March 22nd, 2011 at 11:11 am
DALLAS – In 2011, Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas is hoping Baptists will discover the 411 of missions.
The WMU of Texas Board of Directors hopes to raise $4.11 million for ministry, evangelism and outreach through the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions. The offering, taken annually, supports a variety of mission work throughout the state, including church-starting efforts, community projects, resources for ethnic churches, WMU of Texas and mission efforts along the Texas-Mexico border.
The 2011 offering, which will be distributed in 2012, will support several new outreach efforts. The funds will help start congregations among day laborers that gather each morning looking for employment. The offering also will help the Baptist University of the Americas Christian Institute on Islamic Studies, a unique academic offering that trains students to share the gospel with Muslims.
MHD funds also will help students participate in mission projects during Texas Baptists’ Youth Evangelism Conference. Another new supported ministry is Texas Baptists’ No Mas Violencia conferences along the border, which empower churches with ways to respond to the drug cartel violence happening in Mexico border cities.
“Our ultimate goal is that people will come to Jesus Christ,” said Sandra Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of Texas WMU. “There are few avenues that cut as deep and wide as the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions, which touches the lives of thousands of Texans each year from day laborers to ethnic congregations to hurting people along the border.”
While churches and individuals can give to the offering throughout the year, many churches give to it during the Week of Prayer for Texas Missions, which is scheduled for Sept. 11-18 this year. Many congregations use the offering to teach members more about mission work and opportunities throughout Texas, including how to pray for that mission work, how to support it financially and how to get involved.
Wisdom-Martin hopes churches use the 4.11 figure in setting their respective goals. It could be a way to involve entire churches, with children bringing 411 pennies, nickels dimes, quarters or dollars. Congregations can try to raise figures based on 411.
Wisdom-Martin understands these are tough economic times for many families and congregations. Under those circumstances, it’s easy for people and churches to focus on their issues. The MHD offering provides a chance for people and churches to take a financial step of faith that will affect Texans statewide spiritually.
“I am grateful for the faithfulness of Texas Baptists,” she said. “We know that individuals and churches are struggling financially. We know it would be easier to keep money in your own houses and churches. But this is an opportunity to impact many lives beyond your home church.”