By Joni Wilkinson, WMU Coodinator
By All Means, the theme for Woman’s Missionary Union in 2016, calls Christian women to take whatever steps needed to participate in the redemptive work of Christ. I Corinthians 9:22b-23, NIV, says, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
WMU is an organization for women whose mission is to inform and inspire Christians to influence their world for Christ. They follow this passion by serving in the ministry of their churches, providing missions education, supporting missionaries through prayer and offerings and participating in hands on mission work in their local communities and beyond. WMU may be organized on a local church level, in associations of churches, and on state and national levels. Iowa WMU provides women from across the state opportunities to fellowship together, encourage one another, develop leadership skills, and work together for the sake of the gospel.
In 2016 Iowa WMU provided scholarship help for some church planter and pastor’s wives to attend the ONE Conference for women held in April. We also featured World Crafts, a WMU fair trade ministry that provides sustainable income for artisans around the world by selling their crafts in the United States.
Iowa WMU nominated Iowa Missionary Mindy Jamison, Co-Director of the Friendship Baptist Center, Des Moines, for the 2016 Dellanna West O’Brien Women’s Leadership Award sponsored by the WMU Foundation. For the past seventeen years, Mindy has invested her life in inner city Des Moines ministering to adults and children in the Friendship Center Community as well as mentoring several college and semester missionaries and volunteers serving at the Center. It was with great joy that eleven ladies from four Iowa churches were present to see Mindy receive this special honor at the National WMU Annual Meeting in St. Louis in June.
The Iowa WMU Coordinator serves as a contact person for International Mission Board missionaries with Iowa connections. In 2016 three families heading to the mission field have contacted us. Anyone interested in receiving communications from these missionaries can email firstname.lastname@example.org for an email address to contact these families. Along with the contact information, we’ll give some guidelines for communication with them.
One blessing this year has been getting to know Ethel Mauricio, pastor’s wife and North American Missionary serving the Lord at Iglesia Bautista Hispana Emmanuel in Cedar Rapids. Ethel spoke at the Iowa WMU Annual Meeting held on September 30 and October 1, 2016, at Calvary Baptist Church, Marshalltown. Ethel’s son, Emmanuel, led the music at the meeting. One highlight of the time was singing a worship song in English and Spanish at the same time. We look forward to introducing Ethel to more Hispanic leaders serving the Lord in other states through the network of National WMU. At the annual meeting, the group held a reception for Mindy Jamison in honor of her Women’s Leadership award presented earlier in the year.
As we approach the Christmas season, Iowa WMU will be distributing materials to churches and encouraging people to pray for our international missionaries and give generously and sacrificially to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering so that by all means, we may participate in the redemptive work of God through Jesus Christ, and in the process, share in its blessings.