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‘Global Village’ allows Acteens ‘next best thing’ to world tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Thanks to a bit of ingenuity, thousands of Acteens were able to tour the world in just two hours.

The National Acteens Convention opened a “Global Village,” a series of virtual encounters with missionaries and cultures from throughout the world, July 30-31. Spread across a number of rooms in the Nashville Convention Center, it allowed the teenage girls to learn how God is working in both America and other nations.

With the help of missionaries, Woman’s Missionary Union staff, local volunteers and props, the Acteens, among other things, experienced a house church service in China, wrote prayer requests and placed them in the Jerusalem Wailing Wall and even scribbled graffiti on brick walls in New York City.

More than 10 cultures were represented. Outside each room, a television played the “JESUS” film in the respective culture’s language.

In the Japanese room, the Acteens witnessed an official Japanese tea ceremony. Ron Capps, a missionary to Japan, told Baptist Press, “It’s been packed every single time. This is really fun.”

The National Acteens Convention plays an integral role in piquing girls’ interest in missions, Capps said, citing its hands-on style.

“They’re coming for missions,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about. Everything they study, everything they do, is about missions.”

But the girls did more than just meet missionaries face to face. Thanks to the Internet Cafe room, they also sent messages of encouragement — as well as some questions — to missionaries thousands of miles away.

In the Chinese room, the girls attended a simulated, illegal “house church.” They sat on wooden benches, looked at Chinese Bible verses and learned to say “Jesus, I love you” in Chinese. Then they sang a song — although they were told not to sing too loud, so the government authorities would not hear. They also heard from a former worker in China.

“Christianity is alive and well in China,” said the lady, whose name is withheld because of her intentions to return. “… I want so much for people to see the real China and the real Christian movement.”

Trudy Johnson, who along with Becky Yates served as Global Village co-chairs, said the goal was to create “the next best thing to being there.”

“The Global Village lived up to our expectations,” Johnson said. “It was awesome to see girls [listening] to the JESUS video in the language of the country they were in. The response to the missionaries was encouraging as girls considered how God can use them in missions.”

The village, provided by Woman’s Missionary Union, included participation from the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, Baptist Nursing Fellowship, the JESUS Film Project and Prison Fellowship.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: JOINING IN, JOURNEY TO JAPAN, GLOBAL VILLAGE and FLOWING FORTH.

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  • Michael Foust