Like we mentioned a couple weeks ago, we installed our long-term missions display at our sending church, Fairview Loop Baptist! Today, we want to “unpack” that display and explain why we selected everything that we included.
Fairview Loop has a strong missions education program. My family joined FLBC while I was in high school and I loved getting plugged into Acteens, participating in mission trips around Alaska and the US, and seeing the Lord further grow my heart for missions.
When the sanctuary was built at FLBC about 6 years ago, four alcoves were nestled in above the foyer. For a while, Allen and I took the lead in filling them with displays for various mission trips, missions offerings, etc. and we were thrilled when the time came for us to add our own long-term display!
Today, we want to “unpack” all of the different components of our display and explain why we picked what we did! Spoiler: It was not whatever random stuff we found lying around the house.
For our display’s background, we used a natural-colored burlap. We wanted something that would add texture without distracting from the other components of the display. The tan allows the other colors to pop nicely.
The centerpiece of our display is a map of Togo that shows the different regions of the country. We added a star to the Kara region, where we will be living. (Fun fact: I cut the star out free-hand style and am quite proud of it.) Allen found the map online and we had it printed at the local UPS store. Then, my crafty husband made and stained the frame himself! I think the frame turned out beautifully, especially against the burlap. I’m even more proud of the frame made than I am the star I cut out.
Since a primary focus of our ministry overseas will be related to caring for orphans, we wanted to really bring that to light through our display. The photos we used were supplied by a future teammate, Judy, who works in southern Togo and are of kiddos she knows in the area. Aren’t they so sweet?! The three 16×20 inch canvas prints were all ordered from Canvas on Demand (with the help of a Groupon!). We’ve ordered from Canvas on Demand before and are always super impressed with their quality and customer service.
I made the triangle bunting across the top of the display to help drive home the idea of a child-focused ministry that is full of life and fun. We picked fabric colors that coordinate with the pictures of kids and I spent a long time cutting, sewing, and hot gluing the triangles together. You can’t really tell in this photo, but the bunting goes across the top of the display and about 2/3 of the way down each side. It’s just enough to frame is all in!
Finally, we included a woven basket to bring some depth to the display, add a “natural” element, and balance out the photos. Fun fact: a member of our church (we don’t know who) donated the basket to our yard sale. When it didn’t sell, we snatched it up to include in the display! So I guess that part of our display is something we found lying around our house…
Underneath the display, we have a plaque that says who we are and where we are going:
There is also a clear document holder in which we can put prayer cards, monthly newsletter updates, and more. That way, we can continue to communicate well with our partners and sending church. We are thankful that the secretary at FLBC agreed to print and post our newsletters for us each month!
Finally, we will soon be adding a family photo underneath the display box. We know that, in a few years when we are settled in Togo, it’s likely that people will not know who are, what we’re doing, and why FLBC is partnering with us. Hopefully having our photo present alongside regular communications will help keep people informed.
So there it is! If we have shared at your church about the vision the Lord has given us for Togo, you know that our long-term display at FLBC is very different than the table display we like to set up. The reason for that is simple: we don’t want to keep climbing up and down ladders when we need something for another display!
Whatever we present and share, we hope the focus is always on the Lord. Togo is His country and the children there are His, too. We are honored and humbled by the opportunity to join in His work there!