Carolina Women celebrate missions
    November 2 2015 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor

    Debby Akerman, former president of national Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), said the greatest celebrations focus on God.
    When God created light in Genesis, He said it was good. She said, “Celebrate who He is and what He does.”


    BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
    Phyllis Elvington, right, teaches during a breakout session during Carolina Women Oct. 16. See more photos online at

    Akerman and Phyllis Elvington, Bible study leader, author and speaker, were the main speakers for Carolina Women’s Celebrate Missions retreat Oct. 16-17 at Fort Caswell Baptist Assembly on Oak Island. The retreat was a joint effort of WMU of North Carolina (WMU-NC) and South Carolina WMU (SCWMU). Almost 330 women from the two states participated in the event.
    Missionaries Kathie Aiken, who serves with Appalachian Regional Ministry, Debbie Wieland, director of York County, S.C., Christian Women’s Job Corps, and Jill Harvell, an International Mission Board missionary, shared stories from the field as well as led the ladies through the WMU prayer calendar to pray for other missionaries.
    “The South Carolina women loved their experience at Fort Caswell,” said Donna Britt, SCWMU Women on Mission associate. “The Lord blessed as we focused on ways to Celebrate Missions in our everyday lives and around the world.”
    Akerman said celebrations are a time for giving gifts.
    “God gives us so much,” she said. “God’s plan … to be exalted above all nations.”
    She said celebrations have a praise component.
    “When we celebrate missions, we celebrate the heartbeat of God for a world filled with ‘whosoevers’ waiting to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ,” she said referring to John 3:16. “Our choice [is] to choose obedience or disobedience. We need to go and tell. There are more people waiting to hear.”
    Elvington said celebrating missions involves seeing the Lord. Using Isaiah 6:1-4, Elvington said believers have forgotten Who they serve. “We’ve made church and everything about it all about us,” she said. “What can it do for me? What can it do to help me out?”
    Instead, Elvington stressed that “we were created to worship and serve a living God.”


    BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
    Gail Hodson, right, as Aretha Franklin, gets some help from some of the Carolina Women to sing about being a sanctified woman. Plunkett previously served as the South Carolina Woman’s Missionary Union president. She also appeared as Dolly Parton and taught a breakout session. See more photos online at

    Church is “where we practice before we go out and be Christ before the world,” she said. It’s not about worthiness before the Lord, she stressed, but instead about standing forgiven before Him. “When the Holy Spirit speaks to you, you need to obey,” she said. “If you hesitate, God will go somewhere else.”
    She challenged them to pray prayers of confession each day focusing on three areas: commission, omission and no mission.
    “You have to be able to discern when God is speaking to you and when His people are speaking to you,” Elvington said, sharing four basic ways to hear God speaking: through His Word, through prayer, through church and through circumstances.
    One of the topics Elvington broached involved the International Mission Board (IMB). The IMB announced recently that it has asked missionaries to consider leaving voluntarily through early retirement. She urged the ladies to pray for these missionaries and to seek ways to help those in transition.
    Margaret Harding, WMU-NC associate for adults, was delighted with the comments on the evaluations they received. Some wanted to find an accountability partner; some emphasized sharing the gospel where they are; others said their church needed to emphasize missions more and pray for the missionaries.
    The women collected an offering ($2,653.47) to be divided between the states and $310 towards disaster relief.
    Crosswalk Drama Ministry, which is made up of Holly Needham and Leigh Ann Thomas, performed dramas relating to church life and being daily Christ followers. They, along with Beth Greer, who led the music, Akerman, Elvington, and others led breakout sessions on a variety of topics.
    Harding and Britt both expressed interest in planning another Carolina Women in 2017 to alternate years with Carolina Girls, which inspired the women’s event.
    Carolina Girls is scheduled to meet Oct. 21-23, 2016 at First Baptist Church in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The event is for Acteens, teen girls and their leaders. Contact Julie Keith at or visit

    11/2/2015 7:25:23 PM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Carolina Women, Celebrate Missions, WMU

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