Arkansas Hispanic WMU’s mandate is Making Disciples of Jesus Who Live on Mission.
Arkansas Hispanic WMU gathered for their Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration on Saturday, March 11 at Indian Springs Baptist Church in Bryant. Participants set a new attendance record as 111 women, 32 pastors, 26 youth, and 43 children enjoyed a day filled with worship, Bible study, learning about missions, fellowship, and food.
Diana Rodriguez, president of Arkansas Hispanic WMU, and her leadership team encouraged participants to use their God-given gifts to serve Him by serving others. Breakout session topics included: God’s Original Design: The Distortion, Human Trafficking: The Responsibility of the Church, and Christian Family Relations. Pastor Jairo S. Albuja, Iglesia Bautista Betel in Clarksville and Iglesia Bautista Hispana Getsemani in Van Buren, led the Bible study in the opening session. He challenged the women to give their children in service to the Lord referencing the lives of biblical examples: Samuel, Timothy, and Mary.
Sarai Martinez, member of Iglesia Bautista Nueva Jerusalen in Little Rock expressed excitement about the day’s event, “Getting together with our sisters from around the state was such a blessing. Pastor Jairo’s message was challenging and the workshops that were presented covered needs that we all benefited from. I presented the topic ‘God’s Original Design: The Distortion.’ At the end of the study many ladies thanked me for addressing this matter and helping them better understand the importance of having good, strong foundations as Christian families. Hearing their feedback helped me see how important these WMU Annual Meetings are for equipping our women for battles they face on a day-to-day basis in our contemporary and worldly culture.”
The pastors’ conference was led by Pastor Gerardo Acevedo from Russellville. Travis McCormick, ABSC men and boys’ missions strategist, led the men in a time of training men in the area of missions discipleship for boys through Royal Ambassadors. The group also talked about the importance of working together despite the cultural and language differences.
“The language barrier could have been a huge obstacle, but a young man volunteered on the spot to serve as an interpreter,” McCormick said. “This experience helped me to again realize that God knows our limitations and still provides everything we need to accomplish His purpose together.”
Francisco Gomez, ABSC Hispanic Church Planting Strategist and pastor of Iglesia Bautista Roca Fuerte in Little Rock, is grateful to Indian Springs for hosting the event and to all the board members who helped to organize the event. He understands the importance of missions training for the Hispanic men and women in the state. “Hispanic women play a fundamental role in Hispanic family life, and they need biblical and practical resources to play that role effectively,” Gomez said.
He was also grateful for the training provided for the pastors and other men who serve as leaders in their churches. “Brother Travis McCormick did a tremendous job with the men, helping them to see the value of missions education and the need to become disciple makers.”
Youth were led in Bible study and activities by Brother Eben Reyes from Monterey, Mexico. Sister Consuelo Rosales of Jonesboro and Sister Ortencia Ascencio of Jacksonville were the children’s leaders.
The Children in Action choir from Nueva Jerusalen in Little Rock provided special music during the WMU general sessions.
Laura Bramlett, president of Arkansas WMU, shared her personal missions experiences in the WMU meeting, as well as the importance of the Cooperative Program in our work together as Arkansas Baptists.
The banner for high attendance was presented to Sister Maria Gomez, Iglesia Bautista Roca Fuerte, Little Rock. 18 women were present from this church.
To close the annual meeting, the election of officers was held for 2023-2025. The following leaders were elected to serve:
President, Diana Rodriguez, Iglesia Bautista Nueva Jerusalen, Little Rock
Vice President, Elizabeth Lozano, Iglesia Bautista Salvos por Gracia, Jonesboro
Secretary, Emilia Gutierrez, Iglesia Bautista Nueva Jerusalen, Little Rock
Children’s consultant, Consuelo Rosales, Iglesia Bautista Salvos por Gracia, Jonesboro
Youth coordinator, Wendy Romero, Primera Iglesia Bautista de Fort Smith
1. Carolina Penate (Northwest Zone), Mision Bautista Hispana Ebenezer, Russellville
2. Cecelia Prado (Central Zone), Mision Bautista Hispana Ebenezer, Russellville
3. Gaby Vazquez (South Zone), Iglesia Bautista El Calvario, Hope
4. Dulce Alaniz (Northeast Zone), Iglesia Bautista Salvos por Gracia, Batesville