By Vickie Anderson
Tennessee WMU Executive Director
My entry point into missions was the Acteens organization at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lebanon in 1980 as an eighth grader. During the next five years, the world of missionaries, ministry, service and missions opened up for me and a passion was ignited that still burns brightly today. Some of the things our group did that stand out in my memory are:
- Attending Summit, the state Acteens event, in Gatlinburg and Nashville
- Meeting my first missionary
- Leading Big A Clubs in neighborhoods and campgrounds
- Visiting our association office and meeting the Director of Missions
- Mission trip to the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville
- Working on StudiAct (the individual achievement plan) – I achieved Queen Regent in Service with Service Aide
- Recognition services
- Attending the National Acteens Convention in 1984 in Dallas, TX
I think one of the things that made my Acteens group and most other groups so good were the leaders.
They didn’t just teach us about missions and give us opportunities to do missions, they invested their time in us. They loved us, spent time with us, built relationships with us, had fun with us, laughed and cried with us, discipled us and gave us opportunities to lead. The Lord used them to lay a strong missions foundation in my life.
For 50 years Acteens has given girls like me the opportunity to participate in and learn about missions, to develop their gifts and leadership skills, and to be mentored and encouraged. I think the words to the old Acteens song, “This is Our Day,” still ring as true today as they did then.
Giving the Lord our time is wise as can be,
His way is best for us it’s plain to see,
We are a part of something great,
As to His Word we all relate,
We’ll make the world a better place in which to live.
Living the Christ-like life is not a mistake,
Sharing our faith will other lives remake,
It’s worth a life of spreading love,
When we are led by God above,
We’ll not regret we trusted Him and heard His call.
Missions should be our task from day to day,
Telling the gospel news the only way;
Isn’t it great that we can live,
Isn’t it great that we can give?
This is our day to love and help our fellow man.
This is our day! Our God has put us here,
Sharing His love, making His message clear,
People in need, need to be freed;
God has the remedy, He has the victory,
This is our day, this is our day, this is our day, our day!
— “This is Our Day,” A Song for Acteens, words by Gene Bartlett
We celebrate the past and embrace the future as Acteens continues to influence and change lives as teen girls encounter missions in new and fresh ways and respond to God’s call in their lives.
There are still exciting days ahead for Acteens and I am very thankful to be along for the journey. “It’s worth a life of spreading love, when we are led by God above, we’ll not regret we trusted Him and heard His call. This is our day!”