Inspire boys, students with new missions outlook this fall

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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]

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Kentucky Changers – Still.Changing.Lives

imageKentucky Changers has wrapped up another successful summer of projects working in four locations this summer. Denise Gardner, Jon Auten and I were privileged to join Peggy Murphy and a host of wonderful volunteers as students and adults joined together to minister. Students were reminded often that we had come to do more than build decks, paint, roof, and other repairs. Instead, we had come to share Jesus and grow in our own faith walk.

imageAnd indeed lives were changed, including many of the student participants. Each day, students stopped for lunch and had a devotional which often included a testimony from a student or adult leader. Each evening, after a full day of working on houses, students returned to the school for supper and an evening worship time. In the evening worship, the gospel was clearly presented and students were challenged to accept Christ if they had never done so. During the four weeks, there were 17 salvation decisions, 14 rededications, and 20 who expressed a call to ministry. Many more left as stronger believers, understanding what hands-on missions is all about.
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An important aspect of Kentucky Changers is teaching students to share their faith. Students spent time on Sunday afternoon learning how to share the plan of salvation using a “colors of faith” bracelet. They also wrote out their personal testimonies, which is a great way to build confidence in sharing your faith.

For many of the students, learning to share their faith was the highlight of the Kentucky Changers experience as evidenced in this email:

imageDear Peggy, My name is Sydney Amos and I am a member of Valley View Baptist Church youth group in Vine Grove, KY. I was at Changers a few weeks ago with my youth group, which was my third year at Changers. I’m just writing this E-mail to let you know how much I love the salvation bracelets that we used as a tool to share the gospel this year. These bracelets provided me with so many opportunities to share the gospel on and off the job site! They are great to share God’s Word and love with people of all ages, but they are especially great to share with children! I must have given out at least 10 bracelets that week, sharing the meaning of them while I was at it! Not only were they great for the people you give them to, they also helped me to be more confident in sharing God’s word. My youth group and I love them so much that we are ordering a bunch of them and we are going to  start passing them out at my school this upcoming year! Thank you so much for providing us new ways to share and for all the amazing things that you do for and with Kentucky Changers! See you next year! God bless you.

Our thanks to all of the volunteers who served as chaperones, project coordinators, construction coordinators, crew chiefs, assistants, runners, cooks, shower trailer workers, tool trailer coordinator, nurse, and the myriad of other tasks. Some of our volunteers served with us all four weeks! We also want to thank the college and high school students who served on the Ministry Team as Peggy’s assistants. These students do an awesome job with all the behind the scenes tasks. A big shout out to the pastors and music leaders who led in worship each evening and visited job sites during the day to talk with students.

imageWe are grateful to Peggy Murphy who serves as Kentucky Changers Coordinator. She was honored at the last homeowner celebration service with a quilt made from Kentucky Changers t-shirts.

Still.Changing.Lives!  Kentucky WMU helps churches learn, pray, give, go, and send missionaries, including these student missionaries we call Kentucky Changers.

 

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On Mission with Kentucky Changers and MAKK

Sleeping on an air mattress on the floor is not everyone’s definition of a good time, but it is for the students and adult volunteers who go on mission through Kentucky Changers and Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids. Last week I joined in the fun with with 240 Kentucky Changers participants and volunteers as they served in Calloway County (Blood River Baptist Association), June 18-24. I also kept tabs through Facebook on the children and leaders who were in Richmond and Bowling Green with Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids.

Since I experienced Changers first hand, let me share a little about the week. IMG_3541After arriving on Saturday and getting settled in rooms at Calloway County High School, the week began with supper prepared by a great kitchen crew. The food is wonderful and in spite of working hard, it is not a week to lose weight! After supper, students were assigned to crews and met their crew chief and other students. They learned about the homes where they would be working and the jobs they would tackle together.

IMG_3690On Sunday, the Kentucky Changers attended worship with their host churches. These churches provided lunch every day at the work site for their Changers crew.

IMG_3748Nightly worship times were very special. Casey Jones led in praise and worship music. Nick Stamps was our camp pastor and challenged us all in our walk with Christ. Decisions for Christ were made throughout the week.

DSC_1727I was one of two photographers throughout the week. We traveled to the sites to capture pictures and video of the work. Students were a witness to a watching community as they toiled in the heat without complaint. In a day when students are in the news for all the wrong reasons, Kentucky Changers make an impact just by showing up to work and care for people with needs.

