As a youth pastor, (and as a lead pastor) I am frequently looking for mission projects that don't require the mass fundraising/mega packing/journey to the other side of the world prep and planning. Instead, something that is easy, simple, quick, and fairly inexpensive. The big trips and projects are great, but sometimes the little projects bring about an opportunity to impact a life in a surprising way. Plus, little projects allow you to be mission minded, even when you are not planning for the big trip/project.
This past Sunday night, we had a spontaneous missions night! The week before we wrapped up our teaching series. Next week we are hosting our costume ball. Our next teaching series won't launch until November. So, I needed something for this week that was a once-and-done type thing. You know, something we could get into and accomplish in one night. In planning the fall calendar, this was the week that we would talk about missions. Being a new church and a new student ministry, we want to impress upon our students early on the importance of serving and participating in events and activities that support outreach. But the more I thought about our weekly meeting and the topic of missions, I thought, why just talk about missions and outreach? Why not do it? So that's what we did.
Amy and I have always loved the thought of adoption. For the last couple of years, we have followed an organization called, Show Hope. You have most likely read one or two or five blog posts about Show Hope. Back in March of 2014, we became Show Hope sponsors. (Again, you've probably read a blog or two about how to become a sponsor.) In our Fall 2014, Sponor Update, I read about a project that we could do and provide for the Show Hope sponsored orphanage , Maria's Big House of Hope, in China. It's a Birthday in a Box.
The idea is simple, give an orphan a birthday party by sending all the various party ingredients; streamers, balloons, party hats, table covers, noise makers, goodies, birthday gifts, cake mix, and love all packed up into a box that is then mailed to Maria's Big House of Hope! Then when a child in the house celebrates a birthday, the staff open up the box, and POOF instant birthday party!
So Sunday night, we sprung the idea on our students. (They didn't know what we were doing, so no one could back out or say they weren't interested.) I shared the Maria's Big House of Hope promo video that Show Hope posted on their YouTube page. We talked about the orphanage and what it would be like to have to celebrate your birthday in one. Then we talked a bit about how we celebrate our birthdays with parties and presents, cake and ice cream. Then I shared the idea of the Birthday in a Box!
They were in. So we loaded up the cars and made our way out to do a little birthday party shopping. Within about 40 minutes we were back at the house packing boxes, making birthday cards and taking pictures. It was a fun night of spontaneous missions and serving. By the time it was said and done, not only did we fill 2 boxes, one party for a girl and one party for a boy, but the students were given an opportunity to think beyond themselves and care someone they have never, and may never meet. Not to mention, we had the opportunity to introduce our students to Show Hope and their incredible ministry to children waiting for their forever families. Score!
If you are looking for a simple, easy, and inexpensive way to do a missions project that will bring a smile to someones face, Show Hope's Birthday in a Box is a great one for you to consider. For as much fun as it was to do it with our student ministry, I am hoping to fill up a box with our family so my kids will hae the opportunity to experience what it's like to love someone they've never met.
As a way to help you plan for your Birthday in a Box, I am putting together a page under our Resource tab that will walk you through your planning. Along with some ideas that I've had, before and now after that I might do differently, I will share how to get in contact with Show Hope, a link to their promo videos that will help you get to know the ministry, and a few other resources that you might find helpful. Watch for that page to go live sometime around Wednesday of this week. In the mean time, take a look at just a few photos from our spontaneous Birthday in a Box party!
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.