Published May 7, 2009
The annual Georgia Woman’s Missionary Union meeting was marked by growth and a promising future in both mission education and mission action.
More than 700 women filled First Baptist Church in Thomasville, most of them carrying diapers.
At the meeting, Georgia WMU launched a new ministry emphasis with Appalachian Regional Ministry. In honor of that new partnership, women were asked to bring diapers, baby wipes, baby lotion, and baby wash that will be sent to the Freeda Harris Ministry Center in Elkhorn City, Ky.
Lonnie and Belinda Riley, Mission Service Corps directors of Meridzo Center Ministries in Lynch, Ky., spoke at the meeting. Lonnie Riley was the pastor of an affluent, growing church when the couple decided to move to eastern Kentucky to start a ministry.
The county – formerly a coal mining area – is one of the poorest in the United States.
“God is working miracles in the mountains,” he said.
In the ten years since they started the outreach, they have formed a ministry that now distributes $300,000 worth of food every year, purchased and renovated a vacant hospital into a four-story, 80-room facility housing hundreds of volunteers working each year alongside the ministry. In addition, six churches have been started with four more in the beginning stages.
To assist in mission work throughout ARM, Georgia WMU will organize five ministry teams of women this year.
Following the theme, “If my people pray,” Barbara Curnutt, executive director of Georgia WMU, announced the launch of a new prayer partnership with Northern Africa and the Middle East, a region with 409 million lost people.
“We’ve been in a prayer partnership for the Muslims of the Southern Rim. With the restructuring of the International Mission Board, the Southern Rim was dismantled. They’re creating four clusters out of the Southern Rim, so we began praying where the Lord would have us focus our prayer,” Curnutt said.
This is the eighth year with a Georgia WMU prayer focus. The first four years, prayer was focused on the peoples of Tibet. The last four years, the organization embraced an area of six countries in the Southern Rim. During that time, WMU organizers estimate between 10,000 and 15,000 people prayed every day.
“Now the Lord is expanding our territory even more and we are praying for an entire region,” she said.
The crowd gave a standing ovation to Bob Franklin, associational missionary for Mid-State Association.
Franklin told the group that after the association sold its offices, Log Cabin Church in Macon offered its facilities to house the new offices.
In honor of the Log Cabin WMU, the association will build and pay for a new cabin at Camp Pinnacle. Volunteers will build it in one week in June.
During the business session, Patsy Pirkle was honored for serving as president for four years. Mary Laughman of Douglasville was voted the new president.
The salaries of Georgia WMU personnel are provided through your gifts to the Cooperative Program while WMU programs are funded through cost-recovery and other donations. For information about Georgia WMU, go to www.georgiawmu.org or call (770) 936-5324 or (800) RING GBC, extension 324. It is made possible through your gifts to the Cooperative Program. You and your church may send Cooperative Program Offerings to:
Dr. J. Robert White
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