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Mission trip to Malawi and Women’s Leadership Conference, Johannesburg

DSCN0746DSCN0791Kentucky WMU has been invited to send a WMU Team to Malawi to provide training for pastors’ wives. We will combine this with participating in the Baptist Women’s Leadership Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a wonderful opportunity for Kentucky women to bless women in Malawi and to fellowship with women from around the world. The trip dates for both portions is July 9-22, 2015. (It is also possible to participate in the Malawi portion only.)

This will be the second trip to Malawi for Kentucky WMU.  In 2012 a team of seven provided a week of classes for the wives of seminary students. This time, all pastors’ wives from Malawi are invited to participate.  (Read about our 2012 trip.)

DSCN0750DSCN0828Projected Trip Information  (Schedule, cost, etc. are subject to change)
Cost:  $5,000 (includes airfare, mission team insurance, in-country expenses for meals & lodging, Women’s Conference fee). It is possible that this trip will cost less, depending on final cost for airline tickets. Participant will be responsible for meals en route, souvenirs, and other personal expenses.
Option: Participate in only the Malawi portion of the trip. ($4,000 – or less depending on airfare)
Team size:  6-8

Schedule:
July 9 – Depart Louisville   (two-days of travel via Atlanta)
July 10 – Arrive Johannesburg; Overnight at Baptist Guest House
July 11 – Depart Johannesburg; Arrive Lilongwe, Malawi; Lodging at Baptist Guest House
July 12 – Attend church service; Orientation and preparation for teaching
July 13-17 – Teach classes at Malawi Baptist Seminary for pastor’s wives
July 18 – Depart Lilongwe; Arrive Johannesburg.  Baptist Women’s Leadership Conference begins PM.
July 19-20 – Baptist Women’s Leadership Conference*
July 21 – Conference concludes by noon.  Depart Johannesburg PM
July 22 – Arrive Louisville

DSCN0937Team members needed to classes such as:
Bible (OT/ NT – topics such as the Beatitudes, Proverbs 31, etc.)
Prayer & Worship / Spiritual life development
How to Be a Good Pastor’s Wife
Health issues including high blood pressure, dental hygiene, diabetes, ulcers, and cancer (especially cervical cancer which is the most prevalent cancer among women in Malawi).
Good health practices / first aid (especially for cuts and bites)
Maternal health issues
Care of children – how to keep them healthy (hygiene, nutrition, diarrhea, pneumonia, etc.)
Crafts – sewing a simple bag

AriseShineWORDS2
*2015 Baptist Women’s Leadership Conference
July 18-21, 2015 – Indaba Hotel & Conference Center, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa
Theme: “Arise, Shine” – “Arise, shine; for your light has come!” Isaiah 60:1
Information about the conference on line: http://www.bwawd.org/2015-leadership-conference
(Full trip fee includes this conference and registration.  Kentucky WMU will register our team.)

SAmapApplication and deposit of $1,000 due by March 15, 2015. Payment of $2,000 due by May 1, 2015. Balance of $2,000 due by June 15, 2015.  For an application form, contact Joy Bolton, Kentucky WMU, 502-489-3423 or 866-489-3423  or email:  Joy.Bolton@kybaptist.org

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Why the Heritage Fund Matters

hf banner 12015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Kentucky WMU Heritage Fund.  I am grateful for the foresight of WMU leaders to begin this endowment which was established for the purpose of developing, promoting, strengthening and sustaining the work of Kentucky WMU.  There is not an area of our work that the Heritage Fund does not touch.

The Heritage Fund matters to our work in missions education and involvement. It is one of several sources of funding that are vital to our on-going work. These include the Cooperative Program, Eliza Broadus Offering, and other endowment funds with distributions designated for Kentucky WMU. We are also blessed by the Second Century Fund of the National WMU Foundation which provides a distribution to each state WMU and by the Kentucky Touch Tomorrow Today endowment.

