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Bridge View

Big 4 Bridge.jpgThe Kentucky WMU staff took a couple of days last week for our annual Staff Planning Retreat. During this time we try to have a mix of some fun activities as well as prayer, Bible study, reflection on the past year and plans for the coming year.

As our fun activity, we hiked the Big 4 Bridge, an old railway bridge that has been turned into a pedestrian bridge over the Ohio River. There are ramps up to the bridge from both the Kentucky side as well as the Indiana side.  The Kentucky ramp is in Waterfront Park in Louisville and is near a “swing park” and a “splash park.”  The Indiana ramp is in Jeffersonville near a street of interesting shops and restaurants.

Big 4 Brige deck.jpgThe Big 4 Bridge is one mile in length.  Each ramp is about one-quarter mile and the bridge itself is one-half mile.  As you cross the bridge there is an outstanding view of the river, downtown Louisville, Jeffersonville, and river activity.  I was especially glad to see that a new downtown bridge really is being built.  (My parents were from Missouri and that characteristic of “I’ll believe it when I see it” was passed down!)

New brige construction.jpgHiking the bridge was fun and a good time for us to be together.  But there was a bigger purpose in going.  I wanted our staff to see the bridge view and reflect on lessons we might apply to our work such as:
See the big picture
Note the tearing down to make way for the new
Small details matter but don’t lose sight of what you are building
Small details matter and affect the quality of the outcome
Note the new alongside the old
Repurpose the old (Big 4 Bridge is an example)
Create space for fun even the midst of work (a park near office buildings)
Bridges connect
We need more bridges
There are new discoveries on the other side

Schimpff's.jpgWe also had a fun lunch at Schimpff’s Confectionary (a new discovery for me!). And the view from the bridge gave us a new perspective for our discussion during day two of our staff planning as we talked about things we do well, what needs improvement, what we should be doing and even what we should not be doing.

If you can go hike the Big 4 Bridge, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful facility. There were many walkers of all ages as well as runners and cyclists. The view from the bridge is worth the trip. And while you are there, reflect on what you see!

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A month of Kentucky missions stories

Shirley Cox was called of God to be a writer. She tells the story of her call in the Prayer Patterns section of this month’s Missions Mosaic.  I encourage you to get an August 2014 issue and read not only the story of Shirley’s call to writing, but the month of stories that she shares about Kentucky missionaries. As I have prayed daily for Southern Baptist missionaries around the world, it has been a special month to read the selected scripture passages and then the stories of people I know who illustrate the passages so well.

Among the featured missionaries you will find the story of Eileen Mullins and how God led her through a family tragedy to establish Haven of Rest Family Ministries.  There is the story of Judith Drummond, administrative assistant with Baptist Fellowship Center in Louisville. Shirley’s own story of being compelled to go to jail and teach the Bible to women will grip your heart as will the testimony of Bessie McPeek, a mom who needed welfare at one time, who eventually went to work in the welfare office and developed a diaper ministry that grew into much more.

Shirley reminds us of the importance of caring for the least of these as she tells the story of Rachelle Starr and her ministry through Scarlet Hope. She encourages us to keep caring for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy as she tells about the work of Kay Hammond and Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center. Stories to come this month include Garnett Jones who was moved to study Spanish at age 67 and start a ministry to internationals. Arlene Miller is featured on August 22. I am amazed by her passion for orphans in Haiti as well as the concern she has for people in Christian County who are in need as she ministers through Impact Ministry and Christian Women’s Job Corps.

One of my birthday buddies, Harrell Riley, is featured on August 27 (though his birthday is August 13!). Harrell established Hell is Real ministry to reach out in a variety of ways, including jail ministry both to men and women. Lonnie and Belinda Riley came back from Mississippi to minister in Belinda’s home town of Lynch where the needs were great. In Elizabethtown Nelle Thomas discovered that hunger knows no geographic limits and when her church started feeding hungry children during VBS, a ministry was born.

