missions

Your Giving at Work in 2018: Annual Report

Your gifts make a difference for WMU ministries like Christian Women’s Job Corps. Akevia was down on her luck when she found CWJC. She was helping others, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in school, working multiple jobs, and learning how to be a new mom. Akevia’s dream was to become a teacher, and it was clear that she would be a natural as she helped others at her CWJC site when they struggled with classes.

 
Generational poverty ended with me because of all of you.
— Akevia Wilson
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The Dove Endowment helped Akevia reach goals she never thought possible. When she received the Sybil Bentley Dove Award in 2018, she said, “I am a few months away from becoming what and who I was destined to be. God has used my journey to strengthen my faith. Because of these organizations and the wonderful Christian people who have helped and encouraged us, my son will not have to experience food insecurity or homelessness. Generational poverty ended with me because of all of you.”

Akevia is now a third grade math and science teacher and will soon begin graduate school.


2018 Annual Report

Total Granted: $1,600,000

Granted to National WMU: $615,000

Scholarships: For MKs: $58,000

SCHOLARSHIPS: For Others: $44,000

Women’s Leadership Development: $217,000

State WMU Organizations: $172,000

Receiving scholarships from the WMU Foundation was critical to helping me finish my seminary degree. Because of the generous gifts of many donors, I was able to depend less on student loans and feel less financial pressure both in school and following graduation. I’m presently working at Samford University as a Student Financial Services Advisor and VA Certification Officer. Now I’m able to help current seminary students and other college students as they prepare their finances for education. Though it’s not traditional ministry, I’m getting to connect with a variety of students and families as they face the challenge of paying for school.
— David Dockery, Beeson Divinity School graduate & WMU/WMU Foundation Scholarship Recipient
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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.”

Support WMU Through the WMU Foundation

By Joy Bolton, former Executive Director of Kentucky WMU.

When I saw the Baptist Press headline “WMU Foundation: $512,354 to support national WMU work,” I knew what I needed to write about next on my blog, DiscoverJoy.org. There has been stirring in my heart a message about supporting WMU. I believe it is vital for us to intentionally support National WMU.

I grew up in WMU and have been influenced by WMU’s determination to make disciples of Jesus who live on mission. As I became aware of how the work of WMU was funded, I knew that National WMU received no Cooperative Program funding or dollars from the missions offerings, but instead funded their work through the sales of missions literature and giving through the WMU Foundation. But there is more to the story.

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Past “Recall” Funding

A quick look at A Century to Celebrate by Catherine Allen reminded me that from the time WMU incorporated, they knew they would need funds for literature and communications. “They agreed on three principles: they would receive no missions money, but have the women send it directly to the mission boards for expenditure; the officers would receive no pay; and its expenses would be paid by the mission boards.”

“For more than 66 years the process of WMU funding was commonly known as ‘recalling.’ WMU officers would incur or estimate expenses, then ‘recall’ from the mission boards the amount they wished. Always this was done with reluctance and self-sacrifice, for the women wanted as much money as possible to go to the missions fields” said Allen.

The “recall” system was changed as WMU increasingly supported her work through literature sales and earnings from reserves.

WMU Foundation Established

In 1995, the WMU Foundation was established and has become a significant partner in channeling financial support to WMU. This is more important than ever before.

In an era when publishing has experienced radical change, WMU has struggled at times to sell enough literature to fully fund the national office. This is both a symptom of changing times in our churches and in the distribution of information. People today want to find information and resources at little to no cost on the internet. However, even to give away information on the web, there are production costs which must be funded.

When I have attended meetings with other WMU leaders, we have discussed these challenges. We understand that putting “free” information on the web has costs, and that WMU would love to provide some missions resources to churches on the web while continuing to support those who create and develop the content. This is where you and I come in and can help provide the support needed to produce these resources.

We need to step up and fund National WMU work. There are several ways to do this through the WMU Foundation and WMU:

Funding National WMU

  • Support WMU and WMU Ministries: Purchase WMU literature, WorldCrafts, and other products produced by WMU. Keep your subscriptions current. Don’t be among those who say, “I used to subscribe.” You may be too busy to read every word of Missions Mosaic, but subscribe anyway. This is our flagship magazine and your subscription matters. Give gifts from WorldCrafts that are not only beautiful but provide hope for a better life and share Jesus who gives us hope for eternity.

  • Giving Regularly: Give to support WMU ministries through the WMU Foundation. Give automatically through selecting recurring monthly or quarterly giving. Gifts for various ministries of WMU were among the $512,234 given recently. You can support an hour of ministry by giving to the Vision Fund. You can support missions education for preschoolers by giving to the Dixon Endowment for Mission Friends. You can support leadership development through gifts to a number of endowments. See the Funds and Endowments List and pick one! You can also choose a Touch Tomorrow Today endowment which divides distributions between National WMU and WMU in your state.

  • Estate Gifts: Plan a gift to WMU from your estate. All of us will die. We must decide now, however, where our assets will go if we want to have a say in the distribution. Much of the $512,234 came from earnings on endowments. You may want to establish an endowment with WMU, but you can also specify a dollar amount or percentage to go to an existing endowment. Your wishes must be in writing through a will. Do not assume that your family knows you would want this. Put it in writing. The WMU Foundation can assist you with Planned Giving.

  • Memorial Gifts: Memorial gifts are a great way to honor people who love WMU and missions. Give to a WMU endowment at their passing. Or purchase a brick for the Walk of Faith. 100% of your Walk of Faith gift goes to operational needs of WMU. And let your family know where you would like memorial gifts sent when you die. Again, don’t assume they know. Put it in writing and let them know your wishes. Gifts to support WMU are a great way to honor and be honored.

The National WMU Office is important to all of us. It guides our work together and is the hub for WMU work across the country. WMU has a mandate to fulfill and keeping our home office strong and able to provide the resources we need is vital.

Join me today in supporting WMU!

This article first appeared on DiscoverJoy.org.

Making a Difference on International Women's Day

By Maegan Dockery

If I had my way, I would drop everything and travel the world. I would visit states I’ve never been to and countries I’ve only seen in movies. I would learn about different cultures and eat local cuisine. Unfortunately, I have neither the money nor the means to make this a reality right now, but I have been lucky enough to visit a few new places on mission trips.

When I was in college in Georgia, I went on mission trips to Kentucky, Texas, and East Asia. They weren’t glamorous trips full of sight-seeing and relaxing, but it was a fantastic way to visit new places all while sharing the love of Christ with others.

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That’s what mattered. Traveling is fantastic, but when there’s meaning behind it? I’m all in. Making a difference in the lives of others is important to me, especially when I get the opportunity to share Christ with those who may not otherwise know about Him.

This what I love about Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC). There are sites all over the United States where volunteers work hard to teach life skills but also the love of Christ. There are women who are struggling financially or who just need help getting back on their feet, and there are so many tangible ways we can help these women have a brighter future.

CWJC is a place where there is Bible study and prayer but also discipleship through missions. It’s not just a way to find a job. It’s a practical program with a purpose.

What are you doing to share the love of Christ with others? A great starting point is becoming a monthly partner with the WMU Foundation by giving to the Dove Endowment for CWJC. Your monthly gift will help women who are working toward a better future. We can help make the impossible possible for these women.

I may not get the chance to travel the world anytime soon, but I can make a difference right here in my own community, and that is more than enough for now.