by Norma Gunter
In the June issue of the BEAM I mentioned that 10 women from Beckley FBC were going to the AB Women’s Ministries Conference, Women & Girls Weekend June 6-7 at Parchment Valley Conference Center. The theme for this years conference was “A Time to Serve & Make a Difference”. The scripture verse was “To equip His people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:12.
My sister and I started our trip on Friday June 6 by stopping at CAMC in Charleston to see my aunt Nell Jean Smith, my mother’s sister, the last of a family of 12. She was alert and seemed to enjoy our visit. She had fought a two year battle with ovarian cancer and was losing.
Registration started at 3pm on Friday at the Conference Building followed by dinner at 5:30pm in the Barn. We returned to the Conference Building for the 7pm session. After the singing we were welcomed by Janey Carrico, Conference Coordinator. The speakers for the evening was Debbie & Baillie Myers our International Ministries Missionaries serving in Puebla, Mexico. Debbie works with the leaders and women of 32 indigenous churches within their region. Baillie is a 14 year old freshman at the Puebla Christian School.
The other 8 women from FBC arrived Saturday morning. They became a part of the 157 women and girls from around West Virginia. During the morning session we were introduced to the State Officers, our 7 Scholarship Girls, Mission Outreach Project (MOP), Special Project and the Million Women Movement. (more about these next month). Debbie and Baillie spoke again during the morning session. Training for the ABW officers was held in different locations and the 5 Kaleidoscope of Kindness groups met again before lunch.
After lunch the group gathered in front of Santrock Education Center for the dedication of the Dorothy Tree in memory of Dorothy Santrock. Before the afternoon session we again chose a Kaleidoscope of Kindness group to attend.
Debbie spoke again before the closing and Baillie sang. Almost $527 was raised for the MOP project and $350 for the Special Project. Another offering was taken for a special project chosen by Debbie to be used in Mexico. (More later). The Conference ended with a closing celebration.
I got to see four of the women who were with me at Deborah’s House in Mexico last year and made new friends, especially with the women from the Parchment Valley Baptist Church who knew my aunt and taught the Kaleidoscope of Kindness group on “Whisper Prayer Pillows.”
Before we left for Beckley, my sister and I stopped at my aunt’s home there in Ripley (at her request) to see her flowers and visit with the family. Little did we know then that a little over a week later we would be back at the Parchment Valley Baptist Church for my aunt’s funeral.
After the funeral and the delicious meal at the Parchment Valley Baptist Church we drove through the Parchment Valley Conference Center grounds to show some of our relatives our Baptist treasure. If you haven’t been to your Parchment Valley Conference Center make plans to attend the next scheduled event.