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Teen’s life shaped by mission involvement

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP)–The rain softly fell on the covered pavilion in the Great Smoky Mountains as the teenage girls led a sing along for a campground.

It was an “awesome experience” to feel God “working through our words and actions,” recalled Michelle Dunn, one of Kansas-Nebraska Acteens who participated in the mission trip last year.

Acteens is the missions organization sponsored by Woman’s Missionary Union for girls in grades seven through 12.

While in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Acteens worked with Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries, led by Bill Black, a Southern Baptist North American Mission Board missionary. They staged Vacation Bible School in campgrounds during the day. At night, they led sing-alongs in different campgrounds.

This mission trip was one of many ministry activities in which Dunn has been involved.

Dunn’s passion for missions recently came to the attention of Southern Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union. A member of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan., she is one of 15 Acteens selected as a National Acteens Top Teen.

Selection of Top Teens is based on accomplishments in MissionsQuest, the individual achievement plan for Acteens; involvement in Acteens and other church activities; and achievements in school, scholastically and socially. In addition to their applications and written testimonies, candidates had to be recommended by their pastor and Acteens leader.

Dunn, 17, is the daughter of Larry and Debbie Dunn. Larry Dunn is pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church. Michelle will be featured with the other Top Teens in the July-August issue of Accent, the WMU magazine for Acteens.

“Michelle has been very active in Acteens for the five years I have known her,” said Mary Matthews, who is Acteens consultant for Kansas-Nebraska WMU as well as Dunn’s Acteen leader in her church.

Later this year Dunn will make history in Kansas-Nebraska Acteens. She will receive her Kansas-Nebraska Acteens Citation, which is the highest level of achievement possible through MissionsQuest. Only two other Kansas-Nebraska Acteens have reached this level.

Dunn also has served for two years as a Kansas-Nebraska Acteens Panel member.

“Her position on this panel brought out her leadership skills which she used to help plan the Acteens Encounter,” Matthews said. The Acteens Encounter is held each year at Webster Conference Center, Salina, Kan. Along with planning the retreat, Acteens panelist help run the event.

In addition, Dunn taught at the Kansas-Nebraska Girls in Action Retreat and served as a page at the Kansas-Nebraska WMU annual meeting.

Along with her missions activities through Acteens, Dunn also is involved in ministry at her school, Maranatha Academy in Shawnee, Kan. She is vice president of the Interact Club, which is similar to Junior Rotary Club.

“We sponsor food and clothing drives, Angel Tree and Samaritan’s Purse shoebox drives as well as working at City Union Mission and ringing bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas,” Dunn recounted, adding that the club also was “very excited” about buying a water buffalo for a needy family in a developing country.

Dunn’s church youth group also is involved in missions. “My favorite thing that we do is singing in the nursing homes,” she said. “We also were involved with collecting money for Souper Bowl and do food drives.”

This fall Michelle plans to enter Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., to begin studying psychology and physical therapy, with an eventual goal of specializing in pediatric physical therapy.

    About the Author

  • Eva Wilson

    Eva Wilson is editor of the Baptist Digest, newsjournal of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. Retired editor Tim Boyd contributed to this report.

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