Mission Sending: A Girls’ Group Story

Many of us want to support missions but struggle with how to get started. This story should encourage us all to jump in and become missions senders.

Makayla Voris, Sophia Domenico and Vienne Parmele, are in the same Middle School small group. They got creative and sold decorated Easter cookies to raise $200 to help Maggie Brothers, one of their small group leaders, meet her missions team funding goal for Project Japan 2017.

Tanya Parmele, Vienne’s mom, promoted the girl’s fundraising venture by taking orders for cookies via Facebook. “Nana Pat” Parmele, Vienne’s grandmother, baked and pre-iced 144 cookies before hosting the girls for an all-afternoon decorating party.Here’s their story in their own words…and those of the adults who helped them get it done:Tanya Parmele:

Our family has known for a while that Maggie was planning to do a mission trip to Japan with Veritas.  Since Vienne, Sophia Domenico, and Makayla Voris are all in Maggie’s small group, I thought it would be neat for the girls to do something where they could help support her in some way.  We think the world of both her leaders, they have given so much to each of the girls in Vienne’s small group and it seemed only natural to look for a way that we could give back to her.  Anyway, I talked to their mothers earlier in the year and they agreed it was a great idea, but we just had to come up with something the girls could do together.   Well, time passed and as things usually do with our life, we realized time was getting short and we needed to come up with a plan!

Knowing that Easter was approaching we suggested decorating and selling Easter egg shaped cookies.  So [Vienne] talk with Nana and see if she might be willing to help make the cookies, since her recipe is a favorite!  That lead to [Vienne] asking Sophia and Makayla to join the fun.  One thing led to another and in the end Pat made 144 cookies that the girls decorated all in one afternoon.  We packaged them up 6 to a bag and sold them for $5/bag.  Evidently, I set very low expectations because I was just hoping they could raise even $50.  So you can imagine my surprise when Vienne counted all the money and it came to $200!  I posted a note on FB about what the girls were up to and within 20 minutes all the cookies had been spoken for.  I was truly amazed and so incredibly grateful!

“Nana Pat” Parmele:

I’ve always been a believer in service to others and especially missions.  Instilling that in my grandchildren and their friends was important to me.  When asked if I would help make this project happen, I said yes in a heartbeat!  What a fun project.  The girls just chatted along and before we knew it the project was completed.

Vienne Parmele:

Why did you want to help out?

She’s my small group leader.  If I were in her situation, I’d be really thankful if someone did that for me!

What was the best part of doing this?

It was all a lot of fun.  I had fun designing and decorating the cookies with my friends.  But probably the best part was telling Maggie about what we were doing and giving her all the money.  That part was fun because I knew we were helping her and that felt really good.

What do you hope comes of your efforts?

I hope she is able to share the joy and kindness that she gives to us, to other students in Japan.

Sophia Domenico:

When we found out Maggie was doing  fundraising for a mission trip we jumped at the chance to help her out.  Our small group leaders invest so much of their time and efforts into us that we loved the idea of helping one of them for a change.

Seeing the joy and surprise on her face when she found out we were helping raise money for her trip was the best part.   Of course, decorating the cookies was extremely fun because it was done with friends.

I’m so glad that Maggie gets to go on this trip.  She makes a difference in our lives everyday – I know she will make a difference in Japan as well.

Makayla Voris:

I’ve been in Maggie Brothers’s smallgroup for a while now… Since before my sixth grade year even started. I know firsthand how fun, amazing, patient, and sweet Maggie is to us. She puts a lot of time into our {the smallgroup’s} lives, so when we heard that there was a chance to help her out, there were no questions asked.

It took a while to figure out what exactly we could do to raise a lot of money, but we did figure out some creative ideas to do it. However, that was only a slice of the fun.

Besides the decorating of the cookies with Mrs. Parmele (Vienne’s Nana) and spending time with Sophia and Vienne, the best part was seeing the jubilant look in Maggie’s face when she told us that the funds had put her over the amount originally needed to go on Veritas’s trip to Japan in the summer.

As I explained before, Maggie has put a lot of time into our spiritual lives as well as our everyday ones. Helping her do something that she was looking forward to doing was the least we could do after all of the serving she’s done to us as a smallgroup and individually as teenage girls and middle school students.
Melody Voris:

Bottom line, as a parent of a Middle Schooler at The Crossing — Maggie Brothers (and Bri Arnett), who serve as the girls’ small group leaders are such beautiful example of selfless servants  to Vienne, Sophia, and Makayla (my daughter).  Do you know that these two college students come to music recitals, volleyball games, and any events to support them, AND take them each to just get ice cream and visit?  They simply POUR into our girls and continue to point them to Jesus.  We, as parents, are incredibly grateful.  So the three girls’ decision to support Maggie’s mission trip to Japan was simple.  Why would they not want to help support Maggie and help OTHERS know and love Jesus?!

Maggie Brothers:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Still completely blown away by this.

In this video, you can watch more about Nisshin Christ Church, the ministry Veritas partners with each year for Project Japan:

You can also read more about Project Japan 2017’s itinerary, team goals and prayer requests in last week’s post from from Kyle Richter:

Project Japan 2017

Sources: As quoted above. Photos collected and sent by Tanya Parmele.

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