My Dear Church Family,

Even as we look forward to hearing a recap from our Russia missions team in a couple of weeks, it is my privilege to announce our next, adult, short-term missions trip.  New Year’s Eve 2019, we will be flying to Niger, Africa to join MCC partner missionaries Ian and Beka Rideout!  We will serve both the Rideouts and many others during the annual SIM Conference and Retreat for missionaries across West Africa. Much of our work will provide children’s programming for a multinational group of about one hundred kids, ages infancy to 18yrs.

Children’s programming for Missionary Kids, or Cross-Cultural Kids (CCK’s), is similar in some ways to our own KiC programming, yet in other ways quite different. This work is similar in that strong faith leaders are needed – folks who are willing to be goofy, willing to rein in too much goofy, able to pass background checks, organized, patient, and capable of teaching a captive audience (that may not always be cap tivated ). Of course, we understand just because a missionary kid is a missionary’s kid, it doesn’t mean they’ve yet chosen to live on mission for Christ themselves. 

Despite similarities to our own children’s programming, working with CCK’s can also be quite different . These kids often don’t share the same sense of home or identity many of us possess. These are children whose parents are loved by their support churches, yet the children may not have the benefits of regular children’s programming, Sunday school, youth group, Bible camps, summer camps, or even Christian books and resources. Families that attend this conference are blessed to serve other cultures, but they have also said “yes” to great sacrifice. For most, extended family is a continent away. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins may be seen only once every few years. Will you, then, consider sacrificing some of your time and resources to be an adopted aunt or grandparent to a family serving God full-time in West Africa?

As a member of the MCC missions committee, I can tell you It is our deep desire for partner missionary families to be healthy – physically, mentally, and spiritually. The whole missionary family needs support; not just the Bible teacher, the clinic doctor, or the pilot. Missionary children need love, encouragement and support. During the SIM conference, the care we provide frees up missionary parents to find rest and be renewed. Ultimately, we’re investing in these families' future ability to remain on the field. 

Will you prayerfully consider joining us for our upcoming New year’s trip? And perhaps recruit a friend too! I learned first-hand during our 2017 trip to Guatemala just how fun traveling and bunking with a group of adult friends can be.  Our “more information” meeting will be in room 102 on May 19 th between services…   
 
Peace to you my sisters and brothers,
Sandy Burns ( 321cedrus@gmail.com )
team leader, Niger short-term missions team