As most of you know, my missions path with WMU did not cross until I was a young married woman; however, I have always had a burden for the lost. After being saved at a revival meeting at the age of 12, I wanted everyone to know my Jesus. I got my driver’s license at 16, and would use the family station wagon to visit the homes around our little church inviting them to revival meetings. My missions heart was developing as my parents and Sunday School teachers poured into me. Life went on and I grew up.
After I married, 41 years ago, my mother-in-law invited me to her Baptist Women’s meeting. Soon thereafter, Baptist Young Women began, in our church, and I was hooked. My life was forever changed because of an invitation by my mother-in-law who saw my missions heart. As a result, my worldview was changed in a way that I cannot even describe with words. I began to see the lostness of our world in a way I had never seen it before.
In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I discussed the possibility of serving as IMB missionaries but never received that clear call from the Lord. Soon, I was asked to be the president of our church’s Baptist Young Women’s group. I began to see God’s clear calling to mission work . . . through WMU. I served in leadership positions from churchwide to the association. Many WMU women, older than myself, were pouring into me all along the way and they were willing to listen to the ideas God was giving me, as well.
When asked to serve as the association BYW director by the previous one, the current association WMU director was not too sure about me yet, but she was willing to give me a chance. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I was asked to fill her shoes as association WMU director.
Attending statewide association trainings, I met other seasoned leaders who saw in me something I never saw. I was asked to serve on the Kentucky WMU executive board, then later asked to serve our Lord through Kentucky WMU as their president. In that role, I attended meetings and trainings at national WMU where more seasoned Christ followers poured into me.
The commitment of the women before me who strived to help me understand God’s mission purpose paved the way and contributed to making me and others who we are today. They inspired us to continue equipping all ages in missions discipleship. Their call to the Great Commission to share Christ with those who have never heard is still our call today. We are blessed in WMU today because of their contributions and we are very thankful for the strong foundation they laid for us.
Now, it’s our turn! It’s our turn to pass on the missions passion to the next generation. Find that young man or woman whom you can pour into. Listen to them and invite them . . . On the Journey.
Written by Linda Cooper