When Beth Deichler and her 10-year-old daughter Noelle stopped in to visit a woman at Cross Road Retirement Community in Asheboro the woman was waiting on a call from her daughter.
The woman didn’t really have much to say.
But as the Deichlers talked with her and encouraged her, she opened up. She talked about her family and showed them photos of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The Deichlers spent a good part of their time at the retirement community visiting with residents and praying for them.
The retirement community served as a mission project site for first through fourth grade girls and their moms during the Embrace Mother Daughter Retreat Feb. 10-11.
Photo by Alexandra King
Third and fourth grade girls work on making valentines to share the love of Christ with those around the world. The girls were at a retreat with their moms at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro.
The retreat was held at Caraway Conference Center, but Saturday morning participants went out into the community to serve and share the gospel.
At the retirement home, girls helped with cleaning projects inside and outside the facility.
They played games with residents, and they took time to just listen. The fifth and sixth grade girls and their moms spent Saturday morning serving at a local food bank.
At both sites the girls were encouraged to share their faith.
“If we know Jesus, we are to tell His name,” said Ashley Allen, director of Embrace Women’s Missions and Ministries. “That’s what missions is. We are supposed to go and tell others about Him.”
Through the mission projects and breakout sessions, this year’s retreat focused on the theme “God’s Heart.”
It also focused on teaching children and parents that God desires for all believers to share the gospel with people where they live and around the world.
“God lets us be part of sharing His name among the nations,” Allen said.
A Skype call during the Friday evening session with missionaries Mark and Melissa Hobson gave the girls an opportunity to understand that no matter their age, or where they live, they can be missionaries by telling others about Jesus.
The Hobsons and their daughters Olivia, 9, and Claire, 7, serve in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s a city where 13.5 million people do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Olivia shared how she has learned to try and build trust with people she meets, and Claire often invites friends to church.
“Everything we do is based on relationships and earning the right to share,” Melissa said.
“You never know how God wants to use you in someone’s life.”
Although they live overseas and serve as missionaries, the Hobsons are still intentional in teaching their daughters about God and how to share their faith.
During the retreat Deichler said she was encouraged to see her home as a mission field.
“Our mission starts at home. As a parent, I have to treat it as such and ask for God’s wisdom and discernment,” she said.
Deichler also appreciated that the retreat allowed her to spend some quality time with her daughter; something that can be hard to come by with two other children at home.
Evette Orcutt, children’s minister at Central Baptist Church in Wendell, led the breakout sessions for third and fourth graders.
From local outreach at Baptist Children’s Homes to helping lead sports camps in Pennsylvania, missions is a priority in Orcutt’s family. She has taught her two sons that God’s heart is for missions.
“My goal is to get children on the mission field,” she said. “They develop a love for other people and meet people who don’t know anything about the gospel.”
Orcutt said she has seen God use children for His purposes when parents are intentional about planning family mission trips.
“They will develop relationships with other children that we (as adults) can’t,” she said.
Orcutt encouraged parents to model for their children a missions lifestyle.
“If they see their parents boldly witnessing, they will feel empowered to do it as well,” she said.
Courtney Veasey, breakout session leader for fifth and sixth grade girls and former girls ministry associate at First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., is a frequent speaker at Embrace ministry events.
One reason Veasey said she enjoys serving in girls ministry is because her mom died when she was 14 years old, and she views this as an opportunity for her to encourage moms and daughters to be thankful to the Lord for each other.
“I didn’t know my mom wasn’t going to be there,” Veasey said. “This is a blessed time these moms have with their daughters.”
During the retreat Veasey talked with girls about what it means to have “beautiful feet,” as described in Romans 10:15. Her desire is to help girls learn – from a young age – that they should pursue God’s Kingdom first.
The only thing worth living for is God’s glory, she said.
“If you sell out to anything else in this world it will burn you in the end,” she said. “God’s love is real. I want these girls to hear that in a passionate, bold way.”
To learn more about upcoming Embrace events visit embracenc.org.