BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Three of the four teens named to Woman’s Missionary Union’s 2016 National Acteens Panel are from Texas.
The panel is composed of teen girls who exemplify a missions lifestyle, demonstrate leadership in their Acteens group and excel in their school and community. Acteens is a church-based Baptist missions program for girls in grades 7 to 12.
Hannah Hutton of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, Jemima Louis of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and Ana Sandoval of Freeman Heights Baptist Church in Garland—along with Sarah Golden of Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Pike Road, Ala.—were chosen from a competitive pool of applicants for their outstanding character and commitment to missions.
“Acteens truly opens your eyes to see that missions is all around us, all around the globe, not just happening in Texas,” Sandoval said. “It continues to show me what my responsibilities as a Christian are and how I can be doing that at my age.”
All three Texans have been involved in Acteens for six years and have missions experience both locally and outside the state.
“Our Acteens group learned about the persecuted church in Nepal,” Hutton said. “We had a visit from a pastor of a local Nepalese congregation of refugees and then visited their church. What amazes me about Acteens is the opportunity to engage with other cultures.”
Serving with Acteens not only has broadened her worldview, but also strengthened her character as she looks ahead to college, Louis said.
“Missions has shaped me into the individual God wants me to be,” she explained. “I have been taught the importance of integrity, servitude and the attitude towards each situation I face in my daily encounters.”
The panelists will be featured during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in St. Louis, June 12-13. They will meet national and international missionaries and interact with missions leaders from across the country. The girls also may be invited to share their experiences through speaking engagements at church, associational and state Acteens and WMU meetings and events.
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“We are thrilled to have these gifted young women as ambassadors for Acteens, because the call to make disciples amongst their generation is so great,” said Kym Mitchell, Student Resource Team leader for national WMU. “We know this panel will influence young women across the country as the Lord shapes them into the next generation of leaders.”
Hutton considers the opportunity to be a missions influencer one of the biggest blessings of her life.
“Acteens has given me amazing opportunities to serve God and others,” she said. “As a National Panelist, I will be able to encourage other churches to start an Acteens group to get teenage girls involved in learning about other cultures and organizing missions projects.”
The panelists also will write articles for The Mag, the Acteens mission magazine, and the Acteens website, wmu.com/acteens. They will serve through Dec. 31 and each receive $1,000 from the Jessica Powell Loftis Scholarship for Acteens from the WMU Foundation.
Applications for the 2017 National Acteens Panel are available by clicking here. and in the fall issue of Acteens Leader. All applications must be submitted to National WMU by Nov. 1.