Help us welcome Chinese teachers to Kentucky

I recently received a phone call alerting me to a ministry need in our state. The caller has become friends with Chinese teachers who are here in Kentucky in a type of exchange program where they come to spend a school year working in an American school. The caller was brokenhearted because she had just learned that many of the friends of the Chinese teachers that she has befriended have no one who has welcomed them.

The caller sent me an email which I share here :
As I told you over the telephone, this all began with giving a ride in the rain and then on to Walmart.  We include the girls (which is what we call them affectionately and consider them our daughters-hand picked by God) in our life.  We take them shopping, to church, events we think might interest them and local activities.  They have become good friends with people outside the school district and have experienced our culture first hand.  They have no choice but to judge us by our movies which they quickly learn is not accurate.  We are not wealthy people and cannot take them to expensive tourist destinations but they are very happy to experience American culture any way they can.  We include them in our holidays. Most of them cry and say they were hoping to see what a real Christmas in an American family would be like.  They help me decorate for Christmas and this gives me opportunity to teach what each thing symbolizes and how it relates to the true Christmas story.   

We celebrate their Chinese New Year with them and they love to cook for us. They are happy to experience our food outside the school cafeteria and are always surprised how different home cooking is.  Its the little things that make our culture what it is and they leave with an accurate appreciation of the people who make up America.  Our friends consider them our daughters too and invite them to weddings, birthdays, and even funerals. Everything is a teaching moment and they are very curious, just like we would be in China.

Some have left behind husbands and children for this American experience and it is so sad when our girls tell us how lonely some of the other teachers are.  Often when I meet teachers from other counties, they will hug me and say “I wish I worked in your county so I would have an American mom who cares about me.”  That breaks my heart!  Not because I am anybody but because I know there are plenty of Christians out there who are praying for an opportunity to show Jesus love to someone but they don’t know where that someone is. Maybe in their own town, but they are not with the school system or they assume the school system is keeping that teacher busy.  American teachers are usually too busy for their own family and are not able to take in another person.

Actually my family is in the perfect position for this because my kids are grown, no grandkids to keep me hopping, I work in the school system as a paraeducator so I’m not as busy as a classroom teacher, and we have a van.  There are four teachers in my county so the van is very important!  

We have learned so much from them about Chinese people and culture. I was able to teach for a month in China which I thoroughly enjoyed. It definitely gave me first hand insight into their culture.  We have been blessed to be able to lead five of our daughters to Christ. They are active in their churches in China and one has led her parents to Christ. The other ten daughters have not yet committed to Christ but we know seeds have been planted and they periodically contact us with questions about the Bible or about salvation.  We make sure each one returns home with a Bible that is easy for them to read and understand.  

The daughter I left out, V, was already a Christian and her time here helped make her a leader at home. China only allows one church in every city so if it is not your “flavor” you stay home.  V does not want to attend [the state approved] church and her house church leaders disappeared 10 years ago so her family has been hungry for Christian fellowship and discipleship.  She brought her husband and child here last summer and spent 3 weeks with us. It was the first time her husband and child had ever been in a church that was different than the one at home.  It really makes me appreciate our freedom of religion here.  Her husband is working on starting a church but trying to figure out how to do it safely.

This email has been very long and I apologize. I just wanted to give you a sense of what we are doing and how simple it is so you can help us minister to the Chinese teachers that God is sending to Ky.  Who knows how long this opportunity will be available? 

If you would like to befriend a Chinese teacher, we are aware of teachers in the following school districts at this time:  Adair, Barren, Butler, Cloverport Independent, Daviess, Hardin, Logan, Meade, Metcalf, Muhlenberg, Oldham, Simpson, Todd, Warren.

Please contact me for specific schools in these counties/districts. We have direct contact information for only a few of the teachers but are aware of nearly 40 schools with Chinese teachers. You may work in one of the schools or have other contacts. For more information, please email: [email protected]

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Mats for the Homeless

Homelessness is a problem across our state and around the world. While there are many reasons for this problem and many attempts to help people in need, homelessness persists. A project involving discarded grocery bags is one way to help.

Bill Barker, missionary with the North American Mission Board, serves as National Director for Appalachian Regional Ministry and Mississippi River Ministry. Bill will be with us for the 2017 Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting at Central Baptist in Corbin. While his primary task will be to introduce the Christmas Backpact Project, we’ve also asked Bill to share about NAMB’s work through Send Relief.