These various funding sources, plus event fees, make it possible for Kentucky WMU to offer first rate events and missions opportunities led by a wonderful staff and many volunteers. At a time when Cooperative Program (CP) funds coming to Kentucky WMU have declined, we have been able to maintain our staff and services in part because of the growth of endowment funds.

The decline in CP funds is a good thing in that in 2010 the Kentucky Baptist Convention made the significant decision to raise the portion of CP funds going beyond our state for Southern Baptist work, including international and North American missions. I was a member of the task force that made that recommendation and we gladly adjusted our budget to make more funds available for missions beyond Kentucky. The original plan was to reach the 50-50 split by 2018, but under the leadership of Dr. Paul Chitwood, Executive Director of the KBC, we reached this milestone effective with the 2013-14 budget year. A decline in CP giving since 2010, however, has made the budget adjustments even more challenging.  In 2009-10 Kentucky WMU received $496,395 in CP funds. For the 2015-16 budget year, we expect to receive $415,000.

Our work is also funded in part by the Eliza Broadus Offering. Kentucky WMU is the sponsor of the Eliza Broadus Offering and has the responsibility and privilege of setting the offering allocations. We do this cooperatively with Dr. Chitwood based on requests from KBC staff for missions mobilization, evangelism, church planting, collegiate ministry, language missions and much more. A portion is also used for our work in missions education for all ages which includes resources, training, events, camps, and much more. Even with the adjustments in CP funding, we have raised the level of Eliza Broadus Offering funding going for missions through the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the amount for associational and special ministry grants. In 2009-10, EBO funding for KBC missions ministries and grants was $840,000.  In 2015-16, it will be $990,000. Thank you for increased giving to the Eliza Broadus Offering making this report possible!

Kentucky WMU has been able to absorb the decline in the Cooperative Program and increase EBO distributions in part because of the Heritage Fund and other endowments and investments. Kentucky WMU is blessed to have these resources and we seek to be faithful stewards in using them for Kingdom work.  We have also been able to help several smaller state WMU’s as well as assist with some international projects. While we are careful in the use of our resources, we do not hoard them when they are needed. This year we plan to purchase needed equipment for Kentucky Changers and build our own storage facility for this ministry. Kentucky Changers takes a significant amount of equipment and good stewardship requires that we take care of it between summer seasons.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Heritage Fund, you are invited to give $25 in honor of someone who has impacted your life for missions.  We invite you to give 25 in honor of the past 25 to fund the next 25! There will be a special Give 25 emphasis at Annual Meeting. But you don’t have to wait.  Online giving is available for giving anytime to support the ministries of Kentucky WMU.

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RAMCON = Boys, Missions Learning, Mission Action and Fun

ramcon panelRoyal Ambassadors love to challenge each other in various competitions, listen to missionaries tell about their work, and lend a helping hand to people in need.  RAMCON 2015 will give boys the opportunity to do all three of these fun and exciting things on the same day.

The Kentucky state Royal Ambassador Missions Congress (RAMCON) will be held Saturday, March 21, at Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Central City.  The event will feature Royal Racers, a Rain Gutter Regatta, two great missionary speakers, and a mission project.

RAs know all about building a Royal Racers car and competing for the honor of taking home a medal.  Many of them, however, have never participated in a Rain Gutter Regatta.  RAMCON will give them that opportunity this year.  With the cost of the sailboat kit included in the registration fee, every boy in attendance will receive a wooden boat kit that he will decorate and assemble before racing it down the water-filled rain gutter.  Medals will be awarded to the top finishers in both the Lad and Crusader divisions.

When they are not racing their cars and boats, Royal Ambassadors will gather in the church sanctuary to learn about the work and experiences of Aaron Harvie, a church planting strategist with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board, and Robbie Gray, a Southern Seminary student and member of the Acts 1:8 Experience team that worked at Mission Adventure Camp and in South Africa last summer.

For the mission project, Royal Ambassadors will be asked to bring new socks and underwear for adolescent boys.  These items will be collected and delivered to the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association to be distributed to needy boys through the Crisis Closet ministry.