IMG_5911It was exciting for Kentucky Changers to be on the front page of the Murray Ledger & Times. I learned a new term when a local official shared her thanks in the closing celebration and mentioned that it was significant for the newspaper story to not only be on the front page, but also “above the fold.”

I spoke with several senior adults who were assisted by Kentucky Changers. They could not say enough good about the students who had come to work on their homes. We have posted two video testimonies.

A new part of the training for Kentucky Changers is on how to share your faith. Students learned how to share the plan of salvation and also wrote out their testimonies using the outline provided by Tell Your Story.Today. On one day’s recap video, we had the testimony of a student telling about her experience in sharing a “colors of faith” bracelet. It was great when students came to see Kentucky Changers Coordinator Peggy Murphy and tell her that they had given away their bracelet that day and needed another one. We always asked them to tell us about that experience. These students were always beaming when they told what had happened. One student participant in Hopkinsville told Peggy that learning to share her faith using the bracelet was the best part of the week.

MAKK HospiceMAKK WKUWhile the Changers were hard at work, children and leaders also came together to do missions. Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kidds (MAKK) was held in Richmond, June 16-18, and Bowling Green, June 23-15. Through MAKK, boys and girls in grades 4-6 experience a missions trip where they participate in local ministries. The children also learn new skills and then lead in outreach activities with children in the community.

MAKK Prayerwalk WKUKentucky students are ready to go to the next level and they can through MAKK and Kentucky Changers. Kentucky WMU provides opportunities for children and students to serve and witness. We are Kentucky proud of them!

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Ky Changers, Calloway County

IMG_3642200 students, leaders, and a host of volunteers are working with Kentucky Changers this week in Calloway County. Our thanks to Tim Cole, director of missions for Blood River Baptist Association, and all of the host churches.

Students arrived Saturday and got settled. Most have brought air mattresses to sleep on the floor at the high school for a week. A few cots are here, and there may be a few hardy folks in sleeping bags on the floor. After a great meal we began with team assignments, worship, and church group time.

IMG_3690On Sunday, teams attended worship with their host church, had lunch, then prayerwalked at the site where they will be working.  In the afternoon, after starting to learn some team skills, everyone participated in a class on “How to Share Your Faith.”

Nick Stamps, pastor of Post Oak Baptist Church in Russellville, is the pastor for the week, preaching nightly to help students grow in their faith. Our prayer is that many students will be saved this week and that believing students will make a deeper commitment to Christ.

IMG_3726Pray for Kentucky Changers this week as they work on projects all over Calloway County. Pray for the homeowners as well. Pray that the students will have a bold witness with the communities where they serve.

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EBO gifts at work this summer

Summer is upon us with all of the wonderful ways that Kentucky WMU involves children and students (youth) in missions.

Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids will take place June 16-18 in Richmond and June 23-25 in Bowling Green. Red House Baptist Church will host in Richmond and Calvary Baptist Church in Bowling Green. Each three day mission trip includes prayer walking, worship, Bible study, mission projects and Kentucky Kid fun! Ministries include sorting, organizing donations of food and clothing, home meals delivery to the homebound, games with children at a shelter, making cookies for international students, and more.


Equipment TrailerKentucky Changers
will do home repairs for low-income home owners in Hopkinsville (June 11-17), Calloway County (June 18-24), Greensburg (July 2-8), and Frankfort (July 9-12).  Building on the 2016 theme, “Stay Connected to the Source,” students will be challenged through nightly worship to stay connected to Jesus in all of life. Volunteers of all ages assist with teaching construction skills, supervising projects, cooking, checking out tools, and many other tasks to support the students as they serve.

Overnights for Mothers and Daughters and Girls in Action will take place at Cedarmore (July 1-2) and Jonathan Creek (July 8-9). Participants will meet a missionary and enjoy summer fun while they learn. Acteens Quest, our newest overnight, will be held at Jonathan Creek (July 8-9) followed by a state Acteens Activators Team trip (July 11-17) to New Orleans to work at the Baptist Friendship Center.  Acteens Leaders are invited to their own event, Acteens Quest for Leaders, August 5-6 at Liberty Baptist Church, Campbellsville. This will be a time for leaders to get acquainted and share ideas.

Camp Courage, a campout for boys will be July 29-30 at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp in Corbin. Boys will participate in a variety of outdoor activities while learning about missions.

