Reflections from WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting

Native Praise

Blessed. That is how I feel after attending the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting last week. There are many moments that I want to remember such as Wanda Lee’s last address at a WMU Annual Meeting as our executive director. Moments such as the special prayertime for missionaries, many of whom had taken the early retirement package from the International Mission Board. Seeing the Native Praise choir in their colorful dresses and hearing them sing and pray in their Native American languages. Hearing a child sing in her clear voice, “Here I Am, Lord.” Such special moments in which I was blessed to experience.

Even more than those moments, I want to remember the people who touched my life. There are too many to list, so here are a few snapshots of moments with several people.

  • ŸTiffany, who serves voluntarily as the WMU preschool consultant in Alaska. Her exuberant spirit was contagious! Though we have communicated over FaceBook and email, it was special to get to meet her in person. I enjoyed hearing about her Mission Friends group and her heart for preschoolers.
  • The GA who came with her grandmother. She was so excited that she would be meeting real missionaries. I think she was a little disappointed that I was not a missionary, but she asked me to autograph her book anyway.
  • The Mission Friends leader who taught GA for a while, but has started teaching Mission Friends again because preschoolers are her heart.
  • The young pastor who wants to start Mission Friends and children’s missions in his church. To see the importance he places on missions discipleship was encouraging.
  • Two teenagers who are the youngest members of the Native Praise choir. They were so joyful as they chattered with me about how they became involved in the choir.
  • Lori, a young adult with special needs who became an instant friend. She was a little unsure about having her picture taken with our life-size cut-outs of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong.
  • Doris, whom I first met at Missionsfest in Paintsville, Kentucky, 12 years ago. Using a walker now to get around, she told me, “I keep going and doing missions because I can!”

I am grateful for each of these persons and the moments we had to connect and share our stories. Thinking about these encounters with each person has assured me that I truly am blessed.

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