RAMCON 2015 is for Royal Ambassadors, other mission-minded boys, and their leaders.  The registration fee is $15 and includes the program fee, lunch and a sailboat kit.  Registration for leaders is $10 and includes the program fee and lunch.  The entry fee for Royal Racers is $5, which will be collected on the day of RAMCON when the car is weighed and checked in.

To learn more about RAMCON 2015, go to kywmu.org/ramcon.  Online registration is available at the website.  A form can also be printed out for mail-in registration.  Early bird registration ends March 13.

For additional information, contact:
Jon Auten, RA/Challenger Consultant, Kentucky WMU, PO Box 436569, Louisville, KY  40253-6567
Email: jon.auten@kybaptist.org
Web: www.kywmu.org/ramcon

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Take It to the Streets with Creative Arts

CMF frontUsing creative arts to share the gospel will be the focus of Creative Ministries Festival 2.0 – Taking It to the Streets, March 6-7, 2015 at Living Hope Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The event will include classes in creative arts, a missions fair, and block parties where participants will use their skills to present the gospel. General sessions will feature guest artist Jeff Smith, director of Salt and Light Ministries, Richmond, VA.

Creative Ministries Festival 2.0 is a two-day experience that will equip students and adults to share the gospel in creative ways. The 2.0 version refers to new features and a missions emphasis that has been added to the traditional elements of this popular event which recently came under the sponsorship of Kentucky WMU.  Five workshop times will be offered to teach techniques and routines in areas such as puppets, balloons, interpretive movement, sign, “God Rods,” skits, juggling, face painting, magic, lip synch, clowning, and human video.

The event theme “Taking It to the Streets” emphasizes the importance of using creative arts to tell others about Jesus. During a missions fair on Friday evening, students will meet missionaries and ministry leaders who want to have creative ministry teams come serve in their location. Every participant will attend a workshop on sharing the gospel and will be encouraged to use creative arts in missions.

“Taking It to the Streets” will become a reality on Saturday when students use their creative arts skills in four simultaneous block parties in the Bowling Green area.  Sites have been selected to help a new church plant as well as outreach in needy communities. Every group will be assigned to participate in a block party and groups may sign up in advance to perform routines that they have prepared in advance.

Guest artist Jeff Smith uses drama, music and storytelling in his unique brand of ministry. He offers basic instruction on a variety of creative arts, but his niche is creative movement and human video where he is known as “The Rodfather.”

Creative arts workshop leaders include: Dawn Baker, Tim Bertram, Felicia Bland, David Buckner, Lori Durbin, Katherine Gilbert, George Halitzka, Ashley Hicks, Karen Holbrook, David and Susan Huffman, Terry and Sharon Kelly, Peggy Leach, Beth Swadley, and Matt Tullos. Conferences for adult leaders on planning mission trips, block parties, on-going missions involvement for students, and other topics will also be offered.

The registration fee per person is $20. Registration information and other event details are found at www.kywmu.org/cmf. For more information contact Peggy Murphy at 502-489-3457.

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EBO at Work: Making the impossible possible

Randy McPheron, Director of Missions for Rockcastle Association, could hardly contain his excitement when he shared Teddy’s story with me.  Teddy Fulton wanted to give public commitment to his faith in Christ and be baptized in a church.  The challenge was that Teddy, age 24 at the time of this story had been left paralyzed after an accident at 16.

A resident at Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center, Teddy told Luther Allen, hospital chaplain, that he wanted to be baptized and he wanted it to take place in a church. Considering his medical condition, this was impossible. But because of a grant from the Eliza Broadus Offering, the impossible was made possible.

This story actually began in 2010 when the Rockcastle Baptist Association Jail Ministry applied for an EBO grant to help them purchase a portable baptistry.  The ministry was featured in our 2012 materials, including a video of B.J. Bradley holding a baptism at the jail.

