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Girls in Action, Acteens celebrate 100 years of empowering girlscomment (0)

August 22, 2013

By Laura Wilson

Not many organizations are rich with a heritage that spans more than 100 years, but Girls in Action (GAs) and Acteens organizations sponsored by national Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) have now passed the century mark of engaging girls in missions education and involvement.

It was in 1909 — when large hats, high button-up shoes and long Sunday drives in a horse and carriage were popular — that GAs got its start. In 1907, Young Woman’s Auxiliary (YWA) was created for younger women and grew to 992 organizations within two years. The missing link was involving preteen and young teenage girls in missions, so WMU began publishing literature for these girls in 1909. These missions groups were first included in a 1913 report, and that year was claimed in later years as the official start of missions education for girls through WMU. 

Although the names of the missions organizations for girls have changed over the years, its missions purpose remains true. 

Heather Keller, children’s ministry consultant for national WMU, describes GAs today as an exciting, active organization full of girls learning about and participating in missions work happening in their communities as well as around the world.

“GAs is a place where girls can experience Jesus’ love and compassion while they learn to be His hands and feet,” Keller said. 

As a missions discipleship organization for girls in grades 1–6, members of GAs learn about, pray for, give to and do missions work. 

GAs provides weekly curriculum, a Christ-centered peer group for girls, hands-on missions experiences, opportunities for girls to develop leadership skills, learning about the biblical basis for missions and godly mentors for girls. 

GA Journey, an individual achievement plan, further engages girls in missions. Acteens involves girls in grades 7–12 in missions and helps them develop an authentic faith that leads them to be compassionate and demonstrate a true servant’s heart and attitude.

“Acteens is about empowering teenage girls to understand that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives and He can and will use them in His work in the world,” said Suzanne Reece, student ministry consultant for national WMU. 

Acteens organizations are supported with ongoing curriculum, hands-on missions opportunities and supplemental resources like MissionsQuest, the individual achievement plan for Acteens. Similar to GAs, Acteens provides a Christ-centered peer group for teens, opportunities to develop leadership skills and godly role models.

Throughout the 2013–14 church year, WMU is encouraging GA and Acteens groups across the country to celebrate their 100th birthday. 

Visit wmu.com/ga100 for more information.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Laura Wilson is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is serving as an intern at national WMU.

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