Every year, 1st-5th grade students team up for various events and activities throughout the year. This year, we worked with Resonate Global Mission, and they helped us identify missionaries from all over the world for our teams to “adopt.” Throughout the year, teams will learn about their specific missionary and what their job entails. Check out the Q & A below for a peek at the cool things happening already between teams and their missionaries as well as a look at what’s to come!
Q: How will teams interact/communicate with their missionaries?
A: The teams communicate with their missionary via emails with the teachers. The teachers share news and prayer requests with the students. Quite a few of our missionaries will get to visit our students!
Our students often stop and look at our Lift and Look Missionary Team bulletin board. They have the chance to lift and look at other missionaries from other teams too. We encourage students to stop and look and pray for their missionary. We have created a Lift and Look bulletin board to protect our certain missionaries that are in dangerous places. The board allows the students to see the missionaries when they want to, but protects photos and names of our missionaries from being shared on places like social media, which could compromise their safety and security. Many missionaries work in places where their identity as a believer makes them a target.
Q: How many teams/missionaries are involved and can you list some of the countries?
There are 20 different missionaries that our teams have adopted from all over the world! South Korea, Guatemala, Japan, Uganda, Spain, Indonesia, Nigeria, Haiti, Honduras, Germany, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua.
Q: Can you tell us about the team events so far and give us a preview of what’s to come?
A: Our first event was our Team Picnic on the hill. Prior to lunch, we had a meet and greet with new missionaries Tony and Stacey Meyer. We gave them a big send-off since it was their first time going on the mission field. The students all lined up and gave the Meyers a high five or handshake!
In October, the fifth grade captains created a Google Slide presentation about their missionaries and the country in which they are serving.
November’s event was a Question and Answer time with two different missionaries.
We are looking forward to some events that we have planned for the rest of year: Sending a Christmas greeting video, making valentines, and creating a craft that will help us share the gospel.
Q: Can you tell us about some of the interactions teams have had with their missionaries so far?
A: We have encouraged the missionaries to visit us in our building anytime this year! The office surprises teams by coming over the loud speaker and announcing that they can come down to the main office area and meet their missionary! The first time this happened was very sweet and exciting. The kids went running down the hallway to greet them. Pastor Joel VanDyke shook all of their hands and thanked them. He also requested to have a list of each member of his team so that he could pray for them, too.
Prior to our Q and A November event, our missionaries from South Korea had a Meet and Greet with their own team. They also had a chance to see the Google Slide presentation that was created about them. The missionaries were overwhelmed with the love they received from our students!
Q: What’s the goal of this year’s team events?
A: The goal of this year’s Elementary Teams is to encourage missionaries around the world so that the good news of Jesus can be spread. The teachers pray that not only will the missionaries be encouraged, but that God will further his kingdom because of the prayers of West Side Christian staff and students. We also pray that our students will become lifelong encouragers and supporters of missionaries and that maybe they, too, will become missionaries.