Texas WMU Encourages Pursuit Of God’s Call
RICHARDSON – The Texas Women’s Missionary Union urged attendees of its annual meeting and missionary celebration to continue God’s call in their lives.
The April 16-17 event at First Baptist Church in Richardson drew approximately 160 attendees through a combination of in-person and online audiences at three general sessions, with limited in-person attendance for social distancing purposes.
âThis weekend was not spent at the Texas UMF,â said Tamiko Jones, executive director-treasurer. âIt was about our God, your relationship with him and his calling.â
‘Called to make a difference’
Raquel Contreras Eddinger, Managing Director of the Spanish Baptist Publishing House, spoke about the Gospel of John, stressing that the time has come to continue God’s call.
âWe have to leave our pot of water behind and run to tell everyone that they need Jesus,â she said, referring to the story of the woman at the well. “We, the women of WMU in Texas, are called upon to make a difference in our society.”
Attendees of the annual meeting and celebration of missions also heard from Ryan and SeanÃ© Rice, church planters with the North American Mission Board in New Orleans.
âWe need to trust the Holy Spirit to guide us as we pursue the Lord and want to use us for His glory,â he said. “The danger of God’s call may be great on our lives, but God is really greater.”
David and Laurel Fort, missionaries from the International Mission Board, also described their ministry around the world. They emphasized the blessing of obedience to God’s call despite fear and challenges.
âThe faith that leads to obedience calls us to believe that God is fully aware of the consequences of our obedience,â he said.
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Attendees heard from Texas National Acteens 2021 panelists – Rana Seddik from Freeman Heights Baptist Church in Garland and Hope Howard from Retama Park Baptist Church in Kingsville. These two young women were chosen by the national UMF for their hard work, dedication to missionary education and faithful service.
âMissions are most effective when you do them as a team,â said Howard, when asked about the importance of Acteens and Youth on Mission groups. âPeople see it, and it’s just such a testimony of testimony.
Mary Hill Davis Offering the Essentials in Texas
Texas Baptist General Convention executive director David Hardage described the tremendous impact Mary Hill Davis’ Offering for Texas Missions had on the missions and ministry of the Texas Baptists.
Hardage focused specifically on how the Mary Hill Davis Offering funds support the Texas Baptist River Ministry and Missions in Mexico, Baptist Student Ministry, Go Now Missions, Council Missionaries international missions and church planting.
âMuch of the missions and ministry of the Texas Baptist General Convention could not have happened without the Texas WMU and the Mary Hill Davis Offering,â he said. âI believe in this offer. I give him. I personally want to invite pastors to promote it stronger and stronger than they have ever done before in 2021. â
Participants also had the opportunity to participate in a self-guided Mary Hill Davis prayer offering experience and received a 12-month planner from the Texas UMF.
âYou’re going to have mission opportunities right there in front of you on your calendars,â said Teri Ussery, missionary lifestyle strategist for WMU of Texas. âWe really hope this will encourage, inspire, and equip you to be on mission 365 days a year, seven days a week for the next 12 months.â
The Pursue 2021 mission project provided supplies to students at Mendenhall Elementary School in East Plano. Mendenhall serves around 600 students and 86% are economically disadvantaged. Among Plano elementary schools, Mendenhall serves one of the highest percentages of families struggling with homelessness, single parent homes, immigration, domestic violence, mental health issues and unemployment.
During the conference, attendees donated basic supplies like clothing, masks and hygiene items, as well as monetary gifts to help care for students and families in Mendenhall.
Take care of business
During the business session of the annual meeting, Texas WMU re-elected Earl Ann Bumpus as president and elected Elida Salazar of First Baptist Church Carrizo Springs as vice-president and Susan Morgan of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston as secretary of ‘recording.
âWe pray that these leaders will step into the future with confidence, [God has] have already planned what they need to be, âsaid former Executive Director-Treasurer Carolyn Porterfield in a dedication prayer for elected leaders.
Jones paid tribute to two former Texas WMU employees who retired last year. Pam Poole was Special Projects Coordinator and joined the staff in 2014. Looie Biffar was a graphic designer and joined the staff in 2015. Both previously served with the BGCT before joining Texas WMU.
Texas WMU also honored the memory of Rebecca “Becky” Ellison, former State Consultant for Christian Women’s Job Corps and Christian Men’s Job Corps, who passed away in May 2020. The CWJC / CMJC Endowment, which began in 2002, has been renamed Becky Ellison CWJC / CMJC Foundation in honor of her life and ministry. The funds support various aspects of this ministry in which women and men acquire professional skills and life skills in a Christian context. Michael, Ellison’s husband, was present and received gifts in her memory.