The Bucket Project

BGR Buckets - 1Kentucky Baptists have a “Great Commission” opportunity at the 2014 Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting on November 11.

How?

Bring a bucket of hope to the annual meeting.  This will help us to push towards the finish line of our 2014 goal of collecting 5,000 hospice care buckets.  These will offer compassion to people in Sub-Sahara Africa, who are suffering from HIV/AIDS.  We have set a goal of collecting 800 BGR Hospice Buckets at the annual meeting in Bowling Green.

Would you do your part by bringing a bucket, as we gather at Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green?

Why buckets?

Baptist Global Response (BGR) has learned that sharing a five-gallon bucket of care is a very effective way to demonstrate the love of Christ and to open doors for the Gospel with the sick and dying.

Why Sub-Sahara Africa?

Sub-Sahara Africa has more cases of HIV/AIDS than any other region in the world.  Over 1 million will die of AIDS in Africa this year.  Many of these people are facing death and eternity without the hope of Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 25, Jesus taught us, “I was sick and you took care of Me.”

How can you get involved?

• Visit the BGR Bucket project page here.  This page gives you the project item list, packing tips, training video, planning information, and promotional ideas.  Please note that participants MUST NOT deviate from the instructions.  Not adhering to the guidelines will jeopardize shipping and distribution of the buckets.

• Carefully pack your bucket as instructed on the training video.

• Drop off buckets at a designated collection site.  Click here for a complete list of Kentucky collection points.

The Shopping List:

Hardware:

5 Gallon Bucket and lid that snaps on,
with wire handle.  White, green, blue or
light gray buckets are acceptable,
but white is preferred.  Found at Lowe’s,
Wal-Mart, or Home Depot.

Pharmacy & Health/Beauty Supplies:

1 – 200 tablet EQUATE or CENTRUM
Complete Multi-Vitamin.  Equate found at
Wal-Mart and Amazon.com.  Purchase
latest expiration date.

4 Dove UNSCENTED Sensitive Skin
soap bars.  FRAGRANCE FREE soap is
VERY important for patients with sensitive
skin.  Please leave bars in individual boxes.

2 – .35 oz. SQUEEZABLE Carmex lip
balm tubes.

1 – 50 count box LATEX FREE disposable
gloves. (Found in the First Aid/Bandage aisle).

1 metal fingernail clipper.

1 – 13 oz. FRAGRANCE FREE tub of Petroleum
jelly or 2 – 7.5 oz. tube.

2 SOFT bristle adult size toothbrushes.
(Soft bristles are important for
sensitive gums.)

1 large tube of FLUORIDE toothpaste.

1 – 8-10 oz. FRAGRANCE FREE moisturizing
body lotion.  NO PUMP bottles.

Baby Bedding:

2 GARANIMALS or comparable brand
waterproof, flat (not fitted), quilted,
multi-use pads (27” X 36”).  Buy one
packet that contains 2 pads.

Bath Linens:

4 THIN washcloths, bright colors preferred.
Thin washcloths are essential so that they
may be washed easily and dry quickly.

1 THIN cotton towel.  A THIN towel is essential
so that it will dry quickly and fit well
in the bucket.  Bright colors preferred.

Bedding:

2 Twin, flat sheets.  200 thread count or
higher, bright colors preferred.

2 Standard pillowcases.  200 thread count
or higher, bright colors preferred.

1 TWIN SIZE fitted vinyl mattress protector.

Cleaning Products (in the grocery area):

1 kitchen scrub brush (2.5” X 6.5”), with or
without handle.

2 pairs of Latex gloves, long cuff, medium
size.

1 thirteen-gallon sturdy plastic garbage
bag (to store kit contents in while bucket
is in use).

Miscellaneous:

100 drinking straws (Flexible hospital-
type).

1 box of Ziploc gallon size freezer bags.
(You will need six bags to pack one kit.)

2 pairs crew length cotton socks.  Medium
adult size, any color.

Buckets cost approximately $85.

What’s Your Story?

