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.
Another 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The 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.
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.