When Teddy asked to be baptized in a church, Randy asked if the portable baptistry could be used. After several meetings, it was determined that the best option was to set it up at Northside Baptist Church and take Teddy and a medical team there.  A maintenance crew built a special platform that would allow the wheels of a hydraulic lift to fit underneath. A special face tent and cover for Teddy’s tracheostomy were designed.

On a Sunday afternoon about 50 people gathered at Northside Baptist Church to help Teddy experience baptism as his public confession of Christ as Savior.  His mother and sister drove from South Carolina to be there. Also present was his Kentucky family, including about three dozen employees of Rockcastle Regional, many attending on their own time to show support.

Last week the Kentucky WMU Finance Committee met to review 89 applications for grants from the 2014-15 Eliza Broadus Offering. Great prayer and discernment is required in making these decisions each year as there are always more requests than funds.

Your faithful giving makes it possible for us to provide grants to ministries across Kentucky. EBO is received all year long and we have not yet reached our goal of $1,250,000 for the 2014-15 offering year. Focus on WMU in February is a great time to receive the offering again to ensure that requests like the one in 2010 from Rockcastle can be filled and keep making an impact for years to come!

PS: You can also give to the Eliza Broadus Offering online!

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Annual Meeting Opportunity through Adult Kentucky Changers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA special opportunity to be involved in Adult Kentucky Changers will take place in the days leading up to the 2015 Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting.  On April 7-9, 2015 (Tuesday-Thursday), Adult Kentucky Changers will work in and around the city of Lawrenceburg doing much needed repairs to two homes and a community center.

Adults 18 and older are invited to join the effort to share Christ and minister to people in need. The Adults Changers will be doing repairs such as roofing, painting, light carpentry work, plumbing, landscaping, and general cleaning.  There will be an experienced Crew Chief to oversee each project and there will be something for everyone to do.

Participants may stay at Lawrenceburg First Baptist Church, arriving on Monday evening, April 6, or by 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7.  The cost per person is $35 and includes morning and evening meals at the church. Sack lunches will be delivered to job sites each day. Adult Changers will not only have a Kentucky Changers project experience, but they will also have a time of praise and worship on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  The final celebration will be part of the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting on Friday evening when the homeowners will be invited to come and participate in the evening session.

The Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting will be April 10-11 at the Sand Spring Baptist Church. Special guests include Debby Akerman, national WMU president; Sister Christian Drama; international missionaries. There will be a prayer rally at the state capitol on Friday afternoon as well as ministry projects at the church. The Friday evening session includes a commissioning service for Kentucky missionaries as well as the Kentucky Changers celebration. On Saturday there will be a missions block party.

10649899_10152679438212834_5523562800521635176_nCome early to the Annual Meeting and join in Adult Kentucky Changers.  Staying at the church is optional but past participants will tell you it is part of the fun and camaraderie.  For more information and registration, contact Peggy Murphy.  Email: peggy.murphy@kybaptist.org.   Phone: 502-489-3457.

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Tell Your Story Dot Today

TellYourStory logoWhen we give web addresses, there is always a little confusion because there are no spaces.  Tell Your Story dot today is written: tellyourstory.today.

The .today was a new one for me.  I was familiar with .com, .edu, .net, but not .today.  But in faith I followed the link and sure enough, it leads to a wonderful web site with instructions for how to call in and tell your story.  After your story is posted, you will receive instructions on how to share your story with others.

I wanted to share this with our Kentucky WMU Executive Board, so I recorded my story last Thursday.  It was posted by Thursday evening and I was able to share it as part of my report to the Board.  Over the weekend, I received a text message with instructions for registering so that each time someone listened to my story, I would get a text letting me know.

I was able to take that step on Saturday evening, and throughout the weekend, my phone has chimed, letting me know of new text messages.  As of this writing, 44 people have already listened to my story.

Once you record your story and it is posted, you can post a link to your story in Facebook or send it by email or text.  You can also point others to a page full of stories that they can listen to.  Each posting includes additional information about how to accept Christ as Savior and learn more.

