It Takes Courage

New ventures take courage.  The Lord knows this and tells us often in His Word to “be strong and courageous.”  WMU began a new venture last year and we are excited at the unfolding results.

It took courage for national WMU to welcome Royal Ambassadors and Challengers back to WMU.  WMU was thrilled to have these organizations for boys once again, but it took courage to start new publications for them that WMU would be responsible for.  National WMU receives no Cooperative Program funds, so subcriptions to missions publications are vital to cover production expenses.  Steve Heartsill, a grown up RA, is the managing editor for all RA and Challengers curriculum and products.  This includes RA Leader, RA World, and the Challengers Leader Plan Book. 

It took courage for Jon Auten to leave his position as a pastor and come to work for Kentucky WMU.  Jon has been on our staff for just over a year. He is a brave man to come work in our office.  He and his wife, Misty, and their daughters, have become beloved members of the Kentucky WMU family.  Misty and the girls are frequent volunteers in our office.  Jon has done an outstanding job of getting to know RA and Challenger leaders, relating to pastors and youth ministers, leading training conferences, and planning events.  Jon learned quickly that not only was he responsible for a state RA camp out, but we needed his help with the boys activities during our weeks of camp.  Jon also helped regional RA Congress events get organized this past spring.

The annual Courage event for Royal Ambassadors, Challengers, dads,  and leaders was held August 3-4 at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp in Corbin.    Bo Warren and his band provided music.   John Bennett talked with the boys about becoming a Christian in the Friday evening session, as did Steve Heartsill during the campfire sharing time.  On Saturday, Acts 1:8 team members Caleb Hetrick and Leah Stroupe shared their missions experiences in Haiti.  The event also included RA racers, knot tying, sawing  and missions shoot out competitions.  Archery, horse back riding, walking a rope bridge, using a compass, making a survivor rope wrist band, and swimming were among the other activities.

It takes courage for leaders to bring a group of active boys and spend a weekend with them.  There were also two ladies in the group who help with RAs in their church.  That took courage for them to come!  

It takes courage to reshape something familiar into something new.  Thank you to RA and Challenger leaders who have faithfully mentored boys across the years.  Thank you for supporting WMU as we launch this new venture.  Thanks to WMU leaders who are learning about the new WMU options and resources for boys and are taking courageous steps to start, re-start, or strengthen missions discipleship for boys through RAs and Challengers.

It does take courage!

Pictures from Courage 2012 are posted on the Kentucky Baptist Royal Ambassadors Facebook page (

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About Joy Bolton

Joy Bolton is a life-long WMUer! Through Woman's Missionary Union, Joy has has served as a church, association, and state leader. She has coordinated many international missions teams and is available as a conference leader, speaker, Bible study leader. Joy is now retired and lives in Summerville, SC.