Paul Harvey’s famous line “And now the rest of the story” has inspired many others to fill in unknown details of a story or tell what happened later in a particular story. The rest of the bucket story is not yet complete, but let me share some of what has happened since Annual Meeting.
First, our 778 buckets were shipped to Houston. Folks there packed them into a shipping container headed for South Africa. After the buckets arrived, it took several days for them to clear customs. They were finally released and shipped to Tabitha Ministries where they were unloaded by Tabitha staff, volunteers, and Kentucky BGR volunteers! These are the buckets that the KY WMU worked so hard to get together, and it was so appropriate that they got welcomed and unloaded by Gina Bush, Ryan Curry and Kendra Miller, all from Kentucky!
Shortly after the buckets arrived in South Africa, the Experience 1:8 team that had worked with us at Cedar Crest arrived for the international portion of their summer missions experience. In addition to working with the children at Tabitha, E1:8 students delivered some of the Kentucky buckets in Sweetwaters Township and in Durban.
Other volunteers have also delivered Kentucky buckets. Just this week, BGR shared a picture and reported on the good news of a new brother in Christ through a bucket delivery. Meanwhile, people in Kentucky have continued filling buckets, including empty buckets that Randy Foster brought to Annual Meeting. Many of these buckets were taken home from the meeting and filled this summer by churches across Kentucky.
Herb and Wanda Edminister, our Kentucky Bucket Project Coordinators, helped us at Annual Meeting with packing buckets, loading the truck, and distributing the empty buckets for filling. Wanda sent the following note.
An area where I have often felt some disappointment in ministry is in not having opportunity to know “the rest of the story”. I would like to share part of the “rest of the story” with the 250 empty donated buckets that were brought to Winchester.
- Last week we collected 70 buckets from Henderson and Bowling Green. I did not get an actual count but a significant percentage of those buckets had the double labels that were placed on the donated buckets.
- A young teacher contacted us last January to share that she wanted her church to participate in a KBC mission project. They had packed a large number of shoeboxes each year but this teacher was wanting to encourage them to become more involved with KBC mission projects. After we advised her to contact her pastor for approval, this young teacher began a summer missions hospice bucket emphasis in her church. In a few weeks she asked if others could participate because some of her friends had learned of the bucket project through her Facebook page. (We said, “Of course, anyone can be involved!”) A short time later, a jewlery party and a bake sale were planned where the proceeds would go to the bucket project. At that time their goal was to pack five buckets. This teacher and some of her friends attended the WMU event this April in Winchester. They came to the gym so they could “adopt a bucket” to take home with them. They asked us how many buckets her group should take. I shared that I couldn’t answer that but that they should pray about it and decide together. A few weeks ago, we learned that at the WMU event this group had adopted not 5 but 30 buckets and had recently packed all of them. When I wrote to congratulate this young teacher, I also asked her to thank her husband because I knew that as a teacher with two children, he probably had been involved in helping in some way. This young teacher wrote back excitedly to tell me that the week prior to their final bucket packing party her husband and seven year old daughter had been baptized! Buckets are changing lives on both sides of the ocean!
If things went as planned the 30 buckets were to be in the sanctuary of their church [this past Sunday] morning for the people of their church to collectively pray over them. They will then be delivered sometime this week to Lincoln Association and hopefully brought to Murray along with 137 others from the middle part of KY later this week. We hope to have them on their way to Houston by Labor Day.
The “rest of the story” is still being written. Buckets are being delivered in many places. People are hearing the gospel. People here are joining the effort and finding that their lives are being touched, too. Children and adults are participating. Today I will be delivering a dozen buckets that made their way to the WMU office to the Long Run Association office for pick up this week. While our office is not a drop off point, we have gladly received some buckets to help out folks who want to participate. The next “big push” for buckets is in November at the Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in November. We hope to fill another truck! Have you packed a bucket yet?