The web site even has a template for printing out cards with the web address of your story.  You can share these cards with others as you go along. This is especially good when there is not time for an extended conversation or you want someone to hear your story as a follow-up to your witness with them.

You are encouraged to listen to my story as well as the many other stories found on this web site.  My story is: http://www.tellyourstory.today/stories/joy-b-from-shelbyville-kentucky

I encourage you to Tell Your Story – TODAY!  Join us is sharing the gospel by telling the story of encountering Jesus as Savior.

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Life Changing Opportunity

Adult ChangersLast week about 30 adults joined in what we call Adult Changers and got a taste of what Kentucky Changers is all about.  While some of the participants were regulars with Changers, others were new, experiencing the fun and hard work for the first time.

The Adult Changers stayed at Richmond First Baptist Church who provided sleeping space and meals. They worked at the Gilmin Home, a ministry for boys and others led by Travis and Christie Lynch. Gilmin stands for God Is Love Ministry. The Lynch family opened their home several years ago to begin this ministry when they felt God’s prompting to help boys and others who needed a place to live and learn. The ministry has touched many lives and grown to the point that another building is needed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKentucky Changers worked at the Gilmin Home this past summer, building a deck on the back of the house. This was a needed addition which made the home more enjoyable for the family and guests. Adults Changers came to complete some finish work on the steps, put siding on the new building, add electrical wiring, and do some painting in the Gilmin Home and for a neighbor  is caring for an ill family member.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeggy Murphy, Kentucky Changers Coordinator, has even bigger dreams for this project than the work done for the Gilmin Home. Her dream is to see many of these volunteers come back next summer to help us with Kentucky Changers. Changers will work in four locations next summer and do about 25 projects per site. That means we need 100 crew chiefs and 100 assistant crew chiefs for each project. That’s 200 volunteers PLUS people to cook, serve as runners, and a host of other tasks. And then of course, every church needs adult chaperones to come along and work along side the students.

10649899_10152679438212834_5523562800521635176_nKentucky Changers is a life changing experience for students. But it is also life changing for adult volunteers. Not only do volunteers see the impact on a family, but the week is an investment in students. Today we have students who are faithful servants in their churches, in leadership, in ministry, serving as missionaries, and making a difference in many ways because of what they learned and experienced through Kentucky Changers. God has used Kentucky Changers for 20+ years and the ministry is still growing.

Kentucky Changers is a life changing opportunity. Learn how to be involved as a volunteer or by bringing students at kywmu.org/changers. Sign up now and get ready for a ministry that you will want to be part of over and over again!

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Helping a dying man find peace

Bob Perkins served as a crew leader with Kentucky Changers in Frankfort/Lawrenceburg this past summer.  His crew worked on a house owned by Gillford and Martha, an older couple in Frankfort.  Bob recently shared the impact of Kentucky Changers on this couple and himself.

Bob said, “We cleaned up their yard, rebuilt their deck/porch which was falling in, installed lattice panels and did some gutter work. We had information that the city of Frankfort had issued an order that could condemn the home without these repairs.”

Frankfort porch teamBob was especially concerned for Gillford who had serious health issues and stayed in his pajamas all week. From their conversations, the deck/porch was the primary issue between the couple and the city. The deck served as a main point in their lives, bringing them happiness through all the days they would entertain family and friends.  Bob’s primary concern was that this gentleman was “mad at his church.” The couple had been very active in their local church in years past and for some reason the relationship had soured.  “Our crew prayed several times while at their home that week,” said Bob, “that God would restore their faith and attitude towards their church and God.”

A teenage girl on the crew also spent time talking with the couple during the week. This girl also made a profession of faith that week and was sharing her new faith with Martha and Gillford.  On the last day that the crew worked at this home, the couple invited the crew in. Gillford picked up his guitar and the couple sang several songs for the team. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd,” said Bob. The couple “also became emotional upon giving us the pleasure of hearing their testimony of how they were ‘lifted’ by our faith, work and friendship.”

