Reflections on Time Well Spent

This month, several of our staff members traveled to the WMU Annual Meeting and Southern Baptist Convention held in Dallas, Texas. For months before the event, we’ve planned, created, imagined, written, put items together, and taken them apart to be packed. We built a hut and pushcart, learned to play mancala, wrote speeches, coordinated missionary speakers, and designed conferences. We’ve made reservations, determined schedules, planned meals, tweaked those schedules, and planned events. We’ve counted supplies and tried to run through every possible scenario imaginable to make sure we are more than prepared.

With all of that preparation, you’d think I was ready for anything. I do have to confess I was not prepared for how a handful of little girls made me feel Monday at the WMU booth on the exhibit floor of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As a consultant, I get the pleasure of discussing how churches can implement missions discipleship for kids. I also provide encouragement and answer questions for leaders. Sometimes, but not often enough, I get to hear from existing groups and see the sweet faces of kids who are learning how to answer God’s calling on their lives. So when I get the chance to meet girls in person and hear why they love Girls in Action, it makes my heart soar!

This year’s booth was set up to resemble Burkina Faso, the country we are studying this month in Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, Children in Action, and Mission Friends. We built a hut and a pushcart and set up a huge mancala board. We gave away samples of GA, RA, CA, and Mission Friends materials from our pushcart. Because I was wearing a GA shirt on Monday, I had several women stop and tell me about the importance of GA in their own lives.

                  

One said, “I understand the world today because of what I learned then.”

Another let me know that God had used GA to call her to the missions field.

And, yet another let me know she was leading GA today because there were several women who invested so much in her when she was a GA herself.

The impact Girls in Action had on adult lives was evident in these amazing stories.

And then, several adults brought GAs over to meet me. One or two at a time, I’d find myself standing in front of a young girl who wanted to say her pledge for me. Or, tell me why she likes GA. Or, tell me about the time she met a “real, live missionary.” Each of them love Girls in Action for different reasons—projects, stories, recipes, magazines, games, friends, etc. But when I asked them why they thought GA is important, they all responded in a similar fashion.

They are all learning how to be missionaries in their own communities.

Hearing it once or twice is really neat. But hearing it 6 or 7 times in the course of a day was amazing and a bit overwhelming.

No matter why you lead missions organizations, thank you for ensuring your kids are learning how to be on mission in your community.

Maybe one day, one of your kiddos will tell me about the time God called them to something awesome through Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Children in Action.

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