WMU Blog

Go, Make Disciples

mother taking children to playgound

“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” —Hudson Taylor, missionary to China

We like routine. Routines are good for us, for our children, and for our overall predictability of life. Typically, we shop in the same places, eat in the same restaurants, and go to church with people who are familiar to us. We drive the same routes, run the same paths, and keep a pretty consistent schedule of events from year to year.

As a pastor’s wife, it’s easy for me to find myself surrounded by believers (or those who have heard the gospel) all the time. It takes effort for me to look beyond the people of our church and in my immediate circles to see the unreached surrounding us next door.

The Book of Matthew tells of how Jesus reached out to those who were diseased and afflicted—those in need of healing and a Savior. These people were probably not a part of His normal routine. They were outside of His usual crowd of disciples.

When Trauma Is Ongoing

Helping preschoolers

When we think of preschoolers who experience trauma, we might think of a child who has gone through a tornado or house fire, a car accident, or witnessed a violent event. These are all one-time events, even though the consequences of these events might last a long time. What about preschoolers who deal with trauma on a regular basis? I’m thinking of a preschooler who is dealing with a serious chronic health condition or has a family member with a continuing health condition. Some preschoolers live with the ongoing trauma of living with a parent who has an addiction or substance abuse disorder. Other examples are preschoolers who live with a parent or sibling who has mental illness or those who live in a household in which there is domestic violence and emotional abuse. These preschoolers live in a constant state of fear because their trauma is ongoing.

Sharing Life: Develop a Heart for the World

people at a dinner table

Anyone who knows Charity Powell knows her heart for the world. Those who don’t know her soon learn. A world map in her office pinpoints past mission trips. Strings crisscross to photos with special meaning for each trip. As she points, Charity describes people and needs in each location—11 countries she visited in 11 months during a World Race to share Jesus and encourage believers. Tears fill her eyes as she recalls the man from Thailand who prayed 30 years for a church. She tells of Asian friends in New York City’s Jackson Heights. A bottle filled with an olive branch, rocks, a piece of a raft, and an orange heart-shaped piece of a life jacket from Greece’s Lesvos beach stands on the table underneath her map.

For a long time, refugees were not on Charity’s map. “I knew if I paid attention, I’d end up in Lesvos.” However, after helping with a refugee fund-raiser, she acknowledged, “The Lord gave me feet to go.”

Unshakable

In 1989, I sat in my living room watching the World Series between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. As I listened to the announcer covering the game, the TV screen suddenly went black. In a few seconds, the announcer's voice came back on, with a shaky camera showing the stadium. A magnitude 6.9 earthquake had just hit the Bay Area, leaving 67 people dead.

In the few minutes the earthquake shook, lives changed, homes were destroyed, and a baseball game became the least important topic for the day. In those few moments, Americans and the world were reminded that few things in life are truly unshakable.

When we think about politicians or terrorism or crime, we are reminded that life is constantly being shaken. When we think about the death of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend or spouse, the loss of a job, or a sickness, we are reminded that life is constantly being shaken.

Who among us isn't looking for the unshakable? Who among us isn't looking for a solid foundation to build upon?

During the 2018–19 year, GAs, RAs, and CAs will seek out unshakable foundations. What a timely theme this is!

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?

Qualified to Do Missions

people walking across a crosswalk

When I was 16, I traveled with my church’s youth choir to Minneapolis to partner with a church in the inner city. Our purpose for being there was to help the church in its efforts to reach its community. While we were there, our group had the opportunity to participate in an outdoor cookout and concert for the neighborhood. The turnout was amazing; we saw people encouraged and loved and supported. We saw people come to Christ. The Holy Spirit was working in big ways.

While many parts of that evening were impactful, something that stood out to me was watching how God moved through my peers. I remember watching my church family serving this neighborhood and seeing how God was using each member to serve people in unique ways. I was blown away watching them be vessels of God’s love. And it was by watching them that I understood that missions is the call for every Christian.

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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