Happy birthday, Eliza Broadus!

Eliza Broadus Color lowresOctober 1, 1851 was a special day for Kentucky WMU, though no one knew it at the time.  On that day, Eliza Sommerville Broadus was born and this eldest daughter of Dr. John A. Broadus, was destined to impact the work of Woman’s Missionary Union in Kentucky and beyond.   I wrote a blog about Eliza last year (Remembering Eliza) and put her birthday on my calendar.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Eliza Broadus Offering, we also retyped a biography about Eliza written by Dr. Jack Birdwhistell.  You can download a copy and learn more about this remarkable lady.  (LINK: Eliza Broadus Biography)

Several years ago I visited Eliza’s grave in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.  Her headstone includes this statement: “An elect lady beloved in many lands.”  This was the dedication inscribed to her in A Harmony of the Gospels, written by Dr. A. T. Robertson, her brother-in-law.

In remembering Eliza’s birthday, I reflected on that statement as I visited with Main Street Baptist Church in Williamsburg this past Sunday to participate in their state missions emphasis. The emphasis has been going on all of September and they have focused particularly on the role of the Eliza Broadus Offering in reaching international students.  On Sunday, there was a parade of flags representing the 33 countries currently represented in the student enrollment at the University of the Cumberlands.  Main Street is reaching out to these international students in a number of ways and seeking to make them feel welcome.   A number of the international students came to carry the flag of their home country in the parade of flags.

Dean Whitaker, campus missionary, sent me the list of countries represented at UC this year.  This list is astounding and includes: Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (Peoples Republic), Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Haiti, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Our state missions prayer guide this year took you through Luke 8:4-15, reading a verse or two each day in the parable of the soils, and reading a prayer request related to it.  In the parable a farmer went out to sow seed, and some fell on hard soil, some on rocky soil, some on thorny soil, and some on good soil.  Of the good soil, Luke 8:8 says, “Still other seed fell on good soil, It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

The prayer request with that verse asked you to pray for Engage, an outreach event of Baptist Campus Ministry that is designed to reach out to international students.  You were asked to pray for the good soil of receptive hearts among these students and that Engage participants this coming November will understand the gospel and receive it with joy.  And you were asked to pray that the seeds planted here to yield a hundredfold crop all over the world as students who have accepted Christ while in college in this country bear witness in their home countries.

Through the parade of flags this past Sunday at Main Street Baptist Church, we had a visual reminder of the international students in our midst.  Now I ask you, what other than the hand of God, would bring students from all over the world to this place at this time?  Yes, University of the Cumberlands is a wonderful school, a first class institution of higher learning, but how do international students find us?  Why here?  Why now?

The answer is that God is bringing these students to us and entrusting them to this university, this community, this church.  The soil of their lives is good soil.  They are the cream of the crop in their home countries.  They are at a time in their lives of learning and exposure to new things. Yet it is also a scary time.  They are here in an unfamiliar place, missing foods from their home countries, away from family and friends, and having to do everything in English, which is a difficult language for many.  So, for Kentucky Baptists through our campus missionaries and Baptist Campus Ministry, to befriend international students, welcome them, help them adjust and connect with others, creates great opportunities to share the gospel.

We minister to students from all over the world at every campus in Kentucky through BCM and and our campus missionaries.  Thank you for your part in this ministry.  Your prayers and gifts through the Eliza Broadus Offering help to make our ministries to international students possible, including the upcoming Engage event in November.

God has blessed me in allowing me to travel to a number of places around the world.  Every place I go, a smile goes a long way even when we cannot understand one another.  In every culture of the world, hospitality is wrapped in food.  You have not been properly welcomed until you have had a meal.  Someone to help you navigate and find your way is absolutely welcome in every place I have ever visited.

So it is with international students who come here.  We can do some pretty simple things that will make students feel welcome and allay their fears in a new place.  And through those simple things, we can tell them about our Jesus who lives in our hearts, gives us abundant life here and has promised eternal life when life on earth is over.

