The Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas (WMU) hosted their Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration on April 13-14 at First Baptist Church Georgetown. The focus of this meeting was to pursue God’s Gospel-calling. The event challenged attendees to make an impact in their communities for the Kingdom through passionately telling His story, creatively empowering leaders and obediently engaging the world for Christ.
"This year's theme was “Pursue,” and while we focused on leadership, discipleship and expanding our global lens, the real message was a challenge that disrupts the comforts of our life,” said Liz Encinia, missional lifestyle strategist for preschool, children and youth groups for WMU.
During general sessions, attendees heard from Linda Cooper, president of National WMU, SBC; Rev. Dr. Michael Evans Sr., pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield; Jalil Dawood, pastor of the Arabic Bible Church of Dallas; and Tamiko Jones, WMU executive director-treasurer.
"The WMU Conference was vibrant with an air of excitement,” said Evans. “The worship service was warm and uplifting and I was humbled by the positive responses to the challenge made to the worship participants to ‘Pursue Discipleship and Relationships.’”
He continued, “Many in attendance felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit to work toward intentionally deepening relationships across generational lines and bridge the gap between our ethnic groups; that's God's Plan!"
A special reception was held on Friday evening introducing Jones as the new Executive Director-Treasurer. The 500 attendees, representing 58 churches, were also offered 19 breakout sessions, with topics including Bridging the Generational Gaps, A Christian Response to Today’s Global Issues, How to Minister to Your Muslim Neighbor, Families on Mission and Sharing Christ from the College Campus to the Nations. Spanish, Laotian and NextGen tracks were all offered as well.
WMU has seen the work of Loatian women grow tremendously over the past 25 years, increasing from two leaders to now over 40 participating in the Annual Meeting, commented Carolyn Porterfield, WMU’s missional lifestyle strategist for multicultural and adult groups.
“A new leadership team was chosen from among the women which illustrated the making of disciples of who make disciples. Pursuing God results in the work continuing from generation to generation,” Porterfield said.
For the NextGen attendees, WMU hosted a special event called Acteens Afterglow. It was a time for girls to enjoy fellowship and worship with other teens and young women from around the state, participate in an impactful offering experience as well as a special track the next day
Ali Corona, hunger and care ministries specialist for the Texas Baptists Christian Life Commission, was able to participate in this event.
She said, “I was given the honor to share about the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering on Friday night with Abby Hopkins, Hunger Offering intern at the University of Texas. We shared about the state of food insecurity in Texas and around the globe and how Acteens could make a difference. Afterward, the girls took up an offering.”
She continued, “On Saturday morning, I had the honor of leading a missions project alongside Carol Dorman, who leads i58, a monthly food ministry at Royal Haven Baptist Church in Farmers Branch. I was amazed by each girl's care for mission and serving people that are marginalized. Liz Encinia directed the event and did a fabulous job raising up teen and college age girls to lead!” Approximately 40 girls and their leaders attended the event.
“If I want to make a difference here and now, I have to get out of my safe space and take a risk for the sake of the Gospel," said Encinia.
For more information on WMU of Texas, visit http://wmutx.org.