WMU Blog

Different Faces, One Mission

One year has come and gone since I first walked through the doors of national WMU. A year ago, I couldn't have possibly imagined all the things I would learn, people I would meet, and places I would see. But in all that time, the one thing that still intrigues me the most are the many different faces of Royal Ambassadors. Sure, most all of us say the pledge, know the motto, talk about the virtues, and tell the missionary stories, but outside of that, there is a boundless ocean of variety and uniqueness that varies from chapter to chapter. I am continually stunned that the heart of Royal Ambassadors can be adopted in so many distinctive ways.

Men and WMU

This month, my husband and I celebrate our 25th anniversary. Frank proposed to me on top of the Burger King boat on the Mississippi River with a ring bought from a pawnshop. Did I mention we were seminary students at the time? That boat was destroyed when she broke loose during the flood of 1993 and hit a bridge in St. Louis. I lost the ring while packing school supplies during a WMU event in Nashville, Tennessee. It just slipped right off. Some lucky first grader got to show his mother new crayons, scissors, glue, and a cool ring he found in the bag.

The boat and ring are gone. The marriage remains. We went to Branson one year when our daughter was young. We bought new wedding rings and went outside the jewelry shop where our daughter put the rings on our fingers and pronounced us husband and wife (again).

I think back over 25 years and the sacrifices my husband made. He did not protest when I wanted us to get married at GA camp or when I asked a WMU colleague to plan our honeymoon. Our trip had to be shorter than intended because I needed to be back for the first Mississippi River Ministry convocation.

Extraordinary Blessings in Ordinary Places

I like to consider myself a person who delights in the simple pleasures of life. A cup of coffee in the morning, a hug from a friend, or an afternoon spent driving with my windows down can lift my spirits more than an expensive trip to a spa or any sort of “retail therapy.”

Recently the Lord has been teaching me to see these small comforts as they are meant to be seen: as blessings from Him. Second Corinthians 1:3 says God is the “God of all comfort” and James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” So it is obvious that any happiness we derive from the little things, as long as they are free from sin, comes as a gift from the Lord.

New Church Year, New Preschoolers

Picture schedule

Most churches start their new church year in August or September, which includes promotion for the preschoolers’ and children’s classes. With the new church year, you may also have new preschoolers in Mission Friends®. Be ready for preschoolers who will promote into your class or start in Mission Friends for the first time!

What WMU Taught Me

For the past 8 weeks, I have been a summer intern at national WMU on the Children's Resource Team. I was never a GA or an Acteen, so my exposure to and knowledge about WMU has always been limited. I have learned so much about missions and the importance of missional living in these past 8 weeks.

As I look back on my time here, I cannot help but to smile when I think of all the wonderful people I have met and all the incredible opportunities I have had here. All across WMU's publications, the importance of missional living and investing in others is reiterated time after time, and let me tell you—that is being lived out every day in these offices. On a daily basis, most everyone in this building is constantly praying for the churches, leaders, students, kids, and adults who are being reached by WMU. The people here are so passionate about what WMU stands for and the work that it does.

By All Means

Christ's love compels us

I wrote the words of my pastor on the notes page of my Bible, “The world is crying out, ‘Show me an example of Christ’s love.’” Though that was years ago, the words are still true of the world today. Our world is crying out to us as believers to show them an example of Christ’s love. Sometimes those cries are as loud as ever, and sometimes they come through the soft whisper of a preschooler in your Mission Friends® class.

It’s Christmas . . . in August!

Christmas in August—yes, that’s right! No need to wait until December to celebrate. You can get in the spirit of giving right in the middle of summer.

Christmas in August allows members of all age-level WMU organizations, entire churches, and even associations the opportunity to be involved in mission support through providing needed items for North American missionaries.

Cindy Skelton, Girls in Action leader at St. Andrews Baptist Church, Columbia, South Carolina, shared that her GAs choose a missionary for whom they will bring gifts. In September, they have a meeting where they sing Christmas carols, make an ornament to remind them to pray for the missionary, and enjoy Christmas cookies. If possible, they invite the missionary to come to receive the gifts and share about his or her ministry during the meeting.

Art as Outreach

I am not an artist, but I recently discovered a way to explore painting and accomplish a project I am not afraid to display. The popularity of social painting is increasing as a way to get together with friends, have a good time, and come away with something uniquely yours.

Our church hosted several painting parties recently as missions offering fund-raisers and outreach events. Men and women, teenagers to senior citizens, novice to experienced artists gathered together to pray, paint, and fellowship. We invited unchurched friends, family, and co-workers to join the fun and demonstrated Christ to them.

Search your area for social painting venues that offer group classes or order kits online and plan your own party. Then grab a friend, some canvases, acrylic paint, and brushes and paint for the love of Christ together.

Lynn Durham is a Kentucky pastor’s wife with a heart for teaching women how to increase their faith.

Summer Opportunities Abound

How’s your summer going? Have you been busy? What kinds of opportunities have you had? Have you served in a ministry? Participated in a missions project of some kind? Maybe Vacation Bible School or a community event? Is your schedule full? Are you running ragged? Or perhaps you’re at the beach—finally resting—feet propped up, sun block on, and cold lemonade in hand. Mmm, I can almost taste it. . . . Rest is a good thing, too! Wherever we find ourselves this summer, opportunities abound.

I love the summertime. It has a different feel. Feet in the sand, sun on our faces; even if we’re working, running errands, or taking care of others, we can sometimes sense an energy with more hours of daylight and time to take a few breaks.

The good news is that God created summers. They were His idea! He also made us in His image, which means that we can get creative, too. In the summer, we sometimes have a different schedule that lends itself to drawing out our creative side. We may have many different opportunities to choose from, or we can create some of our own! What have you been thinking about this summer?

Henna Storying

Knowing hundreds of Southern Baptists would pray for me on my birthday, I decided to share the gospel on that day with as many Muslim women as possible. I invited six co-workers to join me in a visit to an outlying park in our Central Asian city. We took henna paste and a sign saying, “Free henna tattoo with a story.”

Many women stopped to sit for the tattoo and listen to the story. One woman announced, “They’re doing henna tattoos and telling Bible stories, and it’s like they are worshipping God.”

One middle-aged woman named Zeynap* stopped with her sister and baby. As she sat for the tattoo, I began the story, “In the beginning, God created the world and it was a perfect place.” I shared the story of the Fall and the story of the Savior. Zeynap was touched and wanted a Bible. She said, “I’ve been visiting old Orthodox churches looking for someone to ask about Jesus and trying to get a Bible.”

She came to church with me the next Sunday. The pastor told the story of Nicodemus. After the service, Zeynap whispered to me, “Today I was born again.” We’ve been meeting for discipleship ever since.

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