KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Did you know that $1 can provide clean water for one African for a year? Or that $200 can provide six months of rent at a safe apartment for a woman in Moldova who has been a victim of human trafficking?
This summer, teenage girls and collegiate young women will explore “5 Ways of Giving” as part of Blume, a national missions event for slated for July 10–13 in Kansas City, Mo., and sponsored by Woman’s Missionary Union.
Blume organizers have partnered with five ministries that focus on children and women for the 5 Ways of Giving sessions at the missions-oriented event — Arab Woman Today in Jordan; Beginning of Life Foundation in Moldova; The Ricks Institute in Liberia; Blood:Water Mission in Africa; and Locks of Love.
Blume program coordinator Kym Mitchell said 5 Ways of Giving will connect with all aspects of Blume.
“We hope that students learn about each of the 5 Ways of Giving and plan to give to the ministries that they feel most drawn to,” Mitchell said. “We want students to know that there are a variety of needs in the world, and there are many ways they can give, from their money and time to a gift of their hair!”
Girls will learn more about each of the five ministries during Blume general sessions and in Blume’s interactive exhibit area, called ME.
In ME, for instance, participants can cut their hair in the Blume salon for Locks of Love (prior parental permission required), help build a farmyard of animals by donating to the Ricks Institute, learn more about broadcasting and Arab Woman Today’s radio ministry, and more. Also in the interactive area, Blume participants will be able to bring their donations to the Blume bank for the ministries of their choice.
“The 5 Ways of Giving will also be another way students at Blume are encouraged to learn more about who God created them to be as they seek God’s guidance in determining how to give of themselves, their time and their money in the future,” Mitchell said.
Specifics about each ministry follow:
Arab Woman Today, based in Jordan, utilizes broadcasting and the Internet to reach women in 22 Arab countries in the Middle East and Africa. AWT’s purpose is to provide spiritual, physical and psychological resources and healing to women.
The Beginning of Life Foundation in Moldova provides lodging for victims of human trafficking; education and job skills training; and Christian counseling and discipleship.
The Ricks Institute in Liberia is a K–12 school for children of the war-torn nation. It purchases livestock for children, who receive the immediate benefits of the animal (i.e., milk or meat from the offspring). The children also learn animal husbandry skills, helping their families to earn a living.
Blood:Water Mission in Africa and its 1,000 Wells Project has committed to provide wells to 1,000 African communities. Through each clean water project, the African communities are empowered to take control of the well along with their health.
Locks of Love meets the needs of children who suffer from long-term medical hair loss due to cancer or other illnesses. Through the donation of hair, Locks of Love nurtures the children’s confidence and self-esteem. Blume will provide a chance for girls and women to participate in cutting their hair (10 inches or more) for Locks of Love’s hair prostheses.
With the exception of Locks of Love, WMU is partnered with each ministry through its International Initiatives.
Blume, named for the German word for “flower,” representing growth, youth and new life, is open to all girls ages 12 and up, including collegiate young women.
“The purpose of Blume will be accomplished in our minds and hearts if girls leave empowered with the realization that God has a plan and purpose for their lives,” said Suzanne Reece, another Blume program coordinator. “They are each uniquely gifted, and God can use them even now to make a difference in the world and to accomplish His mission.”
Although Blume will include time for all the participants to gather together, specific activities and times of worship have been planned just for the collegiate audience. Cindy Johnson, a Christian songwriter, singer and guitarist, will minister to the collegiate young women through worship and testimony.
Bethany Dillon, an 18-year-old recording artist and Dove Award nominee, will perform in Blume’s feature concert.
The cost to attend Blume is $149 per person if staying within the block of hotels reserved for Blume or $199 per person if reservations are made outside the block of rooms. Registration can be completed by telephone, fax, mail or online.
For more information on Blume, visit www.blumeforgirls.com or send e-mail to [email protected].
Many states are coordinating travel packages to Blume so large groups of girls in their state can travel together. Further information is available from state Woman’s Missionary Union offices.
Blume previously was known as the National Acteens Convention (NAC). WMU launched Acteens, a missions organization for girls in grades seven through 12, in 1970. Through Acteens, girls are inspired and challenged to serve others and fulfill their part in God’s plan as they pray for and learn about other cultures and missionary work, both nationally and internationally.
The first NAC was held in 1972 at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center near Santa Fe, N.M. Taking place approximately every four to five years, subsequent National Acteens Conventions have been in Memphis, Tenn., in 1975; Kansas City, Mo., in 1979; Fort Worth, Texas, in 1984; San Antonio, Texas, in 1989; Birmingham, Ala., in 1994; Louisville, Ky., in 1998; and Nashville, Tenn., in 2003.