We are most excited to report on the completion of a new Kentucky WMU storage facility at Cedarmore. With the addition of Kentucky Changers to the WMU family, the need for adequate storage of all the required equipment was huge. We are grateful to Mercer Baptist Association for the use of their storage building for the past two years. We also appreciate the partnership with Crossings who allowed us to construct a building at Cedarmore.

Whether supporting summer activities led by Kentucky missionaries, helping with WMU sponsored ministries, or funding outreach by church planters, EBO is at work all summer long!

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EBO at Work This Summer

11026158_10155722938270035_3590013821719565541_nLast year Kentucky WMU decided to go in a new direction with “summer camp” for children and began making plans for Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids (MAKK). Our first two adventures were awesome. In both Princeton and Inez last month, children arrived on Thursday where there were introductory activities. Every activity was purposeful as the children were being prepared for how they would be on mission.

The first ministry was to prayer walk the community. Children were introduced to the concept and provided with a ring of cards with prayer prompts for the community. They used these as they walked and prayed. The intergenerational praying was wonderful.

11666025_10155722938145035_3698061792306832906_nOn Friday morning the children participated in Bible study, music, games, drama, and crafts. Again, everything had a purpose for a ministry project. Everything the children were learning was so that they could lead in a Backyard Bible Club to be held on Saturday.

On Friday afternoon the children headed out to sing at area nursing homes, then go to another local ministry to help with sorting and shelving donations. The afternoon included fun as well with swimming and fun at the park. A missionary was part of the team at each location.

We are so excited about MAKK and how this experience takes camp and missions learning to the next level for children. Adult leaders were very positive about the experience and both locations wanted to know if were coming back next year. We do plan to move this around the state so that more children can participate in a hands on mission adventure.

11402297_10153375163532834_4969325594735714180_o11406410_10153375161087834_1455619308694133407_oKentucky Changers has also been underway in June with projects in Richmond, Marshall County, and Maysville. The final week is July 13-18 in Henderson. It was exciting for me to be present for the closing celebration in Richmond and watch as students filled the front of the church indicating that they had made some type of decision for Christ during the week. And not only students have made decisions this summer. In Richmond I counseled with one adult who came to help that had been touched by what had taken place. Decisions by homeowners have also been reported. Changers totals thus far:
Richmond had a total of 420 participants who worked on 28 jobs. There were 53 decisions.
Marshall County had 154 participants who worked on 13 jobs. There were 14 decisions.
Maysville had 245 participants who worked on 24 jobs.  There were 19 decisions.
For Henderson we have 171 registered and they will be working on 13-14 jobs.

overnights badgeGA and Mother/Daughter Overnights are a highlight for girls and leaders and moms in July. We will be at Jonathan Creek, July 10-11, and at Cedar Crest, July 17-18.  Camp Courage at Laurel Lake for RAs, Challengers, leaders, and dads will be July 31-August 1. In all of these missions events, the Eliza Broadus Offering is at work. Thank you Kentucky Baptists for providing missions learning and opportunities.

courage2015EBO for 2014-15 is nearing the end of the offering year which closes on August 31. As of July 7, the total received is $1,185,269 towards our goal of $1,250,000.  It’s not too late to give to help reach the 2014 goal. Give online or through your church.

 

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EBO is vital to summer ministries

The Eliza Broadus Offering will be at work all summer during mission trips for children, camp overnights, Kentucky Changers, and the rescheduled Creative Ministries Festival 2.0. Your gifts to the Eliza Broadus Offering help us keep participant fees lower by covering some of the expenses of these ministries.

Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids is a NEW mission trip opportunity for children in grades 4-6 and their leaders. Two mission trips are planned and will include Bible study, recreation, crafts, missionary speaker, and local mission projects. Join us in Princeton, June 11-13, or in Inez, June 25-27. kywmu.org/missionadventure

Kentucky Changers are ready for four packed weeks of ministry projects to assist low income homeowners. Roofing, outdoor repairs, painting, building wheelchair ramps, and more are all part of the summer fun. Nightly worship with dynamic music and speaker make each day even more meaningful.  Changers will be working in June and July in Richmond, Marshall County, Maysville and Henderson. There are still openings for Marshall County, June 20-26, and Henderson, July 11-18. Bring some students and find out how rewarding hands on missions can be. kywmu.org/changers

