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June-July 2016


Hidden Heroes


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Thank You for Giving

Every year, Women Nationally Active for Christ coordinates a Pre-Easter Week of Prayer across the denomination. The WNAC Office sends out a simple packet that includes letters from Director Elizabeth Hodges and International Missions Director Clint Morgan, a reproducible prayer guide, an information sheet with tips for helping missionaries, and a resource guide. What follows is amazing, as Free Will Baptist women work together to pray, give, and get involved in the lives of missionaries around the world.

This year, IM gave missionaries an opportunity to thank the ladies of WNAC. Their expressions of gratitude were overwhelming. And almost every one mentioned how much the Steward Provision Closet blessed them, meeting a need in their lives not only while they are in the States, but also on their fields of service. They expressed deep appreciation for prayer, financial support, and the encouragement they receive through cards and letters. So, grab a cup of coffee, kick back in your favorite chair, and be blessed by these words of thankfulness from missionaries who have been blessed by your generosity.

—Jennifer Thomsen, Free Will Baptist International Missions


WNAC has been there for us in a multitude of ways over the last couple of years. It’s been wonderful to see the body of Christ in action! Thank you for your prayers, generosity, and heart for living out the gospel. I feel like I can’t say it enough! The provision closet has been a huge blessing to us. We have moved a lot since we were appointed in 2012. Just knowing that we can find certain household things there has made all of our moves so much easier. As a woman, I like to have my “nest,” and I just want to say thank you for allowing me to have that. When I use my crockpot, I think of you. For all of you, I say a prayer of thanks, and I remember God’s goodness and the faithfulness of his people. You are amazing.—Miriam Bishop, Japan

We praise God for you! Thank you for being prayer warriors who hold us up in this fierce spiritual war. Thank you for giving, even when you do not always have excess to give. Thank you for caring and showing us in such thoughtful and creative ways—like writing on Ruby and Ellie’s first day of Japanese school to see how it went. You are being used to build God’s Kingdom around the world. We love you! —Josh, Alicia, Ruby, Ellie, and Josie Crowe, Japan

Thank you so much for your faithful support! You have prayed for us, given us gifts of money and clothing, and supplied our home through provision closet donations. We can never convey our appreciation enough. We benefit daily from your ministry. May God continue to bless you and use you for His honor and glory! —Sandra and Dale Bishop, Japan

Thank you so much for your love and support over the years. I especially want to thank you for the prayers offered up for me during my time of sickness last year. The gift cards were a blessing as they helped us with food and gas expenses. Elizabeth (Hodges, WNAC director) was a wonderful caretaker with her hospital visits and encouragement, and she relayed support for us from throughout the denomination. During this scary time in my life, it was great to sense the warmth and love of our Free Will Baptist ladies. —Tammy Lancaster, Uruguay

Thank you for sending birthday cards to my daughters Madeleine and Emilie. Even though they haven’t met many of you, receiving cards from America really makes them feel special. And it certainly warms this mama’s heart too. Merci! —Cristina Price, France

Thank you for keeping missions as a priority and making the effort to be involved through prayer and financial support and by giving to the provision closet. Thanks! —Joy D (name and country withheld for security reasons)

Thanks so much for all you do to show our children how much you care. They are blown away by your kindness to them, and your example teaches them what generosity is all about. —Lea Edgmon, Spain

Ladies of WNAC, I really don’t think we could do it without you. We use items from the provision closet every day. Thank you once again for your generosity, love, and care for missionaries. —Lori Torrison, Uruguay

My family and I just came back to the U.S. and were blessed by the provision closet where we found sheets, blankets, and more. I couldn’t keep from imagining the women who generously bought those items. I wanted to see all of you to give you a hug and thank you for what you are doing for missionaries. Before coming to the States, I don’t think I’ve ever seen people that generous in my life. You are a blessing to us and you surely encourage us. Thank you also for your prayers and support. Lots of love! —Lydie Teague, France

I don’t know what we would do without you. Through the years, you have been our best and most faithful supporters. Thank you so much for loving on us through special projects, personal touches, and your gifts to the provision closet. You are the best! —Ruth McDonald, Japan

We are so thankful for the sweet encouragement we received from WNAC groups during our first term as missionaries in Bulgaria! The birthday cards, emails, and reports of financial gifts have reminded us that we are not alone in what we have set out to do. We thank God for the way He has shown us His love through all of you! —Amy Postlewaite, Bulgaria

Thanks so much for your financial support in getting us to the field and keeping us here. We would not be in the field if it were not for WNAC groups, especially those in Missouri and Georgia. Thanks for messaging us every month to get new ways to pray for us, and thank you for praying! We could not do this without the prayers of you all. Thank you for loving on our kids through the fundraising process and now on the field through cards, gifts, special treats, and especially prayers. The provision closet truly made my daughter and I feel so very special! Thank you for providing for our homes with good quality materials that will last and last! —Tori S (country and name withheld for security reasons)

To say thank you to our ladies would not be enough for all they have done for us! I remember our first term in 1984, when I met Mrs. Lucille Steward. I was so impressed with her disposition and hard work for WAC in Michigan! She left a legacy of servanthood. She served and took care of our missionaries even when she was battling illness herself. Every room in our house has something or another that reminds me of our sisters in the U.S. It is one the highlights (no kidding!) for me to go to the Provision closet while in the States. May the Lord bless each one who has a part in serving missionaries. We go to serve, but we are also served. This way we bless one another, and the Lord blesses us all. Thank you! —Rejane Eagleton, Brazil

