Woman's Missionary Union (WMU)
Woman's Missionary Union of North Carolina is a missions organization whose purpose is to challenge, prepare and equip Christian believers to be radically involved in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
A statement on our responsibility to serve those who suffer PTSD
by Margaret Harding, WMU NC Adult Specialist
When I first heard that the next critical issue for WMU would be Project HELP: PTSD, I immediately thought about our military since that is where I first heard the word PTSD. The trauma of war or a war injury not only affects that military person but also his or her family. Being deployed creates tremendous anxiety for them and their families. We are so grateful to the men and women who serve our country and often put themselves in danger for you and me and for the freedoms we enjoy in America. We need to thank them, thank God and ask for His protection over them every single day! I have also learned that PTSD goes beyond our military! One resource I have studied defines PTSD as "an anxiety disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event". These events may be "military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood". (Jessica Hamblem, "What is PTSD? A handout from the National Center for PTSD." For more information see ptsd.va.gov).
We acknowledge that there is suffering in the world. From the beginning, we have been given responsibility and accountability to the laws of God. When Adam and Eve violated that order, suffering was born. The nature of humanity was changed. In scripture we read of the promise of restoration in Isaiah 12 and 53. In chapter 53, he describes the model of the suffering servant who would atone for the sins of the people. Through the incarnation, the resurrection, and the glorification of Christ, God fulfilled promises made throughout the Old Testament. However, knowing Christ does not exempt us from all the consequences of a fallen world. Throughout the ministry of Jesus we hear a constant theme. We are called to be His children and to love God with our whole hearts and to love others as ourselves (see Matthew 22:37-39; John 15:12; Galatians 6:2, 10). We are called to wait with those who are broken while God puts the pieces back together again (Info from Drawing Near Resource Kit). God does fulfill His promises. He does provide strength. Nothing can keep us from the love of God. If we accept His love and receive His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, he becomes our shield in the facing of life's battles, but no one is immune from suffering.
Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. However, the risk is present if the person witnessed the event or was a victim; the person suffered a serious injury during the trauma; the trauma was long-lasting or very severe; the person saw himself or someone else being in danger; or the person felt helpless and unable to help himself or someone else. PTSD is no respector of persons. The lasting conquences of trauma can affect people of all ages and in varied situations, which was evidenced in our last Project HELP emphasis on Human Exploitation. If you've hesitated to learn or get involved with Project HELP: PTSD by saying "oh there are no military around me so this issue is not relevant for where I live" then may I ask you to "pray and think again"?
The church should be a loving and supporting community who cares. If we say we want to serve our country and protect our faith we MUST respond to PTSD in whatever form that takes. We hear too often about school shootings, domestic violence, abductions and on and on we could go. It's time to focus attention on helping those in need, on protecting and preserving, and demonstrating by action the faith we have as Christians.
May I offer these steps:
- Educate - yourself and your church. How? Purchase the "Drawing Near" Resource Kit. Included is not only education on what PTSD is but also a Bible study, a Prayer Plan, and Mission Projects and Resources. (This kit can be purchased for $9.99 + shipping cost at www.wmustore.com or by calling 1-800-968-7301.)
- Pray - for God to give you wisdom and lead your church into specific actions that you can do to minister to victims and families of PTSD. Remember you are not a professional counselor, but there are things you can do to help the families of a PTSD victim. Maybe it is something as simple as keeping the children so the parents can go to counseling or preparing a meal for the family or taking the spouse of a soldier out to dinner or other similar acts of support.
- Bible Study - study the scripture of people in the Bible that experienced trauma in their lives....remember those who were lost in the floods of Noah's day, Hebrew mothers whose male babies were killed, wilderness wanderings, the stories of Job, Jeremiah, and Paul to name a few. Then look at the model of the ministry of Jesus. That should call any Christian to action!
- Mission Projects - After education, prayer and Bible Study, the natural result is "action". What can I do? In the "Drawing Near" Resource Kit, there are missions project ideas for adults, students, children and preschoolers. For adults: contact domestic violence shelters for needs such as ongoing supplies, provide meals, and volunteer. The same opportunities could be available at crisis pregnancy centers or homeless shelters. For students: consider resource kits for teens in schools that could be given to guidance counselors for use as they counsel students in private situations, or providing a bag of items (approved by the military base) for military personnel returning home from deployments. For children: collect stuffed animals for law enforcement officers as they deal with accident victims or other occasions where they might be called to the home to remove a child, assemble hospital care packages for children, or host an associational end of school bash for foster children and families. For preschoolers: collect items for disaster victims, collect stuffed animals for police officers to give to children as they are on duty, make cookies for first responders, etc. An excellent resource for preschoolers and young children is the book "Sometimes I Am Afraid" (W148103)
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
Matthew 25:45 (NIV)
May we be found faithful!
