this week and to share the love of Jesus with someone, anyone this week.

We then closed in prayer.
So how about you? Are you a missionary in your community? How could you reach someone for Christ this week? Are you up for the challenge?

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