Published January 1, 2021
It was on my first opportunity to go on mission overseas that I threw my baby dedication back at my parents. Let me explain.
I was given the opportunity to help lead VBS at a small school in Honduras and my parents were a little nervous to let me go. In the event they were leaning towards a "no," I quickly reminded them that at my baby dedication they essentially surrendered me to the Lord and it was His choice that I go. I know what you are thinking — that was a low blow, but it's true.
Even while I was in the womb, the Lord had a purpose for me to take the gospel to the nations. Each WMU meeting I attended "with" my mom, I was learning about God's redemptive plan through His Son Jesus Christ and how I was invited to join Him on mission. Even then, I was shaped to keep the Great Commission as my top priority.
While theorists argue about the development of babies while in utero, recent studies have identified that newborns can recognize sounds, vowels, full words, pitch changes and voices of their parents. Through a series of neurological testing, scientists believe that babies still growing in their mother's bellies have a higher percentage of learning detailed information than previously reported. This news is exciting. Why? Because this means parents can begin the disciple-making process earlier than we thought.
Every life is precious. John the Baptist leaped for joy in the presence of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:41). Can you imagine little baby John worshipping the Lord while still in his mother's belly? He knew exactly what to do and lived his life pointing others to Jesus Christ.
Developing a biblical worldview is essential in our current society. Just think about the world we are living in right now. People are making choices in direct contrast to the truth of the gospel. That is why we must do whatever it takes to help our children, even those in their mother's belly, to understand the importance of their part in making Jesus' name known.
As a missions organization, we believe in the sanctity of life. Jesus' commission to Christians is clear — we must "go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 6:15), no matter where they are.
This is why WMU teaches missions beginning with our sweet bed babies. Raising babies to understand God's plan for reconciling the world to Himself is key in their spiritual development process.
Why not start while they are still in the womb? Raise them up, send them out.
Liz Encinia is executive director-treasurer of Kentucky Woman's Missionary Union.
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