Story telling is a powerful tool for people of any age or culture. Whether it involves reading a story book to my grand-daughter or telling my co-workers about something that happened to me, a person’s interest is held captive by a story. I remember how powerful our story was after my wife and I lost our first child. God used that story of hurt, loss and total trust in Him to encourage and strengthen others going through similar trials. Telling others what Christ has done in our life is powerful. It’s difficult to refute what a person has experienced as real.
In Luke 8, Jesus healed a demoniac and set him free from many demons. This man whose life was transformed, is told by Jesus in verse 39 to “return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” The whole city would notice the change in this man’s life. I imagine as he told his story time and time again, others would want to experience the same change in their life that only Jesus could bring.KBC - Tell Your Story

A similar experience happened to me when I was on mission in Brazil several years ago. I was given the opportunity to address a group of young men in a boys home. After praying about what to share, I felt strongly led to simply tell my story. I told how I was raised in an alcoholic home and suffered verbal and physical abuse by a step-father. However, there was a life change, family change, and eternal destiny change after Christ came to live in our hearts and home. I understood more clearly what it meant to be adopted by Christ when my step-father began to love me as a son.

This was a story that these young men could relate to. I understood the importance of telling my story when twelve of these young men professed faith in Christ after hearing mine. It wasn’t me or even the way I told my story that made the difference. It was the power of God through my story when I simply told others what Christ had done for me.

If you’re a follower of Christ, you have a story too. So what’s yours? Let me encourage you to tell your story as the demoniac did, and as I did. Tell others what God has done for you. If you’d like help, tools or resources for telling your story, visit: http://www.tellyourstory.today/.  It could be that someone is waiting to hear your story today.

Meet the Missionaries & Ministries

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Want a chance to meet and talk one on one with many of our Kentucky missionaries?  Want to know more about missions and ministries in Kentucky?  Looking for an in-state mission opportunity for this fall or next year?  Or, would you just like to participate in a time of worship with mission testimonies, great music, and a challenging mission message?

Join the Missions Mobilization Team of the Kentucky Baptist Convention this Saturday, October 11th, from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM at Immanuel Baptist Church in Corbin, KY.

Thirty-five plus displays, representing Kentucky Baptist Schools, Kentucky WMU, Kentucky Changers, Disaster Relief, and various Kentucky ministries will be on hand to share information about their ministries and opportunities to serve.

You can get to know your Kentucky missionaries and ministry leaders as you visit with them, learn about their ministries, and learn of ways to get involved in ministry across the state.  Perhaps you can even plan your 2015 state mission trip while there.

Enjoy a good down-home, country meal of bean soup, cornbread, desserts, and drinks provided by Kentucky Disaster Relief and Immanuel Baptist Church.

It is estimated that Kentucky is over 88% lost and without Christ.  We have a great opportunity and obligation to reach them with the Gospel.  Come learn of the needs and how to impact your Judea!!

For more information and to register go to www.kybaptist.org/missionexpo.  Bring 5 or more and have a chance to win a new tablet.

 

 

Missions Strategy: Establish Churches

As the world’s population continues to grow, the birthing of new churches is greatly needed. Empowering through prayer and evangelizing the unreached are necessary components of Great Commission faithfulness, as I have previously discussed.  The third necessary component of GC faithfulness is establishing churches.  As one examines the book of Acts, the strategy of the apostles and early believers is apparent—plant churches.  First_Baptist_Meetinghouse,_Providence,_RI

Since the day when a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem in Acts 8, the believers were scattered and churches were planted (Acts 11).  Interestingly, the ordinary believers who were scattered due to the persecution in Acts 8 planted the church of Antioch (11:19-26), which eventually sent the apostle Paul to plant dozens of churches (13:1-3).

What did Paul do and can we emulate his method of church planting?  Paul seemed to target cities with larger populations, knowing that the gospel can and would spread out from that location to the surrounding areas.  In short, though Paul’s length of stay in each city varied, there seems to be a common strategy he employed, which some refer to as the Pauline cycle.

David J. Hesselgrave notes several reoccurring elements of Paul’s church planting strategy (Planting Churches Cross-Culturally, 43-63).