These stories inspire us to look again at the needs around us and see that God can use anyone who is willing to serve.  What strikes me most about these stories is the influence beyond Kentucky. God has gifted Shirley to write and I believe that the words of Isaiah 49:6 apply to Shirley and to those whose stories she tells.  ”It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”  This passage, first given to Isaiah points us to Jesus.  As Christ followers in whom Jesus lives today, the passage speaks to us as well.  ”Kings will see you and stand up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Shirley and missionaries, to all who are faithfully serving in your particular place – the Holy One of Israel has chosen you and your faithfulness will have influence far beyond what you could ever ask or imagine.  This year a special lady named Peggy Murphy came to work for Kentucky WMU as our Kentucky Changers Coordinator. I’ve been in meetings with Peggy where mayors and county judge executives were skeptical.  And I’ve been in the celebration services where we saw the before and after pictures of homes, and where the community leaders were there saying “thank you for coming.”  It’s not about us – it’s about proclaiming Jesus as Lord. But when we are faithful, God gives us some incredible experiences along the way!

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Annual Meeting Buckets – the “rest of the story”

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.

imageFirst, 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!

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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.

imageOther 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.

imageHerb 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.

imageThe “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?

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It is necessary to use words

A popular quote attributed to Francis of Assisi is “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”  It is a quote that leads many to believe that if we demonstrate the love of Christ through ministry, we are preaching the gospel.  While there is no doubt that ministry to people in need is vital and commanded in the Bible (both Old Testament and New Testament), ministry without a gospel witness explaining why we do what we do in ministry is incomplete.

It is easy to miss opportunities to share the gospel, even when engaged in ministry. When people are surprised at what we do, this is an open door to explain what compels us.  Peter wrote “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15 NIV).  The Message  puts it this way: “Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.”

A person does not have to be a Christian to be kind to others. There are many “good” people who are lost. This is why we encourage youth groups to bring students to participate in Kentucky Changers, even if they are not yet Christ followers. God has put it in each of us to want to do good for others. Students who are not Christians are invited to come work along side those who are.  During a week of working on houses for people in need, they quickly learn that what compels believing students and adults is the love of Jesus. We are so grateful for the strong witness shared with students and homeowners throughout Kentucky Changers, both during the day at job sites, as well as through the evening worship services.

We are grateful for the compassion ministries that are taking place this week through Familyfest. Many of the ministries serve to provide a positive perception of Baptists in the community at large. Cleaning windows at a school or painting at a transitional house for the homeless may not seem like ministries where much witnessing can take place, but our prayer is that doors will be open for Boone’s Creek Baptist Association churches to share the gospel because of the good will created through Familyfest. But we also pray that there will be many saved this week while Familyfest volunteers are here and sharing the gospel as they work.

“Always be prepared” speaks to each one of us. If you are not prepared to share your testimony, write it down and practice. If you are not prepared to share the gospel, get a New Testament and mark the verses you want to share. Write the page number where you want to begin in the cover, and the page to go to next on the subsequent pages.  Buy some tracts and put them in your car, purse, wallet, or whatever you carry with you often.  Get some tracts in other languages, too.

There is an old adage that says “aim at nothing and you will hit it every time.”  If you don’t prepare to share your faith, then you are preparing not to.  The Bible says “always be prepared.”  Get ready to witness and God will bless your preparation.

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Tyler’s story

Tyler Thomas 1In my last blog on Life Changing Commitments, I shared about the call from Terry Thomas to tell us about his son’s commitment to Christ. Because Tyler’s camp experiences had contributed to his understanding of the gospel, I asked if we might share his story.  His dad sent me this note:

Mrs. Bolton,
Jon relayed the request about including Tyler’s story in your blog. We discussed it with Tyler and he said it would be OK with him to write. We are excited that you made the request.

When I asked Tyler if there was something special about Courage or Mission Adventure Camp, he FirstCourage revsaid “The most important part was talking with me and going to church.”

