Children Learn About the World and Mission

Date Posted: 5/10/2011

The Children's Fund for Christian Mission is a creative way to harness children's natural enthusiasm for learning about and caring for one another and the world. Teachers, teens, parents, pastors, and kids in United Methodist churches can use the online resources to connect with children and issues around the world.

 Each year, mission educators from Global Ministries choose four under-funded projects--two from the US and two from the global church to emphasize what being in mission means.

This year the special ministries to support through the Children's Fund are:

  • Arkansas Selah Mission Project, an afterschool program for 60 children in Hamburg, Arkansas, US
  • Delmas Children's Home, a home for 36 children on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in Delmas, Haiti
  • Dr. B.T. Cooper United Methodist Academy, a school for 240 students--200 of whom are orphans in Kayole-Soweto, east of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Gardens of Goodness, a community garden and farmer's market project in the Joy-Southfield neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan.

"It is a powerful experience for children to learn about other children, the world, and to support children's mission projects," said Ms. Kim Lehmann, executive for the office of women and children, who coordinates the Global Ministries Children's Fund work.

Thousands of churches have used the Children's Fund suggestions through Sunday school classes, Moments for Mission, vacation Bible school curriculum, mission fairs, bulletin board displays, children's sermons, Bible study activities, and all kinds of opportunities for hands-on experiential learning. The resources are practical, varied, and in-depth.

Consider ways your church might celebrate the Children's Fund, such as:

  • Sunday school children can play with chimes or bells like the children in Arkansas.
  • Vacation Bible school teachers can try samples of rice and beans, the favorite national dish of children in Haiti.
  • Teenagers can talk about how they might like to attend school six days a week from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm as do teens at the Dr. B.T. Cooper United Methodist Academy in Kenya.
  • At a family retreat, parents and young children can paint flowerpots and plant sunflowers as the children do at Gardens of Goodness in Michigan.

In February, the staff at General Board of Discipleship mailed all United Methodist Churches a map showing where these special missions are located. "Our children have a wonderful time being engaged with this aspect of church life," said Connie Schmutz, who coordinates the Children's Fund for the General Board of Discipleship. "It's really so wonderful to know that your children are learning about this positive message of mission. You know that all of the money goes to the projects."

The Children's Fund is a long-standing program of The United Methodist Church and a collaboration between two agencies, the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Discipleship. The annual giving to the Children's Fund, which is divided among the four projects, totals between $30,000 and $100,000.

Give to the 2011 Children's Fund contribution through The Advance, the designated giving channel of The United Methodist Church.

To learn more about the United Methodist Children's Fund programs, visit Click on the left hand column to choose the specific geographic region to study. There you'll find games, stories, photos, and ideas for ways to connect with these projects. The website is designed to make learning about mission user-friendly and fun.

Check out an additional resource from Global Ministries on the fun of mission giving through games for children.

Global Ministries' executives Kim Lehmann and Becky Asedillo, and consultant Kelli King-Jackson talk about children's health and wholeness. Learn about the 10-Fold day dedicated to Children's Health and Wholeness.

Mary Beth Coudal is the staff writer for Global Ministries.

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