By Shannon Cox on May 12, 2021.
Alliance kids accepted the challenge! Introduced at the Hotdogs & Hayrides event last October, the “Missionary Challenge” was a golden opportunity for kids to learn more about missions by reading inspiring books highlighting God’s heart for the world.
During the event, families were given the opportunity to hear from several of our missionaries while enjoying a hotdog supper, followed by an exciting hayride! Books were then made available to checkout, and participants were given a Missionary Challenge booklet.
This past Sunday (May 16), 38 children were recognized for reading as many missionary biographies as they possibly could. You honored them and prayed over them. We held an event called “Hotdogs, Highlights, and Hoopla” to celebrate and recognize their effort. Here are a few pictures of the event:
The Benson family were among those who were busy reading.
They shared the following:
“If I could ask Amy Carmichael anything, it would be how hard was your ministry with all of those kids? I think the most exciting thing about being a missionary would be helping kids and sharing the gospel! The thing that surprised me most about Amy Carmichael is how she was willing to give up a lot of things she loved. What makes a missionary beautiful is that they share the truth with people and they take risks to help.” (Julia Benson, age 11).
“If I could ask Nate Saint anything, it would be did you feel scared to go to Ecuador and risk your life? I think the most exciting thing about being a missionary would be helping people learn about Jesus and getting to meet so many different kinds of people. The thing that surprised me most about Nate Saint’s story is that they were killed after they were just trying to give gifts to those people. My dad actually met one of the men who killed Nate Saint and now that man loves Jesus and is sorry for what he did. Missionaries remind me of Jesus because they lay down their lives for people who don’t even know Him.” (Riley Benson, age 11).
“If I could ask Corrie ten Boom anything it would be how did you survive the concentration camp? I think the most exciting thing about being a missionary would be getting to see kids happy because they’re learning how much Jesus loves them and they’re reading the Bible. I was really surprised that Corrie ten Boom survived. I was even more surprised that she still followed God when things were so hard.” (Addie Benson, age 8).
Mom, Kim Benson, who recently read Peace Child by Don Richardson, shared how the Missionary Challenge has impacted her family.
“Through our study of missionaries, I have loved watching my kids realize that it doesn’t take special, talented people to spread the gospel. It takes willing people. And we can all be that. In fact, God often uses the very things that we consider weaknesses or imperfections to show His power and sovereignty. They are also realizing that missionaries always have behind-the-scenes people backing them up and supporting them, through prayers, money, encouragement, etc… If we are not the ones ‘going’ then we need to be the ones ‘sending.’ It’s a beautiful picture of the body of Christ in missions—we all have a role to play. It just takes a simple willingness.”
Though this year’s Missionary Challenge is coming to a close, why not still encourage your children and grandchildren to spend the summer reading missionary biographies? Ask our church office where you can find the books appropriate for your age, and be praying that the Lord will use these inspiring stories to cultivate a heart for missions and taking part in what God is doing around the world!
Shannon Cox is a member of the Missions Committee and a faithful member and volunteer at Alliance Bible Fellowship.