Madisonville—More than 600 members of Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union focused on “The Heart of the Story” during their annual meeting at First Baptist Church of Madisonville April 8-9.
“Jesus last words in Matthew 28:19, which we know as the Great Commission, were words to His followers, you and me,” began Linda Cooper, national WMU president. “His message was clear. He didn’t say, if you want to, or if you feel like it, or if it fits into your busy schedule. He said go!”
Noting that in the original language, the phrase translates “as you are going,” she added, “Which says to me, we must go and share Christ every day in our everyday lives.”
“As you and I both know, the lost are not knocking our church doors down trying to get in, Cooper continued. “They are out there where we do life every day. We must be alert and look for ways to introduce them to Jesus just living our life as we are going, sharing the heart of the story right here in Kentucky.”
Cooper challenged WMU, “Nothing shares the heart of the story, Jesus, better than a life lived in total surrender to Him. Will you be faithful to His call on your life here in Kentucky? Will you go to the people and places where He leads you, knowing that wherever He leads you, He will provide everything you need for the task?” she asked.
“Missions should be a lifestyle,” she said. “I hope it is yours, because missions is for life until the whole world knows the heart of the story, Jesus.”
An offering of $7,855.60 was collected during the weekend event. Additionally, 2,300 food items were donated for Breaking Bread ministry in Hopkins County and 300 buckets were collected for the Baptist Global Relief’s Bucket project.
The Bucket project provides overseas missions teams with buckets full of supplies to provide hospice care for HIV patients. The teams take the buckets into homes, explaining how to use them and often gaining an avenue to present the gospel.
Additionally, those in attendance on Friday night were among the first viewers of the documentary, “The Insanity of God.” Nik and Ruth Ripkin, missionaries originally from Kentucky, partnered with the International Mission Board to tell the stories of those whose day-to-day lives are surrounded by persecution. The challenge presented to viewers was, “Is Christ worth it?” The video’s overarching theme affirms, “If the resurrection is true, it changes everything.”
The business portion of the meeting saw Kentucky WMU’s missions focus renewed, by each region’s representative affirming WMU’s mission. Susan Bryant was reelected as the Kentucky WMU president, Cathy Terrell, was elected as vice president, and Marcia Ballard, as recording secretary. The Kentucky Baptist Nursing Fellowship elected Benita Decker as president.
Also newly elected to the executive board for their regions were Margaret Dunn, Linda Egbert, Sharon Gilliland, Lisa Crenshaw, Lorene Heskett, Donna Fegenbush, Roetta Vaught and Joyce Scroggs
A special guest, Eliza Broadus, born in 1851, attended the meeting, as portrayed by Donna Fegenbush. She shared not only her story, but also all the progress that the Kentucky WMU has made through the years. She encouraged Kentucky WMU to continue their great work in missions across the state and the world.
Kevin Smith, president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, brought greetings and words of encouragement to WMU. “I thank the Lord, I’m with the power trio of WMU,” he said, affectionately refering to Joy Bolton, Susan Bryant and Linda Cooper.
He continued, “There’s nothing more important in these days than living on mission for Jesus Christ and showing the contrast between those who have been brought from darkness into the marvelous light and those who need the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“We are to be the light of Christ in a dark world. May we meditate upon the reality of Christ Jesus, His work for us, how He was willing to be a suffering servant in order to do the will of His Father,” he said.
“Our Lord lived on mission,” Smith noted. “WMU is encouraging men and women, boys and girls, to live on mission for the Lord who saved us by his grace.”
He urged the WMU to “live on mission, realize you are pushing a ball uphill, but you are pushing uphill empowered by the Holy Spirit. That’s all we need!”
Susan Bryant, president of Kentucky WMU, concluded by saying, “If your heart hasn’t raced, stopped, expanded, broke, became heavy or palpitated over the last 27 hours, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you are in need of a heart transplant, and you know, I know a really good physician. Our hearts shouldn’t be in the same condition when we leave as they were when we came.” (WR)