From England to the Rio Grande, Sharon Beougher and Liz Encinia share deep missionary roots. The two women plan to deliver a word of defiance and hope at the REACH conference women’s track on March 14-15 in Elizabethtown.
Beougher, wife of Kentucky Baptist minister Tim Beougher, said it was her experience as a young missionary in England that changed her perspective on the importance of evangelism.
“Every day (in England) I prayed for opportunities to share the gospel or intentionally looked for people I would meet. My faith flourished as I was excited to see how God would work,” she explained.
But Beougher struggled to bring home the same zeal for God’s work.
“When I came back to the States, it was easy for the excitement to replace the eager anticipation of what God wanted me to do each day to share with others,” she said.
This disconnect between the mission field and daily life is something Beougher hopes to bridge in his session on gospel and missionary living. She said it takes intentional refocusing and prayer to see the world through an evangelistic lens.
“When I go to the grocery store, I can focus on my groceries or on people I might have a conversation with while I’m shopping.”
Beougher plans to provide many practical suggestions for women who compete in women’s track.
Encinia, executive director of the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union, will take the stage alongside Beougher to share her own missionary experiences during her session titled “Embrace Her Calling.”
“My aunts were missionaries along the Rio Grande River, and my great-uncle was one of the first Hispanic church planters with the North American Mission Board. I saw this legacy of missions in my own family—they weren’t afraid to build relationships to share the gospel,” she explained.
While Encinia admired her family members serving in the mission field, the real shock came when she realized she could serve God in the same way.
“Finally, it’s time for me to serve!” I can be part of the big picture God has for us in fulfilling the Great Commission. You don’t have to wait to do it, you can do it where you are,” she said.
Encinia sees the chaos of everyday life as a barrier to women’s involvement in missions and evangelism, but noted that women have a special role in this type of work and must step forward to serve faithfully. .
“Women have that relational touch and learning to have that missionary mindset is essential, especially when training their children and other children in church,” she said.
Beougher affirmed the unique role that women play in evangelism: “Women can care for other women in a way that men never can. Women who share with women provide more natural opportunities to develop ongoing relationships, whereas it would be unwise for men to pursue (those) relationships.
Encinia urged all Baptist women in Kentucky to come to the REACH conference.
“Being around other like-minded people can encourage us and give us new ideas to do. Let’s take this risk to get out of our comfort zones,” she said.
Along with providing opportunities to meet and network with women across the state, Beougher said, “REACH provides an incredible opportunity for anyone to receive encouragement in evangelism, a challenge to actually do it.”
All Kentucky Baptist women are invited to join Beougher and Encinia at the REACH Women’s Track March 14-15 at Severns Valley in Elizabethtown. To learn more and register, go to https://www.kybaptist.org/womens-Ministry-track/.