by Norma Gunter
American Baptist Women’s Ministries has a new program for 2015-2017. See… Psalm 34:18 “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” God who saw us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139) still sees us today. We are familiar with the parable about the good Samaritan where the priest and the Levite see the wounded man but move to the other side of the road and keep on going. They see, but chose not to see. The Samaritan truly sees the man and his needs and chooses to care for his neighbor. For two years the American Baptist Women’s Ministries will focus on See… “How we see God and how we are called to see the world through God’s eyes.” Women will be encouraged “to grow their relationship with God through Bible study, prayer and fellowship.” You will hear more about this program in the future. (Seasons Magazine) This appeared in the October 2015 BEAM.
This month I want to share the January Circle program from the American Baptist Women’s Ministries Ministry Focus Resource. The name of the program is: See…People in Bondage. The scripture is Isaiah 61:1-3 and Galatians 5:1. “In America we are given constitutional freedoms that allow us to speak up and live free from fear and oppression. This is not the case everywhere in the world. More people are in bondage in the world today than ever in history. With over twenty-one million slaves in the world today, (United Nations, www.unmultimedia.org, accessed January 6, 2015), it is apparent that our world needs a wake-up call. Those of us who sit contentedly listening to preachers tell us to feed the hungry and clothe the poor need to wake up! January is Poverty in America Awareness Month and January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. We shouldn’t wait until January to open our eyes and to see the needs in front of us. This month will look at not only how to see those in bondage, but how to use the freedoms we’ve been given by our Lord to advocate for those who’d have no freedom.”
We at Beckley First Baptist are supporting each month our American Baptist Missionary, Lauren Bethel, who is our Global Consultant on Anti-human Trafficking. She has shared her ministry with us several times. We are aware and by partnering with her we are helping. We can do more by praying for her and for everyone working in the human trafficking ministry on January 11. Through Helping Hands Ministry we are also aware of Poverty in America. Perhaps during January we can give more to Helping Hands.
Don’t forget the challenge to give to the Philippines Mission Trip for the 10 ladies traveling to the Philippines in February to work with Debbie Mulneix, our missionary working with women caught in prostitution.