WMU Blog

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.

6 Ways to Help on World Refugee Day

Wednesday, June 20 is World Refugee Day; a day to recognize the courage and perseverance of displaced people around the world; a day to show Christ-like compassion to those who are forced to flee. Many look at the ever-growing global refugee crisis and wonder, “What can be done in a single day?” I have often glossed over recognition days in our society, too jaded and apathetic to believe that a single day can have lasting results. Perhaps there are some who feel too powerless or removed to make an impact on the global refugee crisis. Still, others may be hesitant due to political views or social pressure, hoping the crisis will be forgotten or tackled by world leaders in a distant country.

You Can’t Do It That Way!

women staring at each other

I found myself in a new leadership position. The ball was rolling downhill—rapidly—and I was trying to catch up! I had a good idea and posed it to my secretary, who responded, “You can’t do it that way!” Well, her statement raised a red flag as I sought a solution to a problem with an upcoming major event. Was this the time to confront her? Should I not say anything and let her attitude go? If I decided to confront her, how should I do it?

Confrontation can impact our effectiveness as leaders, so let’s look at some truths and myths regarding this sensitive topic.

Meet Our Writer, Becky Rainey

Becky Rainey

Let me introduce myself! I am Becky Rainey. My husband, Charles, and I celebrated our 40 anniversary on December 16, 2017. God blessed us with 3 children who love the Lord. Lee and Anna, our grandchildren, are just the icing on top of a wonderful family.

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I Was Blind, but Now I See

Rwandan children in poverty

At the beginning of this year, I traveled to Rwanda to study economics for 10 days. This trip opened my eyes to a level of poverty I had never seen before. Yet I witnessed radiant joy in the midst of desperate circumstances. People were enthusiastic and welcoming, even to a complete outsider like me. Children’s faces would light up when they saw my group and me, and they would immediately start waving at us.

Walking into a situation like this, it is easy to think that we have all the answers and resources to help people. Since we live so far removed from the harsh realities facing different people around the world, it is especially easy to fall victim to thinking we can “fix” situations and people. However, that is something only God can do.

New Products Hot Off the Press!

We're always excited at the national WMU office when June 1 rolls around each year. Can you guess why? It's not because it feels like the start of summer (although it does). It's not because June is our favorite month (although I'm sure it is for some of us). It's not because it's peak wedding season or even time for Annual Meeting (though both of those are pretty exciting). No, it's because we get to introduce you to our new products! After months of hard work getting our new products just right, we're ready to release them for you to enjoy.

Let me introduce some new children's products I think you’ll be excited about.

When you're ready to start planning for the coming year in missions:

Serving Him by Teaching and Encouraging

While taking a philosophy class in college, Bart Gibbs was assigned a book titled, Man’s Search for Meaning. After reading the book, he was drawn to continue seeking God’s leading to find true meaning in life. Through volunteer experiences, while visiting Burkina Faso in 1981, he “found meaning in life through serving the Lord in bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God to people in West Africa,” shares Bart. Bart and Jane Anne Gibbs met while in college at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), at Calvary Baptist Church, and were married in 1983. They have 2 daughters and a son.

Trust God for Something New

group of young women holding hands

June is an amazing month. So many celebrations occur—the end of a school year, graduations, weddings, and more. Then, there is the beginning of summer with new plans, opportunities, and routines. June is kind of in between. There is the finishing of one thing, perhaps a deep breath, and the starting to prepare for what’s next. What’s June like for you? What’s next? What has God planned for you this summer?

Many may have the opportunity to try something new, perhaps to find a change of scenery. It helps us to expand our borders, get outside of our own box, meet new people, and experience something new. Many prefer to learn in this active way—by experience.

A GA Leader Goes to Burkina Faso

“You are going where?” I heard that question again and again as I told my friends of my next exciting missions adventure with God — going to Burkina Faso to help begin missions education for children. Preparation for this trip recalled one of my earliest mission studies as a new GA leader — missions in Upper Volta. I remembered my group of GAs making paper replica maps of the butterfly-shaped country and learning to spell and pronounce the name of the capital.

“Can you say Ouagadougou?” French is the official language of Burkina Faso, although this country’s heritage is primarily Mossi with the Mooré language widely spoken. With a low literacy rate for those over age 15, the challenges before me were for much more than the pronunciation of Ouagadougou [oh-WAH-gah-DOO-goo]. How would I help women understand the need for missions education and discipleship and equip them to begin?

Building with Blocks

Amazon Pool

Do you ever notice when your group of Mission Friends tend to gravitate towards certain activities? My group this year seem to be drawn to the Blocks area. Every week, that is the first interest area that they go to. It is not just our boys who gravitate towards activities in Blocks. Some of the girls are in the Blocks area each week, also. Our preschoolers, who are 3s and 4s, spend a lot of time building really elaborate structures. A couple of our preschoolers concentrate so much on what they build, that sometimes the Blocks area is the only interest area in which they play in 1 session of Mission Friends. I have to make sure they learn about missions in this interest area.

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