Bill is in contact with many of our Kentucky missionaries as he partners with KBC Missions Mobilization Coordinator, Teresa Parrett. He frequently is given items to donate to ministries as he travels across ARM / MRM areas. Bill suggested that WMU groups might like to bring mats for the homeless as part of our collection of items for Eastern Kentucky Ministries at Annual Meeting.

Printed instructions for making the mats are found on both the National WMU and Kentucky WMU web site. There is also an instructional video available on YouTube.

Bill says that these mats are a welcome item for many who are homeless. While we all want to do even more, this is a start.

If you can’t make mats, there are plenty of items you can bring to Annual Meeting to help with ministry in Eastern Kentucky.  Learn more: kywmu.org/annualmeeting/ministryproject.

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Celebrate Missions at the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting

Annual Mtg promo image lo resCome celebrate missions with us at the 2017 Kentucky WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting. It promises to be a special time of celebrating missions involvement and what God is doing around the world. “By All Means” will be the focus of the two-day event at Central Baptist Church in Corbin. The program begins on Friday morning, March 31, 9:00 a.m. and concludes on Saturday, April 1 at noon.

Katie-Orr coppedKatie Orr, author of the Everyday Faith, Hope, Love, and Peace series from WMU’s New Hope Press, will provide Bible study theme interpretations in all sessions.

Bill BarkerEastern Kentucky missionaries will be featured in the Friday morning session. In addition, Bill Barker, National Director of Appalachian Regional Ministry and Mississippi River Ministry, North American Mission Board will introduce the NAMB Christmas Backpack project, a new project for Kentucky WMU and the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

The morning session will be followed by an Eastern Kentucky Missions Extravaganza which will include variety of interactive missions experiences and conferences on Friday from 11:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Participants can also eat a boxed lunch, visit displays, and go to the book store during this time.

Annual meeting attendees are asked to bring items for Eastern Kentucky ministries such as baby wipes, diapers, and clothes; new underwear and socks for children and adults; new tennis shoes and children’s coats; small toys; school supplies, backpacks; and full size hygiene items. Large print King James Bibles have also been specifically requested. Donated items will be sorted at the meeting and divided among ministries represented at the event.

Kentucky missionaries serving with the International Mission Board will share their work in the Friday evening session. Stan and Wendy Meador, serving with American Peoples, and AE, serving with Central Asian Peoples, will be featured. The program will also include reports from volunteers who have served this past year with Baptist Global Response in food and seed distribution in Lesotho.

Roxanne Nanney, Minister of Music at Brandenburg First Baptist Church will lead the music in all sessions, accompanied by Libby Thomas. The Central Baptist Church choir will present a short concert at 6:30 p.m. Friday to begin the evening session.

Oneida 2014_choirThe final session begins Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Ron Shaw, foster parent with Sunrise Children’s Services, will share his testimony followed by a presentation of the Kentucky Missionary of the Year Award, and a Commissioning Service for new Kentucky missionaries. Bill Barker will speak about NAMB’s Send Relief ministry followed by a concert by the Oneida Baptist Institute Choir.

There will also be a special missions time for children on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. led by Stacy Nall and Jon Auten. Children will meet Bill Barker and participate in a missions activity.

An offering for Kentucky WMU ministries to missionaries and Missionary Kids (MKs) will be received during the meeting. Kentucky WMU provides Christmas gifts to Kentucky born international missionaries as well as a fall and spring gift to Kentucky MKs who are attending college in Kentucky. Those unable to attend the annual meeting but who want to support Kentucky WMU ministries to missionaries are encouraged to send a gift for the offering or mail a donation to the Kentucky WMU office.

A boxed lunch will be available on Friday at noon at a cost of $9.00 which must be ordered in advance. The Baptist Nursing Fellowship and Executive Board Reunion dinners will be at the church on Friday at 5:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required for all meals and preschool child care. Annual Meeting information and online reservations can be found on Kentucky WMU web site: kywmu.org/annualmeeting.

