By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist
This year Pam Ashberry’s Acteens group is crossing borders for the first time. And by the grace of God, Canada will never be the same — and neither will the girls at Ino Baptist Church, Kinston, in Coffee Baptist Association.
She said it’s been a journey that God has led them on for a while now thanks to Acteens, a missions organization for girls in grades 7–12.
“We had been doing local missions for quite some time,” Ashberry said. They’ve completed projects like hosting a tea for the widows and widowers in the church or collecting supplies for new mothers at Sav-A-Life.
And then they started going farther. After reading about a missionary in New Orleans through Woman’s Missionary Union’s (WMU) Christmas in August they decided to go spend a few days working alongside her.
And when they went to the last annual Acteens training meeting they were challenged to push their boundaries even further.
“My Acteens group has been wanting to go to Canada ever since learning about the work there, and so I talked with Candace McIntosh and she set it up for us,” Ashberry said. “We will go at the end of June and be there for Canada Day and help a church there with block parties to get to know the community.”
Ashberry’s daughter, Meredith, is one of those girls.
“She’s had the opportunity to do more things,” Ashberry said. “The experiences she’s had and the places she’s gotten to go were opportunities given to her for leadership that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. To me that’s been wonderful to watch.”
And McIntosh, executive director of Alabama WMU, says that’s what WMU is all about.
“To me WMU is that group of girls that’s going internationally for the very first time. It’s that young woman who, when she was in Girls in Action, God spoke to her and now she’s serving in a high-security area of the world,” McIntosh said. “It’s the woman who spends every day at 1 o’clock praying for that dark part of the world that the gospel hasn’t made it to yet.”
And, she said, it’s women like Phyllis Talmadge, the “missions champion” of First Baptist Church, Enterprise, who led her church to “blow the roof off” their Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal.
Involved in missions
If you don’t have any kind of WMU-related missions group at your church, McIntosh said the first thing you can do is be a missions advocate.
“Then call our office and talk that through — what does that look like for your church? How can we begin the process? You don’t have to have a space to have a formal organization — there are a lot of ways you can lead your church toward being involved in missions,” she said.
For more information call 1-800-264-1225 or visit alabamawmu.org.
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