Be Light: Alma Hunt Offering 2022
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
September 4-October 2, 2022
RRCB Goal: 10,000
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.
You may give to the Offering by using one of the designated envelopes in the pews and dropping it in the offering plate, mailing a check to the church office, or giving online at rrcb.org/give-online. Please make checks payable to RRCB with Alma Hunt Offering in the memo. If you give online, select Alma Hunt State Missions from the fund drop down.
Scroll down to watch a video and to learn about the ministries the Offering will support.
Indigenous Church Planters: Ministering within Cultural Contexts
Pray for the four indigenous church planters we support as they follow God’s call to Be Light in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. Charbel Khoueiry is planting a church in Tabarja, Lebanon. Every month he visits around 100 households, including refugee families, to distribute food parcels, food vouchers, and medicine. Relationships develop naturally with them as they share the Good News in word and deed. Basel Kanso is in Al Shouf, Lebanon, and you can pray for his family and church as they continue to deal with Covid and with a volatile economy. Pray for them as they work in a community which includes different religions. In Strumica, Macedonia, Dimitar Janevski’s church plant sees around 30 people each Sunday. They host Thursday night Bible studies in local homes and do activities together, such as hikes. Our most recent church planter is Samuel Skrzypkowski in Bydgoszsz, Poland. Samuel has been a full-time pastor for eight years, but this church plant started in April 2022. Samuel is also involved in ministering to the many Ukrainian refugees who have come to his country.
Disaster Response: Serving with Hope
Even as the pandemic made serving outside and within our communities more difficult, disasters continued to strike. 2020 was the year of the pandemic, but it was also a record- setting year for Atlantic hurricanes. 2021 also saw significant storms, including one that devastated a town in Virginia—one that is still rebuilding. As we move out of the isolation we’ve experienced, churches are beginning to think about how they can serve, and many are turning to disaster response. [BGAV] has seen a huge response among churches that want to be equipped to respond to disasters, whether they strike in their own communities or elsewhere. They want to be ready to serve with the tools and partners they need to serve well when needed. And what they’re learning won’t just prepare them to respond if a storm strikes, it can enhance every area of ministry their churches embrace. When a storm strikes, those who have prepared will be able to respond. Those who have practiced will be able to respond well. And those with strong community relationships will be able to make the greatest difference with those whom God has called us to Be Light.
BNF: Called to Care
Called To Care is their heartbeat. The Baptist Nursing Fellowship (BNF) of WMU exists to “empower, educate and encourage nurses and medical workers to be on mission for Christ.” Marilyn Graves, a retired IMB missionary to Chile, serves as the executive director/treasurer of the National BNF and the president of BNF of Virginia.
WMUV has a rich history in Parish Nurse education. BNF continues in this tradition, bringing great joy to Gerri McDaniel, former WMUV Parish Nurse Coordinator. Offering continuing education and mission and prayer opportunities, BNF is growing in Virginia! Most recently, the Faith Community Nursing Course and Retreat held at CrossRoads Camp and Conference Center, in collaboration with Shenandoah University, witnessed the coming together of nurses for Christian missions.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Army Nursing Corp and BNF member, Karen Stokes, says, “I took the class because my church, New Zion Baptist Church in Williamsburg, is organizing a healthcare ministry to serve our members and the larger community.” Recruiting different kinds of healthcare professionals, New Zion has created a holistic model to include the physical, mental, environmental, and spiritual aspects of life. Your gifts to the Alma Hunt offering equip nurses and medical workers Be Light as they respond to God’s call to care for others.
WMUV Leadership Programs: Investing in Young Women
I want to tell people about Jesus while I help them, because that’s what missions is about. — Hannah Keller, Brookneal, VA, age 9
WMUV invests in students who exemplify spiritual maturity and have been identified by their local churches as mission-minded. Investing in our children and students demonstrates our belief in the future of WMUV.
The Abigail Girl program is for girls in grades 4, 5, and 6; [and] the State Panelist program is for teen girls in grades 10, 11, and 12. Both encourage a missional lifestyle. Helping these young ladies Be Light as they recognize needs in their communities, in our state, and around our world is a priority—as is strengthening their confidence and communication skills.
These leadership development programs encourage finding a mission to support, educating others about the mission, sharing at age-level conferences, and raising funds or collecting resources to meet these needs. The State Panelists also help develop the “SHINE” annual conference for teen girls. The quality of tomorrow’s leaders is directly related to today’s investments. Supporting the Alma Hunt offering supports these high-potential young women.
Through the Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions, WMUV had the pleasure of awarding over $11,000 in grants across Virginia in 2021. Churches from the Northern Neck to Northern Virginia to Southwest Virginia received funding to help with literacy, home repair, and feeding ministries.
Columbia Baptist Church, Bailey’s Crossroads, provides food staples, fresh produce, and builds relationships with over 200 families every Saturday through their Spend Yourself® Food Pantry and Gardens. Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Richmond, serves with the Gilpin Court/Jackson Ward Community. Jovonni Armstead-Tucker shares: “God has provided a space for us to teach self-sufficiency and resilience through gardening. But it’s so much bigger than growing produce and herbs and flowers. It’s about teaching historically underserved communities how to think outside the box—about teaching that you can thrive and grow, regardless of where your circumstances land you.” Along with this endeavor, Carmel Empowerment Community Garden plans to add a literacy program to their work this year through a mobile literacy unit and a freestanding library at the garden. These are two of the 11 churches you helped to Be Light in their communities. By working together, we see God’s hand in all that God has planted!