The Hayes Endowment: Working Together to Change Lives

The Judith and David Hayes Endowment to Combat Human Trafficking was established in 2006. Since then, over $20,000 has been granted to organizations all over the world. These grants help Christians respond to human trafficking by providing education and awareness, housing and counseling for victims, as well as job skills and business development support for victims coming out of trafficking.

When you give to the Hayes Endowment, you are helping human trafficking victims find hope.

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The Baptist Friendship House in New Orleans recently received a grant and was immediately able to put it to use. “The day we received the grant from the WMU Foundation, we got a call from the National Human Trafficking Hotline,” explained Kay Bennett, executive director of the Baptist Friendship House. She spoke to a young woman who was being trafficked out of a hotel in New Orleans. “Due to receiving the grant, we knew that we would have funds to be able to get her a ticket to get her safely to Florida.”

The young woman has cerebral palsy and walks with the help of a cane. “It broke our hearts to think that someone could be so cruel to sell someone in her condition. It broke my heart more to realize that someone would buy her when they could see that she had a disability,” Bennett continued. Because of the grant they had received hours before, this young woman made it safely to Florida and is doing well. She told Bennett, “I have my Bible and a new beginning.” 

The grant has also helped the Baptist Friendship House purchase supplies for the ladies who work for their new WorldCrafts artisan group. “It is a blessing to be able to teach our ladies a trade and for them to earn fair wages,” Bennett said. “I am amazed how sitting around in a non-threatening environment and doing the pottery helps our ladies to open up and share.” When these women share with each other, that’s when healing starts. 

David George presents Kay Bennett of Baptist Friendship House with the Hayes Endowment award.

David George presents Kay Bennett of Baptist Friendship House with the Hayes Endowment award.

When you give to the Hayes Endowment, you are making a difference.

Dolores Kiser is a long-time donor to the Hayes Endowment. Her eyes were opened to the horrors of human trafficking and the heartbreaking stories when she first saw a story about it in Missions Mosaic. She wanted to help but wasn’t sure how.

The first thing Kiser did was begin to pray for the victims she would read about each month in her magazine. “I made a list of things to do to raise money. One was to ask my grown children to give money to the Hayes Endowment instead of giving me gifts for Mother’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas, which they now do,” Kiser explained. “The Lord is making a way for me to give.”

When you give to the Hayes Endowment, you are partnering with others to share the love of Christ.

There are still victims out there who need our help. Your gifts can change the hopeless to the hopeful as more people come to know Christ. The WMU Foundation grants money from the Hayes Endowment both nationally and internationally each year so that more and more victims all over the world will be free. Please visit wmufoundation.com/stoptrafficking to learn more or to give.

“We are honored to partner with you as we assist trafficking survivors, create awareness, provide trainings, and advocate for stricter laws,” Bennett said. “It takes all of us working together to change lives and change our world.”

Written by Maegan Dockery, Donor Administrator at the WMU Foundation.

Texas Woman Honors ‘WMU husband’ For His Years Serving in the Background

Elaine Mason remembers vividly the moment all the older WMU ladies fell in love with her husband. It was the night they saw him playing a game with the younger WMU ladies’ kids while bouncing a baby on each hip.

He was a hero that night, she said. The women were holding an associational WMU training, and Ronn Mason was the last-minute, emergency childcare.

“They thought that was the most wonderful thing any man had ever done,” Elaine said. “It meant the difference in whether or not those moms could come.”

And she realized she had something special — a WMU husband.

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Over the years, he’s taught Royal Ambassadors (RAs), but he’s also done pretty much anything needed for Girls in Action (GAs) too, like cut shapes out of wood or cardboard for the crafts.

When the Masons’ children were small, he helped with Mission Friends and led the Mission Friends choir. When their daughter grew into GAs, he helped her with her projects too.

“I’m so very grateful God gave me Ronn,” she said. “He has been a wonderful WMU partner. I tease him that he’s become my private secretary.”

In a way, it’s a miracle they ever ended up together, she jokes. Long before Elaine was throwing tasks as him, she was throwing something else — dirt.

“I grew up in New Mexico, and after church on Sundays, all the kids would take turns going to play at someone else’s house,” she said.

At one of those houses, a little blond boy showed up and kept trying to interrupt a game a house that Elaine and her friend Mary were playing.

“Finally, we realized the only way we were going to get rid of him was to be mean to him and throw dirt clods at him,” Elaine said.

Their plan was successful. But years later in college in Texas, a mutual friend realized they were both from New Mexico and decided to introduce them. It wasn’t long before they put the pieces together and remembered the dirt clod incident.

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“He had grown up in a non-Baptist church, but he was so impressed with the way we supported our missionaries,” Elaine said. “He just thought it was wonderful that we all banded together through the Cooperative Program to do that. He wasn’t raised in RAs either, and he wanted to be a part of that kind of missions education.”

The couple married and has served in a variety of ways at First Baptist Church of Texas City, Texas. Ronn was always supportive, and for that reason, Elaine honored her “WMU husband” with a brick in the Walk of Faith brick garden on New Hope Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama.

“He has just been the background person all these years, quietly serving, and I’m so thankful,” Elaine said.

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For more information about the Walk of Faith or to purchase a brick in someone’s memory or honor, visit wmufoundation.com/walkoffaith.

