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Sisters United: different flavors in ministry


Sherri Brown

Yuting Mao decorates her first cookie at the Georgia State BSU in Atlanta. Mao, a freshman at Georgia State from China, had never baked a cookie before she learned how at the direction of volunteers during Sisters United.

With a giggle, she sunk her knife into the creamy frosting and went to work on the sugar cookie Christmas tree – spreading thick frosting, topping with a mound of candy colored stars and outlining it all with a jagged green frosting edging.

Yuting Mao, 18, decorated her first cookie – the first cookie she has ever baked.

Mao has mastered two languages, her native Chinese and English. She traveled around the world to study at Georgia State University. But on a cool Saturday morning at the Baptist Student Union, Mao added cookie baking to her education.

“Ovens are not popular in China. We have stoves, but we don’t bake,” she explained in a soft voice.

Mao was one of a half dozen international students who came to the BSU building for a morning of home lessons. While others learned to bake a typical American meal – chicken casserole, salad and cake – or painted ceramics or learned a few basic crochet stitches, Mao stayed at the cookie table, decorating cookie after cookie with sprinkles and stars and colored frostings.

The group of students from China, Japan, France and Iran were taught by a group of women who first met that morning during Sisters United, a Georgia Woman’s Missionary Union initiative bringing together a cross-cultural group of women who spent the day ministering at a dozen ministry spots in metro Atlanta.

Sherri Brown

From left Susan York, Yashica Lipscomb, Barbara Williamson and Cathy Williford sort clothes at Techwood Center in Atlanta. Lipscomb is from Victory Tabernacle in McDonough, while the other three were from Quitman First Church. The Quitman group traveled the furthest for the ministry day that brought together 300 women in 12 ministry areas.

About 300 women from African-American, Hispanic and Anglo churches worked in a variety of ministry venues including cleaning apartments at Palmer House, a housing project across the street from Techwood Baptist Center; playing basketball with children in the Upward Bound program at Clarkston Refugee Center; landscaping at a Georgia Baptist Children’s Home site; and preparing and packing 300 bag lunches for Atlanta homeless ministries.


Unity in the community

“We wanted to come together in unity to be a testimony for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We also wanted to open women’s eyes to ministry opportunities in their own communities. I think it happened,” said Penny Ellis, one of the coordinators of the project and Georgia BWMU African-American coordinator. Mary Laughman, WMU divisional vice president, was the other event coordinator.

Participants were equally pleased with the event.

“It has been a rewarding experience to see women come together from various churches and do a collaborative project,” said Esther Brinson, coordinator of the Feed the Homeless project at Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Decatur.

Sherri Brown

Marveen Johnson, from Mt. Sinai Church in Marietta, left, and Susan Boyd, from MacLand Church in Powder Springs, share a laugh during the luncheon for the Sisters United volunteers. Johnson and Boyd helped spread 150 bales of pine straw at Georgia Baptist Children’s Home campus in Marietta.

“It was sort of like crisscrossing the work of the Lord. Women participated in ministries they may not have at their churches. I liked that.”



Sisters United was the first event of its kind, but not the last.


“Christian unity transcends our differences and unites our hearts as one. (Sisters United) was a demonstration of His love.”

Barbara Curnutt, executive director of Georgia BWMU


You and your church are part of Sisters United, through your support of the Cooperative Program, which partially funds the work of Georgia BWMU. You and your church may send Cooperative Program gifts to:
Dr. J. Robert White
Executive Director, GBC
2930 Flowers Road S.
Atlanta, GA 30341-5562