WAYNESVILLE – Teenaged girls from all over Missouri gathered at the Pulaski Baptist Association Camp for a Missouri Acteens Retreat, Nov. 12-14.
More than 170 girls representing 22 churches took part in the semi-annual retreat, themed “Don’t Lean” and based on Proverbs 3:5-6.
Diane Miinch, Missouri Acteens specialist, said the weekend is designed to help the girls learn more about mission work, strengthen their walk with Christ and to provide a time of fellowship and fun.
“I want the girls to be more mission-mined,” Miinch said. “There are things out there they can be doing, such as witnessing in the classroom. We also want to make them aware that there are more Christian girls out there, because sometimes it may seem like they are the only ones out there. We want to make an impact on their lives and let them have fun.”
The event began on Friday evening with worship led by Fusion Band. The girls also heard from missionary speakers and had the opportunity to fellowship. They even spent time swimming, doing hair and nails, and taking part in art projects and face painting.
On Saturday morning the girls rotated around to different stations where they heard mission reports, spent time in prayer and even learned some new skills such as knitting.
During the afternoon they dispersed to several ministry sites in the area, including Good Samaritan in Waynesville and the Free Store in Lebanon.
Miinch said the girls spent time sorting donations and cleaning. Some visited and shared Christ with community members.
“A lot of our girls have training in witnessing,” Miinch said.
Kendra Bollinger, 17, of Jackson, said being an Acteen has helped prepare her for sharing Christ. She said the retreat has also opened her eyes and helped her grow closer to the Lord.
“I really like hearing the missionaries talk because it really helps me think about how I need to serve where I am right now,” Bollinger said. “I have learned you really need to be prepared to give your testimony wherever you go.”
Moriah Isringhausen, 16, of Jefferson City, said the retreat is something she really looks forward to.
“I love getting together with my Acteen sisters and just hanging out and learning about God. I really love the missionaries,” Isringhausen said.
She said the stories the missionary speakers share have helped her to learn trust God with each step.
“I am called to missions and want to do mission work in my life in some way, shape or form,” she said.
Derek Gean/contributing writer