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WMU focus on surrender, sacrifice, service

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) –– Prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, North American and international missionaries will share how God is at work around the world during the Woman’s Missionary Union Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, June 14–15.

This year’s theme, “All for You,” focuses on surrender, sacrifice and service as a follower of Christ.

“In following Jesus, we find the joy and purpose that makes life worth living,” Wanda S. Lee, executive director of national WMU, said. “Nothing shares the message of Jesus better than a life lived in total surrender to Him. When we surrender our all for Him, sacrificing our desires out of a heart of love, life takes on a new form — one devoted to service to others.”

This devotion to Christ and a passion for sharing Him with others will be a consistent theme of featured speakers, including Michael Coleman, a military chaplain with the North American Mission Board; Terry Dorsett, executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England; Earl Hewitt, a doctor who serves in West Africa; David and Alicia who serve in Southeast Asia; and Bud Fray, a retired missionary who served in Africa. Fray’s new book, “Both Feet In,” a story of God at work through His missionaries, will be the next emphasis book for WMU in 2015–2016.

General sessions are on Sunday, June 14, at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., and on Monday, June 15, at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. In addition, 20 different conferences will be offered on Monday. Topics range from creative ways to engage preschoolers, children, youth and adults in missions, to understanding post-traumatic stress disorder and learning ways your church can minister to those living with PTSD.

Additional elements this year include:

— A reception in honor of Debby Akerman as she completes her fifth year of service as president of national WMU. A new president will be elected during the business session on Monday.

— Missions Monday, June 15, hands-on missions experiences for children in grades 1–6 onsite at the church from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Advance registration is required.

— Continuing education units (CEUs) for healthcare professionals who attend designated conferences.

— An opportunity to help missions efforts in the Columbus area by bringing travel-size hygiene items to donate.

— Chick-fil-A lunch available to purchase for $5 onsite at the church on Monday.

The WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting will be at First Baptist Church of Grove City. The church is approximately a 10- to 15-minute drive south from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, where the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention will be held June 16–17.

Visit wmu.com/columbus for more information, including a complete schedule, additional details, online registration for children for Missions Monday, and more.