Winter Haven, Polk County, “The sun never sets on the ministry”. Between Jan. 23, 2022, and Jan. 28, 2022, Westwood Missionary Baptist Church completed its annual missions conference week highlighting over 15

15 Missionary’s, 6 Continents, 1 Week: A Church’s Mission

WINTER HAVEN, FL. – “The sun never sets on the ministry”. Between Jan. 23, 2022, and Jan. 28, 2022, Westwood Missionary Baptist Church completed its annual missions conference week highlighting over 15 missionaries and partnerships from across the globe reaching six continents.

The mission conference has been going on for more than forty years with the original idea to have a designated special week to focus on missionaries. The missionaries that come in are provided with housing and all meals so that they can relax, unwind, and enjoy fellowship. Featuring daily activities, a variety of classes, and a service every evening.

Over the decades, Westwood has gained new missionaries quite frequently. From Israel to Peru, mission work formulates a positive outlook on how we are blessed to live in America. Leatrice Lanier is the wife of Pastor Walt Lanier.

They were previously missionaries to Kenya and had the privilege of exposing their children to the not-so-typical American ways. Leatrice mentioned that “Living in a different country exposed the children to a lot of customs that an American child would not see or experience. Some people look at the negative, but it has been positive.”

Living in two different countries is an experience in itself. Rachel Jones, the wife of missionary Danny Jones, shed some light on what it is like traveling.

Rachel said, “Living in Thailand is a slower way of life which has its benefits and blockades.” Danny and Rachel have three girls who have experienced that different pace of life.

That is another perspective, though, that should not go unnoticed. Missions conference in the eyes of a missionary and pastor’s kid. Kayla, the daughter of Walt and Leatrice, said that “Being a pastor’s kid has impacted my life in many positive ways. I get to build special bonds with church members that maybe not all kids or teenagers even think about talking to.”

Though this special week never fails to amaze, the children of missionaries and pastors experience a certain type of fellowship with each other. It is a type of bond that cannot be broken even between distances. You could say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Friends Pick up where they left off.

Appreciating the time that they have together. Being in the moment. Kayla said that “I’ve been a part of the conference my whole life and it’s still one of the most exciting weeks for me. The Lord never fails to surprise me with the way He brings everything together and makes the week worthwhile.”

During the week being busy, Westwood Missionary Baptist Church has created a mission-led conference that brings love to every and all missionaries.

“Throughout the trials and tribulations, God goes with us wherever we go, and that is what makes us stronger,” said Leatrice.

Rachel ended with, “Knowing that many people come together to support and pray for missionaries is a great encouragement, but knowing Christ is what makes life worth living.”

If you are interested in learning more about the missionaries and the foundation of the church, you can find more information at www.westwoodmbc.org.

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