If you read the prayer guide as designed, reading the selected verse or verses for each day and the corresponding prayer request, you would have seen a connection between the verses and the prayer requests. Some of our state missions ministries take the gospel out of the church and into the community to hard soil where people are not always receptive to the gospel. Some of our state missions ministries take the gospel to people whose lives are rocky and difficult.  Some ministries take the gospel to people where personal problems, activities and other distractions try to choke out the gospel.

I am a city kid through and through, and know only a little about farming.  But this I know – soil that is not so good can be worked and prepared and made better for receiving seed.  Some of our state missions ministries which are going to hard, rocky and thorny soil are doing ministries to touch lives and prepare the soil of their hearts to receive the seed of the gospel. We are not excused from sowing the seed when the soil is not good.  No, we need to be about working the soil – plowing, weeding, removing rocks – so that there will be good soil for the seed of the gospel.

Please be in prayer for missions in Kentucky.  Studies show that less than 12% of our state population is in anyone’s church on any given Sunday.  Even if every church was full, we would still have lost people all around us.  Pray, give, and get involved.  Our campus missionaries can use you to help them reach out to all students.  There are ministries in your community that need volunteers and donations of food, clothes, and household items.  There are children who need tutors to help them learn to read better and learn to do math, and if a student can get these two subjects, they can learn everything else.

So happy birthday, Eliza Broadus.  Through the offering named in your honor, you are still “an elect lady beloved in many lands.”  International students are coming to know Christ as Savior through Baptist Campus Ministry and events like Engage. And thank you Kentucky Baptists for your praying and giving which helps make these ministries possible. Your influence will also travel the world.  More than ever, make a difference!

Missions is something we do!

One of the enjoyable things about my work with Kentucky WMU is attending association meetings in the fall. Most of our Kentucky Baptist associations have a fall meeting which includes reports on the past year and information about upcoming plans. Reports usually include a summary of the Annual Church Profile (ACP) from each of the churches in the association as well as the work of association committees and ministries.  I learn a great deal from the reports and fellowship.

Most recently I attended the Christian County Baptist Association fall meeting to report on the transition of Kentucky Changers to Kentucky WMU. Hopkinsville will be one of our 2014 sites and I wanted to convey our excitement about taking on this ministry. Upon arrival I received a copy of this year’s set of reports for Christian County Association. What I read about missions participation was exciting.

Not only did the Christian County Baptist Association include the ACP total mission projects participation of 4,140, but there was an eight page report from the Missions Committee detailing the location, group/work done, number of participants, and church represented.   The list was amazing.

There were 16 Foreign Mission Trips/Projects that included Nicaragua, Brazil, Ecuador, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Guatemala,  and Costa Rica. Projects included evangelism, Baptist Medical and Dental Mission, orphanage ministry, building repairs, VBS, feeding program, and a youth revival.  Eight churches were represented and 95 people participated in the various trips and projects.

There were 10 North American Mission Trips/Projects that included ministries in South Carolina, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, Georgia, Missouri, South Dakota, and Louisiana. Projects included collecting and distributing clothes, school supplies and toys; evangelism; building repairs; VBS; beach ministry; women’s shelter, and more. Seven churches were represented and 161 participated in the various trips and projects.

There were nine trips/projects in Kentucky.  Participants went to Lexington, Oneida, Bowling Green, Eastern Kentucky, McDowell, Somerset, and Owensboro.   Six churches, involving 170  people, participated in backpack ministry, Backyard Bible Clubs, construction, evangelism, nursing home ministry, food ministry, and more.

The biggest list of projects, churches, and participants was for ministries in Christian County for a total of 91 community mission projects! Twenty-three churches participated in these projects and involved 2934 people!  While some folks are counted several times because of participation in different projects, it is still a great measure of participation.  Operation Hopkinsville encouraged many to participate through a special one-week effort allowing folks to take a mission trip at home.   Operation Hopkinsville and other projects during the year included block parties, backpack program, monthly meal for soldiers and families, after school tutoring, coat drive, jail ministry, soup kitchen, nursing home ministry, evangelism, hospital waiting room ministry, lawn care for people in need, and much, much more!

