Missions

Partnering with Purpose

I remember being in school on those days when the teacher let us know we needed to choose a partner to work on a project together. It was always a little anxiety-inducing because what if someone else chose your best friend or, even worse, no one wanted to partner with you? What if there wasn’t an even number of children in the class and you had to partner with the teacher? That could be embarrassing. Or what if you got partnered with that kid who didn’t pull his own weight and you ended up doing all the work?

You never knew what you would get when you had to partner up in school. It could be great, but it could also be absolutely terrible. If you were anything like me, you tried to make the most of the situation and hoped for the best.

All this to say, if you’re having anxious flashbacks to rough days in elementary school, I can put your mind at ease. At the WMU Foundation, we want to partner with you, but only in ways that benefit everyone.

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When you partner with us, we’ll help you find your missions passion.

Natalie Shannon, administrative assistant at national WMU, is passionate about social justice issues, so she partners with the WMU Foundation when she gives monthly to the Judith and David Hayes Endowment to Combat Human Trafficking. “I give because of how clearly scripture mandates fighting for the oppressed,” she explained. “Fighting for those enslaved by others is a very real, practical way to show love and display the gospel.”

We have churches that partner with us, as well. Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, has given since the WMU Foundation’s inception twenty-five years ago. “World missions has always been a priority for our church,” said June Whitlow, a long-time church member. “Since the Foundation regularly grants funds to ministries all over the world, this enables a portion of an individual’s initial gift to keep on giving and giving, long after the giver is gone. This pleases Mountain Brook Baptist Church members,” Whitlow continued.

When you partner with us, you can make personal connections.

“It’s easy to give when you see firsthand the impact of your giving,” said Lena Plunk, national WMU CWJC ministry consultant. “As a former Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) site coordinator, I know that giving to the CWJC/CMJC Special Fund directly impacts the lives of these men and women. I have heard their stories and know that my giving is helping to impact a life.”

Emily Swader, WorldCrafts marketing strategist, agrees. “I am a monthly partner because I believe it is important to provide consistent support to the WorldCrafts artisans through the Isaiah 58:10 Campaign,” she said. “I know that the money is being used to transform the lives of men and women around the world and give them opportunities to hear of eternal hope.”

When you partner with us, you help spread the love of Christ across the globe.

Mark Johnson, associate pastor at Shades Crest Baptist Church, said, “The WMU Foundation has been instrumental in helping our church connect with Baptists in need all around the world. We have been able to help respond to crises knowing that our funds are accompanied by prayer and ground personnel who are actively ministering through their actions and with their witness.”

When you become a monthly partner with us, you become part of something so much bigger than yourself. Your dollars are always at work, helping combat human trafficking through the Hayes Endowment, sending help to places in need of disaster relief through the WMU HEART Fund, or providing scholarships to missionary kids heading off to college.

And that’s only the beginning. The WMU Foundation has so many other funds and endowments, and we are happy to do whatever we can to help you find your missions passion.

“I consider it a joy to get to be a part of what is being done through WorldCrafts and the WMU Foundation,” concluded Swader. “A monthly donation is an easy way for me to be a consistent financial supporter.”

We hope you’ll choose to partner with us by becoming a monthly donor to the WMU Foundation*. We promise we won’t make you do all the work.


* The WMU Foundation offers automatic monthly giving, making it easier than ever to support your favorite fund or endowment. When you give online, select the option to make this a recurring gift. The card you use will be charged each month for the amount you specify. If you need more information, contact us at wmufoundation@wmu.org or call (205) 408-5525.

Written by Maegan Dockery, Marketing Manager at the WMU Foundation.

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.”

A ‘Missions Hero’ Who Pushed Others to Use Their Gifts

When Martha Pitts was a young girl, Mary Quick talked her into going with her to an associational Girls in Action (GA) meeting. Quick asked her if she would say the prayer there.

Pitts assumed it would be a small group.

“I said I would do it. I was probably 10 or 11 years old,” Pitts said. “And we went to this church and it was full of GAs. There were probably 300 GAs in this small church, and I realized I was supposed to get up on stage behind the podium and say the prayer.”

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She panicked a little.

“But Mrs. Quick pushed me on up there,” she said, “and I don’t have a clue what I said or how it was, but ever since then I have never had a fear of talking in front of people.”

And Pitts, now president of Tennessee WMU, said Quick probably had no idea how life changing that moment was for her.

“There are a lot of things I don’t remember from when I was younger, but that experience stuck with me,” she said. “It was one of those encouragements that changes you. I feel like WMU has a niche in that, in helping you develop your skills.”

Quick did that for girl after girl at Whitehaven Baptist Church, hundreds of GAs who grew up through the ranks and were introduced to Quick’s love of missions.

“I loved GAs because of her,” Pitts said. She remembers the coronation services, giant celebrations for girls who had completed their steps. And she remembers as Quick got older and there were fewer GAs doing the work, she kept urging them to persevere.

“She kept after the girls, saying, ‘Come on, you can do it.’ She was an encourager,” Pitts said.

One of Pitts’ fondest memories is the first time Quick introduced her to a missionary who was home on furlough from Indonesia.

“Mrs. Quick didn’t just introduce us to her — she had us hyped up,” Pitts said. “She told the story of who she was and how important her work was, and then we walked down to the pastor’s office and sat around with her and talked.”

Pitts said it was like meeting a star.

“Mrs. Quick just had such honor for missionaries, and she wanted to pass that on,” she said.

It connected the dots for Pitts that missionaries were special people, but they were also real people — a lesson that stayed with her for life.

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It’s because of those moments that Pitts recently honored Quick by purchasing a brick in her memory for the Walk of Faith at WMU headquarters on Missionary Ridge in Birmingham.

“She probably didn't realize when she made me pray in front of the church or allowed me to meet a missionary that it would mold my life,” Pitts said. “By her teaching us Scripture and then showing us how to put action to the words, I learned to pray, give and go.”

One hundred percent of each brick purchase helps meet the needs of WMU. Learn more at wmufoundation.com/walkoffaith or call (205) 408-5525 for more information.