I am excited about this year’s annual meeting. The focus on Eastern Kentucky ministries will not only be informative, but through the hands-on activities, you will gain a deeper understanding of the needs. We are family in WMU and you will want to be part of our annual “family reunion.” Come enjoy the fellowship, music, and missions inspiration of the entire program. Learn how Kentucky WMU facilitates missions involvement!

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Missionaries Confirm the Importance of Missions Education

At the recent Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board meeting, IMB missionaries Stan and Wendy Meador shared about their work in reaching people of European descent living in Brazil. What caught my immediate attention, however, was what they had to say about the importance of GA and RA in shaping their lives and preparing them to hear God’s call to missions.

In a note after being with us for the meeting, Wendy wrote:

It was a privilege to be able to share. We have been promoting missions education everywhere we go. We are concerned at the growing number of churches that don’t have any WMU organizations at all. Many are replacing this with Women’s Ministry and Awana, neither of which do the job that WMU does in educating Southern Baptists about missions. We wonder if the loss of close to 1000 missionaries would have been necessary if churches had kept WMU and her organizations as an important element of their church. 

When people in Southern Baptist churches ask us who Lottie Moon is, then we have a huge problem. One church even asked us how we were supported. I wanted to go double check the sign out front for fear we had walked in the wrong church. 

I have been a part of WMU in some form all my life and now my role in our affinity includes sharing ideas for stories for missions education through WMU.  WMU should be an essential part of church life.

If there is anything more we can do to help promote missions education, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Blessings, Wendy Meador

I appreciate Wendy’s forthright note. I recently said something very similar when speaking on behalf of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering on December 4 in Whitesburg.

I use five words to describe what churches do related to missions: learn, pray, give, go, and send. We in WMU begin with learn because we know that people are not likely to do the others until they know about lostness, about the needs, about how support missions, how people can be involved, and so on. So today we will learn in order that you might be more effective in praying and be compelled to give as well as go. And it my prayer that you will have the opportunity to send people from this church either as missions volunteers or as career missionaries.

Many years ago I sensed a calling to missions. I was willing to go and explored that option but God showed me that my calling was to educate. It is an area that needs greater attention than ever before. The fact that the IMB had to bring home what ended up being over 1,000 missionaries  says that something has been lacking and I believe it is learning about missions. We support and pray for what we know about. And when we fail to teach missions to our children, we fail not just for that year, but for years to come. Bringing home the missionaries was a failure that began 20 years ago when many churches decided that other programs were more important than missions.  We must educate!

Please understand that I am not against other programs. But when they are used instead of missions, an important dimension of discipleship is left out! For the sake of lost people around the world, please start or strengthen missions education in your church. What you do today in teaching missions and engaging children and students in doing missions will have an impact for years to come.

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Message to the Kentucky WMU Executive Board, October 2016

Each year I bring a report to the Executive Board during October Board meeting. When I make this report each year, it is a time to reflect on the past, report on the present, and reveal direction for the future.

As I reflect on the past, I know that I am grateful. Grateful to the Lord for directing me to Kentucky, grateful for those who have gone before me, grateful for those who have served on our Board and our staff. I am particularly grateful that people have been gracious, encouraging, and supportive in so many ways. I am grateful for the opportunities to have represented Kentucky WMU across our state, at national WMU, and even around the world.

You have heard the staff reports on the present. We have an excellent staff who are all hard workers. We’ve recently all taken an on-line version of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and I took note that every person on our staff has a J in the mix of four letters that describe their personality type. That means we are all highly structured. Now beyond that, we have many differences, but we are united around one purpose – missions.

Back during the summer, we were asked to participate in shooting a Cooperative Program video. What KBC wanted was for each agency to do something that represented their work and end with a group of people saying thank you.  I chose to do this at Kentucky Changers. As I tried to think of a way to say what Kentucky WMU does, all I could come up with was a list of a lot of WMU activities. So that is what we did. (NOTE: This video will be shown at the KBC Annual Meeting on November 15 and posted on our web site after the meeting. We have been asked not to release it yet.)

slide3Not long after making this video, we were having a discussion about the work of WMU in a staff meeting and we were asked to describe succinctly what WMU does. Someone said, “WMU facilitates missions involvement.”

