I seriously doubt Lula Whilden ever expected to be an appointed missionary of the Southern Baptist Convention. Other females had served on mission fields before her, but always as either a volunteer or as the spouse of an appointed male missionary. But it happened. Lula received an appointment to serve in China.

I seriously doubt Lula Whilden ever expected to have a poker tournament named and played in her honor. She probably never connected the distribution of cards and the accumulation of chips with the distribution of the gospel and the accumulation of charitable resources. But it happened. Two years ago, the Lulapalooza Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament was inaugurated. Each of the last two years, over $8000 has been raised in about three hours to benefit the Lula Whilden World Missions Offering. This year, the third annual tournament will be held on Sunday, October 30, at 6:30pm. At 5:00pm, I’ll offer an instructional course on the basic rules of the game. Anyone can play, even if you’ve never played before. The tournament fee is $50. You can increase your starting chip stack with an additional $50. And you can become a bounty hunter to knock me out of the tournament (and receive a special prize) for an additional $10. It’s a fun night for young and old. Lula has a poker tournament named in her honor.

I seriously doubt Lula Whilden ever expected she would serve as the symbol of our world mission offering. Her story and her service, however, have become familiar and inspirational to the members of our church. Adults revel in her courage and her commitment. Children learn and relay her story. We all give, so her passion for mission and sacrificial service can continue in our church and in our world. Our goal this year is $125,000. I think Lula would be amazed at the generosity she has inspired.

Go online here (or call the church office) and sign up for the Lulapalooza Texas Hold
’Em Tournament. (You can just ‘show up’ too, but it helps us plan if we know you’re coming.) Write a check for the Lula Whilden World Missions Offering today. Give a gift to Lula Whilden during our annual Candlelight Service in December. Give a little more than you gave last year, so we can honor Lula Whilden and glorify the God she loved… and we love.

— Jim