Now, from my perspective, these two events played a very important role in his coming to understand his need for Salvation. He wanted to go to these places with me. The leadership from the WMU as well as other churches provided Tyler with examples of people willing to spend time and energy with him and other children. Time and attention go a long way with boys and girls.

Our first Courage event, Tyler was able to see Chris Clark. He had studied about Chris in Children In Action.

100_2288Our first camp, Caleb Hetrick was his cabin counselor. Caleb was a fellow Homeschooler which made a connection with Tyler. The next two Courage events, Caleb was there and made a big deal about seeing Tyler.

This year at camp, Lucas Young was Tyler’s cabin counselor and connected with Tyler and his guitar. In fact, they played together one night in the cabin. He wrote out the chords for Tyler to play the camp songs.

Showing the Jesus film this year sparked an intense interest for Tyler. We watched the film at home and then walked through the plan of salvation multiple times over the course of a few weeks before he made his decision.

100_2316I give you all this background to encourage you and your staff to continue investing time and energy into these kids. Emphasize connecting personally. All of us come to understand the meaning of salvation through the personal witness of others. The Lord used the camps to touch Tyler’s life. If you ask him, he is probably going to say swimming was his favorite part. I assure you he got much more.

Thanks, Terry, for this note. To all missions leaders, Sunday School teachers, choir directors, and others in our churches who work with preschoolers, children, and youth – THANK YOU!  Please let Tyler’s story be an encouragement to you to keep on investing in the children and youth in your community and church.  Keep sharing the gospel. When you lay a solid foundation for growing faith, the impact will be felt for 100_2254years to come and touch others as well.

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Life Changing Commitments

IMG_2760In our Monday morning WMU staff meeting, we always pray for the missionaries on the prayer calendar and then share personal prayer requests and praises. Today Jon shared that Terry Thomas had contacted him to share the good news of his son’s commitment to Christ. Tyler has attended both Camp Courage and Mission Adventure Camp several summers. Terry wanted to share the good news and to also say thank you for the experiences that had contributed to his son in making a profession of faith.This was not a quick decision, but rather one that came from the teaching times at his church as well as gospel centered camping experiences.This young man has been taught the truths of the gospel, absorbed them, thought about them, and came to understand that they applied to him. Thank you Jon and all who have been a part of faithfully sharing the gospel. (There’s more to this story and I will share Tyler’s story in another blog.)

Evangecube activityDuring the Girls in Action Overnight for girls in grades 4-6 and their leaders this past weekend at Jonathan Creek, the girls participated in Bible Storying. The girls not only heard the gospel, but they also learned to share the gospel with others through making their own evangelism cube. How important it is that we not only share the gospel with children, but that we also equip them to share Jesus with their friends.

Excel2014At the three Excel WMU Training events (July 19, August 16, and September 13), we are offering a conference entitled “Witnessing at Any Age.” The purpose of this class is to equip children and adults to share faith in Christ with others because a “silent witness” is not enough. Participants will learn how to tell the gospel story and teach others to do so, too.  We are offerig this conference because in WMU we want to encourage people of all ages to share their faith, including children and youth.  Our students have access to the place that most of us do not – our schools.  Kids who are equipped and encouraged to share their faith can do so when they are playing with friends, talking on the school bus, etc.

Steve Coleman preaching
The reports from our first three weeks of Kentucky Changers are exciting.
June 7-13, Hopkinsville: 16 churches represented with 151 students and 83 adult volunteers for a total of 234 participants.
June 21-27, Lawrenceburg/Frankfort: 18 churches represented with 174 students and 77 adult volunteers for a total of 251 participants.
July 5-12, Richmond: 24 churches represented with 214 students and 90 adult volunteers for a total of 304 participants.
July 13-18, Louisville: 7 churches represented with 75 students and 35 adult volunteers for a total of 110 participants.

