A meal featuring dodo (fried plantains, common in Nigeria) and learning praise songs in Melanesian Pidgin were just two of the ways the members of Prairie Edge Christian Reformed Church in Portage, Mich., learned more about the work of the missionaries they support.
Trudy Eshuis, a member of the church’s outreach committee, said they wanted a new way to celebrate Mission Emphasis Sunday.
They decided to host a meal featuring the foods from the places their missionaries serve—Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Japan, and the United States. They also gave the event a new look and feel by having intergenerational seating arrangements and activities like take-home prayer wheels patterned after the successful program the church had held using Faith Alive’s WE curriculum.
Discussion at the tables included questions about other languages people at the table knew, seeing who could name all the missionaries Prairie Edge supports, and talking about what missionaries really do. Rev. Eric and Penny Schering, missionaries in Papua New Guinea, taught attendees songs in Melanesian Pidgin. Al and Jacie Persenaire, missionaries in Nigeria, were also on hand to update the congregation about their work.
This experience, said Eshuis, “turned out to be one of the best mission events we have done. We have finally found a format for a meaningful mission emphasis event.”