I immediately latched on to that statement. Short and to the point. Just think about it. When we plan things like Kentucky Changers or Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids, we facilitate the missions involvement of those who come. It fits with what KBC has as our mission statement: “The Kentucky Baptist Convention, created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.” Kentucky WMU helps KBC do this as we help churches learn, pray, give, go, and send. By planning Changers and MAKK, we have helped churches have a way to send students and children on mission. Now of course, we know that the participants have also learned about missions and prayed during their experience.  (See Kentucky Changers Video from Frankfort, July 2016).

When Kentucky WMU sends out posters, prayer guides and envelopes for each of the missions offerings, we facilitate the missions involvement of 2400 churches who have the opportunity to learn, pray, and give for missions.

Kentucky WMU partnered with Baptist Global Response and the KBC in 2014 and again this year to do the Bucket Project. By organizing and promoting this effort, we are helping individuals and churches to be involved in taking the gospel to people with AIDS. (See CP/Buckets of Hope Video.)

When Kentucky WMU plans a missions trip and people join us, we facilitate their opportunity to go. When we teach leaders to plan and conduct local mission action ministries, and they go home to their own churches and associations to do this, Kentucky WMU has had a part in helping people go get involved in missions.

In 2017 we will have many ways to get involved. We will promote these through an insert that will be in the February 2017 Missions Mosaic. It promotes events in 2017 from about February up to the end of July.  It is built around the theme of WMU facilitates missions involvement. Be on the lookout for it when your February Mosaic comes.  Share it with others.  If you need copies, it will be on the web and you can print more.

I spoke in Daviess-McLean association this past Monday night, and went through a lot of the events that Kentucky WMU sponsors.

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Larry Gritton, president of Oneida Baptist Institute, spoke after me, and jokingly said, “I’m sorry you don’t have enough to do.”

We have plenty to do and a wonderful staff who lead these activities.  My job some days is just to get out of their way. But I am also the one who is approached by others when they are seeking WMU partnership, involvement, support. At that point, my job is to envision possibilities. I don’t always get it right but it is exciting to be part of new things.

Sometimes we have to let go of things that are beloved to us in order to embrace new opportunities. This was the case three years ago when we knew we had to give up having camp at Cedar Crest. But letting go of camp opened the door for Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids, a tremendous mission trip opportunity for children in grades 4-6 and their leaders.

I am excited about the future direction of GA activities through Wild About Missions. Due to scheduling, we cannot even do the camp overnights at Jonathan Creek and Cedar Crest next summer. But Stacy came to me with a new idea for GA activities to do instead, and I think they are going to be great as girls have an overnight at the Louisville Zoo, a day at the Kentucky Horse Park, and an overnight at Camp Joy and trip to Mammoth Cave. These are new ways to learn about missions.

I must say that I am excited about the future for national WMU. Our new executive director, Sandy Wisdom-Martin, is creative, funny, caring. It is God’s providence that Sandy has several articles in this year’s WMU Year Book, and those were written long before we began talking with her about becoming our new exec. She also has a great series of articles in Mosaic about practical things you can make for missions. I am saving every one of the articles.  But I want you to hear Sandy in her own words. (See Introducing Sandy Wisdom-Martin video)

What do I see for the future of Kentucky WMU?

