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April 2002

Small Projects in the Missionettes Inspire Grade School Girls for Missions

April 2003

Girls in Ohio learn about world missions through a program at Trinity Friends Church. The program is called "Missionettes." Missions awareness is growing, impacting the local church as well.
How do you get girls interested in missions? Kathy Weber of Lisbon Trinity Friends Church (OH) began with crafts, cookies, helpful projects, and great times of fellowship.

Kathy started the Missionette Program in October 2001 to give young girls in grades 4 to 6 a glimpse into what it means to participate in a Women's Missionary Fellowship Program. Kathy and Margo Arnold catered their meetings to the interest and maturity level of the girls.

Around nine girls attended the Sunday evening meetings at the church. At the meetings, they heard about specific missionaries, learned a little about their ministries, had devotions, and prayed for missions. They spent any remaining time doing crafts.

During the first meeting, each girl chose a missionary for the year. Each made a commitment to pray for, and write letters to, her chosen missionary.

Craft projects centered around outreach. The girls stuffed animals, crocheted baby hats, and collected yarn and material for "Touching Little Lives," an organization that provides local hospitals with handmade items for babies. The girls also made and sold Christmas ornaments to pay the postage for the letters and packages that they sent to the missionaries.

In November, the Missionettes spent one weekend practicing servant outreach. One Saturday, they baked batches of delicious cookies. Then they divided up into three groups and went to the homes of widows in the church, where they raked leaves. Finally, on Sunday night, the enthusiastic girls provided hospitality and served their cookies at a missionary reception for Jeremiah and Elisha Kutz.

The Missionettes' biggest project was a yard sale this spring. The girls were very excited about this project because most of them had helped with garage sales at home. They knew exactly how much work would be required. They made signs and took them to local businesses, where they posted them with permission. They sent publicity letters to all of the local Friends churches.

At the sale, the girls helped collect money, arranged tables, sold hot dogs and beverages, and cleaned up. The Salvation Army took things left over after the sale, so that even the remaining items were channeled back into the community.

Kathy Weber observed, "God has given Margo Arnold and me a job we love doing! This age group is the easiest to work with-they want to help, they want to learn, they want to give and, yes, they are very hard workers. They are missionaries."

Perhaps you also work with a group of young girls or boys, teens, or senior adults. Investing our lives in the lives of others is ministry. The results are in God's hands but, as in the case of the Missionettes, the world will likely be impacted tremendously by their desire to minister in Jesus' name.

-by Donna Neff, EFC-ER Regional Editor for The Friends Voice, and Kathy Weber, Missionette Coordinator at Lisbon Trinity Friends Church.