Overnights at Jonathan Creek and Cedar Crest are a great opportunity for girls and their mothers or GA leaders to spend a night at camp. Come participate in outdoor activities, Bible study, crafts, and meet a missionary. Join us at Jonathan Creek, July 10-11, and at Cedar Crest, July 17-18. Early registration rate of $55 per person through June 12. kywmu.org/overnights

Camp Courage will bring boys, dads, and leaders together July 31-August 1 at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp in Corbin. A variety of outdoor activities as well as the ever popular RA Racers will be part of the fun and missions learning. The theme is “We Are Faithful Messengers” drawn from 2 Cor. 4:13. kywmu.org/courage

Creative Ministries Festival 2.0 has been rescheduled for August 14-15 at Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green.  Register now for a great missions experience of both learning and doing creative ministries.Don’t miss guest artist Jeff Smith, director of Salt and Light Ministries in Richmond, VA. Plan now to attend great workshops including: Puppets, Balloons, Interpretive Movement, Sign, God Rods, Skits, Juggling, Face Painting, Magic, Lip Synch, Clowning, and Human Video. Find out what “Taking It to the Streets” is all about!   kywmu.org/cmf

Remember that the Eliza Broadus Offering is received all year long! Help us reach our goal of $1,250,000 to support these and other ministries across Kentucky.  As of this writing, we just have $101,000 to go to reach our 2014-15 goal. Donate online or through your church!  kywmu.org/ebo

 

MAKK front

Changers Still Room 2015Overnights 2015

 

 

Camp Courage 2015

CMF Rescheduled

 

 

 

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Why the Heritage Fund Matters

hf banner 12015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Kentucky WMU Heritage Fund.  I am grateful for the foresight of WMU leaders to begin this endowment which was established for the purpose of developing, promoting, strengthening and sustaining the work of Kentucky WMU.  There is not an area of our work that the Heritage Fund does not touch.

The Heritage Fund matters to our work in missions education and involvement. It is one of several sources of funding that are vital to our on-going work. These include the Cooperative Program, Eliza Broadus Offering, and other endowment funds with distributions designated for Kentucky WMU. We are also blessed by the Second Century Fund of the National WMU Foundation which provides a distribution to each state WMU and by the Kentucky Touch Tomorrow Today endowment.

These various funding sources, plus event fees, make it possible for Kentucky WMU to offer first rate events and missions opportunities led by a wonderful staff and many volunteers. At a time when Cooperative Program (CP) funds coming to Kentucky WMU have declined, we have been able to maintain our staff and services in part because of the growth of endowment funds.

The decline in CP funds is a good thing in that in 2010 the Kentucky Baptist Convention made the significant decision to raise the portion of CP funds going beyond our state for Southern Baptist work, including international and North American missions. I was a member of the task force that made that recommendation and we gladly adjusted our budget to make more funds available for missions beyond Kentucky. The original plan was to reach the 50-50 split by 2018, but under the leadership of Dr. Paul Chitwood, Executive Director of the KBC, we reached this milestone effective with the 2013-14 budget year. A decline in CP giving since 2010, however, has made the budget adjustments even more challenging.  In 2009-10 Kentucky WMU received $496,395 in CP funds. For the 2015-16 budget year, we expect to receive $415,000.

Our work is also funded in part by the Eliza Broadus Offering. Kentucky WMU is the sponsor of the Eliza Broadus Offering and has the responsibility and privilege of setting the offering allocations. We do this cooperatively with Dr. Chitwood based on requests from KBC staff for missions mobilization, evangelism, church planting, collegiate ministry, language missions and much more. A portion is also used for our work in missions education for all ages which includes resources, training, events, camps, and much more. Even with the adjustments in CP funding, we have raised the level of Eliza Broadus Offering funding going for missions through the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the amount for associational and special ministry grants. In 2009-10, EBO funding for KBC missions ministries and grants was $840,000.  In 2015-16, it will be $990,000. Thank you for increased giving to the Eliza Broadus Offering making this report possible!

