WARREN WOODS, MI – Two years ago, Beth Hill, my daughter in law, and I took on the task of distributing promotional material to the Michigan churches for promoting the Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong and Frances Brown offerings. Our job is to compile materials, pack it, and do a mailing to any churches participating in these three offerings throughout the year. It’s our way of being a part of the promoting of these missions, as we both have gone out on missions in our state, our country and to foreign fields. We both truly know the importance of getting the gospel to the lost.
Our homes become a temporary distribution center to fill these orders for about two weeks, and it leaves us in a bit of out of our normal routine. So, when working on this past Annie Armstrong distribution, we had the “help” of Ezekiel, Lauren and Michael's little man, our grandson, and Selah, Nathan and Beth’s little one, our sweet little granddaughter. They are always busy and into things, so when they saw the mounds of materials, Ezekiel asked “Mimi? What is all of this stuff?” Hmmm… is 3 years old too young to tell about how the gospel needs to get out, and how do I explain it so he understands? I thought quickly about it, and when he picked up a prayer guide, I began to explain to him about Annie Armstrong.
Annie was born in Baltimore, Maryland, at a time when women weren’t able to do a lot in public. She wanted to do great things for Christ, so she began helping women pray together. She wanted churches to be built so more preachers could come and teach about Jesus. Then, she went on to be the first Executive for the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). “Zeke, that’s who Mimi and Auntie Beth work with too. We want others to hear about Jesus!”
So, as we glanced through the prayer guide, we noticed how there are church planters working to start churches in North America. I told him Mimi and Papa, Uncle Nathan and Auntie Beth went to Waterford to work with Seth and Taylor Springs, and now they have a church started.
Isn’t that great? “Yes!” So, look, see how Kirk and Karen Kirkland are going to Arkansas, and Dave and Mary Eliff are going to Ohio. And look, here are families that are trying to start churches for people who have moved to our country! Mojic and Munko Baldanorj are starting a church for people from Mongolia and The Santiago’s are working in Puerto Rico, where the hurricanes were so bad. Zeke looked up and said, “Those people need to hear that Jesus loves them.” I looked at Selah who was giving her “chomp” of approval on an envelope, grinning at her big cousin.
“MIMI! You still didn’t answer my question! Oh, I thought, what didn’t I explain? “What is your question?” “So, why are we putting these things in these boxes and envelopes?” Oh goodness, after talking to this poor little guy about missions, he still wanted to know why we had such a “mess” going and what we were doing. “Well, Zeke, these boxes are being filled with all the things we need to let people know of the offering we’re receiving for the Annie Armstrong special offering for the missions in North America.” These prayer guides, envelopes, posters and DVD’s go to the churches and they tell the church about the “Annie Armstrong” offering. Then, the church puts money in the offering for missions. “What do you think about that?”
He sat there a minute, looked at all the boxes and mailers we were about to send out. “Well, Mimi, I think we better get busy, so Annie’s not disappointed in us.” I had to laugh a little. “Zeke, Annie is with Jesus now, but I think Jesus would be very happy with what you’re doing to help share about Him!”, and with that we got busy, and Ezekiel and Selah became missionaries by filling boxes. Beth and I looked at both of them, and our hearts grew a bit bigger that day. And you know? That’s what it’s all about!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elaine Hill works as Administrative Assistant to both Motor Cities Metro Baptist Association and Warren Woods Baptist Church, where she and her family are active members. She has gone on mission trips throughout the United States, Russia and Jordan. She serves on the Executive Board of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan on the church strengthening team. Women's ministry is an important facet, as she serves as Vice President with the WMU. She also leads women's ministry through her church and the community. Elaine has been married to Dan for 44 years and they have a grown son and daughter, and spend lots of time with their two precious grandchildren.