By Ginger Culpepper, Special to the Message
[img_assist|nid=8035|title=MJAM Lafayette|desc=Worship was as much a part of M-Jam as were the other parts of the annual event: learning about missions, meeting missionaries, making new friends and thinking of ways to be a missionary even before becoming a teenager.|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=427]LAFAYETTE – “I’m excited and fired up about what God is going to do in your lives and communities,” Children/Youth Mission Education Strategist Kimberly Aguillard told the girls and boys at M-Jam.
“There may be a day when God calls you to go to a different state or country. Wherever He calls you, you need to be obedient. But you don’t have to be an adult to be on mission.”
That sentiment was relayed again and again by each of the conference speakers at the Missions Jamboree, held two consecutive weekends in March at First Baptist Lafayette and Ridge Avenue Baptist in West Monroe.
M-Jam is an annual event sponsored by the Women’s Missions and Ministry team for Girls in Action and Children in Action groups from around the state.
Almost 700 children – counting both events – were inspired to get “Fired Up” for missions. Both events had an identical slate of activities.
“I love M-Jam!” said GA Kayla Linzay of New Prospect Baptist. “You learn more about God and missionaries and have fun dancing and singing.”
Kathy Frady, creative dramatist, explained the theme verse of Hebrews 12:1 using a skit that the children loved.
“She’s funny,” GA Mallory Crittenden of Alford Heights in Many said regarding the dramatist. Alford Heights received the certificate for driving the farthest distance.
Shelbie Martinez, another GA from Alford Heights, couldn’t stop laughing at how Kathy “made the boxes look so heavy when we all knew they were empty.”
The children rotated among four stations, meeting missionaries and learning about missions.
Children found crackers, granola bars, shampoo, and toothbrushes under their chairs when they went to hear Jessica Dawson, a USC-2 missionary at the Baptist Friendship House in New Orleans. Jessica informed the children that New Orleans has the second highest homeless population in the country and shared how the Friendship House provides a home for four families and teaches them and others about Jesus. She allowed the children to help her pack sample food and hygiene kits that they give out on a regular basis.
“I think we’ve collected hygiene items before,” said Ragen Barton of Alpine Baptist. “I like that Ms. Jessica helps the kids with their homework and helps the moms find jobs.”
Marc Eichelberger shared another Louisiana ministry with the children. As a representative from the Baptist Children’s Home in Monroe, he used the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme to illustrate their goal.
“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again, but the King Himself can restore broken lives,” Eichelberger said.
As the ministry project, children brought hygiene items. After learning about the ministry of the children’s home, they packed gift bags with their items to be distributed among the cottage families.
“I’m thankful for the parents who put their kids in the children’s home so that they’ll have a better life,” said GA Caitlin Watson of Pinehill Baptist in Leesville. “It’s important for the kids to know they’re blessed. I like that we got to bring them stuff to use.”
Children learned to sing a worship song in Hindi from Basketball Coach Joel W, who shared how he disciples college students in India. He too encouraged children to be on mission with God by using their hands, hearts, and voices.
When children visited Katie Miller and Amber Fussell’s station, they learned about London and participated in a mini-triathlon. Sharing their experiences with World Changers in London, these LA Tech college students asked the children to pray for all who will be coming to the Summer Olympics.
They encouraged children to carry their torches and shine Christ’s light where they are now.
“I want to be a missionary and maybe go to London and help the homeless someday,” said Maggie Biggs of Alpine Baptist. “But I can be a missionary now at home.”