Familyfest displays Christ’s love in Colorado community

Members of Moundville Baptist Church, Moundville, Ala., came to Familyfest to serve the needs of the people in Aurora together as the body of Christ.

AURORA, Colo. -- For 10 years, Owen and Ruth Ann Smith prayed a special prayer for the people of Colorado. After serving 14 years on short-term missions trips in various locations across the country, the couple longed for their state to experience a nationwide missions event as well. This year, that prayer was answered, as the Smiths served at Familyfest in their home city of Aurora, Colo., from June 25–29, marking their 25th missions trip with national Woman’s Missionary Union.

The Smiths served alongside 110 other volunteers, 50 of whom were children. The volunteers represented nine states and served eight ministry sites in Aurora through construction projects, outreach events, evangelism, acts of kindness and prayerwalking.

Familyfest offered a real-world, hands-on opportunity for families, youth groups and friends ages 6 and up to bridge generational gaps and display the love of Christ together among those who don’t know Him.

“I came to Colorado on a mission trip with my Acteens group,” said Avery Cline of Austin Baptist Church, Austin, Texas. “I really think it’s a good opportunity for teenagers to express their love for God and just to get out and really know what it’s like to be a missionary.”

Cline and her Acteens group served Mission Under Grace, a local church, by assisting with Vacation Bible School and building relationships with the children and parents in the community.

According to Mile High Baptist Association, 85 percent of this Denver metropolitan region of approximately 2.8 million residents does not attend any church or religious organization regularly.

Understanding this great need for the gospel in the city, Familyfest participants jumped into action.

“I observed people from several states showing love and telling people in Aurora about Jesus,” shared June Tate, president of Colorado WMU. “The Bread of Life was shared as homeless people where given lunch in the park, low-income children were fed breakfast and lunch in a mobile home park, adults and children were fed at a Sunday afternoon carnival and children were fed dinner before learning about Jesus in Vacation Bible School.”

Tate describes Familyfest participants as “doers of the Word” as well, as they built a fence for a local woman, shared the gospel with her, and prayed with her and her neighbor. Volunteers also distributed Bibles to about 90 homes while visiting and thanking residents for sending their children to VBS.

Familyfest impacted more than just Colorado residents; it also had an effect on volunteers. Pastor Jason Duckett of Moundville Baptist Church, Moundville, Ala., brought members of his congregation to Familyfest as a way to serve a different location and gain a new perspective in missions.

“[Familyfest] opens their hearts and minds up to what God is doing, not just in our community but around the world,” he explained.

This experience not only allowed members of his church to experience missions in a new place but also opened doors for believers to serve together as the body of Christ.

“It is so unique to have children, parents and senior adults working together,” Duckett exclaimed. “To have that experience builds the entire family, building the entire church.”

Jessica Ferguson of Liberty Grove Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro, N.C., and other volunteers from her church came to serve the Aurora community and intentionally emphasize the importance of missions for their children.

“As parents, we felt like we needed to get our kids involved in missions,” she shared. “We wanted them to experience that in a setting that was set up for kids.”

Ferguson and her children served First Baptist Church, Aurora, where they hosted a block party to honor local law enforcement, provided lunch for the homeless in nearby parks, prayerwalked the neighborhood and distributed coins to those in local coin laundry facilities.

“All the children were true examples of being able to serve God at a young age and were led exceptionally by their parents, grandparents, aunts, and leaders,” said Lena Plunk, ministry consultant for mobilization at national WMU and the trip’s coordinator. “It was so great to see families coming together and working alongside each other.”

This Familyfest opportunity was a partnership with national WMU, Colorado WMU, and local churches in the Mile High Baptist Association.

National WMU will host Missionsfest, a missions opportunity recommended for ages 18 and older, in Fort Wayne, Ind., Sept. 17–21. Registration ends Aug. 17. For more details about this event and information about additional upcoming missions opportunities, visit

Photos from Familyfest

Avery Cline, of Austin Baptist Church, Austin, Texas, served alongside her Acteens group by painting faces and sharing the gospel at a Vacation Bible School in Aurora, Colo.

Pastor Jason Duckett of Moundville Baptist Church, Moundville, Ala., interacted with locals through Bear Valley Church’s multi-housing ministry.

Jessica Ferguson of Liberty Grove Baptist Church, North Wilkesboro, N.C. served local law enforcement at a community block party. 

Jessica Ferguson of Liberty Grove Baptist Church, North Wilkesboro, N.C., used Familyfest as an opportunity show her children the importance of missions. Ferguson’s children spent the week participating in various missions projects, including distributing coins at a local coin laundry.

Members of Moundville Baptist Church, Moundville, Ala., came to Familyfest to serve the needs of the people in Aurora together as the body of Christ. 



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