The Edna Corley Women’s Missionary Union of Claremore First Baptist Church recently welcomed Cathey Johnson as the guest missionary speaker for the group’s first meeting of 2018.
Twenty-one WMU group members were in attendance at the home of resident Ruth Legan, longtime WMU member and host for the January meeting.
Johnson, who serves as a missionary in Nicaragua with her husband, Darrel, is the administrator for the Mount of Olives Christian School in San Gregorio, which she helped to establish. Johnson said that the school is celebrating its 20th anniversary and has grown from 35 students in 1998 to more than 350 students today. She also is involved in music and women’s ministries in South America, as well as with retreats, seminars, and a prison ministry.
The Johnsons, formerly Claremore residents and members of First Baptist Church, serve as missionaries with Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International (BMDMI), which reaches people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and provides physical and spiritual ministry to thousands of individuals in Honduras, Nicaragua, and South Asia.
Johnson spoke briefly about the work of short-term mission teams from the USA, including teams from local Oklahoma churches who volunteer their professional services as doctors, dentists, nurses, cooks, teachers, pastors, etc., in Nicaragua each year.
In addition, BMDMI provides staff members and volunteers to assist in theological training for pastors and church leaders in Nicaragua; adult vocational training; schools for children; and safe living environments for abused, abandoned, and orphaned children.
Darrel Johnson currently serves as the field director for Nicaragua and was responsible for working with 30 of the short-term mission teams this past year, in addition to overseeing the ministry of the Bible Institute and providing training for pastors and leaders in the churches.
In describing her work as a missionary, Johnson told WMU members, “My job is to share the greatest story ever told, the greatest gift ever given, and the most valuable treasure ever sought. I am an ambassador for Jesus Christ as I show Christ’s love for people.” She explained that her ministry to people helps open the door for talking about the biblical message of the forgiveness of sin and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Following Johnson’s presentation, Gail Norton, WMU program chair, expressed appreciation to Johnson for sharing her insights. Sandy Lindsay, WMU president, continued the meeting with time for prayer, organizational business, and enlistment of members for the ongoing service projects of the group, which include serving as volunteers for The Manger, a ministry of the First Presbyterian Church. This local ministry provides supplies for babies and preschoolers. WMU members also provide peanut butter for distribution at The Manger.
In addition, WMU members help provide volunteers as well as peanut butter and other packaged and canned foods for The Good Samaritan Ministry, Inc., a local food and clothing pantry which helped Rogers County residents in need during almost 9,000 client visits in 2016.
Other WMU local projects include serving lunch periodically to students who participate in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Rogers State University and donating snack supplies to the local adult daycare center.
More than 40 members carry out the group’s various service projects. WMU meets the first Wednesday of each month in the homes of members.
The next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 7, will be in the parlor of the First Baptist Church.
“Meetings are open, and we welcome anyone who wants to be ‘on mission’ to share the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ and serve others in the community, nation, and world,” according to Lindsay.