By Kelsie Barnes
Florida Baptist Witness
Eight-year-old Adison Bugbee raised more than $200 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, proving you should never underestimate the next generation of world changers.
In early December, Adison’s grandmother, Carol Bugbee, shared the story of Lottie Moon with the children of the Bell Shoals Baptist Church’s Palm River campus.
Carol Bugbee had once led the Woman’s Missionary Union — an auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention. Lottie Moon was influential in founding — at the campus where she discipled women and led mission projects. As she spoke about Moon’s heart for the women and girls of China, young Adison was moved to go all in.
After collecting more than $100 from her neighbors, friends and family, Adison arrived at church the next week with her collection container literally about to fall apart. The next week, someone gave another $100 for her cause.
Coming from generations of women in missions, Adison lives out 1 Tim. 4:12 by loving her neighbors. “I just really wanted to help people in need and help Lottie reach more people for Jesus,” Adison said about what drove her to talk with friends, family and neighbors about missions.
Her grandmother described the young girl as, “a very loving and caring child. She is tender-hearted and empathetic. When Adison hears of someone in need, she is without hesitation ready to help.”
Former International Mission Board missionaries Kenny and Teresa Bass now lead the Palm River campus with a heartbeat for reaching their local community through gospel-driven mission work. From monthly clothing drives to weekly meal deliveries for families in need, this church sets the tone of mission-mindedness for its youth.
Church member Kim Almand was touched by Adison’s spirit and decided to give. “I saw how Adison was so interested in Lottie Moon. Knowing how instrumental her grandmother, Carol, was in building up the women of our church in missions, I really wanted to support her. We wanted to encourage Adison to work toward missions and have personal insight to the impact her contribution would make.”
As the children’s director at the campus church, Teresa Bass wanted to raise awareness of Lottie Moon and what missions is because every child is capable of being used by God.
“It is easy for adults to discount children and the things they are able to learn, understand and do because of their age,” she said.
Jesus took the faith, bread and fish of a young boy and used it to feed more than 5,000 people. “It is never too early to invest in children. You never know where God will call them in the future. Despite their age, God can still use them to make an impact in ministry. All it takes is a spark to start a fire, and the same is true for our children,” Bass said.
“This little girl comes from a long line of women who were former GA’s and one who has even served on the mission field, but I cannot help but wonder what God has in store for my little Adi,” Bass continued. “Future missionary? Maybe! Only God knows what comes from small seeds planted in the hearts of our children.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was originally published by Florida Baptist Witness. To read more articles like this on Florida Baptists, visit flbaptist.org/witness. This article also appears in TAB News, a digital regional Baptist publication. For more information or to subscribe to the TAB News app, visit tabonline.org/TAB-News-app.