The WMU report also included information about events such as Children’s Ministry Day with over 100 in attendance. The children brought approximate 500 hygiene items which went into backpacks for the VA Homeless Center.  The children also made encouragement cards which went into the packs which were delivered during a tour of the building for the children.  In addition, the Christian County WMU Annual Project during Focus on WMU was “Baby Bundle Sunday” where 788 items (onesies and diapers) were collected and donated to Impact Ministry and Alpha Alternative.

All of this to say: Missions is something we do!   1 John 3:18 says,  “Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.”  More than ever, make a difference!

The Power of AND: Tithes AND Offerings

The Power of And CP brochureThe new KBC Cooperative Program brochure is entitled “The Power of AND.” It rightfully points out that in Acts 1:8 Jesus did not say “or” when He said “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea AND Samaria, AND to the ends of the earth.”  The Cooperative Program brochure makes the point that we can be witnesses here, there AND everywhere as we give through the Cooperative Program.

The Cooperative Program works best when individuals tithe and then churches tithe.  The idea of a tithe of the tithe is referenced in Numbers 18:26 which says, “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering.’”

As we consider the power of AND, I would add another “and” as in tithes AND offerings.  Both Deuteronomy 12:6 and 12:11 reference bringing the tithe and various offerings to the Lord.  As Southern Baptists we teach tithing.  We know that the tithe is the foundation of faithful stewardship.  We also encourage sacrificial giving through missions offerings.

EBO100YearRibbon&TextCMYKSeptember is the month we receive the Eliza Broadus Offering for State Missions.  This is the 100th anniversary year of our annual state missions offering which was started in 1913 at the urging of Eliza Broadus.  Kentucky WMU is the sponsor of the offering and named it in her honor starting in 1976. Our 2013 goal is $1.25 million!

Tithing provides support for the ministries of your church. A tithe of all the tithes received by your church given through the Cooperative Program supports the work of Kentucky Baptists through the Mission Board, Christian education, and the Kentucky Baptist entities.  The tithe of the tithe also provides funds for international missions, North American missions, Southern Baptist seminaries, and other ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Likewise, your offerings provide additional missions support for ministries in Kentucky and around the world as you participate in the Eliza Broadus Offering for State Missions, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, and in associational missions.

More than Ever, Make a Difference!


Pray for Kentucky missions

The 2013 More than Ever, Make a Difference prayer guide includes prayer requests for Kentucky missions based on Luke 8:4-15.  Last week I led chapel at the KBC and we read the verses and the associated prayer requests aloud.  I am sharing the verses and prayer requests here as an encouragement to you to read the verses and reflect on the prayer requests.  If we really want to see people saved in our state, we must first plant the seeds of prayer.

Luke 8:4-5.  While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:  “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.

Just as the farmer went out to sow his seed, we are to go out with the seed of God’s Word. Pray for ministries which intentionally take the gospel out of the church and into the community. Pray for those whose lives are not receptive to the gospel and for ministries which touch lives in such a way as to prepare them to receive the gospel.  Pray for ministries with the deaf across Kentucky. Pray that more people will learn sign language and share the good news of Jesus with deaf neighbors.

Luke 8:6.  Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.

Pray for people whose lives are rocky and difficult. Pray for ministries which demonstrate compassion and share the love of Jesus with people in need. Pray for those whose homes are repaired by Kentucky Changers and for lives to be changed through the work and witness of the students. Pray also for the students who participate in Kentucky Changers, that through this missions experience, they will grow spiritually.

Luke 8:7.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.

