RUSSELLVILLE – Arkansas Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) members and guests, together with International Mission Board (IMB) alumni and Arkansas missionary parents, celebrated missions at Second Baptist Church, Russellville, October 1-2. RELENTLESS, based on Hebrews 10:39, was the theme of the event.
Sandy Wisdom-Martin, national WMU executive director/treasurer, challenged Arkansas WMU to be RELENTLESS in pursuing God and serving Him.
Arkansas WMU served On Board with One Day (ABSC missions team Acts 1:8 missions event in Arkansas River Valley Baptist Association) through prayer walking, food distribution, block party ministry, Choices Pregnancy Resource Clinic, the international student gathering at First Baptist, Russellville (coffee/craft/conversation), and assembling “blessings bags” for Russellville downtown merchants and for the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries.
Susie Helton, director of the Refugee Sewing Society in Clarkston, Georgia, and Halieth, a refugee artisan from Burundi, East Africa, spoke about life as a refugee and sold items hand-made by refugee women in Clarkston. The Refugee Sewing Society is a faith-based Christian non-profit that serves refugee women from around the world who find themselves starting a new life in America. An offering of more than $2700.00 was collected for refugees who are involved in the sewing ministry in Clarkston.
Margaret Little, member of First Baptist, Fayetteville, was recognized for four years of faithful service as Arkansas WMU president (2017-2021). Laura Bramlett, member of First Baptist, Hope, was elected president to lead Arkansas WMU for the next four years. In her closing remarks, Bramlett said “I am overwhelmed and humbled to be elected as the next president of Arkansas Woman’s Missionary Union. WMU has always been an integral part of my life.” As a child and teenager, Laura was involved in Mission Friends, Girls in Action, and Acteens. She enjoyed serving on the Florida GA/Acteens camp staff for eight summers. Serving as an IMB Journeyman in South Africa and leading a Girls in Action (GA) group in her church while in seminary were experiences God used to shape Laura’s life for “such a time as this.”
Bramlett stated, “I have such a burden for the next generation – in several areas – but especially in the area of missions discipleship. WMU exists to make disciples of Jesus who live on mission. Just as Jesus’ disciples had to be taught what it looks like to daily walk faithfully with Him, we do too! And we must start young!” Bramlett referred to Judges 2:7-10 as our charge to make disciples of the next generation. After Joshua’s death… there was another generation who did not know the Lord or the work that He had done for Israel. Why did they not know? Because they had not been discipled in the ways of the Lord.
Bramlett went on to say, “The urgency to disciple the next generation is real and strong! If we desire for missions discipleship to continue 50 years from now, WE must be the ones to invest in it right now. I pray our focus this next year will not be on what WMU ‘used to be’ and how we miss the ‘good old days’, but on mentoring and discipling the next generation to be on mission for God.” She pointed out that National WMU is key in assisting us as we seek to reach the next generation. Missions Discipleship (missions-teaching materials for ALL ages), Leadership Development, and Compassion Ministries are the three rocks of Woman’s Missionary Union. Bramlett closed her remarks by saying, “The days are quickly escaping us when we can say WMU and people know what we’re referring to. We must open our mouths and share what WMU does and why we even exist. If we don’t, who will? We are here for such a time as this!”