CLINTON, Miss. (BP)–The pioneering Mississippi Missionary Parents Fellowship has celebrated its five-year anniversary in undergirding parents of Southern Baptist missionaries.
It was in Mississippi that the idea of forming such a group first took hold.
Bill Causey, who retired two years ago as executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, encouraged the parents to maintain a strong base for their missionary children as well as missionary parents in other states who are looking to Mississippi for leadership.
“The Missionary Parents Fellowship was born here, but it is now in eight other states. You are the most special group I know anything about in the state of Mississippi,” Causey said during the Sept. 22-23 gathering at Camp Garaywa in Clinton.
Causey suggested that one of the best ways missionary parents can help their children is to “successfully and happily deal with your own life.”
“It was in your home, at your hearth, at your table that they got the first impression that this is important,” he said.
Causey also implored the parents to pray for their children and provide a sense of permanence in their home, making it a place on which missionary children know they can always depend.
“Just as sailors need the North Star, [missionary children] need you,” he said.
Terri Willis, associate director for stateside assignments at the Southern Baptist International Mission Board in Richmond, Va., also stressed the importance of missionary parents.
“We rely on you to be an anchor for your children overseas. We at IMB know who puts missionaries on the plane at the airport,” she said.
Willis also commended the Mississippi parents for their foresight in establishing the group.
“When people ask how to start a missionary parents fellowship, I ask, ‘Would you like to go to the next Mississippi MPF meeting?'” she said.
Lois Henderson, who along with her husband, Guy, are retired missionaries now living in Clinton, recounted her experiences first as a young mother on the mission field and now as a missionary parent. The Hendersons’ daughter Melinda and her family serve in Russia.
The missionary parents also were treated to a special anniversary history of MPF, with a computerized PowerPoint presentation by Jimmy and Earline Walker, whose daughter, Beth, and her family serve in Guatemala. Jimmy Walker is pastor of Tiplersville (Miss) Baptist Church.
For more information on MPF, contact Kathy Burns at the Mississippi Woman’s Missionary Union, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530; telephone, (601) 292-3324; or e-mail, [email protected]