Through the Archives: Inspiring children for global mission

As we celebrate our 140th year as a mission agency, we’ve been inspired to take a look through our archives. We’ve been seeing how God has been at work through the years and how those who came before us faithfully served Him in mission.

Surprised by the role of children

We’ve been really encouraged to see the ways that children were involved in supporting the ministry! They even had their own section of the ‘North Africa’ magazine where missionaries would tell them about their work, inspire them for the future and encourage them to pray. Often, these articles invited the children to imagine what it would be like to grow up in the Arab world, giving examples of local children and their lives. They gave children vivid insights into cultures completely different to their own, but at the same time showed that these were people just like them who needed to know the truth about Jesus.

It’s inspiring to think how many missionaries may have first gained an interest in the Arab world through snapshots like these!

Never too young to learn

In 1908, we ran a ten-part correspondence course about mission, sent out monthly. This gave an introduction to the agency, talked about the history and current state of North Africa and, in this edition, gave practical examples of how the reader could get involved. Sunday School teachers were specifically invited to help the mission effort:

“Sunday School teachers have in their classes the missionaries of the next generation.”

“Nothing will quicken your zeal more or give clearer views on missionary work than having to give an address to your class or to the Sunday School.”

Children can support mission too

In the 1900 edition, there was even a report on the activities of the Children’s Missionary Band! It gave children a practical way of contributing to overseas ministry, supporting several agencies including (as we were known as the time) the North Africa Mission. They prayed for missionaries, circulated prayer letters, told others about the need for mission and even raised money to support a patient at the Mission Hospital in Morocco for a year. They hoped to raise £70 – almost £9,000 in today’s money. What an amazing example of young faith in action!

May each of us, whether young or old, pick up the baton and be inspired to play our part in God’s mission to the nations.

Want to know more? Come and celebrate with us, at our 140th anniversary celebration on Zoom on November 19th! For more information, email Chris. If you would like to hear more about the history of AWM Pioneers, check out our story or read more from the archive

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