SAN ANTONIO—Unión Femenil Misionera of Texas held its yearly reunion apart from the Hispanic Baptist Convention in San Antonio annual meeting for the first time. However, the focus remained the same—support for missions.
“We are doing more today than before. We are doing more missions than before,” UFM Executive Director-Treasurer Bea Mesquias said.
The group’s work is evident throughout the state, across the country and in other nations, she added.
Raise voices against injustice
Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Coordinator Anyra Cano invited UFM to be more involved in community ministry and act on issues that affect their communities.
In addition to praying, Christians must take action for liberation to happen, Cano insisted. When God places a concern in the hearts of his people, they should recognize it as a call to action.
“If the church just prays without taking action, then it is not effective,” Cano said. “Instead, praying should lead us to take action.”
Churches must pay attention when others suffer and stand up to defend them, she added.
“We have to look at God’s heart and realize we have been invited to raise our voices,” she said.
Letting the voices of marginalized people be heard is not taking a political stance, but it is standing against injustice, Cano said.
When Christians stand up against injustice, they are following biblical examples such as Moses, Esther, the daughters of Zelophehad and Jesus, she noted.
Whether in schools, influencing parents or teachers, or in businesses or government, there is a place for everyone in the church to speak up against injustice, she said.
Jesus sets the example for every Christian in Luke 4:18-19, when he said he came to set the oppressed free, Cano said.
In addition to seeking God’s guidance through prayer, Christians also have a responsibility to become informed and collaborate with others, Cano said.
God can do a lot with a little
Those who call upon God need to recognize God’s call on their lives to sacrificial service, said Yani de Gutiérrez from Iglesia Bautista Horeb in Mexico City.
“Those of us who follow God call to him when we are in need,” Gutiérrez said. “But God has also called us to give and to serve.”
All four Gospels present the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000, she noted. After the disciples had ministered in other towns, they found a multitude who demanded more of their time, she said. Since the 5,000 only accounts for the men in the crowd, the number of people probably was at least twice as large, she added.
Feeding a big number of people seemed impossible, but Jesus wanted the disciples to have compassion for these people and trust God would use them if they wanted to serve, she said.
“The disciples had not eaten, or had any rest, and yet the Lord wanted them to serve,” Gutiérrez explained. “And that is when the miracle happens, when they start serving.”
Jesus prayed first and then gave the food to the disciples. When the disciples went to give out the food, they found there was enough for everyone, she pointed out.
Even though feeding thousands of people with five loaves and two fish seemed impossible, Jesus showed people must only be willing to serve in order to see God do the impossible, she said.
“Though what we have to offer might be little, God turns that into a blessing,” Gutiérrez said, encouraging Texas UFM to continue to be faithful with the little they may have and see the miracles God will do.