Birmingham, Ala.—Hydiatu Konneh of Fern Creek Baptist Church in Louisville is among six Acteens selected by national WMU to serve on the 2015 National Acteens Panel. Girls were selected based on their commitment to missions and participation and leadership in their Acteens group, church, school, and community.
Konneh will serve on the panel along with Grace-Ann Combs of First Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas; Kiara Curry and Haley Harrison, both of University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C.; Victoria Hernandez of Freeman Heights Baptist Church, Garland, Texas; and Ashley Johns of Tallowood Baptist Church, Katy, Texas.
Acteens is WMU’s missions organization for girls in grades 7–12. Through Acteens, girls grow in their relationship with God and each other as they learn about and participate in missions, develop leadership skills, and live a missional lifestyle.
“In reading this year’s applications for the national Acteens panel, I was moved by the understanding these young women have of the value of Acteens and ongoing missions education,” reflected Suzanne Reece, national WMU’s ministry consultant for students. “They recognize the importance of learning about missions, praying for missions, and being involved in hands-on missions experiences. They also see how Acteens prepares them to live as missional disciples in the world every day.”
In her application, Konneh wrote, “Being an Acteen has taught me to be strong and resilient, to stand for what is right, and that I do not need to follow the crowd to be seen but I should set myself apart from the crowd and be a shining light that the crowd can follow.”
Through Acteens, teenage girls learn God can use them in His work in the world as they go forth as salt and light, Reece said.
Konneh largely credits her mother, who grew up active in Girls in Action and Acteens in Liberia, for instilling a love for missions in her at an early age. She said her mother told her real joy comes from knowing Jesus Christ and greater joy comes by sharing Christ’s love and getting others to know Him.
“I understood that Jesus wanted us to teach others what He had taught us: to be kind, to love another as oneself, to feed the hungry, to care for the sick and dying, and most of all to let others know that He came and died to save us,” Konneh shared. “Learning this, I set my mind on doing this. I prayed hard for God to make me bold to do this. As I prayed, I became eager to go anywhere and everywhere.”
Konneh said sharing her faith through serving others is the most meaningful thing she learned in Acteens.
“Talking to others about God’s love and care and giving them hope has strengthened my faith and has opened my eyes to more opportunities where I can be an instrument for God,” she wrote.
Her Acteens leader, Becky Frizzell, said, “From the moment I met Hydiatu, I could clearly see she carries the joy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ in her heart. She shares the love of Christ in so many ways. It shows in her words, her actions, and in how she chooses to live her life. She has wisdom beyond her years.”
The Acteens Panelists, who serve from Feb. 1 to Dec. 31, each receive $1,000 from the Jessica Powell Loftis Scholarship for Acteens from the WMU Foundation.
These National Panelists will be featured during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, June 14–15, where they will also have opportunities to meet national and international missionaries and interact with missions leaders from across the country. They will also write articles for The Mag, the Acteens missions magazine, and for the Acteens website, wmu.com/acteens.
Churches, associations, and/or state Acteens and WMU groups may request the Acteens Panelists to speak to their group. (WMU)