  • Strengthen partnerships. We need to work even more closely with other KBC agencies and institutions such as Oneida and Sunrise.  The ministry projects we are doing this weekend are a way to partner with church planting as we write notes to church planter wives and as we provide the makings for s’mores for the international student retreat. Every time that others come to WMU to ask for help and find us ready and willing, it strengthens relationships and once again, WMU facilitates missions involvement. There will be opportunities for us with the KBC in partnership missions as well. I want to be ready to say yes when we are asked.  I can also say that we are partnering within the KBC. Jason Stewart is joining us in planning and promoting the next Creative Ministries Festival. We believe we are going to connect with a new audience for this ministry.  And of course, for WMU, creative ministries is an avenue for sharing the gospel, which is what we are all about.
  • Grow the Eliza Broadus Offering. Our state missions offering has remained steady but we have not met goal in a number of years. There are missions needs in Kentucky that we need to be part of and support through the offering.
  • Grow other sources of funding for Kentucky WMU such as the Heritage Fund. My goal has been to get to the point that every dollar of EBO is used for other state missions work and none kept for Kentucky WMU. We have been very blessed that when CP began to slide, we had begun to have real growth in other income sources. That growth allowed us to maintain our staffing level and continue on. While we are grateful to see an upturn in CP, Kentucky WMU needs to have other resources as well to keep growing our work.
  • Advocate for missions education in the local church. This has been a long standing purpose of WMU, but the need is critical. I think the bringing home of over 1,000 IMB missionaries last year was a wakeup call to many. As a result, CP has grown this year. I also think there is a greater awareness that adults in our churches don’t just wake up one day and say “I think we need to support the Cooperative Program, and that we need to give more for missions.” Rather, attitudes about supporting missions are cultivated over time and through experience. So, it is important that we start talking about the Cooperative Program and our missions offerings with our children so that these are not foreign terms to them when they get to be adults. And for folks coming into our churches who did not grow up in missions, we must teach them as well. In the Development Committee, it was suggested that Kentucky WMU develop a Missions 101 conference and display, where we teach what CP, LMCO, AAEO, EBO are and why we support missions through them. I plan to follow up on this and offer my services to churches that would like to have a Missions 101 presentation.
  • Remember our core strength. I read a book awhile back on leadership entitled “One Thing You Need to Know.” The author identified four points of clarity that organizations need to know: Who do we serve? What is our core strength? What is our core score? What actions can we take today?  It is an informative read and I certainly could have organized my comments tonight around the four questions. But I want to close with a reminder about our core strength.

Luke 8:1-3 tells about the women who were in the company of the larger group of disciples who followed Jesus. After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him,and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

I like to think of them as the first WMU group. They supported the work of Jesus financially. That is how WMU got started and it is still a core strength of our work.  A vital service to the Kingdom that we provide – raising money for missions.

And then this morning I read a passage that jumped out at me from 1 Timothy 5. Here Paul is writing to Timothy about the care of widows in the church, stressing that if there is family, that is who should care for them. But in what he said about the widows who were deserving of the care of the church, there is a list that we must not miss. In 1 Tim. 5:3-10, Paul says: Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need…. No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

The women were to be well known for good works, that is:

  • Bringing up children – we all need to help bring up the children of the church – shame on us if a church cannot find WMU members willing to work with the children. And even if a church does not have RA and GA or MF, if WMU members teach SS, lead children’s church, etc., we can make sure that our children are learning about missions within those contexts.
  • Showing hospitality – may we show hospitality to people in need, missionaries, people in our communities. It is OK for us to be known as the best cooks in town. When Brett came and asked for ‘smores for international students, my answer was yes, we can do that. He left my office loving WMU.
  • Washing the saints’ feet – may we care for our missionaries, pastors, church planters, other believers. May we serve in whatever way is needed. That is why we are writing encouragement cards to church planter wives.
  • Helping the afflicted – when we get involved with ministries to people in need, we are helping the afflicted. We do this through Kentucky Changers, MAKK, Missionsfest, Familyfest, BNF, local mission action, collection projects for Baptist ministries, and the list goes on.
  • Devoted to good works – basically we do whatever needs to be done. We do not have to have a lot of recognition, or position, or titles – we just do what needs to be done. I encourage WMU leaders in churches and associations to find out what the pastor or DOM vision is and devote themselves to helping him accomplish it.

This is the kind of reputation we in WMU need to have.

slide3In speaking in associational fall meetings over the past few weeks, I’ve talked about how WMU facilitates missions involvement. I’ve ended with this statement: Can you be involved in missions without WMU?  Sure you can, but if you want to see greater missions involvement by your church, WMU has a track record of over 125 years of engaging people in missions. Encourage WMU in your church and the results will be amazing.

As Sandy said, “have we accomplished the great commission?”  Until everyone in all the world has heard the gospel, then WMU has work to be done. It’s not about WMU, it’s about the gospel. WMU facilitates missions involvement. We help churches learn, pray, give, go and send.

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Thank you, Kentucky WMU Executive Board

Those who attend the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting often comment on how inspirational the meeting is and that they like the fact that “business” is kept to a minimum. There is a reason for this and we say thank you to the 30 members of the Kentucky WMU Executive Board who attend to details behind the scenes.

exec-board-8The Executive Board has just concluded what we call October Board Meeting. It is a three day marathon of meetings. In our opening session, we hear reports from the KBC Executive Director, Development Specialist, Baptist Nursing Fellowship President, and Kentucky WMU President. Our staff makes reports about their work and events of the past year.

exec-board-4You may have heard that we had a pajama party this year. One of our staff reports tried to make folks to believe that we work the staff so hard they have to sleep at the office! It was all in good fun and we had a lot of laughs from their report, yet learned a lot about what they do.

