This year's Annual Meeting theme is "Live the Difference." We asked several individuals what it looks like to live the difference in their day-to-day lives. Here's what Sandra Wisdom-Martin, executive director of WMU of Texas, had to say:
What does it mean to Live the Difference? Authors Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts say. "If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, He calls you a missionary! You may never go halfway around the world, but because of God's work in you, you are on mission."*
For me, living the difference means being on mission day in and day out.
At WMU of Texas, our passion is also our purpose. We make disciples who make disciples. I get the privilege of watching lives transform through the power of Christ right in front of me on a regular basis.
Her grandma brings her to each statewide WMU of Texas event. Alyssa, age 15, not only learned to sew at the 2014WMU of Texas Annual Meeting, but she poured her heart into making three aprons for women in poverty learning to cook. And when the host had to step away from the sewing center, Alyssa would take her place and tell everyone around about the ministry of Mary's Table. Alyssa lives the difference.
Julia and Miguel are the proud owners of a new home built by WMU of Texas in Peñitas. They are also new followers of Christ who have opened their home for Vacation Bible School as well as a monthly Bible study led by Hispanic WMU of the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association. Now Julia and Miguel live the difference.
God often uses the small, insignificant things of this world to display His glory. Women in South Asia are leaning about Jesus through the gift of reusable menstrual pads. Vietnamese WMU leaders learned of the Women Helping Women Project. Seeing this as a way to express their faith in practical terms, they organized women from their churches to sew 1,000 pads for South Asia. Women live the difference from their sewing machines ( Tweet this).
We have 70 Christian Women's and Men's Job Corps (CWJC/CMJC) sites across the state. Women and men gain life and job skills in a Christian context. Suemi complete the Education Tract at the McLennan County CWJC. She says, "Your words of encouragement, support, prayers and faith in what God can do through, in and for me not only motivated me but inspired me to push beyond myself whatever emotion I was feeling every morning before class. At CWJC, I found more than just a gateway to further my education. Through you all, I found a source of spiritual guidance and strength." Leaders in CWJC/CMJC faithfully live the difference ( Tweet this).
In a project we titled "Covered with Love," WMU of Texas sent 60 handmade quilts to a Baptist retirement home in Spain. A lady stopped us in the streets of Villa Franca to express appreciation for the quilt we had given her mother, Amelia. A team member was able to tell the story of the redemption quilt. The quilt blocks had actually been retrieved from a city dump and lovingly stitched together. On the streets, Dee witnessed to Amelia's daughter and told her how we are all trash before God. But God cleans us up and redeems us and makes us something of value. Dee lives the difference.
How about you? "If you call yourself a follower of Christ, He calls you a missionary." Do you live the difference? ( Tweet this.)
*(Connelly and Roberts quote from A Field Guide for Everyday Mission, Moody Publishers, 2014)