After the Kentucky Changers week working on this home, Bob continued to talk with Gillford and Martha. On September 5, after returning from a mission trip in Alaska, Bob had a phone call from Martha. “I started not to take the call because it was late and I was tired. But I took the call and and on the other end was Martha.” She told Bob that her husband was near death and would not make it through the night. She complimented the Changers team and especially the young teenage girl and Bob. She told him that their contact with Kentucky Changers had “softened” her husband’s heart toward God and His church. In the last few months all he talked about was the young kids who had come and rebuilt his deck. He spent many of his remaining days on the porch and enjoying his time outside. Bob prayed with Martha on the phone, asking God for His love and peace for the family. Gillford died that night.

On Friday after Gillford died, Bob talked again with Martha. She repeated her praises for the Kentucky Changers team and spoke of the joy the team brought to the couple. She was so happy that her husband had made peace within himself and with God in the weeks since the Changers team was at their home.

In reflecting on the summer experience with this couple, Bob said, “What price can any of us place on helping a dying man find peace in the final weeks of his life? Who would have thought that the conversations of a fifteen year old teenager and a handshake from me would change the heart of this man. God is so great.”

Cost of a week at Kentucky Changers for a student – $200.  Helping a dying man find peace – priceless!

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Collections that Count

Churches enjoy collecting items that meet a ministry need. There are many opportunities to collect items for ministries in your own community and when you do, please deliver them in person and spend time with the people at the ministry site.  Be sure to take pictures and share the experience with your church. Before sharing, have the next ministry project or a return visit to the featured ministry planned so that you can immediately offer an opportunity for involvement when people show interest. The involvement of your church in the local ministry will make the collection of needed items more meaningful both to your church and to the local ministry.

Backpack Video picAnother opportunity for collecting and making an impact in Kentucky is through the LoveLOUD Christmas Backpacks. The North American Mission Board is seeking to collect 40,000 backbacks for children to be distributed through Appalachian Regional Ministry and Mississippi River Ministry. Both of these ministries touch Kentucky. If your church would like to participate in the backback collection, visit the web site (www.NAMB.net/backpacks) to learn more. There are specific instructions on the web site about what each backpack should include. To partner with a ministry for distribution of backpacks you collect, please fill out and submit the Partnership Agreement on the web site. The collecting and delivering date will need to be coordinated with the ministry site you partner with for Christmas. All backpacks need to be collected by and delivered to the site no later than December 10, 2014. Please preview and download promotional materials and participation forms from the web page. If you have questions, email Bill Barker: bbarker@namb.net or call 606-316-4298.  Be sure to see the video about the Christmas Backpacks that features Keith Decker, Kentucky Missionary of the Year for 2014.

10636756_754039074642682_325525768514784248_oThe Bucket Project with Baptist Global Response is a collection project that will touch many lives in Sub Sahara Africa.  While you may not have the opportunity to personally take a bucket to a person suffering with AIDS, you can know that every bucket is being delivered by a Christian believer who will share a gospel witness.  A great opportunity to participate in the Bucket Project will take place on November 11 at the Kentucky Baptist Convention.  We will have a truck at the convention and we have a goal of 800 buckets, enough to fill another shipping container for Africa.  Lori Funderburk, Bucket Project Prayer Coordinator, will be with us at the state convention.  There are promotional videos about the bucket collection available which you can download and show in your church.

Bucket Project video by Dr. Paul Chitwood
Bucket Project video by Joy Bolton

If you would like someone to come to your church to share information about the Bucket Project, we have people available. Kentucky WMU sent a team to South Africa last December to lead Bible Clubs and deliver buckets. Experience 1:8 college students went to South Africa in July and delivered buckets that had been collected at the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting in April.

Collections that count include prayer and a gospel witness. Pray over the items you collect, asking that they be used by the Lord to meet needs and share Jesus with the lost or bring a word of encouragement to a believer in need. Pray for those who will use the items in ministry and for their witness. Pray for opportunities to share the good news of our Savior and for the boldness of those who witness. Pray for your own opportunities to be part of these ministries and for your personal witness every day.

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