Linda Cooper’s Closing Remarks

Linda Cooper’s closing remarks are always a favorite as she sums up highlights of Annual Meeting.  Her ability to catch important details that we all want to remember sprinkled with lots of humor, make her recap worth staying to the very end.  And as always, people ask for a copy of what she said.  So, here is her recap of our 2013 Kentucky WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting.   Thank you, Linda!

President’s Closing Remarks
Annual Meeting, April 5-6, 2013

Wow!!  God has been among us!  We have a story to tell to the Nations and we’re going to shout it to the North and the South, the East and the West that Jesus is Savior to all.  He is Lord of Heaven and Earth!  Thank you Jason aka, Bubba and Stephanie for leading us to the throne through song.  We have so enjoyed having you with us.  And Emory, the story is living on through your hands as you tickle those ivories over there…a true God-given talent.  By the way, I can play that well, too but they need me over here so we asked you to play…I WISH!  That really was a story!

I finally heard of someone who met and married in less time than my husband and I.  We met and married in 4 months.  Ann and Adoniram Judson did it in 1 month to the day!  Wow, our first foreign missionaries and Ann was here!  God let them float around in the ocean for 4 1/2 months so that they could re-read the New Testament to see that they needed to be immersed!  Hint is water!  Unbearable loneliness, 6 years before the first convert, 3 1/2 years before the first letter from home, dingy fever, small pox, typhoid fever, cholera, spinal meningitis and with Lottie, 14 years before the first furlough…let’s all be missionaries!!!  Thanks for reminding us of the sacrifices of our missionaries from the very beginning.

Eliza said that her father was doing the preaching when Lottie got saved!  That’s awesome!  50 years of service…she knew what Missions For Life really meant.  Some of you WMU directors have found out its a life sentence too!  You know, things haven’t really changed much since Eliza’s time.  We write pastors asking for this or that and we’re still today getting no response…maybe WE should write the postmasters!  Has anybody seen my loving cup with the $200 in gold coins…I guess I’ll have to live to be 80 first.

I have learned so much this weekend.  Did you know you can be called to be a missionary to the Chinese people through a biscuit?  Jesus is the bread of life and we don’t want to miss a crumb of what He wants to teach us.

Passion – a desire to accomplish something extraordinary….was stealing a brick and getting away with it what Rosalie meant?  Oh no, I checked my notes again on that one.  I think I have it straight now.  Stealing doesn’t mean stealing.  It means appropriating.  I’ll have to remember that one.  You know that Rosalie knows a lot of history.  I heard someone out in the lobby between sessions say, “well she ought to, she’s lived most of it!!”  I tried to explain to them that she was just portraying Ann, Eliza and Lottie.  I did tell them though, to be careful about writing those mushy love letters to their husband, Rosalie might just read them and then tell about them at an annual meeting somewhere!  Thank you Ann, Eliza, Rosalie and Lottie for challenging us to take courage and tell His Story…right now.  There’s a lost world out there.

First Timers!  To annual meeting, that is.  Lot’s of them!  Where’ve you been so long?  I’ve got a feeling, you’ll be back and bring someone with you!  Missionaries, missionaries everywhere!  Did you get a ribbon?  We are honored to have you.  My DOM was not able to come…we’ll have to “depend” on him next year.

You know I said I had really learned a lot this weekend.  Well, I found out there’s hope!  You and I can have a baby after menopause!  We just have to host annual meeting!!  Talk about a miracle conception!  Joy, we may never get anyone to host annual meeting now, you can get pregnant!  Thank you Jo Pelham, Jackie Walker, FBC Hopkinsville and all the committee members.  You delivered well and she was a big one!

Somehow and I’m not quite sure but Nik said that we are responsible for his grey hair!?  I’m sure the Ripkins have told the Muslim lady that yes it was Jesus on the cross, no one took His place.  Actually, He took our place!

We can go from the New Testament to the Old Testament by going across the street!  The world is coming to us and we won’t go across the street to welcome them.  I know this first hand.  I know someone who shared Christ with a lost person at their work place.  In the conversation, it was discovered that the lost person lived right across the street from their church.  She invited him to come and check them out.  After sharing with him and seeing that he was lost and seeking, she asked the youth director at her church to go across the street and share Christ with him.  This lost person was young and she thought the youth director could relate to him…he never went.  The lost person actually came to a service at the church where he knew no one except the lady who had shared Christ and invited him to come.  Shocked and praising God, she asked the minister of education to now go visit the lost person as a follow up to his visit…he never went.  The pastor gets back from vacation.  She shares this story with him and asks would he walk across the street and share Christ…he never went.  I can relate to the Muslims never being welcomed much less witnessed to.  It’s happening every day with all peoples!

