Buckets Touch Real People

Sometimes we participate in projects to collect things for people in need but have little connection to the people who receive the items. This is one reason it is vital for churches to take items in person to ministry sites and spend time participating in the ministry. Items collected have greater meaning as we connect them to real people.

“Turning a Ministry Project Into a Missions Project” is a recent blog on the National WMU web site. The article includes the reminder that we move from ministry to missions when we share the gospel. This should always be an important part of every ministry.

Going in person, however, is not always possible for every project, but we should never lose sight of the real people who benefit from our effort. The Bucket Project, a ministry of Baptist Global Response (BGR) is such an effort. Fortunately here in Kentucky, there are enough people who have gone overseas and delivered buckets, that we can hear stories from Kentucky volunteers about the impact of every bucket. A new video, Buckets of Hope 2016, includes the story of Mavis who received a bucket from a Kentucky volunteer.

597750899_260x146The  Buckets of Hope video tells about the Bucket Project from the perspective of the Cooperative Program (CP).  The video reminds us that the Cooperative Program makes it possible to do this type of project because CP has put the structure and missionaries on the field where the buckets will be delivered to people with AIDS.

596292053_260x146Dr. Paul Chitwood has issued a video challenge to bring 2000 buckets to the 2016 Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, November 15, at the Florence Baptist Church. Have you packed a bucket?

BGR logoFor information about the Bucket Project and links to a detailed shopping list and other information, go to: kywmu.org/bucketproject.

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2016 Missions Celebration & Annual Meeting

WMUAnnualMeetingPostCard2016corrected-page-001One of the most exciting times of the year for me is when we are preparing for our annual meeting. This year is no exception.  Here is a little of what is in store, April 8-9 at First Baptist Church, Madisonville.

Our 2016 theme is The Heart of the Story and will focus on how we share the heart of the story, Jesus, through missions around the world. We have a great program line up and we want to encourage you to make plans now, including hotel reservations. Hotels space is tight this year and you will want to make your reservations early. There are additional hotels within an easy commute to nearby towns if rooms fill up.

2016 Schedule. The two-day event begins on Friday morning with an opening session at 9:00  a.m. (Central Time). A parade of flags will begin with the prelude music. See the detailed time schedule for conference and general sessions times.

PROGRAM GUESTS:
Linda Cooper, new national WMU president from Kentucky, will share theme interpretations. Join us in congratulating Linda on her election as national president.
Wayne & Barbra Myers, Swaziland, will tell about their work and how Hospice Care Buckets are being used to share the gospel. Plan to bring a bucket!
Terry Sharp, Urban Mobilization Strategist, International Mission Board will share insights on reaching the nations in our midst.
Meet Ron and Marilyn Leonard, along with Molly the Therapy Dog, as they share about their ministry to military men and women. The Leonard’s are NAMB MSC missionaries living in Hermitage, TN.
Ruth Ripken will be with us for a special preview showing of the new “Insanity of God” movie. If you read the book, you will not want to miss hearing Ruth and seeing the movie on Friday evening. This brand new movie will be released later in 2016. We are showing it by special arrangement with the IMB.
Benita Decker, Minister of Music, Farmdale Baptist Church, Frankfort will lead the music for our missions celebration.  Melody Stafford will be our pianist.
The Childress Family singers will present a gospel concert at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Come for a time of  worship and great music by this family group from Madisonville.
Kentucky missionaries will be featured through conferences on both Friday and Saturday. The Missionary of the Year Award and commissioning service for new Kentucky missionaries will take place in the Saturday morning session.
Donna Fegenbush will be on hand to portray Eliza Broadus! Get your picture with “Eliza.” There will also be a photo booth at registration with life size pictures of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. Bring your camera (or smart phone).

Children/Students are especially invited to attend on Saturday morning for a special time with the Leonard’s and Molly at 9:00 a.m.

A boxed lunch will be served on Friday. Preregistration required.  Cost $9.00.

Missionary Parents are invited to gather in Room 113 during lunch for a time of sharing. If you are a missionary parent, just bring your boxed lunch and join the group.

Baptist Nursing Fellowship will have a supper meeting on Friday at 5:00 p.m. This is open to all nurses and medical professionals. At the same time, current and former members of the Kentucky WMU Executive Board will gather for a special meal. Preregistration required for both groups. Cost is $12.00.

An offering for Kentucky WMU ministries to missionaries will be received during the Missions Celebration. We receive the offering in the Friday morning, evening, and Saturday morning sessions. NEW this year: If you are not able to attend the Annual Meeting, please consider sending a $10 gift for the offering with someone else who will be attending. You may also mail in your offering or give online: www.kywmu.org/givenow.

There are two ministry projects this year.  First, fhe Bucket Project returns! Kentucky Baptists collected over 3000 buckets in 2014 and will collect hospice care buckets for Baptist Global Response again in 2016. Bring completed buckets to our Missions Celebration. Disaster Relief volunteers will load the buckets onto a truck for shipment to the port selected by Baptist Global Response. Note: Please use only the updated bucket shopping list which has changed. Also, a $10 donation per bucket is requested to help defray shipping costs.