Written by Grace Thornton.

Ann Judson: An Inspiration for Missionary Women

Rosalie Hunt said that ever since she heard about the Walk of Faith being built on New Hope Mountain, she knew she wanted to buy several bricks to honor the “missions heroes” in her life.

And she knew which one she wanted to buy first — a brick dedicated to the memory of Ann Hasseltine Judson, “the one who started it all,” Hunt said.

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“Ann Judson led the way for all women missionaries, for the many thousands who have followed,” said Hunt, missions author, former Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) president and a former national WMU recording secretary.

Judson — who headed to Burma with her husband, Adoniram, in 1812 — was America’s first female international missionary.

“She knew she would never see her family again,” Hunt said. “She knew she was giving up everything she knew.”

Judson stared death in the face and decided the risk was worth it for the people of Burma to know Jesus, Hunt said. “She made a leap of faith and courage that has been so inspirational to us.”

And her legacy extends far past Burma, Hunt said. Follow the trail of the lives influenced by Judson, and you’ll find people like Lottie Moon, a missionary who gave her all for the people of China and laid the foundation for Southern Baptist missions support. You’ll find Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend, who founded a missionary society that was the precursor to WMU. And you’ll find Fannie E.S. Heck, who was WMU’s first president.

“Each of those women was directly inspired by the dauntless Ann, and they, in turn, have inspired those of us who have followed,” said Hunt, who wrote about Judson’s life in her book “The Extraordinary Story of Ann Hasseltine Judson: A Life Beyond Boundaries.”

And because of that impact, Judson’s name has been engraved on a brick for the new prayer garden at national WMU headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. Hunt said she also wants to buy other bricks to honor missions heroes in her life whose names may not be as well known.

But she said it’s important to remember our roots, too.

“I realize that Ann Hasseltine Judson is not a little-known or unsung hero, but she is indeed the number one to us.” Hunt said. “The brick is a tangible way for us to hang on to that legacy.”

Judson blazed the trail for the thousands who came behind — both those who answered the call to missionary service and those who “held the ropes” by giving, praying, and teaching children about missions, Hunt said.

“Each person she influenced is a stepping stone, an important step in passing that missions legacy on to the next generation,” she said. “We need to pass it on. It takes work. It takes effort. It takes every person answering the Great Commission in their own way making an investment in lives.”

For more information about the Walk of Faith or to purchase a brick in someone’s memory or honor, visit wmufoundation.com/walkoffaith.

Rosalie Hunt, board member for the WMU Foundation, wrote about Ann Hasseltine Judson in her book, The Extraordinary Story of Ann Hasseltine Judson: A Life Beyond Boundaries.

Rosalie Hunt, board member for the WMU Foundation, wrote about Ann Hasseltine Judson in her book, The Extraordinary Story of Ann Hasseltine Judson: A Life Beyond Boundaries.

Steady Missions Investment

Mary Splawn said that when she was growing up, everything her mom had at her fingertips was a tool for ministry. She served on mission trips. She promoted mission offerings. She wrapped a lot of school supplies for the children’s home.

And over the years, with every small act, Judy Frady wrapped her daughter’s life in missions.

“My mom always taught me that I was to be a missionary every day,” Mary said. “She, along with my dad, modeled the importance of missions giving, missions involvement and devotion to the church.”

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It showed in their home — Judy often hosted the church’s Baptist Young Women at the family’s house. Those nights were special to Mary, even though she wasn’t old enough to be a part yet.

“I used to love when the ladies would come to our home,” she said. “My dad, brother and I would usually make other plans, but we’d come back in time to hear them laughing and praying together in the living room — and maybe we’d get some of the yummy food that Mom had prepared.”

It might seem simple, Mary said, but over time her mom made missions tangible.

“Each year Mom would set up a sign in our sanctuary with notes to a song like ‘Joy to the World’ that had big Christmas bulbs as the notes, and for every so many dollars we raised for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we’d get to light up one of the notes and sing part of the song,” Mary said.

Lottie Moon and other missions pioneers were regular table talk for the Fradys — and vacation destinations too. Once when the Fradys traveled to Alabama from South Carolina to visit family, they detoured through Birmingham so they could stop and see Moon’s trunk and Annie Armstrong’s bed on display at national WMU headquarters.

“These were names very familiar to me, because we made a big deal about the offerings in our home and in our church,” Mary said.

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And over the years, Mary’s own list of personal missions heroes began to stack up, too. There was her mom, of course. There were several aunts — her mom’s sisters — who got Mary involved in ministries like packing bags for prisoners. And there was Dot Stephens, her committed Acteens leader.

“Sometimes we only had one other person and me in our Acteens class, but Ms. Dot was faithful to teach us about missions,” said Mary, who recently bought a brick in her honor on the Walk of Faith at national WMU headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. “She helped us expand our knowledge of Christ’s mission around the world.”

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And because of her and the rest of Mary’s list of heroes, Mary has spent her life investing in missions too. As a young woman, she served as a journeyman overseas, and now she serves on staff at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in the Birmingham area.

“I am humbled thinking about their investment in me and others, and I thank God for them,” she said. “Mom, my aunts, Ms. Dot and many other women have ingrained in me that the Great Commission is for each of us.”