There are 4 types of people: those who will go, those who will send, those who will support, and those who will cross the street!  What would you attempt for God if you weren’t afraid?  Are you afraid?  We MUST cross the street!!!  Thank you Nik and Ruth for challenging us.

Because we have heard the Macedonian call today to send the Light from shore to shore.  We can do that because He is all we need.  There’s no need to be scared.  Satan is vanquished and Jesus is KING!

Keith and Gail reminded me of the doctor that I work with.  When he’s about to tell the patient that they have some cavities or work to be done, he always prefaces it with, “Don’t kill the messenger and he is the messenger”.  Keith and Gail said that what they would share would encourage and challenge us but not to blame them…we needed to take that up with God.

Then they got kinda personal and kept asking what was in our hands? a house, car, job, education, family, friends.  I looked in mine and held them up like it was a hold up!  But then I understood we need to ask ourselves what it is that we cling to that won’t allow us to do the work for The Lord that we need to do.  125 years in missions.  It’s not what we have done in the past and not what plans we have for the next year but the question is what do you have in your hands that might be hindering your service because God doesn’t want us for a week out of the year on a mission trip.  God wants our missions work to be for life!  Thank you Keith and Gail.  Some of us need some hand surgery.

Bill Thomas says Thank you KY WMU for the unrestricted Christmas gift each year.  Someone got a book and someone else got a scarf and even Lottie got one of our gifts!  Our offering has gone full circle!  I guess what goes around really does comes around. Oh and yes we will keep on inspiring little girls like Ruth and little boys like you Bill.  Thanks for sharing.

Joy, we need to bring back GA coronation services!  You can find a bride there!  Dr. Elliff did.  Thanks for reminding us to keep on giving, praying and going to a world that needs Him so much.  Yes, we will be His heart, His hands, His voice.  Thanks Dr. Eliff for the vote of confidence.

I have already heard one go off today so turn those cell phones off.  Yes, go ahead and fill out that evaluation form.  We want to hear how it was too cold and how you couldn’t possibly do it all!  Do I need to remind you that my mama said that if you don’t have anything good to say, just don’t say anything at all.  No, we do want to hear from you…we read every evaluation.  Would you please turn to pages 38 and 39 to read more about the program guests!!

You know when we decided to have our meeting in Christian County, we took it literally and thought we would be surrounded by lots of Christians praying for us as we met.  Well, we were misled.  There are lost people here!  We’re going to have to take the story to the streets!

(Yell) Joy, We’re going to need more EBO money.  Good thing it’s not too late to give.  We’ve already bought food for a food pantry and helped with a clothing ministry.  We’ve even helped with bags that have hope in them.  Thank you Susan Cooper.  Yes, for all of you who have asked, we are sisters…sisters in Christ, that is.

I love to tell stories…I mean I love to tell THE story.  You know, the old old story of Jesus and His love. He has risen from the dead and He is Lord.  So, now, we need to be a shining light to the nations ’til the whole world knows that Jesus Christ is Lord.

I need to meet Dortha Nell and Nila Jean.  They’re telling His story.  With names like that, we must be in Kentucky.  A long time ago a little girl found Jesus at camp…and they’re still finding Him there today.  Now that’s something to have a pow wow about and we didn’t even have to go to Oklahoma!  Thank you Jennifer for sharing how your family is keeping the story alive.

Our staff have been Mission Friends, GAs, RAs, Baptist Campus Young Women, Acteens, Baptist Young Women, and Women on Mission.  I think we have it all covered but I wasn’t raised with WMU in my church so what is this Maiden and lady-in-waiting stuff?  What are you waiting for?  I say put WMU in your estate so we can present more checks!  Thank you staff…KY really does have the best!

Well, we have new officers.  I was elected president…again.  I’m just wondering.  Have you all ever heard the term “glutton for punishment”!  Well, I guess it will be alright.  Rosalie looked at our new officers and board and saw Lottie, Annie, and Eliza!  You know, I was going along with her just fine until she continued and said she saw a Joy!  There’ll NEVER be another Joy!

Ohhhh what a party we had at the Heritage Fund Banquet!  I just didn’t think fast enough, though.  If I had charged for every picture made of me I could have really given to the Heritage Fund…or at least paid for the rental on the dress!

You know, Curtis knows the three women but our young people in our KY churches don’t.  So, he says the cooperative program needs CPR.  When Joy gave me my notes and I saw that, I thought it was a typo but I found out it is true!  We’re going to have to give the CP CPR!  I hope there is a mouth shield…this could get dirty.  You see, young people are into relationships and suspicious of institutions…the CP is an institution.  So we explained it in their language.  You can’t be a body with just bone structure and you can’t be a body with just flesh.  It takes them both working together…they get it now.  Thank you Curtis for clearing that all up for us.

