By Dawn Zurmiller
CLINTON – Girls in Action (GA) is a comprehensive missions education program for girls in grades 1-6. Their purpose is to encourage participants to grow in knowledge, understanding, and application of the Bible.
These young ladies take a pledge to live a missions lifestyle that honors God. Here at Northeast Baptist Church, the GA group took this pledge, as well as their motto to “Go Forward,” seriously when they decided to build and sell birdhouses.
The $426 earned was then donated to Missouri Baptist Builders, an organization comprised of volunteer men and women working together to build Southern Baptist churches across the state. These services provide churches a substantial savings of as much as 30 to 40 percent of construction cost.
Leighton Clemons, state coordinator for Baptist Builders, expressed his excitement for the GA gift.
“What an impact this made on me when I was told that some GA girls cared enough about missions that they took on a project to build birdhouses to sell and give the money to Missouri Baptist Builders,” he said.
Clemons said this is not the first interaction Baptist Builders has had with the GA organization. Last year they were asked to share how they build churches at GA Camp Conferences across the state. The theme of the conference was “Extreme Makeover,” and Baptist Builders demonstrated how to use various construction tools.
“Now it seems that some of the girls have taken what they learned in conferences and put it into practical use to give to missions,” Clemons said. “This is what the Cooperative Program is all about—the girls working together, using their individual skills to raise money to put into funding missions here in our state.”
Shannon McQueen, who leads the Northeast Baptist GA’s, talked about how the birdhouse venture came about.
“This was our project for Children’s Ministry Day,” she said. “This year’s theme was ‘Home Team.’ I prayed and God brought the Baptist Builders to mind, the thought being that they help to build church homes. The birdhouses tied into the ‘Home Team’ theme. Matthew 6:26 came to mind, ‘Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’”
The GA girls completed 18 houses. However, after the Royal Ambassador (RA) boys donated some birdhouses they built and painted last year, a total of 24 houses were auctioned off at a soup lunch. The proceeds from the auction were donated to Baptist Builders, and the soup proceeds were given to Samaritan’s Purse to help with that organization’s efforts in Haiti.
McQueen hopes that through missions the girls will develop a heart of service for others, and that they will see others through the eyes of Jesus.
“We felt truly blessed through our efforts,” McQueen said. “We feel it is our privilege to share the Gospel of Jesus and learn about missions.”
Indeed, these young girls could serve as a challenge to all of us to get involved and make a difference.
“This is such a great example of how we can use the gifts that God gives us to serve Him,” Clemons said. “There are many people out there that could look at what these girls have done and follow their example to find a way to serve in missions.”