September ABW

by Norma Gunter

My job as Mission and Service Coordinator is to communicate missions to my whole church and keep you involved.  In the last BEAM I shared about several projects the ABW is working on this year.  The first is the MOP (Mission Outreach Project).  The goal has been set at $6,000 for the state.

The MOP is “Tablets for Education.”  Missionaries Rick & Anita Gutierrez are American Baptist Foreign Mission Society Missionaries in Durban, South Africa.  Together they discern unmet health needs of the people and train members in health skills that can be used in concert with evangelistic outreach.

Their job is to train health builders using the latest technologies, like computer tablets, to teach.  On these tablets they show videos about health and agricultural practices as well as record keeping of health encounters and an updatable health training manual.

The videos are used by members of Discovery Bible Groups, which is established by each health builder.  The members of this Bible Discovery Group are learning God’s word together on a weekly basis.  Scripture passage are shared and discussed and the people are challenged to obey.  People have said they learned more about God and Jesus in one session of Discovery Bible Group than listening to hours  long traditional Zulu sermons.  This way of approaching the Bible is unique, powerful and can spread and sustain itself without professional or trained facilitators.  It is also an important way to teach and build skills.

Lives are changed when people encounter the God of the Bible in a discovery format, and embrace God’s word.  Rick and Anita need our help to purchase a video camera/sound equipment, tablets and money to produce videos.  They need to create videos on “poultry egg incubation for the backyard gardener” in Zulu/English professionally translated, edited and voice over.  The goal of $6,000 will meet their needs and strengthen this vital ministry among the Zulu people.

Next time I will share another ABW project.  Earlier this month one of the biggest celebrations in the history of International Ministries was held at our Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin.  The celebration was for 200 years of overseas Global Missions.  All of our global missionaries and their families as well as representatives from most of our global partners and a full bus load of West Virginia Baptists were there.  John Simmons, WV Baptist  Associate Executive Minister, reported in the “West Virginia Baptist Newsletter” that, “Those of us blessed to be there on opening night heard the packed house of l,300 sing HOW GREAT THOU ART, each in their own language. The tent was filled with the awesome presence of God.”  How I wish I could have been there.  I’ve been blessed with two visits to Green Lake in the past and hope to go there again.

If you do not receive the “West Virginia Baptist Newsletter” notify the church office.  Another magazine is “Seasons” a publication of American Baptist Women’s Ministries.  Both are filled with information.

Ladies, start making plans to attend the next ABW state event, the Spiritual Growth Retreat September 26-28 at Parchment Valley.  The theme is “Catching your Breath:  Discovering Your Sabbath.”

ABW Mission and Service

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.

Mission and Service

by Norma Gunter

On Saturday May 17th the American Baptist Women’s Spring Rally was held at the Beaver First Baptist church.  Our own Joyce Mills is the president of the Raleigh Association ABW,  Nancy Moran is the secretary and I’m the Coordinator of Mission and Service.  At the rally our AB Area Minister gave his greeting and sang “Not For Sale”.  He also gave a report on his mission trip to Bolivia last year where they built a COB house in a few days for less than $3000.  The house is made from homemade bricks made of sand, straw and mud with a tin roof, solar and water systems.  This year they plan to go back and build two COB houses.  If you ever wanted to go on a mission trip this would be a good group to join.

The speakers for the rally were Johnny and Robin Walker.  I refer you back to last months BEAM article which featured the work of the Walkers with the Kodiak Baptist Mission in Alaska.  Beaver First Baptist church has supported this Mission for years & the Walkers, who are members of the Beaver First Baptist Church, are planning another trip to Alaska this summer.  The offering and gift cards went to the horse camp at the Kodiak Mission.  Johnny showed a video of their work there.   Robert Prince, another member of the church, told of his work with the Kodiak Mission children and the golf camp.  Mission groups were also at the Kodiak Mission doing repair work like building steps.

Again, if you have a desire to serve the Lord there are short-term mission trips all around the world.  They are life changing.  Like the Walkers who went to Alaska last year & are going back this year you may find you would also want to return over and over.

A group of 10 women from Beckley FBC are going to Parchment Valley June 7 for the ABW Annual Conference.  Come join us.  There is still time to go.  Call Linda Ramsey for details.