JEFFERSON CITY — A total of 877 girls and leaders, representing 74 churches, attended the eight 2012 Girls in Action (GA) retreats held at various associational camps around Missouri. There were 11 salvation decisions.
Girls learned about searching for God and that God is waiting for them to come to Him, using a safari theme with the theme verse being, “You will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut. 4:29b) Missionaries who represented service in Africa were highlighted, fitting the safari theme. Girls also heard from someone who experienced a short-term mission trip to Africa, learning that we can take part in missions away from home, even if God does not call us to be career missionaries.
General meetings included music, missionary interviews, and skit segments about a girl “searching” for God. Girls and leaders were recognized, and there was a ceremony for those who will graduate out of their level after this year. A representative from an emergency organization accepted stuffed animals that girls brought from home. A total of 775 stuffed animals were donated to comfort children who are in a crisis situation. After learning about the Cooperative Program (CP) through a skit, an offering was taken to be given to CP.
During breakout conferences, girls rotated through small group activities related to the WMU objectives: Pray for Missions, Engage in Mission Action and Witnessing, Learn About Missions, Support Missions, Develop Spiritually Toward a Missions Lifestyle, and Participate in the Work of the Church and Denomination.
Girls searched for large animal posters during the Safari Prayer Walk. They learned facts about each animal which would remind them to pray for specific needs of our missionaries, such as health, communication, clean drinking water, safety, “feeding” on God’s Word, and adapting to a culture. They prayed for one of our Missouri missionaries by name at each stop.
During the witness conference, girls made two rock necklaces, one to keep and one to share. They learned how to use it as a tool to witness to their friends. As they heard the plan of salvation, they learned that God is our ‘rock’ and is always with us when we have difficulties and problems.
The Bible Study conference focused on the story of Daniel. Each girl made a lion bookmark to remind them that we, too, can live like a missionary wherever God has put us.
Other conferences included more time with the missionaries, taking part in games from Africa, and a Hands-On conference which included activity choices like making a bank to save for missions offerings and writing letters to missionaries.
Each year GA Retreats include an artwork contest. Abby Rinker from Living Water Fellowship in Mt. Vernon drew the picture that was used on the 2012 GA Retreat t-shirt. Kayla Moore from Durham Baptist Church designed the program cover. Banner drawings were made by Hannah Slovensky from Hopewell Baptist Church, Wellsville, and Sabrina Hill from First Baptist Church, Grandview. Brooke Lionberger from Hopewell Baptist drew the picture that was used for the GA Retreat bookmark.
Plans are underway for next year’s retreat where the theme will be “Happy Birthday GA: 100 Years of Missions!” You do not have to be a GA to attend. Girls in grades 1-6 are invited.