    1)      Missionaries Commissioned- Acts 13:1-4; 15:39, 40

    2)      Audience Contacted- Acts 13:14-16; 14:1; 16:13-15

    3)      Gospel Communicated- Acts 13:17ff; 16:31

    4)      Hearers Converted- Acts 13:48; 16:14, 15

    5)      Believers Congregated- Acts 13:43

    6)      Faith Confirmed- Acts 14:21, 22; 15:41

    7)      Leadership Consecrated- Acts 14:23

    8)      Believers Commended- Acts 14:23; 16:40

    9)      Relationships Continued- Acts 15:36; 18:23

  10)      Sending Churches Convened- Acts 14:26, 27; 15:14

This Pauline cycle does not mean that Paul himself carried out every step.  Rather, there were others that Paul discipled in order to multiply the scope and impact of his church planting ministry (e.g. Titus 1:4-5).

To what extent can we emulate Paul’s cycle in the twenty-first century today?  Is this cycle really adaptable to any culture of any time period?  Yes.  Here is why according to Hasselgrave.

Paul’s message is normative.  Wherever Paul traveled, his message was the same—the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  However, the starting point at which he shared that message varied.

Paul’s life is normative.  The life of the Apostle Paul is one to be followed. Paul’s life is an example of Christian doctrine put into practice.  Paul lived out what he knew.  As Hesselgrave rightly notes, “To the Corinthians, who desperately needed an example of what a Christian should be, he could make that remarkable statement, ‘Be imitators of me’”(1 Cor. 11:1a).  Paul was not perfect and he knew it.  Therefore, he qualifies the reason why the Corinthians should follow him with the words, “just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1b).  Paul was a man that reproduced himself in others.

Paul’s method is normative.  Paul’s method is not meant to enslave us, but to guide us.  Though we may not follow every step slavishly, we find in the epistles ample reason to carry on the pattern that Paul has set before us:

  • Go where people are
  • Preach the gospel
  • Gain converts
  • Gather them into churches
  • Instruct them in the faith
  • Choose leaders
  • Commend believers to the grace of God
  • Develop koinonia relationships (Acts 2:42)

With a global population over 7 billion people, reaching the unreached with the gospel will only occur as it first began in the first century.  Churches must plant churches in order to reach the unreached with the gospel.

Healing and Hope

Refugee DR Team - Uganda - 3What is our calling as the church of Jesus Christ?

If we look to the ministry of Jesus, we see that He demonstrated equal zeal for the ministries of preaching the Gospel and bringing healing to the broken.  Luke 4:40-44 gives us a great example of the spiritually balanced ministry of our Savior:

“When the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him.  As He laid His hands on each of them, He would heal them…When it was day, He went out and made His way to a deserted place.  But, the crowds were searching for Him.  They came to Him and tried to keep Him from leaving them. But, He said to them, “I must proclaim the Good News about the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose.”

This was a consistent pattern in the life of Jesus.  He always preached the Gospel, but He also demonstrated compassion on the sick, the hungry, and the broken.  The church is called to follow this pattern of Jesus Christ, as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission and share the life-changing hope of our Lord.

Baptist Global Response (BGR) was organized in 2006 by Southern Baptists to help implement a more effective and efficient international relief and development effort.  Global disasters and human tragedies give believers strategic doors to share the Good News of Christ, as we offer a hand of compassion to the hurting and wounded.  BGR was established as a partner of our International and North American Mission Boards to assist Southern Baptists in maximizing our resources and enhancing our opportunities to impact the world with the Gospel.

Kentucky Baptists can be part of this Great Commission effort.  You can be part of the “Preaching and Healing” work of Christ by:

