EBO stories make me smile

JoyThank you, Kentucky Baptists! You are people who just keep on giving! We share the state missions emphasis month after month, telling the stories and asking you to be generous. You respond with generosity and prayer support.

On August 31 we will close the books on an offering year and start all over on September 1. Some might wonder if we will ever get done. As long as there are people who have not accepted Jesus as Savior, we will keep sharing the Heart of the Story across our state. Here are some stories received this year.

Ben showed up at Hope House straight from prison. He came to know Jesus as Savior while in jail and came to get help with employment. Jobs are a real challenge for those with felony records, but Ben knew that Jesus wanted to do something great with his life and was one of the best students in the Jobs for Life program there. Now he is working at the Hope House warehouse and has a goal of becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. EBO had a part though a $2,000 grant this year.

Tommie was estranged from family, addicted to drugs, and homeless. He went to the Louisville Rescue Mission seeking services and hope. A volunteer built a relationship with Tommie and encouraged him to enter LifeChange. Today he has moved home, reconciled with family, gotten married and has a vision for starting his own business. EBO had a part through a $4,000 grant this year.

After speaking for Lincoln Association WMU a few weeks ago, I was invited to stop by the Unto Me Home in Stanford which opened in August 2015. Perry, the house coordinator, told me the story of how God had worked in his life through the ministry which provides shelter for people who are homeless. He now builds relationships with those who come seeking help and has a special understanding of their needs because he was once homeless, too.  Perry has reconnected with his wife and they have both grown spiritually. Since the Unto Me Home opened, there have been 70 people come through and 13 have professed Christ as Savior. Many have found employment and permanent housing. EBO had a part through a $1,000 grant this year.

Stories like this make me smile as I think of the impact of your faithful giving as God blesses EBO and uses it  for His glory and to proclaim the gospel. A new offering year will begin soon with the theme Be Ready – Live Ready. Are you ready?


Inspire boys, students with new missions outlook this fall


By Jon Auten

In September, the publications RA World and RA Leader will feature the new theme, Mission: My Life, based on the 2016-18 WMU theme By All Means.

As RAs and their leaders learn the lessons and unpack the meaning of the new emphasis, the prayer is that boys will be challenged to make missions a part of their daily lives by engaging fully in missions learning and action.

Parents and leaders, this material is written to help you teach RAs about how the Great Commission impacted the early disciples, how it informs the lives of current-day missionaries, and how it can transform the lives of believers today. RA Leader, RA World, and all the other resources you need to help your Royal Ambassadors grow into “well informed, responsible followers of Christ” are available at wmustore.com.

As you plan for the coming year, please mark your calendars for RAMCON 2017 on March 18 at Beaver Dam Baptist Church. As the date approaches, more info will be posted on the website.

Follow “Kentucky Royal Ambassadors” on Facebook.

Challengers & Youth on Mission

What if the teenaged boys in your Challengers group, or the boys and girls in your Youth on Mission group, did the following things on a regular basis:

  • Followed Christ’s example?
  • Stepped into the world around them?
  • Cultivated relationships with others, and
  • Created opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ?

You certainly would be proud of a group of young people who lived like that, wouldn’t you? With the help of the new Challengers Leader book and Youth on Mission Plan Book for 2016-17, you can equip the young men and women in your group to live in just this kind of way.

By All Means, that’s the overarching theme in the Bible studies, mission studies, personal growth studies, and missions activities that will enable your students to live for Christ in all they do.

You can also engage teens in practical missions  through Kentucky WMU’s Creative Ministries Festival and Kentucky Changers.

Stay up to date on news, events and resources for students at kywmu.org/students.

Kentucky Challengers” and “Kentucky Changers” are on Facebook.

Jon Auten is the RA/Challengers and Youth on Mission consultant for Ky WMU, [email protected]

Plan now for sharp missions focus


By Wanda Walker

Fall is a great time to initiate new and innovative approaches to missions education and action, and this fall marks the launch of WMU’s new emphasis, By All Means, which explores that idea more fully. As the new church year approaches, why not consider one or more of the following projects or promotions?

  • Have a reception to honor the memory of Eliza Broadus. Have a display highlighting the life of our state missions leader.
  • Hold a church-wide WorldCrafts party to support people groups our International Mission Board missionaries serve alongside. The WorldCrafts event planner is a great free resource for hosting a successful event.
  • Remind your church that Global Hunger Sunday is Oct. 9 by using the resources online. You could also host a 7-Cent World Hunger Dinner. Email me for the details at [email protected]
  • Women on Mission and/or Acteens could volunteer child care services for select Sunday mornings to give the regular child care workers an opportunity to attend a worship service.
  • Host a church staff breakfast during Clergy Appreciation Month in October. Give the staff a gift that will be a daily reminder of WMU and its age-level organizations. Girls or Children in Action could bake goodies, make cards or a craft. Ask your music minister for time on one Sunday for Mission Friends to share a song for church staff.
  • On Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer, Nov. 7, have a location in your church available for 24 hours of intercession. Create stations for prayer using the guide produced by the women’s department of the Baptist World Alliance.
  • Leave surprise packages on the doorstep of someone you know who may have a need but might not be comfortable asking for help.
  • Co-sponsor an event with other groups in the church, such as Sunday school, women’s ministry, or activities/recreation. Do something with a missions flair.

If you have ideas or questions about promoting missions and missions education in your church, especially among adults, please contact me by email or by phone at 502-489-3453 or 866-489-3453 (toll-free in KY).

Wanda Walker is churchwide/adult consultant for Kentucky WMU.

Excel 2016: Learn how to do world missions at home

Guest Commentary by Brett Martin

It doesn’t take long for you to find out that they are lonely.

In April 2016, a Christian walked onto a university campus in Kentucky and asked international students a question. “What needs do you have that no one is willing or able to meet?”

Students quickly replied with one of two answers: “I want a friend,” or “I’m looking for an American family.”

The Kentucky Baptist Convention has launched the Twelve24 Initiative. It is a movement to help churches help every student on every campus to encounter Jesus and experience life to the full.

Additionally, Reaching Internationals is one of several special interest workshops offered at Excel, Kentucky WMU’s leadership development events Aug. 20 in Independence, and Sept. 10 in Louisville.

Consider that 95 percent of these students would say they are not a practicing Christian. If those numbers don’t rock your boat, consider the more than 8,000 international students in Kentucky. The majority of these students are coming from China, India, and Saudi Arabia.

Most people from these countries have never met a Christian, let alone heard the gospel. Last May, a family in Kentucky hosted an international student who had questions such as, “Who is Jesus?” and “Why did He have to die?”

The student even told this family, “I want to treat my future wife and children the way you treat yours, not the way my culture treats theirs.”

The KBC consists of 2,400 churches who cooperate together to reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. One would think Kentucky and the world would be two different ministry locations, but with God bringing the nations to us, we see that one can reach the world by simply walking out the front door. You can impact the world by stepping onto a campus. Now, you can even impact the world by simply inviting international students into your home.

If you have had little experience interacting with different cultures, it does not matter. God can use you. He has planned before time that it would be through His Church that the gospel would go forth.

The KBC desires to see the world reached and we are committed to helping Kentucky Baptists help every international student encounter Jesus and experience life to the full.

So, you may be asking, “Where do I start?” Here are a few first steps:

Pray for international students and for more laborers who may serve them.

Connect with your Kentucky Regional Campus Missionary at www.kybcm.org.

Brett Martin is international campus missionary for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.