Free Will Baptist women are the most generous people I know, and I find it very hard to express with words just how much they mean to me. You ladies have put clothes on our backs, food on our table, money in our wallets, money in our accounts, made our children feel so special, and covered us with prayer. We could not have done all we did on the mission field if you had not given so generously. All I can say is simply, “Thank you for letting God bless us through you.” May God richly bless you as you serve Him. —Judy Bryan, France

We have several things from the provision closet in our home that we use often. Every time I use them, I remember that someone took the time to bless our family through their donation. We are so grateful for the women of WNAC and their service in the Kingdom. Thanks to each of you for your prayers, encouragement, generosity, and love. With Grateful Hearts, —Neil and Mandi Morgan, Spain





Thank you for your ministry of giving and encouragement over the years. Our family has made many transitions to the field and back, and each time needs have been met through the provision closet, gift cards, or notes of encouragement and prayer. Your ministry eases some of the difficulty we face in being suspended between “home” and “home.” We thank God for the ways your help facilitates the work we do in His kingdom. “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my brothers [and sisters], you have done it unto me.” —Rachel D (name and country withheld for security reasons)

Everywhere I look, whether my house in Japan or my apartment in America, I see evidences of your generosity and support. Whether it’s a small appliance in my kitchen, curtains in my living room, or a note of encouragement on my refrigerator, I am constantly reminded that I am loved and that I am not alone. Thank you for partnering with me in a myriad of ways and supporting what God is doing in Japan. I love you all and can’t say thank you enough! Love,—Shannon Little, Japan

Thank you for your care of us. We are grateful for your support and prayers. —Ariadna Riesgo, Educational Specialist

Thanks to WNAC! We are still using quilts made and given to the provision closet more than 30 years ago. One quilt was given to us in 1984, and we still feel the love and hard work that put it together. Thank you for always caring for us and for adding so much to our daily lives through your sacrificial giving, sharing, and loving. —Judy and Ken Bailey, Japan

Thank you for all the love you have shown to my family. Every time I walk into the provision closet, I am amazed at the generosity provided by various churches. My family is so very grateful. Thank you for your prayer and support as we work with international students. —Kellie Penn, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Thank you for your  notes of encouragement, sacrificial giving, and faithful prayer for our family! —Lydia Provow, Bulgaria

Thank you, WNAC, for all the ways you support us. For prayer, encouragement, opportunities to share about our ministry, for the provision closet. One of the most helpful things for us has been gift cards for eating on the road, as well as Wal-Mart cards, which we often use for gas. The restaurant cards have given us divine opportunities to meet people we otherwise never would have met, even resulting in becoming a spiritual mom and dad to a young waitress in Tennessee. Your ministry is bearing eternal fruit, in the U.S. and overseas. Thank you. Blessings! —Eddy and Amanda Simmons, Kenya

Thank you WNAC for the provision closet that provided things for my kids as they went to college. There is no way we could have afforded all those nice things for them. We are familiar with other denominations, and I don’t know of another one that has a closet to “shop” in while home on stateside assignment. What a blessing you all are to us. Thank you! —Linda Snow, Japan

We are so thankful to WNAC and their continued support and encouragement of missions. You probably have no idea what an encouragement it is to us. The provision closet is such a practical and huge example of the ways you are meeting needs for us, for which we are at a loss for adequate words to thank you. When we were stateside and in need of a car seat for our baby, WNAC stepped in and provided that specific need for us, and this is just one example of the kind of caring ways WNAC takes care of us. We are so humbled and grateful! —Joni Hubbard, Japan

Thank you for sending our family birthday and Christmas cards. Thanks for keeping the provision closet stocked. Thank you for sharing our prayer requests with ladies in your WAC groups each month. Thanks for showing a younger generation of “little Free Will Baptists” the importance of being active for Christ and missions.—Kristi Johnson, Spain

I hope these letters blessed your hearts as much as they blessed ours in the International Missions office. We are very thankful for the ministry and impact WNAC has had over the years…and continues to have. Thank you, ladies of WNAC. You are a blessing to IM missionaries.

The third resolution of the 1962 WNAC minutes reads: “Be it resolved that the convention set up a provision closet which would provide linens, stainless steel flatware, and other domestic items for our missionaries who go to the field.” Mrs. Eunice Edwards, then executive secretary, established the closet as directed.

The closet is located at the National Offices Building in Antioch, Tennessee. The warehouse-styled storage area has floor to ceiling shelving and metal cabinets on the other two. Items are organized and arranged to make it easy for missionaries to find what is needed.


Who supports the closet?

The closet is stocked by Free Will Baptist women all over the United States. The ministry provides women with an opportunity to share what they have been given in tangible ways. Throughout the year, WNAC receives items from local, district, and state groups. Gift cards have become a popular item in recent years, providing the missionary with a way to purchase items not found in the closet. Cash gifts are utilized for purchases when the missionary needs items while on their field of service.


Who are the beneficiaries?

Originally, the closet served only international missionaries. But as it grew and expanded, so did its outreach. Today, all Free Will Baptist missionaries are served, both home and international. The closet also meets the needs of missionary kids when they set up their dorm rooms and the needs of Bible institutes across the world. These items are provided free of charge. Find out more about the provision closet:




©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists