Many of you may not be aware that Parenting Like Hannah is actually part of the larger Teach One Reach One Ministries. As a 501c3, we wanted you to be aware of how your donations are spent. I never receive any compensation from the ministry, as we want those we serve to use their funds for ministering to others. In spite of our frugality, there are still expenses our ministry incurs during the course of a year. Your donations are tax deductible and will give us more opportunities to minister to others through translating resources, building our website, providing more workshops and training, supplying free ministry resources and creating our first free ministry textbooks. Thank you for your support of our ministry!
It’s difficult to create a ministry impact statement. Ultimately, Teach One Reach One Ministries belongs to God. We are merely His servants attempting to go where He leads us and minister to those we can along the way. Only God knows how the spiritual lives of individuals may have been impacted by our ministry this year. We are only sharing where He has led us and what we did while there in an effort to help you understand how we spend the money you donate to us.
Added over 250 new free resources to the website, not including hundreds of new blog posts.
Advertised four times in the Christian Chronicle to make more Christians aware of our free resources. As a result of our paid advertising, Christian Chronicle also provided several free ads online resulting in even more exposure.
Had over 12,000 unique visitors to the primary Teach One Reach One website (that number will be higher by year’s end), a 30% increase over the previous calendar year.
Reached people in 144 countries on six continents. The top 10 countries accessing our website this year were the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines, Nigeria, India, Australia, South Africa, Kenya and France.
Over 2400 people accessed our free baptism study, while another over 1600 users looked into our free teen curriculum and over 1200 looked into our free children’s Bible lessons. Thousands of others went directly to individual resources and lessons on the website.
Taught six weeks at the Ukrainian Bible Institute. Three of those weeks were online and three onsite in Kiev, Ukraine.
Added new free resources to the website in Russian.
Began teaching a cluster of Churches of Christ in India, Nepal and Bangladesh representing 75 congregations. These online classes will be ongoing through at least the first half of next year. We were invited to visit, but are currently unable to due to adverse and dangerous political and religious issues in those countries.
Helped Mission to Ukraine develop and implement best practices in special education in their ministry to families who have children with special needs. This included introducing them to IEP’s, IEP conferences, and teaching parents how to homeschool their children with special needs (most of whom are not currently allowed to enroll in public schools). Spent time encouraging better communication between teachers, therapists and parents and overseeing initial IEP conferences. Continued encouraging parents to take their children with special needs into public areas – especially church – more often. Currently having regular video call sessions with leaders, teachers and/or parents.
Visited Romaniv orphanage for young men with special needs. Analyzed their facilities for possible ways to provide more visual stimulation with interactive murals. Assisted in lunch preparations to observe improvements in how the young men are fed. Purchased wash cloths and gave skills analysis sheets of self care skills like bathing, hand washing and teeth brushing. Currently the majority of the men are not receiving these services, nor have they been taught how to do them for themselves. These aids are allowing volunteers and staff to teach the men self care skills in ways that are most appropriate for the way they learn. Also taught one Bible class for some of the young men. Currently working with an artist in Atlanta who is designing murals and creating patterns for them to use in painting various areas of the orphanage.
Taught at a Ladies’ Day for multiple congregations (approximately 15) in Ukraine. The day included several sessions on children’s ministry with several hands on activities for participants.
Taught several women’s small group Bible studies for three different congregations in the Kiev area.
Assisted an ESL ministry in Kiev and a potential one in Zhytomir by providing a framework and some resources for them to use.
Conducted an informal training session for children’s Bible class teachers at a church in Zhytomyr.
Had numerous personal mentoring conversations on a wide variety of topics while in Ukraine – some personal and some ministry.
Taught three foster parent training sessions for GA Agape foster and adoptive parents.
Scheduled to conduct a training session for at risk parents served by Atlanta Inner City Ministries at their Hope for the Family Christmas event.
Responded to various email and phone requests for assistance with ministry issues from all over the United States and in several additional countries.
Led a weekend of strategic planning sessions for the Hope Center, an at risk pregnancy ministry that provides alternatives to abortion.
Conducted a weekend of Christian parenting sessions in Benton, Tx.
Conducted training and helped plan and execute a congregational multigenerational service day in Newport News, VA.
Conducted children’s ministries workshops in Lubbock, TX.
Provided free resources to attendees at the various workshops including handouts and items to encourage them to do the things we are training them to do.
Provided over 150 pounds of resources to ministries in Ukraine (items unavailable to them locally) and a packet to a ministry in Uganda.
Continued researching in the fields of education, Christianity, brain science and other relevant fields and passed on helpful information in blog posts, seminars, workshops and conversations.
Read and reviewed multiple books in an effort to suggest the most helpful resources to ministry volunteers and parents.
Agreed to produce four ministry textbooks to Eastern European Missions in the next year. If their budget allows, these will be translated into Russian, printed and distributed in Ukraine, Russia and other former Soviet countries. Locals estimate a need for at least 5000 copies of each book. The first book on teen ministry has been written and is in the editing process. The hope is to have it translation ready by year’s end with the other three books completed in 2020.
Please keep our ministry in your prayers. We also ask that your prayerfully considering making a donation to allow us to expand the ways we are able to help ministries to children, teens and families be more effective in reaching their ministry goals.
When our daughter was young enough to visit Santa, he was always confused by her list. After listening to child after child with lists as long as they were tall, our daughter’s list usually only contained two or three items. He was so befuddled, we had an incident one year when he told her he was bringing something she didn’t even want!
For most kids though, the holiday season is often more about getting than giving. Even if they make or purchase a few presents for others, the focus is on those post Christmas gift comparison conversations with peers.
There is a fun way for your family to switch your focus from getting to giving, without spending a lot of money. Gather your family and tell them you have a family challenge for all of you.
The challenge is for each family member to find a way to give every day between now and Christmas. The only rule is that they can’t spend any money (or give a very small limit) or give anything away without parental permission. You will probably want to spend some time thinking up various ways to give without spending much money. Don’t forget to talk about things like time, talents, attention, etc.
How you format the challenge is up to you. Your family may have more fun coming up with ideas and executing them as a family. Other families – particularly those with teens – may want to make it a friendly competition. Who comes up with the most creative ideas during the challenge period? Who implements an idea that has a ripple effect and has other people giving too? Or come up with your own competitive extras.
Spend time each day sharing your experiences with each other. Don’t forget to talk about what they are thinking and feeling as they go through the challenge. Add insight from scripture where it fits. Spend time in prayer about everything as a family. It’s a great family tradition to add to the list.
One of the first things many Christian parents teach their kids is to thank others for giving them something. If your kids are older, you may also have taught them to write thank you notes. As wonderful as those habits are, gratitude should go much deeper. True gratitude is active.
Teaching your kids active gratitude can also help them develop into productive Christians as adults. So what are the pieces of an active gratitude?
Saying thanks. Do your kids regularly and sincerely thank God for the many blessings He gives them? Are they even aware that every good thing is a gift from God? Thanking God shouldn’t become a meaningless ritual, but rather a constant expression from a grateful heart.
Being good stewards. Nothing is more frustrating to someone who has given a special gift than to see the recipient treat it carelessly. Teaching your kids to be good stewards of not only money, but every gift from God is important. Don’t forget to teach them to be good stewards of gifts like nature, their talents, their relationships and other gifts they may not necessarily connect to being good stewards.
Sharing with others. A huge part of gratitude is understanding that not everyone is blessed with the same gifts. Encouraging your kids to be generous with their gifts is an important part of helping them develop active gratitude. This is especially true for gifts that they may not realize can and should be shared with others.
Telling others about the giver. What is the first question people often ask when someone is given an amazing gift? They want to know who gave it. This is partially curiosity, but also because they are wondering if a similar gift may be given to them by that person. A crucial part of active gratitude is telling others about God, who gave the gifts. Of course the best gift God has given everyone is the possibility of salvation and spending eternity in Heaven with Him. Your kids should be as excited about sharing the good news of the Gospel message and God the giver as they would be if someone gave them their dream present.
Teaching your kids active gratitude can mold their hearts in such a way that they become grateful, productive Christians when they are older. It’s worth your time and effort.
Have you talked with your children about the kind of hearts God wants them to have? In today’s world many people call themselves Christians while having no intention of following any of God’s commands – especially if those commands keep them from doing what they want to do. Had someone spent more time explaining the parable of the soil to them, they might have a better understanding of the hearts God wants His people to have.
Their is a fun activity you can do with your kids to help them understand the many layers of the parable of the soil. You may have to grab a few supplies first, although you can also use paper cups, dirt from your yard and seeds from food scraps.
Grab your kids, a Bible and the supplies. Read them the parable from Matthew 13:1-23 (with older kids you can compare versions of the parable from Mark 4:1-20 and Luke8:4-15).
Explain that if they have never had a garden, this parable might be a little difficult to understand. Take your kids outside. Have them throw a few seeds on the sidewalk. Ask them what are some of the things that could happen to those seeds. Ask them whether or not they think those seeds will grow on the sidewalk to look like the plant on the seed packet.
For the next three “soils” you may want to allow each child to make one of each or make a couple of each for the family. If you can somehow make the parable “work” over the next week or so and show your kids the results, that’s great. If not, just explain what would probably happen if this were done in a real garden.
One cup should contain gravel. Your kids can drop in a few seeds. Another cup should contain dirt, and your kids drop in the good seed. You can be “birds” that then drop in grass seed to the same cup. For the last cup, use dirt and just the “good” seeds.
After all of the seeds have been planted, go back and talk about Jesus said would happen with each. With younger children, use a simplification of the explanation Jesus gave for the parable. Encourage older kids to think of concrete examples from real life of what each of those scenarios might look like in today’s world. Ask them to think of ways to make sure they are the good seed in the good soil.
Knitting is one of those crafts that the more advanced the project is, the more focused you have to be to complete it. If not, you can end up with a mess of stitches looking nothing like the sweater you thought you were knitting.
Christian parenting takes focus as well. You won’t believe this if your kids are little, but the old parenting saying, “The days are long, but the years are short” is very true. You may have every intention of helping your kids have a rich prayer life or treasure reading the Bible, but then someone gets sick, the game goes extra innings, standardized testing is happening and before you know it your child is headed to college. Very little of those well intentioned spiritual things ever happened and now there really is no significant time to change things easily.
Unfortunately, many young people raised in Christian homes have little more of a spiritual foundation than their peers raised in non-Christian homes. And often the faith foundation they do have is weak and susceptible to destruction when everyone else is encouraging them to abandon it so they can “have more fun”.
The best way to avoid this scenario playing out with your own children is to be proactive. Be that intentional Christian parent. When life gets you off track, work to get your family back to the spiritual basics your kids so desperately need.
All of that is going to require you to be focused – extremely focused. Satan is slick. He knows the worries and concerns every parent has. He will do everything he can to make sure you are distracted by your child’s future and what others think you must do so your child has a bright one. God, according to Satan, can wait until later.
Except later is often too late. For the next few posts, we will be giving you some tips and fun activities to help you maintain your family’s focus on important spiritual disciplines that can help mold your kids’ hearts, minds and souls. Just remember, never take your eye off of the prize – your entire family spending eternity together in Heaven. You will always be glad you kept that laser focus on what God wants for your family.