Pray for Pit Stop Challenge and ministry at the Kentucky Speedway.  Pray for families who are drawn to the Pit Stop Challenge to be receptive to the gospel.  Pray that activities of the race weekend, personal problems, or other distractions will not choke out the witness of Pit Stop Challenge volunteers. Pray for the distribution of Bibles and other Christian literature at the Speedway and other venues.

Luke 8:8.  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”  When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Give thanks for the good soil of receptive hearts among international students who participate in Engage, a special outreach event of Baptist Campus Ministry for internationals.  Pray for those who will attend Engage this coming November to understand the gospel and receive it with joy. Pray that the seeds planted will yield a hundredfold crop all over the world as students who accept Christ bear witness in their home countries.

Luke 8:9-10.  His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said,“The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’

Pray for those who have no understanding of the gospel message. Pray that their minds and hearts would be opened. Pray for those who are bullies and treat others in an abusive manner. Pray for churches, schools, and families who are addressing this problem in our communities. Pray for those who are the victims of bullying. Pray for more Christian students to befriend other students and not be a part of the problem.

Luke 8:11-12.  This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Pray for ministries which plant the seed of the Word of God through equestrian ministries.  Pray for children and youth who are being reached through High Equine Mountain Outreach and other equestrian ministries in Kentucky.  Pray for Cowboy churches and for efforts to reach the lost through worship services in equestrian friendly settings. Pray for those who share The Simple Plan of the Master Horseman and for the protection of the seed planted through this gospel tract.

Luke 8:13-14.  Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

Pray for new churches being planted across Kentucky.  Pray that church planters will have wisdom and help in preparing the “soil” of those who are lost in their communities.  Pray for those who receive the Word and that it will not be choked out by life’s worries, riches, or pleasures.  Pray for new churches to grow and plant other churches.

Luke 8:15.  But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Pray for Kentucky missionaries, Baptist associations and Directors of Missions. Pray for the impact of the Eliza Broadus Offering on missions in your association.  Pray for the ministries of the KBC Evangelism & Church Planting Team, Missions Mobilization Team, and the Church Consulting & Revitalization Team. Pray for affinity evangelism efforts across our state, that this would be good soil for sharing the gospel.

Learn more about Kentucky missions at www.kywmu.org/ebo.

More than Ever, Make a Difference

The 2013 Season of Prayer for State Missions is observed throughout the month of September in churches across Kentucky.  Join us as we pray for missions in Kentucky and give to the Eliza Broadus Offering.  This is the 100th anniversary of our state missions offering which was started at the recommendation of Eliza Broadus in 1913. You can learn more about this remarkable lady and her influence in a biography by Dr. Jack Birdwhistell.

Our 2013 theme verse is Luke 8:8: “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”  A great example of this is the EBO investment in the Victory Baptist Church in Shelbyville.  I wrote about this congregation back in May and told about the new portable baptistry they had purchased with help from the state missions offering.  I received this message from Marc Webb about Victory’s plans to support EBO.

Hi Joy.  I hope and pray that you are having a blessed day.  I just wanted to update you on our upcoming Bake Sale at the church.  As I told you a few weeks ago, all of our proceeds from this Bake Sale will go directly to the Eliza Broadus Offering.  Our church will be stationed in front of the main doors of Walmart on Sept. 7th.  We will be starting the sale around 8 a.m., and we will stay at Walmart until we run out of items.  We are definitely excited about this Bake Sale, and the part that we can play in supporting missions here in Kentucky.  Thanks again for all your help.  If you want any more information, just let me know.  God Bless. Marc Webb, Victory Baptist Church.

So, if you are anywhere near the Shelbyville Walmart this Saturday, September 7, please stop by and buy some baked goods from Victory Baptist folks. You will not only support the offering, but you will be a great encouragement to this congregation.

Be sure to read the “State Missions Special Edition” which is included in this week’s edition of the Western Recorder.  Encourage your church to show one of the state missions video clips each Sunday during the month of September as we see how more than ever, we can make a difference through praying, giving, and ministry.

State missions materials are posted on line:  www.kywmu.org/ebo