Engaging Children and Youth in Missions

By: Emily and Scott Armstrong and Karen Cruz

A few weeks ago, NMI (Nazarene Missions International) from the Mesoamerica Region produced and broadcast a series of messages and workshops from various global and regional leaders. The hope is that these videos spark conversation in our churches and help equip us for today’s mission. After watching each video, a young Nazarene from Mexico City, Karen Cruz, has written several reflections on the topics raised. Today Karen shares her thoughts on “Engaging Children and Youth in Missions” shared by Emily and Scott Armstrong, Coordinators for Global Missions and Genesis in the region.

If you want to see the full video, click here.

Who among us has felt in the past months that this year has been completely lost? The fact that 2020 has been the worst of years has even become the subject of memes. Personally, I have had moments when I have thought the same, since I’ve been unable to be with the people I love the most. Also, this was my last year in college and you can’t imagine the feeling I had knowing that I couldn’t finish it with my classmates. I’m sure that you have felt like you lost something, too. However, in God’s plans, what is lost is gain.

Face-to-face education stopped when Covid-19 touched our countries. And, without a doubt, teaching is essential for any stage of learning in our life. But even with restrictions on face-to-face meetings, the Church of the Nazarene has not stopped in its efforts to involve children and youth in missions. Are you skeptical? How can we involve our young people or children in missions in these times where physical contact is almost impossible?

Let me share my experience with you. I have always been afraid of the unknown. But I have found a way to face these adversities and fight my fears. If you are a pastor, leader or have a position within your church and want to get involved in missions, it is not too late to do so.

Do you know why it is important that we inspire others to work hard in missions? Well, coming generations are counting on us, and we must be careful to sow seeds for the future. When I saw this video, I was not prepared for the many tips shared on how to involve our church in missions. You may think that it’s difficult to motivate your church in missions, especially in times of a pandemic, but let me tell you, this video gives you no excuse! You can be the first to implement new strategies with children and teens – even now in time of COVID.

It is worth mentioning a few of the strategies that Emily and Scott Armstrong offer in the workshop. For example, it is still possible to involve children and young people in online cooking and eating traditional dishes from different countries, thus “traveling” to another country through your palate. Or any local church can get involved in online interviews and mission services. Did you know that there are 300 missionary families in the world that you can meet? Many are seeking to share the mission message and raise financial and prayer support more than ever. Dare to know different cultures! Dare to hear testimonies that will give you the chills! Who doesn’t enjoy a good story of what God is doing in the world?!

Also don’t miss out on opportunities within your district or country to share and join in on future projects. Be part of the change in our generation. Above all, do not stop taking advantage of the resources that are on the internet. Some printed books are available, but try out learning through a video, a podcast (listen to the “The Worthless Servants” program, for example), or excellent articles on sites like www.transformtheglobe.com.

This year has not been lost; 2020 is harvest time. May we learn a lot and creatively involve our children and youth in the mission, yes, even during a pandemic!

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