Kentucky WMU has been able to absorb the decline in the Cooperative Program and increase EBO distributions in part because of the Heritage Fund and other endowments and investments. Kentucky WMU is blessed to have these resources and we seek to be faithful stewards in using them for Kingdom work.  We have also been able to help several smaller state WMU’s as well as assist with some international projects. While we are careful in the use of our resources, we do not hoard them when they are needed. This year we plan to purchase needed equipment for Kentucky Changers and build our own storage facility for this ministry. Kentucky Changers takes a significant amount of equipment and good stewardship requires that we take care of it between summer seasons.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Heritage Fund, you are invited to give $25 in honor of someone who has impacted your life for missions.  We invite you to give 25 in honor of the past 25 to fund the next 25! There will be a special Give 25 emphasis at Annual Meeting. But you don’t have to wait.  Online giving is available for giving anytime to support the ministries of Kentucky WMU.

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Annual Meeting Opportunity through Adult Kentucky Changers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA special opportunity to be involved in Adult Kentucky Changers will take place in the days leading up to the 2015 Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting.  On April 7-9, 2015 (Tuesday-Thursday), Adult Kentucky Changers will work in and around the city of Lawrenceburg doing much needed repairs to two homes and a community center.

Adults 18 and older are invited to join the effort to share Christ and minister to people in need. The Adults Changers will be doing repairs such as roofing, painting, light carpentry work, plumbing, landscaping, and general cleaning.  There will be an experienced Crew Chief to oversee each project and there will be something for everyone to do.

Participants may stay at Lawrenceburg First Baptist Church, arriving on Monday evening, April 6, or by 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7.  The cost per person is $35 and includes morning and evening meals at the church. Sack lunches will be delivered to job sites each day. Adult Changers will not only have a Kentucky Changers project experience, but they will also have a time of praise and worship on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  The final celebration will be part of the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting on Friday evening when the homeowners will be invited to come and participate in the evening session.

The Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting will be April 10-11 at the Sand Spring Baptist Church. Special guests include Debby Akerman, national WMU president; Sister Christian Drama; international missionaries. There will be a prayer rally at the state capitol on Friday afternoon as well as ministry projects at the church. The Friday evening session includes a commissioning service for Kentucky missionaries as well as the Kentucky Changers celebration. On Saturday there will be a missions block party.

10649899_10152679438212834_5523562800521635176_nCome early to the Annual Meeting and join in Adult Kentucky Changers.  Staying at the church is optional but past participants will tell you it is part of the fun and camaraderie.  For more information and registration, contact Peggy Murphy.  Email: [email protected].   Phone: 502-489-3457.

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Life Changing Opportunity

Adult ChangersLast week about 30 adults joined in what we call Adult Changers and got a taste of what Kentucky Changers is all about.  While some of the participants were regulars with Changers, others were new, experiencing the fun and hard work for the first time.

The Adult Changers stayed at Richmond First Baptist Church who provided sleeping space and meals. They worked at the Gilmin Home, a ministry for boys and others led by Travis and Christie Lynch. Gilmin stands for God Is Love Ministry. The Lynch family opened their home several years ago to begin this ministry when they felt God’s prompting to help boys and others who needed a place to live and learn. The ministry has touched many lives and grown to the point that another building is needed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKentucky Changers worked at the Gilmin Home this past summer, building a deck on the back of the house. This was a needed addition which made the home more enjoyable for the family and guests. Adults Changers came to complete some finish work on the steps, put siding on the new building, add electrical wiring, and do some painting in the Gilmin Home and for a neighbor  is caring for an ill family member.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeggy Murphy, Kentucky Changers Coordinator, has even bigger dreams for this project than the work done for the Gilmin Home. Her dream is to see many of these volunteers come back next summer to help us with Kentucky Changers. Changers will work in four locations next summer and do about 25 projects per site. That means we need 100 crew chiefs and 100 assistant crew chiefs for each project. That’s 200 volunteers PLUS people to cook, serve as runners, and a host of other tasks. And then of course, every church needs adult chaperones to come along and work along side the students.

10649899_10152679438212834_5523562800521635176_nKentucky Changers is a life changing experience for students. But it is also life changing for adult volunteers. Not only do volunteers see the impact on a family, but the week is an investment in students. Today we have students who are faithful servants in their churches, in leadership, in ministry, serving as missionaries, and making a difference in many ways because of what they learned and experienced through Kentucky Changers. God has used Kentucky Changers for 20+ years and the ministry is still growing.

Kentucky Changers is a life changing opportunity. Learn how to be involved as a volunteer or by bringing students at kywmu.org/changers. Sign up now and get ready for a ministry that you will want to be part of over and over again!

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