The Executive Board includes promotional committees which give guidance and feedback on our work with age-levels. We have a Preschool/Children Committee, a Youth/College Committee, and an Adult/Churchwide Committee. Staff members share more detailed reports of their work and events with these committees. Committee members not only give feedback and suggestions, but during the year they also come and help.

exec-board-10The Board also has five standing committees: Partnerships & Ministries to Missionaries; Scholarship; Finance; Personnel/Administrative; and Bylaws and Policy. Each of these committees meets to review our work and approve recommendations. Their work each October and at other times during the year provides accountability and allows us to have an annual meeting that is focused on missions. In addition, there is a State Missions Committee and a Nominating Committee.

exec-board-2016The Kentucky WMU Executive Board is elected each year at the annual meeting. It includes three officers (president, vice president, recording secretary), 24 regional representatives (three from each of the eight regions of the KBC), and three ex officio members (Development Specialist, BNF President, and RA Representative).

exec-board-9Because we employ a rotation system for the Board, a portion of our members rotate off each year and new people are elected to serve. Invariably, as their term ends, Board members comment on how much they have learned about the work of Kentucky WMU and how they will miss serving. Each one brings unique skills and perspective. We are grateful for the grassroots representation they provide to help our staff plan for WMU work across our state.

Thank you, Kentucky WMU Executive Board!

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Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer 2016

LOGO WD BWA.epsEach year on the first Monday of November, Baptist Women around the world gather for a day of prayer. Utilizing materials written by one of the seven continental unions of the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance, women pray for each other and for missions needs.

WMU participates in the Day of Prayer through the North American Baptist Women’s Union. Many associations plan a Day of Prayer observance as an associational gathering and reach out to all Baptist women in the area. It is a great  time for us to come together as Baptist Women to pray.

img_3812In my international travels, one of the very special things has been to talk with Baptist Women in other countries about the Day of Prayer. I am encouraged by the commitment of women to pray. They often travel under difficult circumstances to join with others for the Day of Prayer observance. It is my prayer that we will be as committed.

img_3793In July 2015, three of us from Kentucky joined with other Baptist Women in Johannesburg, South Africa for an international women’s leadership conference. A number of women that we have met across the years were there, including friends from Korea WMU. I think of them and many others as we observe the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer.

The Day of Prayer material includes a Bible study, testimonies from Baptist women, and a prayer guide. We also receive an offering to be used for the ministries of our continental unions as well as for international projects.  NABWU projects to be funded by this year’s Day of Prayer offering include:
– Deborah Project of the Women’s Convention, National Baptist Convention
– Earn While You Learn, Island Pregnancy Centre, Atlantic Baptist Women
– Graffiti 2 Works, Life Skills Ministry, New York WMU
– Refugee Outreach, Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario & Quebec
– Military Wives’ Retreat, North Carolina WMU
– Sister to Sister, American Baptist Women

Christian Women’s Job Corps of Middle Tennessee, Girls Equine Therapy Program (Canada), Oasis Women’s Counseling Program (Latin America), and a Job Skills Training Program for Women (Canada) are among the international projects to be funded this year through the Day of Prayer offering.

win_20150720_033001Learn more about the Day of Prayer and find a link to download materials at kywmu.org/dayofprayer.  If you would like to participate in the Day of Prayer Offering, please send to: NABWU, P.O. Box 282 Bordentown, NJ 08505-0282.The checks need to be made out to NABWU.

Find out if there is a Day of Prayer Observance in your area.  If not, plan your own and gather other women to pray with you. Utilize the Prayer Guide for the Day of Prayer and earnestly pray for our Baptist sisters around the world.

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Buckets Touch Real People

Sometimes we participate in projects to collect things for people in need but have little connection to the people who receive the items. This is one reason it is vital for churches to take items in person to ministry sites and spend time participating in the ministry. Items collected have greater meaning as we connect them to real people.

“Turning a Ministry Project Into a Missions Project” is a recent blog on the National WMU web site. The article includes the reminder that we move from ministry to missions when we share the gospel. This should always be an important part of every ministry.

