Women credit GAs for missions lifestyle
    August 12 2009 by Claudean Boatman, Woman’s Missionary Union

    Every girl a GA.

    That’s the current emphasis of Girls in Action (GAs), the missions organization for girls in first through sixth grade, to encourage missions education in the local church. It’s also a message that resonates with four women — former GAs whose lives were greatly influenced through their GA participation as they developed a heart for missions.  

    The importance of a missional lifestyle was instilled in Mary Lochridge of Kings Mountain, through her participation in Girls Auxiliary (now Girls in Action) as a young girl. Years later, she and her husband, James, were appointed as missionaries with the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board or IMB) and served in the Philippines for 27 years. Lochridge organized Girls in Action, introducing girls to the concepts of giving, praying and serving God. More than 20 years in retirement, she still speaks to GAs about missions.

    Contributed photo

    Taylor Long of South Carolina enjoys supporting missionaries including sending packets to prisoners.

    Judy Phillips of Madison, Fla., began attending GAs in fourth grade. She came from a broken home with a mother who had to work. Although such circumstances are common now, in 1959 Phillips said she felt alone and dejected. But each Monday after school, she walked to West Highland Baptist Church. There she was accepted despite her family background.

    “Those leaders,” Phillips said, “took me under their wings. I could feel good about myself.” Three years after becoming a GA, Phillips asked Jesus into her life.

    Through GA missions activities, Phillips began a life of service that continues 50 years later. Among many other things, she’s taught GAs and Royal Ambassadors, and served as a Missions Service Corps volunteer.

    Current Girls in Action members also find relevance and purpose in their GA involvement. Jessica Gulledge first became involved in GAs when she moved to Georgia. She is a GA now at Shirley Hills Baptist Church, she said, because they help other people. “GAs is possibly the best thing that has ever happened to me,” she said.

    Taylor Long, a GA from Pine Grove Baptist Church in Walterboro, S.C., likes GA parties and activities. More than those, though, she looks forward to doing missions. For example, her group plays handbells at the area nursing home, sends care packages to prison inmates, and provides Christmas presents for people who may not have any otherwise.

    Learn about a GA program in your church by calling Cara Lynn Vogel at (866) 210-8602.

    8/12/2009 6:42:00 AM by Claudean Boatman, Woman’s Missionary Union | with 1 comments

I first knew that I would prepare for full-time ministry because of my participation in GAs. The leaders gave me a love of missions and made me yearn to tell others about God. How strange it is now that those same leaders do not support my call. I guess if I wasn't preaching, things would be different.
8/12/2009 5:47:05 PM

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