NMI Mission Education
A Word from the NMI President, Joanne Sturgeon
Adventure Article for NMI – Fall Issue 2015
I grew up in a small church in Mariposa, California, the “Gateway to Yosemite”. During most of my growing-up years, my pastor was Dr. F. W. McKnight, or “Pastor Mac”. His wife “Mrs. Mac” was my piano and organ teacher. It was in this environment that I was first introduced to missionaries. Because we lived several miles out of town, Mrs. Mac gave me my piano lesson on Wednesday, the same night as prayer meeting. So I got to eat dinner with them, go to prayer meeting, and later go home with my family.
Those Wednesdays were special, because there would often be a visiting missionary or evangelist there, and I got to meet them and have dinner with them. I loved hearing their stories. Over the years, there were many missionaries that I met, but my favorite was Jothiratnam from India. He came several times, and our families became very close. He loved to cook, and as I got older he would let me help him cook dinners for people from the church. Even after I was married and had a family, he continued to come visit us, and we would always spend a day cooking a huge Indian meal. His son Christopher is still a dear friend of our family, and he and I have cooked many dinners together. He continues to come to California every few years to visit.
I’m sharing this because I’ve been thinking about how blessed we are to have missionaries come to our district to share their ministries with us. This summer we have had several. Many of you have had the opportunity to spend time with them as they have come to your churches. However, Sunday speaking engagements fill up first, so why not think outside the “Sunday Box”?
For those of you who wonder what to do with a missionary if they do come to your church, let me give you an idea. What about asking them to let you help them cook an authentic meal from the country in which they serve? Then invite some people over to enjoy it. Be sure to include children and young people, and allow them time to talk with the missionary.
Have a casual “meet the missionary” night at your church, or at someone’s home. Make something simple, like popcorn and cookies, and give the missionary time to share his/her heart. Again, be sure to include children and young people as much as possible.
Dennis Howes is our District NMI Deputation Coordinator. He has a list of missionaries who will be traveling to our district. If you want to schedule one, please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 596-6831.
Having a heart for missions will strengthen your church. If you’ve never had the joy of inviting a missionary to YOUR church, why not try it?
One last note. My husband Joe is on a sabbatical, and we will be leaving soon for Papua, New Guinea where we’ll teach at the Melanesia Nazarene Bible College for three weeks. He’ll teach a Doctrine of Holiness class, and I’ll teach keyboard classes. Together we’ll teach a choir class. He will be preaching while we’re there also. We’ll be gone for six weeks, and would really appreciate your prayers.
Many blessings to each of you.
District NMI President
Knowledge is key to involvement. With an understanding of the needs of the world and what the church is doing to meet those needs, we are more likely to commit to the support of missions through prayer, giving, communication, and going.
Mission Education Information Resources include: