The 2012 National Acteens Panelists are Mary Virginia Harper of First Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala.; Sarah Gaby of Heritage Baptist Church in Grand Blanc, Mich.; Sarah Harris of University Hills Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.; Jessica Francis and Lacey Wheeler, both of Abbotts Creek Missionary Baptist Church in High Point, N.C.; and Alyssa Hargrove of First Baptist Church in Spring Hill, Tenn.
Acteens is the Woman's Missionary Union missions organization for girls in grades 7-12. Through Acteens, girls grow in their relationships with God and each other as they learn about and participate in missions, develop leadership skills and live a missional lifestyle.
"Acteens has broadened my perspective of the world and increased my awareness of missions across the globe," Harper said. " empowers girls to make a difference in their world for Christ, deepens their knowledge and relationship with God, and it gives them a safe haven where they can rely on the guidance and support of other strong Christians."
In their Acteens involvement, the six panelists have evidenced a commitment to serving others and sharing Christ.
"Acteens has had a huge impact on how I view my responsibility of sharing the Gospel, and I do see it as a responsibility," Gaby said. "It is our responsibility as Christians to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is my job to be a missionary wherever I am ... in my family, my neighborhood, my school."
Harris agreed. "Missions involvement has opened my eyes and helped me take the focus off of myself and to view the world through God's eyes," she said. "These experiences have helped me to personalize the Great Commission and feel that I can make a difference even though I may be just one person."
The panelists, who serve through Dec. 31, each receive $1,000 from the Jessica Powell Loftis Scholarship for Acteens from the WMU Foundation.
The panelists will be featured during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in New Orleans June 17-18, where they will have opportunities to meet national and international missionaries and interact with missions leaders from across the country.
Members of the National Acteens Panel may be requested to speak at church, associational and state Acteens and WMU meetings and events. They will write articles for The Mag, the Acteens missions magazine, and for the Acteens website, wmu.com/students.
WMU also recognized three Acteens as National Top Teens for their involvement in missions: Kendra Bollinger of First Baptist Church Jackson in Burfordville, Mo.; Alysia Funderburg of St. Stephen's Missionary Baptist Church in La Puente, Calif.; and Makayla Swygert of Bethel Baptist Church in Sumter, S.C.
Applications for the 2013 National Acteens Panel are available on the Acteens website, wmu.com/students, and in the fall issue of Acteens Leader. All applications must be submitted to WMU headquarters by Dec. 1, 2012.
Courtney Simpson is a social media specialist for WMU. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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