Throughout Scripture, we as believers are commanded to be involved in His mission of making Himself know among all nations and since 1888, we have been doing just that through WMU.
Ever since I became a Christian, I’ve had a desire to be used by God to make a difference in the lives of the people I come in contact with whether it be family, co-workers, friends, even complete strangers; WMU gave me that opportunity.
We make a difference by sharing our story of faith. Each of us, as believers, has a story of faith. Be ready to share it any chance you get. So, I have a story for you.
It begins, as many stories do, with once upon a time, there was a little girl born into a family of four girls: Brenda Mae, Linda Fay, Loretta Gay and Leslie Kay. She was the second born. All of their lives, the story of Jesus was shared with them through Sunday School, VBS, revival meetings, and was lived out before them by their parents and grandparents. Being raised in a Christian home it wasn’t “if” they were going to church but yes, they were there. So, at the age of 12, she was saved during a revival meeting in her home church. After that transformation, she was eager for everyone to come to Christ . . . to tell her story of faith in Jesus.
She played the piano and all four girls sang as The Carter Sisters. They traveled to many churches to sing during their fifth Sunday night singings and at association meetings, too, sharing the story of Jesus through song.
She grew up, attended WKU where she majored in dental hygiene. At that time, dental hygiene was a very competitive field and she would have to be accepted into the program from over 200 other student applicants for only 18 spots. She prayed that if that’s where God wanted her to be, He would have to open the door . . . and He did. Within a short time, everyone in her class knew of her faith in Christ. They elected her president both years.
After graduation and with only one dentist in the Bowling Green area hiring a hygienist, she needed God again to open or close the door, for she was to be married that summer to the first Baptist boy she had ever dated and they planned to make their home in Bowling Green. God opened that door and she got the job, working with a Christian couple. They would all see the practice as their mission field where she is free to share her faith with her patients. She has sharp instruments and a captive audience! She began to see God’s calling to mission work.
In the early years of their marriage, they discussed the possibility of serving as international missionaries but never received that clear call from the Lord. Meanwhile, her mother-in-law invited her to her Baptist Women’s meeting. Soon thereafter, Baptist Young Women began in her church and she was hooked. She began to see God’s clear calling to mission work through WMU. She told His story as she served in leadership positions from churchwide to the association. She was soon asked to serve as the association BYW director; then, a few years later, as the Warren Association WMU director.
She also served two terms on the Kentucky WMU executive board, served as president of Kentucky WMU, and now, as president of national WMU, sharing His story literally all around the world. Yes, I am that girl; for this, is my missions story.
What about you? What is your story? You, too, have a story that began when you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. We, as Christians, must keep the story of Jesus alive.
When Jesus went back up into heaven, He left behind the disciples and a number of new believers. Who would expect great things from them? They were just ordinary people like you and me, yet they were faithful to tell the wonderful story of Jesus.
Twenty centuries later, we can know His story because they kept telling the story of Jesus. Century by century, the story is and has been told around the world. And now, it’s our turn!
It is our responsibility to be like John and Peter in Acts 4:20 when they said, “We cannot keep quiet. We must speak about what we have seen and heard.”
The small church I grew up in did not have WMU. After getting involved with BYW, the lost world was opened up to me in a way that I can’t even describe. I was convicted for the lost more than ever.
Through my years with WMU I have served in Jamaica, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Indonesia and Russia. I have served at Missionfests and Familyfests, World Changers and Kentucky Changers. I strongly feel missions trips are life-changing and have their place, but missions discipleship in the church is vital because it introduces a lost world.
I’ve often asked myself why God placed me in a Christian home and not in an unreached people group. I’m immediately reminded of Luke 12:48: “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” Folks, we have been given much.
Please continue to pray for me as I serve Him in what He has next for me. Thank you for your faithful encouragement and prayers these past six years . . . On the Journey.
Written by Linda Cooper