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First Presbyterian to host annual World Missions Conference

Demopolis First Presbyterian Church will host its 29th annual World Missions Conference on Friday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 22.

The church will welcome David Richardson from Palmer Home for Children in Mississippi, Beth Acton with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Robert and Lisa Stewart who are missionaries to Japan, and the Rev. Earl Adams who is the Minister of Missions at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss.

First Presbyterian Pastor Tommy Carr said Richardson will be speaking about the new things going on at the Palmer Home.

“The Palmer Home has been around for 118 years, taking care of children who can’t live at home,” Carr said. “Some of the children are orphans, but the majority of them don’t have family members at home who can care for them. The state of Mississippi works with Palmer Home and refers children to them. One special thing about the home is that they keep siblings together and never separate them.”

Carr added that the Palmer Home is starting a new program called “Jonah’s Journey” that fosters children.

“He’ll come tell us some things we haven’t heard about the home, and he’s also bringing with him the Treble Makers, the children’s choir from the home,” Carr added.

Acton has been working with the Wycliffe Bible Translators for nearly 30 years, and works mostly in Papua New Guinea translating Bibles into their languages. She is originally from Selma.

“It’s always exciting to hear about the completion of another translation project, because that means the word of God can be spread to more people,” Carr said.

Robert and Lisa Stewart have worked as missionaries in Japan and have been involved in church planting there.

“Japan has been a difficult place to penetrate, but with more and more people going there for business and other things, it’s becoming easier,” Carr said. “They’re seeing progress, and we’re excited to hear about the things they’ve been able to accomplish so far.”

Adams will serve as the keynote speaker for the weekend. Also originally from Selma, he has been involved in missionary work in Peru and Bolivia, planting churches in both places.

“This is one of the most important things we do as a church,” Carr said. “When the church started reaching out, it made a difference in the life of the church. Jesus told us to go and make disciples, and obviously not all of us can go, but we can send others out to take the gospel of Christ to the world. We contribute to missions as a promise of faith where we promise to give a certain amount of money to missions and trust in the Lord to provide it.”

Carr said the church’s promise is close to $30,000 per year.

“We want to continue to meet that goal so that we can continue to support the 20 missionaries we support currently,” he said. “We are also willing to add to the missionaries we support if the Lord blesses us to be able to do that. Missionaries give up a lot to go to other cultures, and when they’re at home, they’re always traveling to raise more support. Just like everything else, the cost of being able to go increases every year.”

The schedule for the weekend is as follows:

Friday, Feb. 20, 6-7 p.m. – Fellowship soup/sandwich/salad supper
7-8:30 p.m. – Worship service with the Stewarts, Richardson and Adams as the keynote speaker
8:30-9 p.m. – Refreshments and informal fellowship with missionaries

Saturday, Feb. 21, 8-9:15 a.m. – Men’s prayer breakfast with Robert Stewart, Richardson and Adams
11:30 a.m. – Ladies lunch ($6) with Acton, Joy Ayabe and Lisa Stewart
5:30-6:30 p.m. – Barbecue supper ($5/plate, $15 family)
6:30-8 p.m. – Worship service with Acton and Ayabe, the Treble Makers Choir and keynote speaker Adams
8-8:30 p.m. – Refreshments and informal fellowship with missionaries

Sunday, Feb. 22, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Concert of prayer in the church sanctuary
10:30-11 a.m. – Fellowship and coffee
11 a.m.-noon – Worship service with keynote speaker Adams and the Treble Makers Choir
12-1:30 p.m. – Wrap-up luncheon