(Article taken from the Winter 2014/2015 edition of Tarheel Talk)
Great News! Online Training Courses have been updated to coordinate with the New Guides.
You can access training for:
♦Girls in Action
♦Children in Action
♦Youth on Mission
♦Women on Mission
♦Adults on Mission
♦Blending Women on Mission and Women's Ministry
Go to www.wmunc.org and select Learning from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Online Training is one of the options and then you can register for and complete the course(s) of your choice. Questions, contact email@example.com.
WMU NC partners with and supports many other Christian organizations and entities including:
- National WMU
- International Mission Board
- North American Mission Board
- NC Baptist Men
- Southern Baptist Convention
- Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
- Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
- Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina
- Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina
- Baptist Retirement Home of North Carolina
- North American Baptist Women's Union
- Baptist World Alliance Women's Department
- Fellowship of Baptist Educators
- Siloam Missionary Homes
- Campbell University/Campell University Divinity School
- Wingate University
- Habitat for Humanity
The missions & ministries of WMU NC include...
- Restorative Justice (prison) Ministry
- Camp Angel Tree
- NC Baptist Nursing Fellowship
- Camp Mundo Vista
- Minister's Spouses Support
- Military Ministry
- Multicultural Ministries
- Missions Training and Mission Leader Training
- NC Christian Women's Job Corps/Christian Men's Job Corps
- Missions Partnerships
- Missions Organization Start Up
- Missions Organization Support - our staff and Resource Team are available to coach, train and encourage churches, leaders and individuals interested in doing missions through any of our organizations or blending our material with other activities or groups' materials.
- Promotion of Missions Awareness - we promote missions awareness through our organizations, events, partnerships, publications and website as well as WMU curriculum and other materials; our staff, Resource Team and others also frequently speak at church, association and other events.
- Missionary Start Up - a monetary gift is given to each NC native missionary entering into full-time service with the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board or Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions.
- Short-term Missions Volunteers - financial assistance is provided, as funds allow, to those who feel called to serve Christ through short-term mission trips.
And much, much more!
WMU CORE VALUES
We believe that Jesus Christ, Son of God, gave His life a sacrifice for the salvation of all people of the world, fulfilling God's plan for the ages as revealed in the Bible, God's Holy Word.
We embrace the strategic role of prayer and giving for missionaries and missions needs.
We recognize the role of family in discipleship and missions development.
We recognize the giftedness of women and girls and accept the responsibility to help them use their gifts in serving Christ.
We accept the responsibility for nuturing preschoolers, children, youth and adults in missions.
We accept the responsibility for developing and equipping missions leaders.
We accept the biblical mandate to respond to human need with actions modeled by Jesus Christ and with the message of God's redemptive plan.
We partner with other Great Commission Christians to lead a lost world to Christ.
We uphold the foundational principles of the priesthood of every believer and the autonomy and uniqueness of each local church in carrying out the Great Commission.
WMU AREAS OF MISSIONS FOCUS
Learn About Missions
Pray for Missions
Engage in Mission Action and Witnessing
Develop Spiritually Toward a Missions Lifestyle
Participate in the Work of the Church and Denomination
ASSOCIATIONAL WMU OBJECTIVES
Develop and strengthen WMU in all congregations
Nuture a missions environment in the churches and association
Equip churches to provide missions awareness and involvement
Provide and participate in associational mission activities and projects
The websites of WMU NC and national WMU have helpful information for leaders and members of WMU.
Specific Information for North Carolina
- Calendar of events
- Registration form and information on upcoming events
- Poverty simulation
- Habitat for Humanity Women Build
- Training Events
- Missions Extravaganza
- Summer Camp at Camp Mundo Vista
- Registration forms
- Health forms
- Instructions for parents
- Directions to camp
- Online order forms
- Lottie Moon Christmas Offering materials
- Annie Armstrong Easter Offering materials
- Heck-Jones Offering materials
- Free Materials
- Member's Connection
- Intended to connect members through prayer, mentoring, encouragement, idea sharing and partnerships
- Prayer requests, question and answer forums
- Opportunity banks for mission projects and events
Provides Information Specifically Related to National WMU
- Missions leader resource information
- WMU logos, age-level logos, clip art
- Bulletin board ideas
- Ideas for celebrating WMU history in your church
- Free downloads
- Dramas and monologues
- White Bible ceremonies
- WMU Promotional videos
- WMU News
- National leadership training opportunities
- Volunteer connection