Using WonderMaps to Involve Your Family in MissionsLeah Courtney
From the time our kids were little, we’ve tried to keep our family involved in world and local missions. We’ve prayed for missionaries all over the world. We’ve hosted missionaries in our home for a meal. We’ve kept the kids of missionaries who were home on furlough. And we’ve participated in service projects with local missions agencies.
Our focus on missions dovetails perfectly with our homeschool studies of world geography and sometimes U.S. geography when we have stateside missionaries.
(affiliate link) WonderMaps is a geography software that you install on your computer either through a CD or download. The program allows you to choose, customize, and print hundreds of maps, including world maps, U.S. maps, historical maps, and map sets that correspond with The Mystery of History and All American History courses. With the program, you can print labeled or unlabeled maps. You can also layer maps.
So how can WonderMaps help your family to learn about, pray for, and support missions? Grab a binder and set up a missions notebook with your WonderMaps using some of these ideas.
Locating Missionaries on a World Map
Print a world map labeled with countries on a piece of card stock. Using colored markers, place dots on the places where missionaries you pray for are serving. On a separate piece of paper or on the back, make a key matching colors with the names of missionary families. As you pray for these missionaries, you can use your map to remember the area of the world in which they serve.
Praying for Countries around the World
Print maps of each continent labeled with countries. Place these maps in a section of your notebook and use them during your family prayer times to pray for the people of each continent by turn. Mark the countries in each continent where missionaries you know are serving. Research or ask missionaries you know to find out the needs of people in those countries.
During each of your family prayer times, pray for the countries and people who live in the current top continent map in your notebook. After your prayer time, place that map at the back of the pages so that a new continent will be there for your next prayer time.
Learning about the Countries and Cultures Where Missionaries Are Serving
Print country maps of each of the specific countries of the world where missionaries you know are serving. On the back of each of these maps, write specific requests that the missionaries have mentioned in their prayer letters. You can also record any needs you hear via current events. Create a section for these maps in your notebook and then when you pray for those missionaries, you’ll have the map and the requests to help you focus your prayers.
Praying for Persecuted Christians
It’s often hard for kids who live in the United States or other countries that have great religious freedoms to realize that, in many countries, people are persecuted and even killed for being Christians. Print a world map labeled with countries. Research to learn about countries in which Christians are harshly persecuted. Color in these countries on your map. As you’re praying for missions, take time to also pray for Christians in these countries specifically.
Reading about Missionaries from the Past
Besides getting to know current missionaries, we love to read missionary biographies. As you’re reading about missionaries from the past, you can use WonderMaps to print maps close to the historical time period of the missionary you’re reading about. Mark the place where the missionary served. Keep these maps in your notebook to be able to look back on and remember the missionaries you’ve read about.
Praying for and supporting missionaries all over the world is an important thing for our family to participate in. A maps notebook with maps from WonderMaps is a great resource as we make the effort to involve our family in missions.