There has been a multitude of mission activities going on around the county this week. MissionsCAROLINA is a ministry of the N.C. Women’s Missionary Union that provides various projects for individuals and families to go and do missions in North Carolina. The ministry projects range from Vacation Bible School to wheelchair ramps/handyman projects, nursing home ministry, prayer walking, prison ministry, etc. The ministry provides a great opportunity to serve Jesus Christ by serving others.
At the invitation of the Eastern Baptist Association, the N.C. WMU agreed to bring MissionsCAROLINA to the county.
Donna Landes, Church and Community Ministries director for the EBA, served as coordinator for the local portion of the week’s ministry. Teams came from around the area as well as churches from the Eastern Baptist Association and the New South River Baptist Association. The teams were from Lumberton, the Mingo community, Angier, Cary, Chapel Hill, Kinston, Hog Swamp and Lillington. The EBA churches provided meals for the group of around 65 people who worked to accomplish many and varied mission projects throughout the week.
“We are thankful that Grove Park Baptist agreed to be the host church so the teams would have a hub to work from each day and for meals for the three days of the ministry,” shared Landes.
Cheryl Cruickshank and Linda Kreiter, both volunteers with the N.C. WMU, did the publicity, planning and coordination for MissionsCAROLINA. They have done this for the last four years.
“Last year we worked in Avery County conducting MissionsCAROLINA. This program was based on the national WMU’s model called MissionsFEST and FamilyFEST. It is open to everyone and targets the family to come together and do mission work. It is truly a great way to introduce children to what missions are all about,” shared Cruickshank.
“Because we had been involved in missions for so long when we worked at the WMU state office, we were asked to volunteer with MissionsCAROLINA. We assist associations with the planning and publicity from the state office to hold these ministry opportunities once a year,” expressed Kreiter.
Tammy Weeks, EBA WMU director, helped to coordinate with Landes the local operations of MissionsCAROLINA.
“It has been a very awesome week. These people who have come together to do God’s work have truly been a blessings and they have worked, fellowshipped and worshiped together with themselves and others throughout Sampson County. It is amazing to see all that has been done this week,” remarked Weeks.
Landes,too, shared how humbling the week has been.
“This ministry has simply been tremendous. It has brought not only WMU women to work, but so many men and young people and children have joined the efforts to make MissionsCAROLINA so successful. We have seen numerous blessings for ourselves and others as we have ministered to this week,” cited Landes.
Juanita Baldwin assisted with the sewing projects that were housed at Grove Park this week. Baldwin expressed her gratitude to Ann’s Sew-N-Vac for making this part of MissionsCAROLINA a reality.
“Ann provided machines, fabric and thread for many of the projects we completed this week. Her donations have greatly enhanced our ministry projects this week,” reported Baldwin.
The ladies made fleece blankets and cancer pillows for hospice; dolls for the pediatric center at Sampson Regional Medical Center, receiving blankets for His Blessing Pregnancy support program. The ladies also made health kits that will be distributed by places such as U Care, The Crisis Center and the EBA office in Warsaw for individuals who come in seeking assistance.
During the week, volunteers were able to visit the nursing homes and conduct Vacation Bible Schools at those facilities as at other locations throughout the county, as well as the Adult Day Care Center. Volunteers also built five wheelchair ramps, cleaned yards and helped agencies, such as His Blessing and the Royal Home, clean and reorganize materials in the their centers.
One project done at U Care was to build a pergola for the victims of domestic violence. Landscaping was also done to provide greenery to cover the pergola as it grows to provide a comfortable place for the residents to rest.
“The out of town volunteers paid their own way to come here and serve. We did provide them meals and they stated they were not used to even getting that. I want to thank the churches that took part and helped provide meals for the many volunteers that came to help. It has just been an amazing week and I am so thankful to all those that came to help us serve others and spread the work and word of God,” remarked Landes.