Women urged to chase God’s heart

Kansas-Nebraska women were challenged to follow the example of Hebrews 12:1, throw off sin and focus on Jesus in running the Christian race.

About 500 women gathered Sept. 13-14 at Webster Conference Center for Wonderful Weekend for Women. The retreat theme was “Chasing after the Heart of God.”

“It is hard to throw off the sin that so easily entangles us,” said Jennie Allen, the featured speaker. “[But] it is worth it because of the Person our eyes are fixed upon.”

Allen is a Bible teacher and author from Austin, Texas. She recently released two DVD Bible studies entitled “Stuck” and “Chase,” as well as her first trade book, “Anything.” Visit her Web site

WWW participants were challenged to focus and take action on hard issues in today’s society. In recent years the retreat has focused on human exploitation. It takes many forms including sex trafficking, labor trafficking and pornography. WWW 2013 focused on battling pornography.

An initiative called “Join One Million Men” was launched at the 2013 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Houston. “Join One Million Men” calls on Christian men to shun pornography and commit themselves to sexual purity. Women were challenged to start a prayer movement in support of “One Million Men.”

The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Woman’s Missionary Union-SBC jointly sponsored the initiative along with Jay Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla.

Mari Parker, KNCSB director of women’s ministry, shared statistics about the crippling effects of pornography in today’s society.

She urged WWW participants to be a part of the prayer movement battling pornography. The women received a booklet called “Our Hardcore Battle Plan: 1 Million Women Praying,” published by New Hope Publishers, a division of WMU-SBC.

Other resources from New Hope Publishers in the fight against pornography are:

  • The book “Our Hardcore Battle Plan: Joining in the War against Pornography” by Jay Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla.
  • The companion volume for wives, “Our Hardcore Battle Plan for Wives: Winning in the War against Pornography” by Dennis and Cathy Dyer.

WWW participants continued to take action to fight other forms of human exploitation.

This year the conference tote bags were again purchased from Freeset Global, a fair-trade organization that employs women who were trapped in the sex trade in India. WWW participants had the opportunity to buy more tote bags to take home with them.

In other activity, Life session offered WWW participants the opportunity to grow in Christ and get involved in missions.

During one of the Life Sessions, Melissa Busby shared her family’s story of international adoption. She is pastor’s wife at First Baptist Church, Mulvane, Kan.

The Busby family adopted Mercy, an orphan from Uganda, three years ago. Melissa was in Uganda for 11 months, waiting for the adoption to be finalized.

Busby shared how her life was changed forever on June 20, 2009, when she held the three-week-old Mercy in her arms for the first time. Mercy’s mother had died in childbirth with no medical care.

God told Busby, “This is your daughter.”

While she was in Uganda going through the long process of adopting Mercy, Busby learned more about the extreme lack of medical care for women giving birth in the country. At least 15 women die in childbirth every day in Uganda. That is 40 times the rate in the United States.

So Busby found a new calling: “to help prevent more orphans.” She launched a ministry called “Mercy for Mamas” that provides medical kits for women giving birth in Uganda.

Each kit costs $7, and supplies are purchased in Uganda. Learn more on the Mercy for Mamas Web site

Women also were urged to start planning now to attend WWW 2014. It will be held Sept. 12-13 at Webster Conference Center, Salina, Kan. Author and speaker Angie Smith will be the featured speaker. Visit her Web site

Information about WWW 2014 will be posted on the KNCSB Women’s Leadership Web site