John 9:1-41 tells a story about Jesus healing a man born blind. In this passage we meet Jesus and his disciples, a man born blind, his parents, neighbors, and the Pharisees. The disciples were more concerned about who sinned than they were the man. The neighbors could not really believe that the healed man was the man they knew as a beggar. The Pharisees were concerned about Jesus healing on the Sabbath, something they considered to be work and therefore forbidden and making Jesus to be a sinner in their minds. The parents were questioned by the Pharisees and put on the defensive about the healing. Only Jesus is focused on the man and his needs. The Pharisees were determined that Jesus not get glory for the healing, not realizing that to give Jesus glory was to give God glory as they demanded. And so the heart of the story is revealed in the man’s answer to them: “Whether He is a sinner I do not know; but one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
We, too, can get focused on the details of ministries – how they operate, how they are funded, who leads them, who is their target audience and so forth. The heart of the story of state missions is people, people who have come to faith in Christ and whose lives have been changed for eternity.
In the September 8 issue of the Western Recorder, the center four pages includes stories about eight different ministries and tells about people who are the heart of the story of these ministries. Yes, each ministry receives Eliza Broadus Offering funds to assist their work, but the offering is only a part of the story. Changed lives are the true heart of the story.
The heart of the story is being told over and over by Kentucky missionaries. Many of our state missionaries are self-funded but often apply for grants from the Eliza Broadus Offering for their work. As commissioned missionaries through the Kentucky Baptist Convention, one of the ways we support and encourage them is through an annual retreat. The missionaries will gather September 16-18 at Cumberland Falls State Park for several days of Bible study, helpful workshops, and just some time of fun and fellowship. You can pray for our state missionaries by name. Their names, pictures, and a description of their work is listed atkybaptist.org/missionaries. You can also print out InterSEED, a monthly prayer calendar of Kentucky missionaries on their birthday. And if God is calling you to missions in Kentucky, the Missions Mobilizationteam would like to talk with you and help you find a place of service.
Join us in praying for Kentucky missions this week and throughout the month. The 2015 Heart of the Story prayer guide goes right along with the stories shared in the Western Recorder and in the Master Articleincluded on the DVD. You can download all of the state missions videos and print materials atkywmu.org/ebo.
Join us in giving for Kentucky missions through the Eliza Broadus Offering. The goal is $1,250,000. Every dollar has been designated for missions needs around our state and for missions education and involvement opportunities. EBO works in partnership with the Cooperative Program to provide funding for our work together as Kentucky Baptists. Click here for a detailed list of the 2015-16 EBO allocations.
Thank you, Kentucky Baptists for how you have prayed and given for state missions across the years. We closed out the 2014-15 Eliza Broadus Offering at 1,220,277.57. This is the second highest amount ever given, exceeded only by the year we received a large estate gift for the offering. Thank you! May we continue to learn, pray, give, go and send to make the gospel known across our state and around the world.