You Will Be My Witnesses
Alma Hunt Offering
September 15-October 19, 2021
The annual offering for Virginia missions was named for Alma Hunt (1909–2008), a native Virginian who was known worldwide for her missions service and her unswerving dedication to the cause of Christ. Churches and individuals may contribute at any time.
The offering provides funding for all Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia (WMUV) missions and ministries and makes possible other Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) special ministries, outreach projects, and initiatives not funded through regular streams of giving. Since 1976, this offering has been a joint venture of WMUV and the BGAV. The annual goal and allocation of funds are determined by the Executive Director/ Treasurer of WMUV and the Executive Director of the BGAV and approved by their respective boards.
The stories you read each week (below) are of real people and real ministries, and all are recipients of some financial support from this offering. Every dollar you give goes directly to support these and many other ministries. We invite you to give to the Alma Hunt Offering— joining your gifts with those of many other Virginia Baptists as we share the love of Christ across the Commonwealth and with the whole world.
Please pray for the Alma Hunt Offering and consider giving to the offering.
You may make donations online (select “Alma Hunt State Missions” for the fund) or mail a check to the church office with “Alma Hunt Offering” in the memo.
Church Planting Brings Christ to Neighbors Across the U.S.
Through the V3 Movement, BGAV is actively involved in planting churches. Some of the funds from the Alma Hunt State Missions Offering go directly to these efforts as they reach new people and communities with the life-changing love of Jesus Christ.
Mike Pumphrey, V3’s Mid-Atlantic Coordinator, shares the following story:
David Heim is in our year 1 Cohort located in Los Angeles, CA. The Cohort has blown his mind! He is brand new to church planting, and he recently saw people baptized to follow Jesus.
One of those was Arley. He was in a gang years ago but got out of that for his kids. He was really struggling through life and thought God was worth a try, but he had no idea how to have a relationship with God. He lived in low-income housing next door to the elementary school where church met, and they (Arley, his girlfriend, and kids) came by and were welcomed for the first time in a church. They stuck around. Now Arley is growing in his relationship with God and turning his life around. Your gifts make stories like this possible!
Lifting Communities Out of Poverty
BGAV has entered into a long-term community development strategy focused on lifting communities out of extreme poverty. This new partnership will be focused in the Chinandega region of Nicaragua with an organization new to us–Food for the Hungry (FH). This long-term (7- to 10-year) endeavor will seek to build relationships in specific communities which will allow for incredible change to take place for those in Nicaragua as well as the sponsoring churches in Virginia.
Carlos, an employee of FH, was recently on a Zoom call with us and shared how he was raised in the sponsorship program of FH, and he and his family were able to break their cycle of poverty and now strive to help others living in extreme poverty. Our hope is that through this partnership we will be able to continue this good work and share the love of Christ in Nicaragua. Your gifts will provide funds for specific development opportunities such as new wells, sanitation needs, farming, and economic empowerment as identified through local leadership in Nicaragua.
S~P~A: Missions and Racial Reconciliation
The Black Lives Matter Movement ushered in the call for a renewed commitment to do the work of racial reconciliation. WMUV’s response was the creation of a process called S~P~A: Share, Pray, Act. Women are brought together to share stories, to pray for unity, and to develop mission action plans. Black women tell of being called the “N” word and harassed by law enforcement. Whites tell of being raised to love all people or to stay away from blacks. A white woman shares that she was “asleep” and “not awake” to the reality of daily life for her black sisters.
Since the early 1900s, Virginia Baptist Women have engaged in what was called interracial work. In 1934, WMUV appointed a biracial committee to seek cooperation between black and white women. According to Fred Anderson, historian, these women “wanted to know each other; and to stand solidly for interracial justice, goodwill and cooperation and against any effort to create discord between the races.” In this vein, we continue!
In a chaotic world, as we dare to be radically involved in the mission of the Church, let us pray for the tearing down of the walls that separate people.
Crisis Care at Standing Rock
In the more than 50 years Virginia Baptists have been active in Disaster Response (DR), we’ve learned a lot about the long-term effects of a disaster. One year after a hurricane, 60% of pastors had moved away. Physical needs were being met, but most everyone put their emotional and spiritual trauma on hold while focusing on cleanup and repair. DR has responded by investing in Crisis Care Chaplains.
Every year, WMUV (Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia) takes a team to Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The Crisis Care training benefited the team as we strive to care for our friends and the challenges they face on the reservation, such as illness and grief due to Covid. Katelyn Hawkins says, “The training was very helpful, especially the encouragement through listening, traumatic stress, and cultural diversity aspects.” Brenda Smith shares, “The section on suicide was especially beneficial, this is a major issue on the reservation. Trauma is not limited to those hit by disasters—it happens in our daily lives with people around us. This training is effective in helping us know how to better respond, minister, and serve in Christ’s name.” Pray that God will wipe away the tears of those burdened with trauma-related grief.
Kenya Medical Missions
In March 2020, Dr. Lynne Stockman led the first mission trip of a three-year partnership to Mully Children’s Family (MCF) in Kenya to provide medical care to children in need and the surrounding community. The team provided care to over 2,200 patients in five days, some who walked over 20 miles to get to the mobile clinic. Dental, gynecologic, eye, wound, physical therapy, and general medical care was provided along with prescription medications. And since music is an important element in Kenyan culture, a small team also helped lead worship and teach guitar lessons.
Charles Mulli dreams of providing MCF and the surrounding communities with a hospital in the future. While we hope and pray for this dream to become a reality, the team looks forward to returning in 2022 to watch God at work and do our part to care for God’s kingdom here on Earth. Lynne shares, “I am thankful for the experience to use my professional skills to help those who do not receive medical care on a regular basis and to share the love of Jesus…we felt God’s presence in a mighty way!” Pray for the second team as they prepare to serve MCF. Pray for the second team as they prepare to serve MCF.