By Sharon Mager
Bel Air, Md.— Andrea and Alicia Mays are demure, soft-spoken sisters. Meeting at Coffee Coffee in Bel Air, they both choose vegetarian lentil soup on a cold late morning in mid-February. As they sip their soups, they share about themselves humbly and softly, but when they talk about their missions work on the border of Serbia and Hungary they both have big smiles and they’re passionate and enthusiastic. Both women, under 35, are single and sold out to Jesus. Through their missions work as “A2Missions” God has doubled the attendance of one of the only evangelistic churches in the area.
The sisters grew up in a Christian home and both had the assumption they were saved until God opened their eyes to their own personal responsibility to accept Christ. God called them both to missions after they graduated from college.
They served together on short-term mission trips to Wadsworth Avenue Baptist Church in New York, working with the large group of newly saved singles. While there, God directed them to Serbia.
“Alicia and I were praying and felt God was telling us to go somewhere, and that we should go in November (2014).” But as time went on, nothing was happening. They weren’t getting answers or direction. The girls, who had depended on God’s direction, were stumped as November drew near.
“We were Skyping with a friend in Serbia. She knew I had taught English in China during a college internship,” Andrea said. That woman asked if the girls would mind talking to a friend who wanted to have English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and needed help. When they connected, they discovered that the Holy Spirit was directing their paths.
The woman said, “We have an English class starting in November, but we don’t have native speakers. We wanted to do it in September, but felt God wanted us to do it in November.” God had answered Andrea and Alicia’s prayers in His perfect time.
The girls arrived in Serbia within a week of the discussion. Since that time, they’ve made three six-week trips, teaching ESL, hosting women’s Bible conferences, and facilitating Bible studies. God blew the doors wide open.
They advertised the ESL classes throughout the community and over 100 registered.
Wanting to take the ministry to another level, the young women hosted a women’s conference and invited everyone from the ESL classes. They prayed for ten people, perhaps five from the church and five from the community. They both smile when they tell about receiving the message that said, ‘Great news! Thirty-five women signed up.’” Almost all of them were from the ESL classes.
The sisters decorated tables and had meat, cheese, bread, and desserts. Each table had icebreaker questions, but the women wanted to quickly get down to business. They were hungry to understand the Gospel. “People were asking questions like, ‘Why did Jesus have to come to earth like that?’” Alicia said.
One woman has approached the sisters and said, “I’ve seen you three times, I might as well hear what you have to say.”
“Another lady we met in 2015 came to an ESL class and a women’s conference. At the conference, she said, ‘I know what you said is true.’ Everyone was offered Bibles. She took one. When she came back to a later women’s conference they were playing games and she said, “I came here to learn about the Bible.” Her family, who are Orthodox, is opposed to her interest and involvement.
Andrea said, “Serbia is very tied to the Eastern Orthodox Church. We’ve had people very interested and then the Orthodox step in and tell them if they convert they can’t be buried with their families. They believe we’re a cult. One person was interested, and her family interceded. She began to attend Bible study, and her family got the Orthodox church involved. The woman was sent to a monastery in Montenegro and then to Canada just to get her away from the (Protestant) church.”
But even with the Orthodox hindrance, God is mightily working.
In addition to the ESL classes and women’s conference, the sisters have also been able to have mini women’s conferences in a local nursing home and to start Bible studies, which the church facilitates.
As a result of Andrea and Alicia’s ministry, the church is being intentional in outreach.
“We’re so excited about that. We just want to be catalysts,” Alicia said. “People at the church are realizing they can reach out and invite people to church. They’ve got the courage to invite parents, neighbors, and co-workers.”
Andrea and Alicia are from Calvary Baptist Church, Bel Air, MD and have a partnership with Epic Community Church, Aberdeen, MD. A2 Missions is a mission sponsored by First Baptist Church, Aberdeen (FBC), MD. FBC’s Pastor Dan Sheffield and Ministry Assistant Angie McGuigan provide administrative support. So far, A2 Missions is partnered with and receives monthly support from First Baptist Church, Aberdeen, MD; Calvary Baptist Church, Bel Air, MD; Grace Community Baptist Church, Cecilton, MD; and Pleasant View Baptist Church, Port Deposit, MD. In addition to church support they receive monthly support from several individual supporters.
As the girls move forward, accepting God’s call to full-time missions, and expand their ministry, they need more churches and individuals to support them. They are available to visit for missions presentations. Their next short-term trip is in April.
For more information contact the sisters at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more at http://www.aberdeenfirstbaptist.com/missions.