Witnessing to a homeownerThat gives us a total of 65 churches with 614 students and 285 adult volunteers for a total of 899 participants. We are very pleased with this first year of Kentucky Changers in the WMU family.  The final numbers are not yet in for decisions made since the Louisville project is still under way and we also like to confirm any decisions made as students returned home that were a result of Changers, but the preliminary report for the first three weeks is that there were 24 salvations, 29 commitments to ministry, and 37 rededication decisions.   We will give a final report in a few weeks.

During Kentucky Changers, students lead a devotional each day on the job site. Our videographer, John Richards, captured a student sharing his testimony with the others. Jackson’s testimony on brokenness is a wonderful story of redemption. Pray for our students as they share Christ with their friends and classmates. What a mission field in every community!  Pray for those who have made professions of faith this summer through VBS, camps, and experiences like Kentucky Changers. Pray that they will be dynamic witnesses for Christ

Seeing people make life changing commitments is the goal of all that we do in WMU. Whether this happens is in the groups we teach in our churches, through the events that we sponsor, or through prayer and financial support of missionaries around the world, we want to see lost people saved and believers grow in their faith. Sounds like the Great Commission to me!

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Don’t wait to be asked

“Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek The Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12 NASB).

In Shelby County there is a wonderful farm called Gallrein’s.  The corn there is outstanding!  When the folks at Gallrein’s plant their corn, they do not wait for city folks to call them and ask them to be sure to plow and plant this year. Rather, the folks at Gallrein’s see the fields, they envision the harvest, and they break up fallow ground. Gallrein’s plants with the harvest in mind. They reap in accordance to what seed and how much of it they have sown. While weather is certainly a factor in the harvest, the most important factor is plowing the fields and planting the seeds.

I am a city kid through and through.  What little I know about farming has come from reading and observation. But since I like to eat, learning a little about farming and showing appreciation to those who farm is a good thing.  In addition, because so many illustrations in the Bible center around planting and reaping, understanding the process is also vital to understanding Scripture.

Fallow ground is unused ground.  It may be usable with attention, but it will take work to prepare the ground for planting. To get a crop to grow, the farmer must break up the soil and prepare it for receiving seed. When the farmer plows and then plants, the farmer has a vision of the crop to come. In the passage, Hosea said to sow “with a view to righteousness.”  We are to sow the gospel with a view to spiritual harvest.

I want to issue a challenge: Don’t wait to be asked to participate in missions.  Don’t wait to be asked to “break up fallow ground” of missions and people’s lives.  Too many people are waiting to be asked to participate.  We need to realize that when a missions opportunity is placed before us, this is God’s invitation to join in what He is doing.

imageimageThis weekend I spent time with Kentucky Changers. I had had delivered some of the supplies and decided to stay. I did not have a job to do and did not have to be there. But I decided to stay and spend time talking to the volunteers, participants, and youth leaders as they were arriving. In farming terms, I was breaking up fallow ground for new relationships.  Many participants in Kentucky Changers are not familiar with WMU and all that we offer to engage students in the mission of God.  Time spent with these leaders is an opportunity to introduce them to WMU, to build relationships, and lay the foundation for future opportunities.

imageimageIn missions, an opportunity to help in a specific way often comes when we have simply shown up, not knowing what we would do. My moment came on Saturday when Elaine Koch was not feeling well and someone was needed to hand out the t-shirts. Marilyn Creighton of Tates Creek Baptist Church had also just stopped by to help for the day. Together we got the job done and visited with youth leaders and Changers volunteers. Marilyn also took some wonderful pictures.

Don’t wait to be asked. Volunteer. Show up.  Look at the “fallow ground” around you. Start “plowing.” Plant seeds with a vision for the harvest.

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Youth Camp in Tanzania

Kentucky WMU has a relationship with the Baptist Women’s Union of Tanzania that began in June 2008. At that time several Kentucky Baptist leaders went to Tanzania to learn more about their work and share ideas. We met for several days and listened to reports about their ministries. On that trip I learned that the Baptist Women’s work was very weak. We encouraged the women to meet together when the Tanzanian Baptist Convention met in August. The women did meet and elected officers once again.  As their work grew, they made contact with Baptist Women in other countries of East Africa and invited them to hold the East Africa Baptist Women’s Union meeting in Dar Es Salaam in December 2010.  Linda Cooper and I attended that meeting and were blessed by the determination and faith of the women.

