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WMU names 2015 National Acteens Panelists

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.(BP) — Woman’s Missionary Union selected six teens to serve as 2015 National Acteens Panelists based on their commitment to missions and participation and leadership in their Acteens group, church, school and community.

This year’s panelists are Grace-Ann Combs of First Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas; Kiara Curry and Haley Harrison, both of University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C.; Victoria Hernandez of Freeman Heights Baptist Church, Garland, Texas; Ashley Johns of Tallowood Baptist Church, Katy, Texas; and Hydiatu Konneh of Fern Creek Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.

Acteens is WMU’s missions organization for girls in grades 7–12. Through Acteens, girls grow in their relationship with God and each other as they learn about and participate in missions, develop leadership skills and live a missional lifestyle.

“In reading this year’s applications for the National Acteens Panel, I was moved by the understanding these young women have of the value of Acteens and ongoing missions education,” said Suzanne Reece, national WMU’s ministry consultant for students. “They recognize the importance of learning about missions, praying for missions, and being involved in hands-on missions experiences. They also see how Acteens prepares them to live as missional disciples in the world every day.”

In her application, Harrison wrote, “Acteens teaches girls about missions and gives them opportunities so they can go into the world and show an example of Jesus. I have learned about the needs of unreached international people as well as rural and city life here in America.”

Hernandez wrote, “As a teenage girl who is in her last year of Acteens, I would say that we come out of it with serving hearts, humility, passion for the Lord, and great ideas in which we can make the world a better place for the glory of God.”

Acteens teaches girls to have a Christian worldview and guides them to be servant-minded while living more like Christ, Reece said.

Konneh largely credited her mother, who grew up active in Girls in Action and Acteens in Liberia, for instilling a love for missions in her at an early age. She said her mother told her real joy comes from knowing Jesus Christ and greater joy comes by sharing Christ’s love and getting others to know Him.

“I understood that Jesus wanted us to teach others what He had taught us: to be kind, to love another as oneself, to feed the hungry, to care for the sick and dying, and most of all to let others know that He came and died to save us,” Konneh shared. “Learning this, I set my mind on doing this. I prayed hard for God to make me bold to do this. As I prayed, I became eager to go anywhere and everywhere.”

The Acteens panel members, who serve from Feb. 1 to Dec. 31, each receive $1,000 from the Jessica Powell Loftis Scholarship for Acteens from the WMU Foundation.

The panelists will be featured during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, June 14–15, where they will have opportunities to meet national and international missionaries and interact with missions leaders from across the country.

They are available to speak at churches, associational and state Acteens and WMU meetings and events, and they will write articles for The Mag, the Acteens missions magazine, and the Acteens website, wmu.com/acteens.

Applications for the 2016 National Acteens Panel are due to national WMU by Nov. 1, 2015, and will be available in the fall issue of Acteens Leader.