I just keep learning.  Did you know that Barry Allen has WMU in his blood?  He also reminded us that we can do mission work 24 hours a day through the CP.  You can learn at the breakfast table as a child that the CP can buy a house, a car, a taxi ride.  It can even deliver a child, burry a child and educate a child.  It can even buy health insurance.

Life is not over if you’re stuck working in a cheese factory.  You can still go to 82 countries!  There’s good news and bad news…The bad news is, we not only need hand surgery to loosen what we are holding onto but now I found out we need heart surgery!  The good news is that we don’t need brain surgery!  Please give so we can send the missionaries who want to go!

Did you know that you can show the love of Jesus through a bologna sandwich…and that’s no bologna!  Just ask Sandra Williams the missionary of the year…she should know, she fixes 2,000 sandwiches a week of it.  I did get a little concerned about her, though… because she told us that she met a man only 2x and then let him cut her from ear to ear!  And, as if that wasn’t enough, he told her how good it looked after he did it!  She didn’t even know what game was played on Super Bowl Sunday for Heaven’s sake!  But she’s learning.  She has learned that 2 minutes does not mean 2 minutes…it could mean up to an hour!  No wonder she gets so much ministry done!  I need to find out how to stretch time like that!  I’m going to put her on our prayer chain, though.  She can find lost teeth and get you 2 jobs at one time!  Now that’s walking shoulder to shoulder with Jesus.  Thank you Sandra. You are so deserving.

I’m not sure if we need to call an emergency Ex. Bd. meeting or not but last night when it was Dr Summerlin’s time to speak, Joy ran upon this platform, said she had spent a year with him, and couldn’t remember when!  And did he remember?  He said she was a strong woman and he stood behind her every step of the way!  Lee do you know anything about this?  We’ve got to check this out further.

He is a smart man, though, that Dr. Summerlin.  He said he would dread to think what would happen without WMU and our missions education.  He said, we don’t just talk about it, we do it!…..I say, smart man.  He said some Baptists care more about their comfort than their Christ.  Something is wrong when that happens.  Our population is growing but our giving is going down and we need more missionaries.  We are going to have to fill those mite boxes to the brim!

As you go home, maybe your group can have a contest to see who got to stand up the most and be recognized.  Or who in the van got to stand the longest!

Jesus loves all the children of the world and they will lift Your name on high.

Lottie’s stomach rebelled at what her chopsticks picked up…well,  I would have been  excited just to pick something up with those things!  The children were the avenue to reaching China.  Someone needs to tell those Chinese people they don’t have to bind their feet…they just need to go to Payless and get some of those cute shoes!

What if no one goes or gives…surely someone will.

Question:  Where were you 100 years ago?  Looook at all the GAs, RAs, CiAs Acteens, Challengers and Youth on Mission kids with us here today.  There couldn’t have been a time BEFORE GA!  But you know something, I told somebody they didn’t look 100.  They are still learning, praying, giving and going!

I just love MK’s!  I’m coming back to Hoptown because it’s really going to be hopping with birthday parties!!!

We love our techie people!  Thank you.

I’ll bet if you add up all of Laura Morris’ family’s missions service years, it would be 100!  I need a white Bible!  Loving that legacy of Missions.The story is sure living on in her family!

Yes, we will pray for North Africa and the Middle East…Nik and Ruth have convinced us.  And by the way, they need to be replaced!  They have parts falling off!  But be sure and learn the language.  You could get a kiss in the mouth and receive a dead body!

We MUST pray!  Let’s call Joy Bolton…she knows some people who will pray.  And there is power in prayer!

Thanks Acteens helping us to pray for our missionaries.

Wish I could go to camp!  Well, I guess I can…just bring a group.  Somebody might get saved!

I was so comforted when the disaster relief members were all along the wall over here.  I really felt prepared for anything!  I think the only disaster we have to worry about today is lunch!  I want to be a disaster relief volunteer when I grow up!

I thought Chester was on Gun-smoke!  I didn’t know he ever won anything.  What’s that?  I misunderstood?  Oh, yeah, she said that we were invited to Winchester, next year for annual meeting!  I hope Tom-Tom and I can find it!  I don’t want to miss another great time in The Lord like this weekend!

Several of you have encouraged me this weekend.  Thank you so much…just keep praying as I am invited to be with you at your meetings/gatherings.  I enjoy that so much.

Thank you for coming.  Let’s BE the reason the Story Lives On as you serve HIM through WMU.  I pray that you will not be the same after being here this weekend  we don’t just have annual meeting to check off one of our bucket list items.  We are praying that you have been changed…brought closer to God and service to Him…thus His Story WILL Live On!

Presented by Linda  Cooper,
Kentucky WMU President
on April 6, 2013

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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.