That's a Wrap: WMU Celebrates CMD

“We didn’t have anything like this when I was little,” said Ana Cornel about Children’s Missions Day, which was hosted this year at national WMU in Birmingham on Feb. 17, as well as in churches across the country. “This is such a blessing for these children."

Cornel, a Girls in Action (GA) leader at Iglesia Bautista Cristo Nuestra Esperanza (Christ Our Hope Baptist Church), explained she was born “automatically Catholic” in Mexico, as was Eulalia Ramones who also participated in Children’s Missions Day alongside her 7-year-old daughter, Ana Gutierrez.

“I was raised Catholic,” said Ramones, “then a friend invited me to church and I heard the gospel. I want my daughters learning at a young age about God and missions.”

Cornel said she leads GA because she has a missions heart. “I love missions and I want them [GA members] to learn they can be missionaries as little girls and that God has a purpose for their lives. My prayer is that one or more of these girls will grow up to be a missionary.”

Robin Bryant, of First Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove, agrees children should be engaged in missions through events like Children’s Missions Day as well as participating in missions organizations.

“My sons are involved in Royal Ambassadors (RA) because my husband and I believe it’s important for them to learn how to serve at an early age and be involved with other kids,” she said.

Bryant brought her sons Samuel, 11, and Jonah, 9, to the event along with 66 other children from their church.

James Lawshe, a retired school teacher, was one of the leaders who brought children from First Baptist Church, Columbiana, to Children’s Missions Day. Lawshe said he’s led Royal Ambassadors for more than 40 years and sees it as an avenue to invite unchurched kids to church. “The boys invite other boys [to RA], and many times these kids come to church before their parents do.

“It’s rewarding to see guys grow up and become leaders in churches,” Lawshe continued. “Our church loves to serve and be involved in the community outside the church walls.” 

Twyla Fryer, a volunteer children’s leader at First Baptist Church, Columbiana, added this is the first time their church has participated in Children’s Missions Day with other churches. “Most of our kids don’t get to go to camp, so this is a great way for them to get together with other kids and realize they are also going all over the whole community serve.”

Groups of children fanned out across the Birmingham area to share the love of Christ as they delivered handmade crafts to the Fire House Shelter where they also cleaned and worked in the food pantry; delivered snacks to the Jefferson County 911 office and fire stations across Birmingham to say “thank you” and prayed for them; hosted a birthday party for a family at the Alabama Baptist Children’s Family Care Home; and hosted a Valentine’s party with crafts at Shelby Woods senior apartments in Columbiana.

“This was an amazing experience to be with kids and leaders as they worshipped and learned how they can be on mission in their own communities each and every day,” said Heather Keller, children’s ministry consultant, national WMU. “To hear them all practice saying, ‘God loves me and He loves you, too’ as they prepared to share with people all across Birmingham was so precious. These kids know Jesus and want to share Him with others.”

Along with missions projects, the children participated in worship and heard from missionaries, including Lorna Bius, Send Relief missionary who serves in Clarkston, Ga.; Tim Milner, a church planter serving with the North American Mission Board in Huntsville, Ala.; and Todd and Susan Lafferty, retired missionaries with the International Mission Board.

“It’s important to teach children to understand and accept the gospel,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director of national WMU and Children’s Missions Day volunteer. “We also want to model for them how to obey the gospel by sharing the love of Christ. Children’s Missions Day is about engaging heads, hearts and hands in missions discipleship.”

Keller expressed gratitude to everyone who helped make the experience successful. “God was glorified and will be because of these amazing kids and leaders,” she said.

Nearly 150 participated in Children’s Missions Day at national WMU, which was hosted in partnership with Alabama WMU and Shelby Baptist Association. Each February, Baptist churches across the country engage children in missions efforts through this concerted day of missions involvement.

For more information, visit wmu.com/cmd.

Julie Walters serves as Corporate Communications Manager and Board Liaison at national WMU

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