Going in person, however, is not always possible for every project, but we should never lose sight of the real people who benefit from our effort. The Bucket Project, a ministry of Baptist Global Response (BGR) is such an effort. Fortunately here in Kentucky, there are enough people who have gone overseas and delivered buckets, that we can hear stories from Kentucky volunteers about the impact of every bucket. A new video, Buckets of Hope 2016, includes the story of Mavis who received a bucket from a Kentucky volunteer.

597750899_260x146The  Buckets of Hope video tells about the Bucket Project from the perspective of the Cooperative Program (CP).  The video reminds us that the Cooperative Program makes it possible to do this type of project because CP has put the structure and missionaries on the field where the buckets will be delivered to people with AIDS.

596292053_260x146Dr. Paul Chitwood has issued a video challenge to bring 2000 buckets to the 2016 Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, November 15, at the Florence Baptist Church. Have you packed a bucket?

BGR logoFor information about the Bucket Project and links to a detailed shopping list and other information, go to: kywmu.org/bucketproject.

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Stuck In Traffick

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When WMU had Project Help: Human Exploitation as a focus, the purpose was to put a host of exploitation issues on the radar of our churches, including human trafficking. At the time there were too many of us who thought “it does not happen in my town.” Unfortunately we have learned that human trafficking does happen – in our small towns and big cities.

Human trafficking ensnares about 27 million people worldwide, including Kentucky. Advocacy groups say children as young as 2 months old have been victims of sexual exploitation. Children are twice as likely than adults to be trafficked, with the average girl groomed for prostitution being between 12 and 14 years old.

Stuck in Traffic is a one-day workshop designed to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking in the state of Kentucky, and to help the church to learn practical ways to be a changing force in our culture.  Join Kentucky Baptists as we seek to end this modern-day slavery and to learn how we can help victims be freed from the chains of trafficking.

REGISTRATION
COST: $10 (includes lunch & materials)

Register at  http://www.kybaptist.org/stuck-in-traffick,1631  by October 19 or contact (866) 489-3527 or [email protected] for information of assistance in registration.

Free child care is available for infants through 5th grade. Registration is required.
(Parents must pick up their children during lunch, but may order lunches for their children for an $5 per child.)

Location: 
Bethlehem Baptist Church
5708 Preston Hwy.
Louisville, KY 40219

CONTACT INFO
Kristen Drake
[email protected]
(502) 489-3404

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Matches made in heaven?

denise1By Denise Gardner

I had a really wonderful experience recently in Bowling Green. I was invited to attend a Sunday evening gathering of Acteens at Calvary Baptist Church. They meet at least monthly and are an active and dedicated group.

The evening was their first of the new church year, which included welcoming new girls to the group. Naturally, several of the girls were “graduating,” so to speak, from Girls in Action. Leaders decided to give the event a Big Sisters/Little Sisters feel by pairing up younger girls with those who have been involved in Acteens for a while. The hope is that the older girls might become spiritual mentors to the younger. (If “spiritual mentors” sounds a bit stuffy, the title “trusted friend” also works.)

I wonder if some of the girls who were paired up with an older Acteen come from families where they are the only child. If so, this will be a very new experience for them. There was so much excitement in the room as the leader, Emily, read the matches from a file on her smart phone.

We know that some of these pairs won’t become BFFs or besties, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if, standing right there in that room, we hadn’t witnessed the start of some friendships that will last for decades, and into eternity.

Now that we are well into the routine of the new school year, I hope you’ve had some time to review the materials I mentioned in the fall edition of Kentucky Notes. As a reminder:

In addition to a Little/Big Sisters match similar to what the Calvary group did, here are some other ideas you might want to try in the coming year:

  • Missions Lock-In Invite a mission speaker and plan several hands-on missions projects.
  • Begin at Home  Load Acteens in the church bus/van and drive the community to learn about local mission sites.
  • School Prayerwalk  Organize your Acteens to prayerwalk local schools.

Don’t forget … National Acteens Panelist applications due to the national WMU office Nov. 1. Download them at www.wmu.com or refer to the latest edition of Acteens Leader.

Denise Gardner is Acteens specialist for Kentucky WMU. [email protected]. Kentucky Acteens is on Facebook.

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