“The Story Lives On – Celebrate – Connect – Commit” was the theme of this year’s Touch a Life Iowa event that took place April 19-20, 2013, at the Friendship Baptist Center in Des Moines. 44 people representing 12 churches attended the missions event.
Retired IMB Missionary Lyn Hyde shared how she came to Christ at age 7 during Vacation Bible School at a new Iowa Southern Baptist Church, and how the next 21 years of growing spiritually and serving in church prepared her for the mission field. Lyn also shared about her husband Bill, their work as International Mission Board missionaries in the Philippines, and how God still had a plan for her life after Bill was tragically killed by a terrorist 10 years ago. On Saturday morning, she encouraged all attending that there are no insignificant Christians – God has a plan for each one to be a part of His work.
Other former Missionaries attending the meeting were Shirley Dill, retired NAMB Associational Missionary in Michigan; Linda Law former IMB missionary to Paraguay; Herb and Alice Barrett retired IMB missionaries to Taiwan.
Church Planting Strategist and Associational Missionary for Metro Association, John Shaull, shared news about new church plants in Iowa.
Mindy Jamison, Co-Director of the Friendship Center, shared testimony of how she came to Christ as a teenager in her grandmother’s church, how she and her husband, Jon were prepared for and called by God to the privilege of living and working among people in poverty in Des Moines. Jon talked about ministry at the Friendship Center and how those who volunteer and support the work at the center are witnesses of God’s love and salvation through Christ. The group also heard from Amy, Grace, and Emma Jakes, Calvary Baptist, Indianola, about their family’s ministry at the Friendship Center providing hospitality one Tuesday a month for the clothes closet ministry.
The Friendship Center was chosen as the site for this year’s meeting so that attendees could serve, encourage, and support the Jamisons and their ministry in the neighborhood surrounding the Center. Attendees donated disposable diapers as registration fees. When people first arrived they worked in the clothes closet, assembling bags of toiletries, and/or packaged diapers to make them ready to be given to people who need them. An offering of $615was collected to support the Friendship Center’s various ministries.
Friday afternoon was the Iowa Woman’s Missionary Union Annual Meeting. WMU President Wilma Faulkner gave a summary of WMU work this past year and encouraged WMU’s to support Iowa Church Planters and their wives. They then elected officers for the 2013-2014 year: Wilma Faulkner, Calvary Baptist, Glenwood, President; Karen McGettrick, Living Hope Community Church, Des Moines, First Vice President; Sheila Kuhl, Calvary Baptist, Glenwood, Recording Secretary; and Nancy Glaser, Calvary Baptist, Historian. The group recognized Cheryl Church, Immanuel Baptist, Cedar Rapids, for four years of service as Recording Secretary for Iowa WMU.
On Saturday morning, the focus was prayer for the neighborhood surrounding the Friendship Center. Several groups visited specific homes in the neighborhood and prayed for the individuals or families there. They were also able to visit and pray with people who were outside at the time. Others took a map and prayer walked the streets surrounding the Center. Some stayed at the building and prayed for specific requests that Jon and Mindy had received as they ministered to people during the week. The whole group then gathered back together to share their experiences and blessings and prayed to conclude the meeting.
Next year’s Touch a Life event and annual meeting will be April 4-5, 2014. The location will be determined at a later date.