  • Giving to the World Hunger Fund.  One hundred percent of the money given to the World Hunger Fund goes to meet real needs of hurting people in North America and around the globe.
  • Becoming a Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteer.  Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief has entered a partnership with BGR to be a primary responder to disasters in Sub-Sahara Africa. This partnership has resulted in sending a medical team to care for refugees in Mali, an assessment team to the refugee crisis that displaced over 100,000 South Sudanese from their homes, and two teams that brought clean water to villages in Madagascar and Mozambique.  Has God given you the gifts and the heart to offer compassionate ministry to suffering people?  Contact Coy Webb in the Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief office to discover how you can become involved in this Great Commission work that opens doors for the Gospel.
  • Leading your church to get involved in a BGR Community Development Project that combines practical help to chronic problems with the life-changing message of Christ. Kentucky Baptists have been involved in ministering to AIDs victims, child-headed homes, and orphans in South Africa, a hospital renovation in Zimbabwe, construction of a mission training center in Suriname, and medical ministry in Pakistan.  Contact Doug Williams, Missions Strategist for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, to find out how your church can connect in a project or partnership that can make a difference for Christ.

iGO Do You?

 

 

Reaching Our Judea

The Bible tells us that when the Holy Spirit fills us, we will be witnesses of Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the entire world (Acts 1:8).  Jesus made it clear that the gospel wasn’t just for a specific people or only those living in a certain place.  He wanted us to share the message of salvation with all tribes and tongues.

Postcard Front

I’m encouraged by the recent emphasis in many churches to reach outward into their communities to share Christ (Jerusalem).  Lots of churches will engage in missions  in large urban areas within North America (Samaria) where millions of lost people live and work.  Most, if not all, churches will acknowledge the need to go internationally in order to share the gospel with unreached and unengaged people groups (ends of the earth).  But  ”Judea” is often overlooked by churches.

“Judea” can be described as that area outside our daily routine that is accessible without the expense of substantial time and resources.  The state of Kentucky would be “Judea” for the 2,400 Southern Baptist churches in the Commonwealth.  We know from the 2010 Glenmary report that only 12% of Kentuckians attend church on any given Sunday.  Kentucky’s population is 4.3 million (2010 US Census Bureau) and Lifeway research tells us that 2.8 million of them are lost and without Christ.  Our Judea is in need of a strong Christian witness by Holy Spirit filled believers!  

ON Mission Expo has been planned … for such a time as this.  ON Mission Expo will help awaken believers to find their strategic “Judean” place in mission involvement while providing connection points for ministry service in Kentucky.  Hundreds of pastors, church leaders and missions curious Christ-followers from the Commonwealth will converge to -

  • Meet missionaries and ministry leaders from across Kentucky.
  • Visit displays and booths representing Kentucky missionaries and ministries.
  • Learn about culturally relevant new ministries.
  • Make plans for your next (or first) mission trip.
  • Develop personal connections with ministry opportunities.
  • Discover effective strategies and methodologies for reaching Kentuckians.
  • Engage in worship and powerful missions challenge to reach our “Judea”.

What will your strategic place of “Judean” engagement be as we seek to reach Kentucky with the life transforming message of Jesus Christ? 

ON Mission Expo is Saturday, October 11, 2015 at Immanuel Baptist Church, Corbin, KY.  For more information or to register – www.kybaptist.org/missionexpo

 

 

It’s State Missions Week

eboposterpowertoserve2014

This week Baptists all across Kentucky are focusing on the Week of Prayer for State Missions and the Eliza Broadus Offering.  Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union so faithfully promotes state missionaries and ministries year after year and provides material for our mission emphasis.  Through the print material and videos we have an opportunity to learn what is going on in Kentucky, are encouraged to pray for missions in Kentucky, are given the opportunity to give to missions in Kentucky, and are provided with many ways do missions right here at home.

Currently 100+ missionaries serve in Kentucky in numerous ministry settings.  Those include evangelism/community outreach to children, youth, and families; serving the homeless; ministries to jail/prison inmates and their families; ministry to elementary, high school, and college students; church planting; work with internationals; disaster relief; camps; pregnancy care centers; hospitality houses; and equestrian ministry, just to name a few.  You partner with all of these through your gifts to the Eliza Broadus Offering and Cooperative Program.

There are lots of other ways to connect with Kentucky missions all throughout the year.  When asked what you can to for the missionaries their number one response is almost always, “pray.”  They are also eager for you to visit and learn about their work, then come and serve alongside them.  Whatever gift, skill, or talent you have there is a place for you to serve.

