The National Woman’s Missionary Union executive board set the next missions offering goals and heard a challenge from executive director Sandy Wisdom-Martin during day two of the group’s Jan. 7–9 January Board Meeting.
The 2023 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions goal was approved for $200 million, up from $196 million in 2022.
The 2024 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions will be $75 million, up from the current $70 million for 2023.
Serving within the ‘tension’
Sharing a word of encouragement to the state WMU leaders who make up the executive board, Wisdom-Martin compared a life lived in service to the Lord to the intricacies of a piano.
First, a piano has 10,000 moving parts — all playing in concert for an audience of one — “just like us,” she said.
“Whatever we do with our 10,000 moving parts, may we do it unto the Lord and with excellence,” she noted, pointing to Colossians 3:23–24.
Second, a standard piano has 230 strings and more than 18 tons of tension, she continued.
“Everyone who has served in WMU ministry has felt tension, I would dare to say great tension … but nothing is wasted in Kingdom economy.”
And while “the tension can change us … God can take the broken pieces and make something more beautiful. That gives me hope,” she said, noting James 1:2–4.
Third, a piano has a mechanism that moves the hammers back into position as soon as they hit the string. Otherwise, the sound would be muted, she explained.
“Each one of us has been created for God’s purpose,” she shared, pointing to Colossians 1:16. “Our sound may be dampened because we have not returned to the original position for which we were designed.
“What could we accomplish if we prayed more, aligned our will to God’s will every single day? … We need to let tension have its full effect in our lives. … Please do not be satisfied with muted tones here and there when you were meant to reverberate through all eternity.”
The group also heard from a variety of speakers throughout the day, including North American and international missionaries, WMU staff members showcasing various areas of work and David George of the WMU Foundation, who made a special surprise presentation to retired missionary and author Rosalie Hunt (read story here).
Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, shared with the group during a lunch presentation, and Todd Lafferty, executive vice president of the International Mission Board, closed out the day with a dinner presentation.
Author Julie Busler, who serves as WMU president in Oklahoma, also shared about her book “Joyful Sorrow,” and eight breakout sessions around the reset, reimagine and reinvigorate topics were available during the afternoon.
The day kicked off with a worship service featuring Willie McLaurin, interim president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, as guest preacher.
To read about the first day’s activities, click here.