Texas UFM continues stepping out in faith

Bea Mesquias (left), executive director/treasurer of Unión Femenil Misionera of Texas, introduces Gloria Zapata of Runge as the first president of Unión Femenil Misionera de las Américas. (Photo courtesy of Texas UFM)

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LUBBOCK—With “Steppin’ Out in Faith” as their theme, members of  Unión Femenil Misionera of Texas met in Lubbock to celebrate God’s blessings and hear reports on new initiatives that demand continued faith—including the launch of Unión Femenil Misionera de las Américas.

UFM leaders presented several projects, some of which explore new areas and others that continue work others started long ago.

Bea Mesquias, executive director/treasurer, reported on ways Texas UFM has connected with and helped guide UFMs in other states. Last year, Mesquias announced an ongoing project with other states to start a national UFM.

UFMs in California, Florida, Lousiana, New York and New Jersey joined the effort.

Along with Texas UFM, those groups have formed UFM de las Américas, which will also work with UFMs in Latin America, Mesquias said. Gloria Zapata of Texas UFM will serve as president of UFM de las Américas, which plans to meet in May and continue laying its groundwork.

“We’re glad of where God is leading us to do things and where he’s opening doors,” Mesquias said.

New publication launched

One of those new opportunities builds on a foundation laid nearly seven decades ago, when Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas began publishing Nuestra Tarea under the direction of Doris Diaz, Mesquias noted. When Diaz went to work at national WMU, the Spanish-language missions publication also transitioned nationwide.

Bautista Mexicano also granted Texas UFM a platform to report its work. But eventually, Bautista Mexicano ceased publication. Spanish-language articles published in Missions Mosaic of WMU were just translations of the same articles written in English, Mesquias said.

When Mesquias suggested starting a publication uniquely for UFM, it sparked interest among many other Hispanic Baptist women, she said. In deciding on a name for the publication, Mesquias thought it fitting to call it Nuestro Tiempo—Our Time.

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Myriam Chairez was elected president of Unión Femenil Misionera of Texas. (Photo courtesy of Texas UFM)

“It is our time to stand up, proclaim the Good News, pray for missions, do missions and give to missions,” Mesquias said. “So, we knew it was our time, because everything has come together.”

The first quarterly issue of Nuestro Tiempo includes stories of missionaries and provides ideas about how others can serve in missions. The magazine also addresses mental health issues, which Mesquias said tend to be ignored in many Hispanic families.

As Mesquias and other UFM leaders interact with churches across the state, they want to learn about other issues Hispanic Baptists deal with and hope to address those issues in the magazine.

At the annual meeting, Texas UFM also elected as officers Myriam Chairez of Harlingen as president, Ana Ramos of Houston as first vice president, Maxi Portales of Fort Worth as second vice president and Melida Musquiz of Houston as secretary.


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