by Karen McGettrick, Iowa WMU President
Have you ever kissed a llama? Neither have I, but when Joni Wilkinson, Iowa WMU Executive Director, Mandi McCluer, New Orleans seminary student, and I traveled to the National Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting we were given the opportunity by a group called Good News Llamas. The conference, All for You, was held June 14-15, 2015 at First Baptist Church of Grove City, Grove City, Ohio.
The best thing about the conference was the speakers. Dr. Bud Fray, author of the current WMU Emphasis book, Both Feet In and IMB missionary to Rhodesia inspired us to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Dr. Earl Hewitt, IMB medical missionary to Ghana was full of stories about healing souls and bodies. Terry Dorsett, Executive Director, Baptist Convention of New England, told of churches being planted in the northeastern United States, and Chaplain Michael Coleman spoke of work with military personnel struggling with PTSD.
Monday afternoon we were given the opportunity to attend Breakout Sessions which included learning more about missions and how we can have an impact in our church, community, nation, and world for Christ. One of them was “Think Outside the Box” led by Mitzi Ross and Good News Llamas. She and her husband share the gospel as they show their beautiful good natured llamas. (They don’t spit!)
Also included in the program were the 2015 National Acteens and from the Immanuel Nepali Bhutanese Baptist church, Srijang Sharma sang Jaimashi (jhu-mah-see) (God Bless You).
Among the business items, the 2015 Dellanna West O’Brien Leadership Award was given to Arlene Miller of Crofton, Kentucky. Debbie Akerman, WMU President for the past five years, passed the gavel to Linda Cooper, also of Kentucky, who was elected WMU National President. Miller serves as co-coordinator of Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) in Hopkinsville, KY, where she helps women develop personally and spiritually. She also helped to begin and serves as director of Impact Ministry, a ministry of Christian Baptist Association that offers assistance to low income families. For more information about this award go to wmu.com.
Next year the National WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, June 12-13, 2016. We hope several Iowa women will be able to attend with us next year.