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A woman's touch

 

Sherri Brown/Index

At a mobile home park, Nerily Lopez, above, helps turn a row of rusty mailboxes into a clean, bright spot on the road. Women in three areas across the state spent a morning doing ministry projects for the community during Hearts United, a day sponsored by Georgia WMU - WEM.

Homemade chicken pot pie and red velvet cake, blooming flowers under a newly painted line of metal mailboxes, camouflage curtains, a haircut, pancakes for breakfast, and even a Bingo game.

Ministry took on different faces during a statewide event sponsored by Georgia Woman’s Missionary Union. The ministry day – called Hearts United – offered Georgia Baptist women an opportunity to do ministry in three places: Tifton, Calhoun, and Atlanta.

It was a day to encourage and bless people in these three communities, while also providing women an opportunity to serve.

“We wanted to have a positive community impact, but we also wanted women to be able to return home and begin to see ministry opportunities in their own communities,” said Beth Ann Williams, Georgia WMU and Women’s Enrichment Ministry consultant and organizer of the project.

Local WMU and WEM leaders spearheaded the projects. Ann Dooley organized four sites in Calhoun and Patsy Pirkle put together eight sites in Tifton. There were five projects in Atlanta.

“We started with a group of about eight women to choose the sites,” said Pirkle. “We wanted to find worthwhile projects that could make a real difference.”

More than 100 women worked at the three sites, each one assigned to one of a wide variety of tasks. From calling Bingo games at an assisted living home to providing devotionals and snacks for a Hispanic soccer league, the women worked from early in the morning, then gathered for lunch at each city.

Nerily Lopez from Tifton helped organize work at a mobile home park across the street from a church. Women picked up trash, planted flowers under a line of mailboxes, and painted the mailboxes.

“You should have seen this when we started,” Lopez said. “These mailboxes were rusty and ugly. In my neighborhood we decorate our mailboxes. I just wanted the residents to feel proud of where they live when they come get their mail every day.”

Georgia WMU is a missions organization which exists to promote the fulfillment of the Great Commission through Georgia Baptist churches. While Georgia WMU is an auxiliary of the Georgia Baptist Convention, the convention does provide salaries for the staff. This is possible only through your gifts to the Cooperative Program. For more information about Georgia WMU and its work, see the website www.gabaptist.org or call (770) 936-5320 or (800) RING GBC.

You and your church may send Cooperative Program Offerings to:
Dr. J. Robert White
Exec. Dir., GBC
6405 Sugarloaf Parkway  Duluth, GA 30097

At Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Baptist Campus Ministry director Penny Chesnut was thrilled to have volunteers help her out.

“It worked out perfectly. We’re having our annual wildlife dinner for about 300 students in two days, so volunteers are cooking all the desserts,” Chesnut said. “And others are making curtains for the BCM center. This is just so great.”

Chesnut was impressed with the women who showed up and immediately went to work.

“They’re not like students, they just come in and go to work. You don’t have to tell them a thing,” she joked.

On the other side of town, more than 50 men who live at Brother Charlie’s Rescue Center had a treat for lunch. Homemade chicken pot pie, deviled eggs, green beans, and rolls for lunch along with a table loaded with homemade desserts were all spread out for the noon meal.

The women didn’t stop there, though. All morning, volunteers provided free haircuts while others decorated the tables with vases of sunflowers, tablecloths, and bright yellow paper plates. Each resident also received a “goody bag” of socks, razor, and candy.

“Usually we have hotdogs or hamburgers or something like that,” said Howard Davis, a resident at the center. “We don’t eat like this. And it never looks this good. They’ve just outdone themselves. These ladies have been a blessing to me.”

 

Sherri Brown/Index

Betty Thomas cuts hair on one of about two dozen men at a homeless shelter in Tifton.

Sherri Brown/Index

Janet Cannon, left, and Gladys Johnson spend the morning sewing camouflage curtains for the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College BCM center.

Sherri Brown/Index

Another group of women, prepare a home cooked meal for more than 50 men at a homeless shelter