In the ensuing years we have stayed in contact with several of the leaders, including Sarah Samweli, a dynamic woman who often teaches classes for the others. Sarah wrote a while back to tell us about the need for a youth camp. As plans progressed and the date was set for June 23-27, we knew that funds to do this first camp were tight for the women. Kentucky WMU contributed $500 towards the expenses. Today we received an enthusiastic report and an additional note that there were eight professions of faith.

Here is part of the note from Sarah:

Sarah SamweliWe are greeting you in Jesus name. We are happy to finish well our young camp. The Lord made us score many goals. Thank you for those who helped us to prepare the camp.

Our youth came from eight regions from our country. Others traveled for two days by bus and others by train.  Youth who attended were from 13 to 18 yrs old. There were one hundred and six youth and eleven leaders and teaches.

Our youth were so happy about this camp; their parents sent them so that they learn good lessons which helped them. The lessons were: Good life in Jesus, Growing in faith, Evangelism, Health and different of diseases and solution for them, Giving offerings and The True Love Waits. Thank you for your USA dollars which helped us.

We will do another camp next year, we are hoping. We will continue helping our youth grow in faith and we hope we will have many more youth than this year. This year our money was not enough, that is why we decided to decrease the number of youth to attend, but hopefully, next year it will be more than and will be happy if you get a chance to join us.

This was first camp in our churches. We had seen the NIGERIA Baptist youth in 2011 after going there (both Dr. Lugano Mtafya and Sarah Samweli). The women in Nigeria taught well their youth.  That is why we had a desire to prepare our camp to teach our youth. Both Tanzanian women and youth felt well to do camp again next year.

Youth promised us in the camp after going back in their various churches, they will teach other youth who could not attend camps area. Next year, we will have another camp to facilitate of more youth in Tanzania. We are going to prepare well , our target is to help our youth in our country.

Greetings to all women Kentucky.  Please tell them, thank you. God bless you.
Sarah Samweli.

 

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Changers and Changes

Changers 2014 026Changers 2014 033I have to admit a huge feeling of satisfaction and gratitude to God as I stood with youth and leaders during the first worship service of the Kentucky Changers week in Lawrenceburg / Frankfort.  When the title slide with the theme for the week came up that included the Kentucky WMU logo, I wanted to shout. The Changers participants were praising the Lord in song, so they would have hardly noticed if I had done a happy dance in the aisle.

It has been a challenging year of transition. I am grateful to the Kentucky WMU Executive Board who caught the vision and agreed to take a risk in taking on this ministry.  It was not in this year’s budget and required faith that the finances on paper would work.  I am grateful to Peggy Murphy who said yes and agreed to leave her post at the KBC to join the WMU staff as the Kentucky Changers Coordinator.  After working with Peggy this year, I am absolutely amazed at what she accomplishes in coordinating four weeks of Changers.  And normally she is working two years out, but this year had only seven months.

Changers 2014 036For those who have not experienced Kentucky Changers, let me say that putting together one week would be a tremendous task. Peggy does it for four weeks in four different locations. Coordination includes working with the local association and local committees, working out housing and meals, working with the project coordinators to find and fund the project materials, registration, insurance, and enlisting volunteers such as crew chiefs, assistant crew chiefs, cooks and many others. Due to our bad winter, schools got out later this year and added to the challenges for Peggy.

I spent the day on Saturday with Changers, helping with check-in, meeting leaders, and attending worship. Then I spent Monday with a crew painting a house for a gentleman with back problems.  The organization amazed me with the tools, supplies, and lunch delivery. Most meaningful of all was listening to a youth participant lead our devotional after lunch and hearing one of the adults cry as he shared his testimony.  Due to working in VBS at my church, I have not been able to be with the Changers for their nightly worship time, but certainly enjoyed hearing the teens on my crew discussing what they heard the night before.

