Posted: 11/23/17 at 9:00m.
More than 175 Virginia Baptists gathered at First Baptist Church, Waynesboro (FBCW) last month for Mission Matters in the Valley, the second Mission Matters of 2017 and the third such event hosted by the BGAV Mission Development Staff.
At the one-day training event, approximately 125 attendees were certified in Disaster Response, while more than 50 other attendees attended breakout sessions on school partnerships, construction outreach, community transformation, prison ministry, and partnership mission opportunities in Haiti and Standing Rock.
In addition, 12 different faith-based nonprofits participated in the event’s ministry fair. Virginia Baptists fellowshipped and networked in the courtyard, drawing encouragement to put their faith in action from the opportunities presented and from one another. Leaders from the Southwest Virginia Partnership, GraceInside, and Love INC also participated in a lunchtime panel discussion about their work in the community and specific ways that congregations can get involved.
Committed representatives from the Augusta, Shenandoah, and Natural Bridge associations, assembled by Skip Wallace, Field Strategist for the Valley Region, helped to plan, promote, and support Mission Matters in the Valley. The team ensured that the event would be grounded in the interests of local congregations, as well as open to the broader faith community.
Jan Johnson, Southwest Virginia Partnership missionary, shared her own vocational journey, while a praise team from Harrisonburg Baptist Church guided attendees in a time of worship and prayer. Attendees were asked to identify “one step I will take toward where God is calling me,” with direction from Mark 3:14, Matthew 28:19, and Acts 1:8 and a theme of “Being, Going, and Making.”
For a few attendees, that first step came the very next day, when eight freshly trained Disaster Response volunteers headed to help with Hurricane Harvey clean up in Liberty, Texas. The Mission Development Staff prays that other Mission Matters attendees are similarly finding ways to respond to where God is calling them.
Photo credits: John Leeth, First Baptist Waynesboro member
For information on missions training and opportunities in 2018, contact the Mission Development Staff!