by Norma Gunter
The American Baptist Women’s Ministry Focus circle program for November is See…Violence against Women. The scripture is Judges 19:11-30. “The International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women is November 25, and November is also the month for the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer and, of course, Thanksgiving. On November 7th, the day before the election, our ABW is observing the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer by having a Mug & Muffin meeting at 10AM, here at the church, followed by a time of individual prayer for our world, our country and the election.
In January 2014 we started a mission project ‘LET’S SAVE USED STAMPS FOR MISSIONS” I get frequent questions about the project so I’m reprinting the BEAM article from March 2014 explaining how the project works. I mail stamps three or four times a year thanks to all those who provide the stamps. The following explains the project.
LET’S SAVE USED STAMPS FOR MISSIONS
Have you ever wanted to do something for missions but didn’t know what to do? Well here is a project that just about anyone can do. The project is to collect cancelled postage stamps. We all get mail and a lot of junk mail and most have stamps.
After reading an article in the Guidepost magazine I remembered that the ABW used to collect used postage stamps. I even remembered when I had this same job, Mission and Service, I received a box with left-over mission supplies and in this box was two plastic sandwich bags packed full of used postage stamps. Everything in the box had been disposed of except for those two bags of postage stamps. They had been moved around in the garage for years and last fall I started to throw them away but put them back on the shelf. I went out to the garage and searched around until I found the stamps. I went back and reread the Guideposts article and decided to write to the organization, Alliance Stamp Ministry, for more information on the project. All of the old postage stamps met the criteria so I sorted them to mail.
It occurred to me that others might want to save used postage stamps for missions so I made a poster, which can be seen in the Welcome Center near the elevator, and I also put a box for the used postage stamps in the church office.
The Alliance Stamp Ministry in Ft. Myers, Florida was started in 1972. A group of women in an assisted living facility trim, sort and pack the stamps. The stamps are then sold to distributors who sells them to collectors. The money from the sale of the stamps goes to writing, publishing and distribution of Spanish language Sunday School teaching material. This material is used in churches of 40 different denominations in 19 different Spanish speaking countries in Spain, Latin America, an even in the USA.
One reason this project is close to my heart is Susan Hegarty, our American Baptist Missionary, wrote and taught others to write Spanish Sunday School literature, where there was none, when she served in Cuba.
To save the used postage stamps tear or cut the stamps from the envelopes and leave at least l/4″ of paper around the stamps. Do not remove the stamps from the paper. All types of stamps are saved: Christmas stamps, presorted stamps, nonprofit stamps, bulk rate stamps, commemorative stamps, love stamps. foreign stamps, etc. Please put the saved stamps in the box in the church office where I will pick them up, sort and mail them to Florida. Thank you
The last thank you I received from Alliance Stamp Ministry said, “as of September, 2016 we have received $28,000 toward preparation, publication and distribution of Spanish language curriculum for Sunday School. Since the inception of the stamp ministry back in 1972 a grand total of $900,000 has been raised. TO GOD BE THE GLORY for allowing us to reach this milestone.” Think! we have had a small part in this ministry.