Ask Cindy Walker what her life would look like without Woman’s Missionary Union, and you’ll get a deep breath and a long pause.
“I can’t even imagine my life without involvement in missions education,” she says. “For me, it’s a part of what we as Christians are supposed to do — to learn about ways that we can reach people.”
“I grew up in Sunbeams, then in Girls in Action (GAs),” she said. “My mom was a GA teacher.”
One day at First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, “They announced from the pulpit that they needed GA and Acteen leaders and would even pay for us to go to training,” Walker said. “My roommate was a missionary kid, and she and I looked at each other and said, ‘We should do that.’”
That was 47 years ago. Since then, Walker has been on countless missions trips — 17 times to Nicaragua in a 10 year period, for example — and she’s taken Acteens with her. She has led GA conferences, and she has taken groups to national Acteens conventions. She’s been heavily involved in leading programs and mentoring young women at First Baptist Church of Minden, Louisiana.
“I’ve always tried to set an example for the girls I teach on how we can live a missional lifestyle — no matter where they are in life, they can be a missionary, share Christ with others and set an example for their peers,” Walker said.
“Some of the girls I taught in GAs, I’m now teaching their children,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve got the opportunity to serve another generation. The mothers who grew up in the programs see how missions education impacted them, and they want to emphasize that to their children. It’s been such a blessing.”
Several of her former GAs are missionaries now, and she still keeps up with many of her former Acteens.
One of them recently told Walker that the church she attends “doesn’t even have missions education,” Walker said. “I asked her, ‘What are you going to do about it? It can be a Bible study in your dorm room, but try to find ways to do and teach missions right where you are.’”
Walker says she lives her life with the slogan, “When we know, we care; When we care, we share.”
“Missions education helps us to know the needs, which pricks our hearts to care, and that is when we become willing to share our prayers, our time and our resources,” she said. “To me, that’s why WMU and missions education are so important.”
You can support the next generation of missions leaders by making a gift to the Second Century Fund. Give online at wmufoundation.com or mail to WMU Foundation SCF, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242.