Above all, everyone on the team understands that Kentucky Changers is about changed lives, not house repairs or paint. Changers also pray for the homeowner, interact as much as possible and share Christ. Some Changers participants come because it sounds like a fun trip and they like the idea of helping others. But changed lives is the real purpose of Kentucky Changers, and this includes the students. There are many who accept Christ as Savior or commit to ministry during the week.

Camp 2014 030camp 2014 004Changes are also taking place at Mission Adventure Camp at Cedar Crest. During each week of camp, participants hear the gospel and learn about missions. The Experience 1:8 Team that is serving as our camp staff are being changed as they learn to share the gospel with children. What 1:8 team members learn will be used as they go overseas next week to serve. And the experience in an international setting will make an impact on our campuses as they return to share Christ with international students through Baptist Campus Miinistries.

One significant change for Kentucky WMU is that we will do summer camps in different ways starting next summer. Crossings has announced plans to expand their camps for children and we hope to partner with them in providing missions learning for children.  We anticipate working with an Experience 1:8 team in a different setting to provide missions camps. Details are being worked out but changes are coming.  Our prayer is that the changes will allow us opportunities to interact with more children’s leaders than ever before, encouraging them to engage children in missions.

A friend once told me that there are two things Baptists hate. One is change and the other is the same old thing.  Some changes we embrace (like Kentucky Changers!) and others we resist. Above all, the most important change is a changed life.  Pray for change!

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EBO at Work

EBO is at work this summer!  We have just finished our first week of Kentucky Changers with 220 participants working in Hopkinsville on 18 projects.  The projects included roofing, siding, painting, decks and handicap ramps.    Three more Kentucky Changers projects will take place in Frankfort/Lawrenceburg, Richmond, and Louisville.  Pray for Peggy Murphy, all the adult volunteers, student participants and homeowners who will be helped this summer. Pray for the witness of students and all participants during each week of Kentucky Changers.

We are in our second week of camp at Cedar Crest where campers are experiencing a “Missions Safari” as they learn about missions in Africa.  Stacy Nall, Jon Auten, and a 1:8 Leadership Team are working with our children to provide a wonderful time of learning, Bible study, interaction with missionaries, fun in the great outdoors, and all of the special things about camp (like a campfire and ‘Smores!).

Because of your generous gifts to the Eliza Broadus Offering, we receive many thank you notes from ministries across Kentucky that receive grants provided by the offering. Robin Reeves, Kentucky MSC missionary of Corbin wrote: Dear friends, Just wanted to say thank you for the recent Eliza Broadus grant ($1,100.00) that I received this year. We’ve used some of it to purchase some Gospel of John and Romans booklets (300+), mailed over 500 witnessing dolls out since the middle of January, and a portion was used for that. Some will be used for Bible Club supplies and also for our evangelistic Back-to-School block party in July! It was such a blessing to again be an Eliza recipient this year!

Robin’s note does not begin to tell the story of her ministry which is called Christians By Choice – Clown and Creative Ministries. In addition to the witnessing dolls that Robin and ladies from her church make, they enlisted children in making “Dolls on Mission” at a Kingdom Kids event with MSC missionary Stacey Burton.  Robin had her first Bible Club of the summer the first week of June at her house. Not only does she work with volunteer teams that come to help, but Robin involves others in a sewing and quilting ministry. This group now meets up to three times a week for prayer and to make witnessing dolls and lap quilts for the cancer center at a local hospital. The sewing ministry has also expanded to include ladies from the community who are invited to come for Quilt Club Day on the second Tuesday of each month where they can learn to sew and quilt. The Quilt Club gathering includes a monthly lunch and Biblical Quilt Block series with supporting Bible study.

Salvation dollMany other ministries are at work this summer putting EBO dollars to work to share the gospel. Pray for these ministries and for all of our efforts as Kentucky Baptists to reach out to children and families during the summer.

 

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