You can view a list of our Kentucky missionaries at www.kybaptist.org/missionaries.  Your church or missions organization may be interested in adopting one of the missionaries.  For information on that go to www.kybaptist.org/adopt.  To pray for our Kentucky missionaries on their birthdays go to www.kybaptist.org/interseed.  And, to find numerous opportunities to in Kentucky go to www.kybaptist.org/go.

If you have never gone on a mission trip before let me encourage you to begin right here in Kentucky.  Contact me at teresa.parrett@kybaptist.org and I will be happy to assist.

Thank you, Joy Bolton and staff, for you promotion of Kentucky missions.  Thank you, Kentucky WMU all across the state, for your support of Kentucky missions.  And thanks to all of you who pray, give, and go to share the Gospel right here at home.  Because of your faithfulness many of the hungry are fed, many in prison are being ministered to, many who do not have clothing are provided for and, most importantly, many come to a saving faith in Christ Jesus.

For information on the 2014 Week of Prayer for State Missions and the Eliza Broadus Offering go to www.kywmu.org/ebo.

Missions Strategy: Evangelize the Unreached

When Great Commission faithfulness begins with fervent prayer, as I wrote about last month, it leads to bold gospel proclamation (e.g., Acts 4).  The second component of Great Commission faithfulness is evangelizing the unreached.  Peter preaches his second sermon at the temple area in Acts 3.  Chapter 4 describes Peter and John being arrested for preaching the gospel.  Peter and John make it clear to the religious leaders who had arrested them that there is salvation in no one else but Jesus (Acts 4:12).  In the midst of hostility, Peter and John demonstrate gospel boldness.

The religious leaders are surprised by the confidence of Peter and John because they were uneducated men.  They further recognize that these two men had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).  In order to squelch the boldness of Peter and John, the religious leaders threaten them to speak no more about Jesus (Acts 4:17).  You can imagine them being told that if they continue with their message, then they will do to them what was done to Jesus.

Instead of cowering to the threat, Peter and John reply that they cannot help but speak about what they have seen and heard (Acts 4:20).  In other words, we cannot keep silent; we must not keep silent.  They are threatened again and released.

Peter and John gather back with the church and report all that had happened (Acts 4:23).  Peter’s and John’s gospel boldness comes through their confidence in a sovereign God (Acts 4:27-28).  Just as God was in sovereign control over the death of Jesus, He is also in charge of their lives.  Thus, gospel boldness is rooted not in ourselves, but in someone else.

They pray, not for deliverance per say, but for boldness to proclaim the gospel more (Acts 4:29).  While we might think that their prayer would revolve around asking for a way out, they actually pray for boldness in the midst of hostility.  The gospel spreads from Jerusalem and beyond as the church prays, the Spirit fills, and the believers are emboldened.

photoWhy such a change from chapter 1 where the disciples are locked up in an upper room?  Well, it’s really quite simple.  Jesus was dead, but now He is alive . . . and they knew it.  Jesus left them in order that He might send another comforter who would fill them with power (John 14; Acts 1:8).  Still yet, the disciples really believed that Jesus is the only way to be saved.  That means any other way besides through Jesus alone is no way at all.  They were gripped by this truth!  They lived, breathed, slept and ate this truth.  Men and women, boys and girls are eternally lost without Jesus.  Whether as an individual in a remote tribe in Indonesia who mixes animism with Islam or a cultural Christian in suburban Kentucky, all are lost who do not forsake their sin and trust in Jesus alone for salvation.

Ultimately, to be unreached is to not know Jesus as Savior and Lord.  Peter and John were gripped by the truth that Jesus alone saves.  They lived their lives seeking to make Him know, even if it cost them theirs.  May we, too, be gripped by the truth that Jesus alone saves and pray for gospel boldness to reach the unreached.

Well-Meaning?

While serving with a mission construction team, a friend of mine volunteered to install light switches.  I was not sure that my friend had experience in electrical work, and so, in a few minutes, I went to check on him.  I found him standing in a puddle of water, as he was working with the electricity.  When I asked if this was safe, his response was, “I did notice that I wasWest Liberty -6 feeling a bit of a bite.” (Translation – I am being jolted by electricity.)

