God began to capture my heart for the peoples of the world when I was a child growing up in southwest Arkansas. As a 10-year-old GA I memorized the GA Allegiance, a pledge that has truly shaped my life. The GA pledge said:
Knowing that countless people grope in darkness and giving attention to His commands, I assert my allegiance to Jesus Christ, to His church and its activities. Attempting by God’s help to abide in Him through prayer; to advance in wisdom by Bible study; to acknowledge my stewardship of time, money, and personality; to adorn myself with good works; and to accept the challenge of the Great Commission.
Some of the words in that pledge were difficult for a 10-year-old to understand. My GA friends and I recited it every single week. As the years went by, the meaning of that pledge became clearer and more real to me. The idea that many people (too many to count) in my town and state, in the United States and the world lived in spiritual darkness because they did not know Jesus was overwhelming. It made a huge impression on me.
As a part of the GA pledge, I stated that I was giving my attention to Jesus’ commands and professing my loyalty to Him, His church and its activities. And I promised five ways that I would carry out this pledge: prayer, Bible study, stewardship, good works and accepting the challenge of the Great Commission. I knew deep down that I was committing my life to serve God wherever He called me to go. This is still my allegiance. It still shapes my life.
GA began in 1913 as Girls Auxiliary. In 1970, the organization’s name changed to Girls in Action. GA has a rich legacy. Thousands upon thousands of young girls have been a part of GA since it began 110 years ago. Generations of young girls and their leaders have participated in GA and have learned how to help others in Jesus’ name. Innumerable lives have been changed as girls and their leaders have prayed for, given to, and participated in learning about missions and being involved in hands-on ministries and in mission opportunities. Many IMB women missionaries, past and present, have been called to missions during their GA years.
GAs today have a motto and pledge. “Go Forward,” a well-known saying of Annie Armstrong, taken from Exodus 14:15.
Today’s GA pledge says:
As a GA, I will do my best to live a missions lifestyle that honors God by learning about missions, praying for missions, giving to missions, doing missions, and participating in the work of the church.
I am so grateful Woman’s Missionary Union is still teaching children to honor God by how they live and through what they do. WMU provides resources for all ages designed to help churches and individual believers grow to make disciples of Jesus who live on mission. Please visit www.wmustore.com to discover resources filled with biblically sound learning opportunities and meaningful missions experiences.
I pray that the GA pledge will continue to shape girls’ lives and lead to a lifetime of missions involvement. I pray that we will continue to be found faithful in passing the missions torch to all future generations.
*Make plans now to join us on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at First Baptist Church in Russellville for Arkansas WMU on Board with Inspire Women’s Conference. We will celebrate what God is doing in our world. We’ll celebrate GA’s 110th birthday and give special recognition to the “oldest GA” present.
This article was written by Debbie Moore, Arkansas WMU executive director and a 70-year-old GA who grew up at First Baptist Church in Hope.