Sporting a yellow T-shirt and red Capri pants, Molly shows up all over the world.
And she brings other children along with her.
Missions locally, nationally and abroad is very important said Gayle Norris, Girls in Action (GA) leader at Yadkin Baptist Church in Lenoir.
She said her girls are excited to see where Molly goes next and to pray that all she sees are touched by the work of the teams sharing God’s word and love in action.
Norris discovered Molly in the back of her GA leader guide. She found mentioned there the book Molly’s Adventures in Missions by Joye Smith and ordered it from Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU).
Once Molly is cut out and laminated she’s ready to travel. Yes, Molly is a doll.
People on mission take a Molly doll and photograph her on sites all over the world.
“We are going to track and display her trips on maps,” said Norris, who grew up in GAs and Sunbeams. Her mother’s influence from WMU was also influential in keeping missions before Norris. “I always wanted to be a missionary. God might not be finished with me yet. I see a need to minister to children in our community here and now.”
Terry Barnes, who recently went to Haiti for disaster recovery work, took Molly to Haiti with North Carolina Baptist Men to get a first-hand look at the devastation and the hope being offered that only God can provide.
He will be speaking to the girls this month about her trip and the Haiti work.
Molly also traveled to Georgia with Samaritan’s Purse to a fundraiser for efforts in Haiti. She has been to North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell and Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Molly can and has made a way for our GAs to get involved with missions around God’s world,” Norris said. Norris is thankful she’s teaching children today because advanced technology allows leaders to “have more resources for doing and helping and seeing more than I ever experienced.”
More adventures to come
Smith, who authored the Molly book, plans a sequel — Molly Meets the Missionaries — this summer.
Using photos from missionaries, Smith said Molly will meet MiKey, an African-American boy. The capital M and K refer to a common reference to missionary kid. While the first book explained what mission teams do, Molly will explore what missionaries do on the field.
“It’s been fun to see where all she’s gone and to get the stories from the folks that have used her,” said Smith, team leader and ministry consultant for WMU’s preschool resource team. “It’s helped the church explain (missions) to the children.”
Smith has been really pleased with the way Molly and the book have been used. She conceived the idea for Molly in the choir loft at her church when the pastor called up persons about to leave on an international missions trip. Smith wondered if the children had any idea what these people would be doing.
“We need to have some way to show children what missions teams do,” Smith said.
Molly has not always had easy trips. Smith said she was confiscated at one airport because someone had cut her directly out of the book, which meant her back was covered with tips for mission teams.
To find more about Molly, visit www.missionfriends.com/molly or search for Friends of Molly Missions on Facebook.com. For more information or to order Molly’s Adventures in Missions or Smith's other books for preschoolers, children, or preschool leaders, visit www.wmustore.com.