Five years ago, Alabama WMU and the State Board of Missions began partnering with the Mississippi River Ministry to provide Christmas Backpacks for children and teens in need. Each backpack is child-focused, Christ-centered and church-connected, with local churches in the area leading the distribution efforts in their location. Alabama is partnered with ministry sites primarily in the Mississippi River Delta area.
Last year, Southside Baptist Church in Andalusia set a very aggressive goal: 100 backpacks. They were partnered with a local church in Mississippi and were set to be on hand for the distribution party. But before they could party, their small church had big work to do.
The whole church got involved—Women on Mission, RA’s, GA’s, Mission Friends, youth group and adults in the church. Each month they picked a different category of items, and the effort culminated in a big, churchwide packing party. Each person got to “choose” from the items they had collected for the backpack they were packing. Loads of laughter, joy and heartfelt prayers for the recipients were packed inside.
A few days later, seven people from their church went to deliver the Christmas backpacks in Mississippi. Three on the trip were senior adults who had never been on a mission trip before. They all came back on fire for missions and declared that they were the ones who received the blessing. They can hardly wait to deliver Christmas Backpacks again this year!
- Thank God for Women on Mission groups and other mission-minded groups around our state who set aggressive goals and stick to them for the Christmas Backpack ministry.
- Pray for Southside Baptist Church in Andalusia, as they have set another very aggressive goal for this year.
- Pray for big and small churches to commit to the many partnering opportunities available this year. Pray that their help in collecting and distributing backpacks will bear the spiritual fruit of salvation in many children and teens along the Mississippi River.