Kiara Curry and Haley Harrison, both of University Hills Baptist Church in Charlotte, are two of six Acteens selected by national Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) to serve on the 2015 National Acteens Panel. These girls were selected based on their commitment to missions and participation and leadership in their Acteens group, church, school, and community.
Curry and Harrison will serve on the panel along with Grace-Ann Combs of First Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas; Victoria Hernandez of Freeman Heights Baptist Church, Garland, Texas; Ashley Johns of Tallowood Baptist Church, Katy, Texas; and Hydiatu Konneh of Fern Creek Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.
Acteens is WMU’s missions organization for girls in grades 7–12. Through Acteens, girls grow in their relationship with God and each other as they learn about and participate in missions, develop leadership skills, and live a missional lifestyle.
“In reading this year’s applications for the National Acteens Panel, I was moved by the understanding these young women have of the value of Acteens and ongoing missions education,” reflected Suzanne Reece, national WMU’s ministry consultant for students.
“They recognize the importance of learning about missions, praying for missions, and being involved in hands-on missions experiences. They also see how Acteens prepares them to live as missional disciples in the world every day.”
In her application, Curry wrote, “Missions brings me joy, gives me a chance to impact others, serve Christ, and learn to be flexible and less self-centered. Each time I go on a missions trip, God shows me something different about myself that I didn’t know before.
“Helping others and doing missions is one of my favorite ways of worshipping. It gives me pure joy to know that I’m learning and growing in my faith while I’m serving Christ.
“The value of Acteens is something not often found in teenage culture and something I feel is irreplaceable,” she continued.
“Acteens gives teenage girls the opportunity to grow in their faith and to understand the importance of Christ in their lives. We learn speaking skills, leadership abilities and how to carry ourselves at all times. Acteens has shaped me into the young woman I am today and continues to shape me and mold me into the woman God wants me to be.”
Harrison wrote, “Acteens teaches girls about missions and gives them opportunities so they can go into the world and show an example of Jesus. I have learned about the needs of unreached international people as well as rural and city life here in America.
“I believe all churches should have Acteens,” Harrison continued, “because Acteens do more than just go to church regularly or have a meeting. Acteens strengthens your relationship with Christ and trains you to use your gifts. God has used Acteens to change my life.”
Julie Keith, youth specialist for North Carolina WMU, recommended both girls for the national panel. Keith said, “Kiara strives to be inclusive in all she does and is great at making people feel welcomed and loved. She has a heart to serve and to love others like Christ loves. Haley is truly a servant leader with an incredible ability to lead and encourage others. She shares Christ very naturally and in doing so she spreads God’s love in such a beautiful way.”
Curry, who is a student at Vance High School in Charlotte, and Harrison, a student at Crossway Christian Academy in Charlotte, are serving on the N.C. Acteens Advisory Panel for 2014-2015 with Leeann Easley, a student at St. Paul’s High School in St. Paul’s and member of Great Marsh Church in St. Paul’s; and Ashton Stepanek, a student at Reborn Christian Academy in Kannapolis and member of Jackson Park Baptist Church in Kannapolis.
The National Acteens Panelists, who serve from Feb. 1 to Dec. 31, each receive $1,000 from the Jessica Powell Loftis Scholarship for Acteens from the WMU Foundation. These National Panelists will be featured during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, June 14-15, where they will also have opportunities to meet national and international missionaries and interact with missions leaders from across the country. They will also write articles for The Mag, the Acteens missions magazine, and for the Acteens website, wmu.com/acteens.
Churches, associations, and/or state Acteens and WMU groups may request the Acteens Panelists to speak to their group. Applications for the 2016 National Acteens Panel are due to national WMU by Nov. 1, 2015, and will be available in the fall issue of Acteens Leader. For more information on Acteens, visit wmu.com/acteens.