A collection of needed food items by Breaking Bread Ministry will also be received during the meeting.  Help meet the needs of people in the Madisonville area.

There will be a special Heritage Fund mailbox on site where you can leave Heritage Fund donations and a card to be sent to the person you would like to honor with a gift or to the family of a person you would like to remember through your gift.  Bring your address book!

For Registration, a printable information piece, and other information, go to: www.kywmu.org/annualmeeting

The Kentucky WMU Missions Celebration/Annual Meeting is the gathering place for people who care about missions. Join us!

PS: If you would like to receive other information from Kentucky WMU by email and are not already signed up, please subscribe. kywmu.org/subscribe

KY_WMU_notag_large   Kentucky WMU – Helping churches learn,pray, give, go, and send!

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Collections that Count

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.

Backpack Video picAnother 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: [email protected] 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.

10636756_754039074642682_325525768514784248_oThe 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.

Bucket Project video by Dr. Paul Chitwood
Bucket Project video by Joy Bolton

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.

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Annual Meeting Buckets – the “rest of the story”

Paul Harvey’s famous line “And now the rest of the story” has inspired many others to fill in unknown details of a story or tell what happened later in a particular story.  The rest of the bucket story is not yet complete, but let me share some of what has happened since Annual Meeting.

imageFirst, our 778 buckets were shipped to Houston. Folks there packed them into a shipping container headed for South Africa. After the buckets arrived, it took several days for them to clear customs.  They were finally released and shipped to Tabitha Ministries where they were unloaded by Tabitha staff, volunteers, and Kentucky BGR volunteers! These are the buckets that the KY WMU worked so hard to get together, and it was so appropriate that they got welcomed and unloaded by Gina Bush, Ryan Curry and Kendra Miller, all from Kentucky!

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Shortly after the buckets arrived in South Africa, the Experience 1:8 team that had worked with us at Cedar Crest arrived for the international portion of their summer missions experience. In addition to working with the children at Tabitha, E1:8 students delivered some of the Kentucky buckets in Sweetwaters Township and in Durban.

imageOther volunteers have also delivered Kentucky buckets. Just this week, BGR shared a picture and reported on the good news of a new brother in Christ through a bucket delivery. Meanwhile, people in Kentucky have continued filling buckets, including empty buckets that Randy Foster brought to Annual Meeting. Many of these buckets were taken home from the meeting and filled this summer by churches across Kentucky.

imageHerb and Wanda Edminister, our Kentucky Bucket Project Coordinators, helped us at Annual Meeting with packing buckets, loading the truck, and distributing the empty buckets for filling. Wanda sent the following note.

An area where I have often felt some disappointment in ministry is in not having opportunity to know “the rest of the story”.  I would like to share part of the “rest of the story” with the 250 empty donated buckets that were brought to Winchester.

  • Last week we collected 70 buckets from Henderson and Bowling Green.  I did not get an actual count but a significant percentage of those buckets had the double labels that were placed on the donated buckets.
  • A young teacher contacted us last January to share that she wanted her church to participate in a KBC mission project.  They had packed a large number of shoeboxes each year but this teacher was wanting to encourage them to become more involved with KBC mission projects.  After we advised her to contact her pastor for approval, this young teacher began a summer missions hospice bucket emphasis in her church.  In a few weeks she asked if others could participate because some of her friends had learned of the bucket project through her Facebook page.  (We said, “Of course, anyone can be involved!”)  A short time later, a jewlery party and a bake sale were planned where the proceeds would go to the bucket project. At that time their goal was to pack five buckets. This teacher and some of her friends attended the WMU event this April in Winchester.  They came to the gym so they could “adopt a bucket” to take home with them.  They asked us how many buckets her group should take.  I shared that I couldn’t answer that but that they should pray about it and decide together.  A few weeks ago, we learned that at the WMU event this group had adopted not 5 but 30 buckets and had recently packed all of them.  When I wrote to congratulate this young teacher, I also asked her to thank her husband because I knew that as a teacher with two children, he probably had been involved in helping in some way.  This young teacher wrote back excitedly to tell me that the week prior to their final bucket packing party her husband and seven year old daughter had been baptized! Buckets are changing lives on both sides of the ocean!

If things went as planned the 30 buckets were to be in the sanctuary of their church [this past Sunday] morning for  the people of their church to collectively pray over them.  They will then be delivered sometime this week to Lincoln Association and hopefully brought to Murray along with 137 others from the middle part of KY later this week.  We hope to have them on their way to Houston by Labor Day.

imageThe “rest of the story” is still being written. Buckets are being delivered in many places. People are hearing the gospel. People here are joining the effort and finding that their lives are being touched, too.  Children and adults are participating. Today I will be delivering a dozen buckets that made their way to the WMU office to the Long Run Association office for pick up this week.  While our office is not a drop off point, we have gladly received some buckets to help out folks who want to participate.  The next “big push” for buckets is in November at the Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in November. We hope to fill another truck!  Have you packed a bucket yet?

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