On the first day of September, six moms and their daughters, boarded a plane with Debbie Moore, Arkansas WMU Executive Director and member of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Missions Team, bound for Brooklyn, New York, a borough in New York City. The purpose of the trip was to encounter and engage with different cultures in a place that is home to many ethnicities.
Activities each day included a cultural scavenger hunt, eating in ethnic restaurants, visiting international friends, and drinking tea. One day the group learned a Kurdish dance. A highlight of the trip was worshiping at The Brooklyn Tabernacle on Sunday. The team participated in ministry using sidewalk chalk, basketball, and bubbles and shared the love of Jesus with children, students, and women.
A few of the nationalities encountered during the week included Syrian, Mexican, Chinese, Guatemalan, Russian, Egyptian, Yemeni, and Kyrgyzstani.
Moore, who planned and led the trip, said, “One of my favorite parts of the trip was watching the mothers and daughters grow in their relationships. This mother-daughter trip was all about missions discipleship. They shared the love of Jesus side-by-side!”
“The Brooklyn trip strengthened my walk with Christ, my prayer life, and my relationship with other believers. I have never seen so many cultures in one place. It was life-changing.” said Brenna Burk, 16-year-old daughter of Natalie and AJ Burk from First Baptist Church in Russellville. Brenna and her mom enjoyed praying, worshiping, and serving together.
Laura Bramlett, a pastor’s wife from First Baptist Church in Hope, who traveled with her daughter, Ella, said, “As a mom, it was such a blessing to serve alongside my 10-year-old daughter on her first mission trip. I watched her share Jesus with children in a park, try new foods and like them, walk miles and miles without complaining, pray for the people we encountered, and jump into a new culture with excitement and joy. The Lord used this trip to strengthen our relationship and to remind me why including our children in ministry is so important! I am so thankful we had this opportunity together!”
Lottie Naramore, the youngest participant at eight years old, challenged her teammates through a morning devotional to “love all peoples like God loves them.” Lottie said, “God created us and gave us a special privilege and purpose. And He made us to reflect who He is — like a mirror!” And that’s exactly what Lottie did as she met new friends around Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. She reflected who God is by sharing the light and love of Jesus. She traveled with her mom, Jessica where they attend The Summit Church, Saline County.
Alison Smiley, who attends First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, said, “The trip gave me a chance as a mom to serve alongside my daughter (Adeline, age 17) and watch her learn about other cultures and grow in her faith. It was such an amazing experience!”
Other members of the Brooklyn mother-daughter team included Ginger and Macy Cloud (age 17) and Ellen and Lizzie Harrison (age 14) from First Baptist Church in Russellville.
Now that they are back in Arkansas, the task before this team is to reach internationals in their own hometowns and to encourage other Christ-followers to do the same.
This article was written by Debbie Moore, Arkansas WMU Director, and member of the Missions Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.