Girls in Action

Packaged with Love

In an earlier blog last spring, I described how my church does missions during the summer. We take a break from traditional children’s missions programming to better accommodate summer schedules. Now, that’s not to say we take a break from doing missions. Oh, no—not at all! This summer has been packed full of engaging, hands-on missions opportunities for children of all ages!

It’s been a fun summer for everyone, but now all area school systems are back in session. As school teachers have been getting ready to welcome students back to school, my church’s missions leaders have been busy, too, getting ready to welcome returning and new children back to missions!

This past Wednesday night we kicked off a new year in missions with a Christmas in August party. Each missions group was assigned a different Christmas in August missionary and asked to bring items from their list. Rooms were decorated with Christmas trees, wreaths, and lights. Christmas music played in the halls as children gathered in their missions meeting spaces.

Meet Sheila Barksdale

Sheila Barksdale is serving her community of Sturgis, Mississippi, as the 2015–2016 Oktibbeha County Assistant WMU Consultant and the Oktibbeha County GA, RA, and CASM Consultant. She and her husband have five children and three grandchildren whom they love to see growing in Christ.

Growing up, Sheila and her friends participated in GA activities, which Sheila says they lived for. She went on to serve her church as Children’s Director, Vacation Bible School Director, and Sunday School teacher. After five years of service as an interim piano player at a friend’s church, Sheila says God called her back to her home church, Morgan Chapel Baptist, where the church’s GA leader asked her to join in leading. “God opened the door wide for the opportunity,” she says.

Sheila says she knows that girls in the GA age range are impressionable. Like sponges, they soak in everything. “This is the time to be training, teaching, and motivating them to a life of servanthood, a life of continual service to God’s plan for each of them.”

Meet Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is a GA leader at the First Baptist Church in Marshall, Missouri. The wife and a mother of two says God has given her the gift and love of teaching the Bible. Naomi’s personality shines with a love of Jesus and a passion for spreading His love to her community.

Naomi decided to become a GA leader after attending a GA sleepover with her daughter. Through interacting with the girls at the event, she felt led to share her faith and invest in the girls’ lives. She signed up to become the leader of the first- and second grade GA group at her church.

Through GA, Naomi says God has shown her how the Great Commission is an important part of Christian life in which she can take part and see lives change in her own community. “It’s the basics of life, really—a childlike faith, strong enough to move mountains and transform entire households’ lives and wellbeing from the inside out.”

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Got Camp?

Many years ago, I had my first spend-the-night camp experience at Girls in Action camp at Shocco Springs Baptist Assembly in Talladega, Alabama. One of my very best friends—another GA at my church—talked me into going with her. I loved GA with all my heart, so it was an easy sell!

I still remember that experience like it was yesterday. I enjoyed all the typical camp activities like swimming, hiking, canoeing, arts and crafts, staying up late, and making new friends. But, more importantly, I also got to worship God, learn about missions, meet missionaries, and participate in daily devotions with other girls who loved GA as much as I did. Apparently, my only complaint was all the walking up and down the “great big hill” from our cabin to the dining hall and swimming pool. (At least, that’s what my parents say—and they still have the letters to prove it! For the record, it is really steep!)

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