WMU Blog

The Impact of a Friend

two women having coffee

As we look at this month’s focus on relationships, I am drawn to think of how our commitment to friendships impacts missions. When Jesus sent out His disciples on their first missionary journey, He sent them out 2 by 2. We need each other. Even in missions, God wants us to have someone to travel with, to share with, and to do missions with.

I remember Michelle, a friend of mine in a past season of missions. We were ministry partners. We prayed before each house we visited and held each other accountable for spiritual goals. One time when my husband was out of town and I was ill, she stayed with me until I had enough strength to take care of my children. God used her in my life for 5 years until He moved us to another place of service.

Only an “Obstacle” Illusion

I love to hear words children use and things they say. Our neighbors in Illinois were Catholic. When my daughter, Hannah, was young, she would always tell me things her friend Meredith said about the “nums.” The “nums?” I wondered. It took me a while to figure out she meant “nuns.”

When Hannah was very young, she said to me one day, “Mom, you’re getting on my nerds.”

A neighbor girl was singing in the back of the car, “Crazy the Lord, hallelujah; crazy the Lord, hallelujah.” Her Mom said, “Allison, I think that’s supposed to be ‘praise ye the Lord, hallelujah’ not ‘crazy the Lord.’ ” Allison tried her best to get the words right. Finally, she said, “Mom, I like my way better,” and she went back to her version of the song.

Your CMD 2018 Stories (Part 5)

We have more stories for you! Let's hear what children from across the country did for this year's Children's Missions Day to serve their communities.

GAs and RAs at Rice Memorial Baptist made valentines for the residents at an assisted living in Greenwood, South Carolina. They sang songs and gave their cards to each resident. The residents loved their visit and told them to come back again!” (For a glimpse of their awesome day, check out the photo to the right!)

— Kim Stackhouse, for the GAs and RAs at Rice Memorial Baptist Church in Greenwood, South Carolina

Doing More Together through the CP

Offering plate with open Bible

Call me an overgrown toddler. I still like to think, “I can do it myself!” even though I know I can’t. Jesus said so. See John 15:4 about the vine and the branches.

Southern Baptists figured out long ago that we could do more together than we could alone. In 1925, we created the Cooperative Program (CP), a unified method of giving to fund the missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with every state convention and every local church.

Loosening Our Grip on Time for the Gospel

young woman holding pocket watch

One of the first differences you learn about when you’re living in a different culture is how people value time.

In the United States, we love schedules and strictly adhere to them. We spend money on agendas and apps that will help us manage our time. We make sure we’re on time for meetings and lunch dates with friends, because being late says we don’t value other people’s time.

South Asia, on the other hand, is completely different. Being late is OK, whether just a few minutes or a few hours. Things don’t always start at the time they’re scheduled. Getting from one place to another on time is a daily challenge due to traffic in some places.

South Asians don’t value their relationships any less because they’re late or because they see time differently. In fact, they might value them more than Americans. For them, spending time with people, no matter the hour or what they have going on later in the day, is important.

As followers of Jesus, spending time with people should be just as important to us. No matter our culture, people whom we’re close with but who are far from a relationship with Jesus should be those we are investing in regularly.

A Few Good Ideas

It’s March! But April’s coming!

April is just about here! With the new month comes Easter, the most holy of all days in the year. Boys and girls will be celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. The celebration will focus on how the grave and the cross are empty and how much our Savior loves us.

With the new month also comes a focus on North American missions. GAs, RAs and CAs will focus on the North American Mission Study and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Leaders will encourage children to not only give to the offering but to learn ways the offering supports the work of those who serve in North America.

A BRICK IN THE PATH

A PAGE FROM THE PAST

Annie Armstrong and Mattie McIntosh encouraged a group of women not to act hastily but to spend a year praying and laying groundwork for a new missions organization. A determined group of women gathered that May morning in 1888, conscious of the years and tears and prayers bringing them to this moment. Some brought their daughters to witness this historic occasion. Mattie McIntosh called for prayer. And then came the roll call. Women from ten states gladly and solemnly voted to be the first official members of what would come to be known as Woman’s Missionary Union.

 

WALK OF FAITH

Can you imagine those women who gathered in 1888? Just a few years before, the Civil War had torn the country apart and most families had experienced devastating loss. These women didn’t have the right to vote and had very little independence at all.

Still, they gathered in Richmond, God calling them as Christian women to take an active part in the Great Commission. Some were fearful and uncertain, but all were committed to being part of God’s mission.

Celebrate Preschoolers!

Preschoolers learning

What do you love about preschoolers? It may be their energy, the questions they ask, or their willingness to try something new. It could be their laughter, their hugs, or their creativity. It very well might be that all of these things are wrapped up in one special group of people: preschoolers! Across our nation, we celebrate preschoolers especially during the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) which is April 16–20, 2018. At church we can celebrate the precious lives of preschoolers whom God places in our care. Think of 1 way that you can celebrate preschoolers, reach out to families, or show appreciation to preschool teachers during WOYC. We share some simple ideas for making this a great week to celebrate your preschoolers in Mission Friends.

Your CMD 2018 Stories (Part 4)

We have more stories for you! Let's hear what children from across the country did for this year's Children's Missions Day to serve their communities.

“We collected money through Change Makes Sense program (offering for the Children in Action and Mission Friends programs) at our church on January 28 to fund our project. We purchased supplies for the project with this money. On February 14, all 17 children put together appreciation baskets for 8 local first responder agencies. On February 17, 9 of the children delivered the baskets to the 8 agencies and thanked them for their service to our community and encouraged them through prayers, love and support.” (For a glimpse of their baskets, see the photo to the right!)

— Jenna Bocock, for the Children in Action at First Baptist Church Ridgeway in Ridgeway, Virginia

Sacred Space: Margin in Motherhood

mom and daughter playing

When I was in my early 20s, I stayed busy all the time. If I had downtime, then I felt lazy. Each hour of each day was planned and filled accordingly.

The main issue with this is that each hour of each day filled to the brim leaves little room for interruptions. When we are in relationships with people, interruptions happen. When we have children, more and more and more interruptions occur.

After living in a South Asian culture where relationships take priority over everything and then having 2 babies, I have learned that not every hour of every day needs to be planned in such a way that I cannot allow for interruptions.

It’s in these interruptions that I have found some of the deepest relationships, the most treasured memories with my children, and gospel-centered conversations simply because I was able to add a little margin in my schedule and life to welcome a disruption.

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