My friend was well-meaning, really wanted to help, and was even doing the best he could; but, honestly, he had no business attempting this type of work.  Because he was not properly trained, he was putting himself at risk, and potentially doing more harm than good to the people that we were trying to serve.

This story is very similar to what I see in many disaster settings, as scores of untrained volunteers converge on the site of a disaster.  It is not uncommon for people to show up on site with the best of intentions, but with no real knowledge or training in disaster work.

Consider this:

  • In most disaster sites, there is no food, water, shelter, or fuel to spare for volunteers. People that are not connected with trained and self-sustaining organizations often rob resources from those suffering in the midst of a disaster.
  • Just because you mean well or own some equipment does not mean that you are ready to be serving in a disaster area.  Untrained people are much more likely to get injured, hurt, or expose themselves to health hazards, as they are typically unfamiliar with potential risks in a disaster zone.
  • In disaster settings, volunteers will encounter victims, who are often stressed, overwhelmed, desperate, and even angry.  Untrained volunteers are often clueless in how to provide appropriate assistance and correct information that can genuinely help those who have suffered loss.
  • Volunteers in disasters work long, stressful days in austere and rugged living conditions.  Showing up unprepared is a good way to create more problems for yourself and others.
  • Spontaneous volunteers typically lack familiarity with situation assessments and incident management; and, because of this, usually end up being in the way, rather than providing meaningful help.
  • Scam artists, who are there to prey on hurting and vulnerable people, often show up in disaster settings under the guise of being a volunteer.  To ensure the safety of victims, most disaster groups need volunteers who have been previously trained and who have been screened properly.

Disasters are complicated and intense situations that require people with some basic training and real commitment.  The priority in times of disaster is providing genuine help to those affected by disaster, not giving spontaneous, untrained volunteers a feel-good moment.  

For the sake of the hurting, get trained.  

For Jesus’ sake, get trained.

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief is offering training for volunteers at the following locations and dates:

  • September 20, 2014 at Calvary Baptist Church in Glasgow
  • January 17, 2015 at Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah
  • February 7, 2015 at Second Baptist Church in Russellville
  • March 7, 2015 at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort
  • April 11, 2015 at Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster
  • September 19, 2014 at Rich Pond Baptist Church in Bowling Green

 

For more information, please click here.

It’s Back-to-School Time

 

DSCN4848

It is back to school this week for students, faculty, and staff all across the Bluegrass even though it seems they just got out for the summer break.  With the beginning of school many Kentucky churches, associations, and ministries held Back-to-School events to provide some fun activities, food, help with much needed school supplies, and to share the Gospel message.  Thousands of students were served through these events.  

One Back-to-School Bash that I visited was at the Freedom Center Ministry in Cumberland (Harlan County), KY.  Six mission teams from South Carolina, one team from Alabama, and two teams from Frankfort, KY came to assist with the outreach where over 400 students and families were served.  The children were given one new and one used outfit, new socks and underwear, had their feet washed and were given new shoes.  They were then prayed with and given school supplies and hygiene items.  Some of the girls received manicures and pedicures, while some of the boys received free haircuts.  Games, crafts, and food were also available for the students.  It was such a blessing to hear one of the preteen volunteers share with the children that the reason they were washing their feet was because Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet.  He asked each one, “Have you heard that story?” then proceeded to tell them.  A future minister or missionary I am thinking.

Similar events were held in lots of other locations as well.  Many ministries placed a Bible in each of the backpacks.  Some of the churches gave gas cards to the college students.

A big thank you goes out to all of those who helped the students to begin the 2014-2015 school year.  And, a big thank you to those ministries that will provide food backpacks to needy children all throughout the year.

DSCN4821Please commit to pray for the students, administration, faculty, and staff.  Say special prayers for the bus drivers who, day after day, have those precious lives on such dangerous roads.  Pray for students to get involved in Christian organizations such as B.R.E.A.K., First Priority, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and others.  Especially pray for those going away to college for the first time to get connected to a good campus ministry and stay committed to their faith.

May this be a fun, safe, and EXCEPTIONAL year!!