RICHMOND, Va. (BP)—Staff of the International Mission Board (IMB) showed their enthusiasm while hosting a group of fifth and sixth graders from Oklahoma City, Southern Hills.

Allison Wiles, a student from OKC, Southern Hills, looks at photos during a tour of the IMB headquarters.

The children visited the IMB headquarters in Richmond, Va., as a reward for completing eight mission projects during the 2020-2021 school year. The eight projects included interviewing a missionary, writing a report on a country, writing a book report on a missionary biography and learning key phrases in another language. Southern Hills paid for each child’s travel, which also included a trip to the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C., once the children completed all eight projects.

Kaleb Reyes, one of the children who toured the building, shared why he thinks the IMB is important.

“I think the IMB is important because it can help a lot of people who want to do missions but they do not have the resources to,” he said.

Addilyn Wright added, “There’s a lot of people out there (who don’t know Jesus), and you don’t want to keep Jesus all to yourself. You want to share Jesus with everyone so they can know him.”

As the children toured the IMB building with their parents, the missions’ pastor and the children’s pastor from Southern Hills, they learned about the different departments at the IMB and the roles they play in supporting missionaries and continuing gospel advancement. The fifth and sixth graders were able to meet Paul Chitwood, IMB president, and other IMB staff who answered their questions about missions.

Jacob Steward, children’s pastor of Southern Hills, explained why Southern Hills emphasizes missions at an early age.

“It’s really important for kids to learn about missions because a lot of their decisions are made when they’re kids,” Steward said. “We want to prepare them from the time they are young to go out into the world and share Jesus with people.”