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.


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!

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.


Linda Cooper Elected National WMU Recording Secretary

Linda Baltimore 2014Linda Cooper, immediate past president of Kentucky WMU, was elected Recording Secretary of Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC on June 9, 2014 during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Linda is from Bowling Green where she serves as WMU Director for Warren Association of Baptists. She and her husband, Jim, are members of Forest Park Baptist Church. Linda served as president of Kentucky WMU from 2010-14.

Linda’s election as Recording Secretary is only the second time that someone from Kentucky has served as a national WMU officer. Carolyn Ellis of Shelbyville served in this role from 1975-81 when Christine Gregory was national WMU president. National WMU officers must have served on the Executive Board of WMU, SBC prior to election. (All state WMU presidents serve on the board as vice-presidents of national WMU.)

A contingent from Kentucky was present for the election though most did not know that Linda Cooper was being nominated. Kentucky WMU sponsored a bus tour to Baltimore with 44 people, plus others had flown or driven up for the national meeting. The Baltimore meeting included a Missionary Commissioning Service as well as a tour of Annie Armstrong sites around Baltimore. The meeting was the conclusion of a two-year celebration of the 125th birthday of Woman’s Missionary Union, founded in 1888.

Cooper flags Baltimore 2014 croppedLinda brings a wealth of WMU knowledge and experience to this new role. In addition to her WMU experience at the church, association, state and national levels, she is a capable writer, having written articles for national WMU publications as well as columns for Kentucky Notes. Linda is also a popular speaker and communicates well with WMU and other audiences. Please keep Linda in your prayers as she serves as a leader with national WMU.  We are “Kentucky proud!”

Read more about the WMU meeting in Baltimore on Baptist Press.


On the Road Again!

Baltimore adOn Friday, June 6, Kentucky WMU will take a bus tour group to Baltimore to attend the National WMU Annnual Meeting. It will be a wonderful week of connecting with WMU friends and WMU history.  We will even throw in a bit of American history.  Forty-four people will be going on the trip. Roger McCurry, owner of Koinonia Travels and Tours, will be our driver.

Here’s our schedule for the week.  Pray for our group and pray for the National WMU meeting next Sunday and Monday, June 8-9.  The meeting includes a Missionary Commissioning Service on Sunday afternoon and a tour of Annie Armstrong sites around Baltimore on Monday afternoon.

Friday, June 6  –Travel to Hagerstown, Maryland.
Saturday, June 7  – Travel to Baltimore; tour Fort McHenry.
Sunday, June 8 – Worship with Jesus Our Redeemer (new church plant); Attend Missionary Commissioning Service.
Monday, June 9 – WMU Annual Meeting & Missions Celebration; Conferences; Bus Tour of Annie’s Baltimore.
Tuesday, June 10 – Attend SBC session / visit exhibits; Travel to Richmond; Overnight at the International Learning Center
Wednesday, June 11 –  Tour of International Mission Board & worship time with IMB staff; Travel to Crew, VA to visit Lottie Moon exhibit and gravesite at Crewe Baptist Church.
Thursday, June 12 – Return travel.

It is a busy summer for Kentucky WMU.  Camp staff training takes places this week with our first campers coming in one week. Campers will be going on a “Missions Safari” as they learn about missions in Africa. Our first Kentucky Changers project begins Saturday in Hopkinsville with 220 participants expected and 18 projects planned. Overnights at Jonathan Creek will provide a camping experience for girls in Western Kentucky and over 200 volunteers are expected for Familyfest in 19-25 in Boone’s Creek Association.  Boys will learn about Teamwork during Camp Courage and Excel training for WMU leaders will take place in three locations this summer.

Remember that the Eliza Broadus Offering will be at work in these WMU sponsored missions activities as well as through the many ministries of Kentucky missionaries over the summer. Pray for children and families to be saved, teenagers to grow in their faith, and for new missions commitments to take place.  We are on the road again. Go with us in prayer!