Acteens bid farewell StudiAct, introduced to MissionsQuest
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--More than 10,000 Acteens said good-bye to a familiar element of their organization and hello to its successor during the National Acteens Convention July 1-4 in Louisville, Ky.
In the opening session of NAC, the last national recognition service was held for teens in StudiAct, the individual achievement plan for teenage girls introduced by Woman's Missionary Union in 1970. In the remaining general sessions of NAC, the girls were introduced to MissionsQuest, a new plan designed to help Acteens become more effective Christian witnesses.
The July 1 recognition service featured thousands of Acteens donned with their tiaras, capes and scepters, the awards they earned for completing the various levels of StudiAct. WMU Executive Director Dellanna O'Brien honored them during the service, describing them as "exceptional leaders" for their accomplishments.
Tara Taylor, a 1998 National Acteens Panelist from First Baptist Church, McKinney, Texas, praised StudiAct for its influence in her life. She achieved the level of Service Aide, StudiAct's highest ranking.
"StudiAct kept the Acteens organization in my church together through the 14 leaders I've had over the years I've been involved," she said. "It provided a stable backbone for our group while providing a way for me to learn about my future as a missionary."
In the other general sessions -- held Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings, and Thursday and Friday evenings -- components of MissionsQuest were developed through drama skits and speakers.
"MissionsQuest is a new approach for girls in mission," said Sarah Groves, youth consultant for WMU. The new approach gives teens opportunities "for hands-on ministry, to nurture their spiritual growth and to develop qualities that are essential in missions and the Christian life such as confidence, courage, creativity, character, excellence and vision," she noted.
MissionsQuest accomplishes these purposes through age-appropriate material, called quests, for girls in grades seven through 12. Teens may work on the quests individually or in a group. The quest and award for each grade are: Quest for Confidence, cross pendant; Quest for Courage, icthus ring; Quest for Creativity, world/globe pendant; Quest for Character, devotional book; Quest for Excellence, prayer journal; and Quest for Vision, Bible.
In the Thursday morning session, Southern Baptist missionary Sharon Pumpelly urged the Acteens to let God use MissionsQuest to mold them into effective witnesses like a 17-year-old Christian girl named Rahkma. With great courage and persistence, Rahkma led Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein's son, Uday, to Jesus Christ recently and later witnessed in Sudan to the Muslim Head of State General Omar Al-Bashir, Pumpelly reported.
"Each one of us, united with Christ, can make a difference in the world," said Pumpelly, formerly a missionary to Uganda and now serving in East Africa. "There's not another you or me in the world. God has created you and me to be unique, and he has created the good works he wants to do through us."
Pumpelly told Acteens that through their character-building experiences in MissionsQuest, God will teach them his faithfulness and that he is the only one who can make them the persons he wants them to become.
Pumpelly said she hopes MissionsQuest's emphasis on hands-on ministry will get young girls more involved in spreading the gospel worldwide. One of Pumpelly's longtime wishes is that every Christian teen in the United States would spend at least six months in overseas missions.
"If they could only serve outside the United States, they'd see America differently and, most of all, they'd see the Lord differently," Pumpelly said.
For more information on MissionsQuest, contact your state Acteens consultant or call WMU's customer service department at 1-800-968-7301. Information is also available at www.nac98.com; click on the MissionsQuest button.