Meet Our New 2018 Kentucky Missionaries

Each year we learn of individuals and couples that sense God’s call and leading to serve in ministries across Kentucky.  On Saturday, April 7th, several of these new missionaries will be commissioned by the Kentucky Baptist Convention during the WMU annual meeting at the Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort.  

These missionaries range in age from 30s to 70s, and serve in a variety of ministries.  Prior to the commissioning service, the missionaries will spend Friday in orientation to learn more about the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Cooperative Program, and resources available to them.  This time of networking with each other is most valuable.

The new missionaries are:

  • Forest Aalderink, serving at The Center for Christian Work Development in Louisville
  • John Barnett, Executive Director of Refuge Louisville, Inc.
  • Nancy Brown, serving at the Kathy J. Strange Answer Center in Henderson
  • Joyce Decker, serving at Cedaridge Ministry in Williamsburg
  • Hilton & Barbara Duncan, Executive Directors of Integrated Community Ministries in Stearns
  • Chuck & Dottie Gebhart, serving with Mission Hope for Kids in Elizabethtown
  • Marvin Gore, Director of Bags of Hope Food Pantry in Hardin
  • Richard & Amy Greene, Directors of the Koinonia Mission Center in Salyersville
  • Tom Grugel, Chaplain at the Boyle County Detention Center
  • Grant & Gina Hasty, serving with Crossroads Community Baptist Church & Learning Center in Whitley City
  • Sandy Kiper, Director of Grayson County Center for Women’s Ministries in Leitchfield
  • Terry McIlvoy, Director of The Way Home Transitional Recovery Ministry in Springfield
  • Garry McKinney, Director of Morgantown Mission in Morgantown
  • Laura Roberts, Director of Starfish Orphan Ministry in Paducah
  • Lee Rust, Director of Freedom Forever Ministries in Paducah
  • Summer Watson, Director of Heart Cry for Hope in Glasgow
  • Amanda Westerfield, Director of Alpha Alternatives Pregnancy Care Center in Hopkinsville

Please join us for this special service and meet our newest Kentucky missionaries.  Perhaps you can connect with them and learn of ways to be a support to them in these ministries.

The 2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year will also be introduced during the service.

For more information on the activities of the WMU meeting go to www.kywmu.org/annualmeeting.

Hope to see you there.

Tornado Preparedness

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most destructive and violent weather events.  A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground.  The whirling wind of a tornado can reach wind speeds of 300 mph.  Most tornadoes move from Southwest to Northeast but can move in any direction.  They may strike quickly with little warning, and in a matter of seconds can cause devastation.  Because wind is not visible, you cannot always see a tornado.  Every year, around 60 people are killed by tornadoes, typically from flying debris.

Kentucky lies in Hoosier Alley and averages 21 tornado events per year.  Peak tornado season for Kentucky is from April through June, but tornadoes have struck in every month of the calendar year.

Tornado Signs:

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • Loud roaring sound, like a freight train
  • Funnel cloud

Know the Terms:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch – severe thunderstorms are possible in your area
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning – severe thunderstorms are occurring in your area
  • Tornado Watch – tornadoes are possible in your area
  • Tornado Warning – a tornado has been sighted or spotted by weather radar

Be Prepared:

  1. Preparedness increases our ability to survive disaster events.
  2. Develop a family disaster plan and discuss the plan.
  3. If a tornado watch is issued, remain alert, monitor weather, and be prepared to execute disaster plan.
  4. If your area is under tornado warning, you should seek safe shelter immediately.
  5. Avoid windows.
  6. Get as low as possible.  A basement or storm shelter is the safest place to be.
  7. If your home does not have a basement, seek a small interior windowless room, like a closet or interior hallway.  Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  8. Get under a sturdy table and/or cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body as best as you can with blankets, pillows, mattress, or heavy clothing.
  9. Do not open windows.
  10. Do not stay in a mobile home during a tornado.
  11. If you are in a long-span building (shopping malls, theaters, gymnasiums, airports), stay away from windows, and seek to get to the lowest level.  If there is no time to get to a lower level, try to get under a door-frame, table, desk if possible.  Remember to protect your head and neck.
  12. The worst place to be in a tornado is in a vehicle.  Always get out of the vehicle and seek the nearest sturdy shelter.  Do not try to flee from a tornado in your car, and never get under your vehicle.
  13. If you are outdoors, try to get to a sturdy structure for shelter. If you are unable to reach a safe place to shelter, lie down in a gully, ditch or low spot on the ground.  Protect your head and neck with your arms.  Avoid areas with trees.  Never shelter under or near vehicles.  Do not shelter under overpasses or bridges.  Find something to hang onto.  Be aware that lightning, flooding, and hail can accompany tornadoes.
  14. If you are trapped, do not panic.  Seek to attract attention to your location with loud noises or by calling for help on your cell phone.

“A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished.”   (Proverbs 22:3)

Remembering Ms. Pauline

 

This past week I attended the funeral for 87-year-old Mission Service Corps Missionary Pauline White.  Ms. Pauline left her home in Sebring, Florida on March 1, 2003 and came to “feed the sheep” as she called it, in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.  Her ministry to families in Harlan County, Kentucky lasted nearly 15 years.

In 2002, while listening to a sermon at the First Baptist Church of Sebring, Ms. Pauline heard about an 86-year-old woman who was still serving God.  “See, you still have at least 14 years to go,” the Holy Spirit seemed to whisper.  “Yes, Lord, send me!” Pauline answered.

Later, she read an article in a North American Mission Board publication about the needs of a ministry in Cumberland, Kentucky.  So moved by the article, Ms. Pauline sold her house, moved to Kentucky, and began her own 14+ year ministry.  And, just as God had spoken, she served until she was 86 years old, just a few days shy of her 87th birthday.

Ms. Pauline directed Shepherd’s Pantry, a ministry that provided food to 500+ low income families each month.  In addition to food boxes, the families were also given personal hygiene items, snack food, and treats for the kids.  Gospel tracts were placed in each food box and Ms. Pauline was very intentional to share the Gospel message with those she served.

Many local volunteers worked alongside Ms. Pauline at the Pantry, and mission teams from other areas of Kentucky and other states came, many times bringing truck loads of food and hygiene items for distribution.  Ms. Pauline’s home church in Sebring, Florida and volunteers from London, Kentucky were also big supporters and volunteers at the ministry.

Pastor Dennis Williams of Cumberland Missionary Baptist Church very fittingly shared from Matthew 25:34-40 at the funeral service.

 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Ms. Pauline, you committed your life to the Lord, remained faithful to the end, and have now “inherited the kingdom prepared for you.”  Thank you for coming to Kentucky.  Many children and families were changed physically and spiritually by your faithful service.  You were loved and will be missed.

“Hey, Come Over Here!”

As the Apostle Paul began his second missionary journey strengthening previously planted churches, he planned to travel northeast, toward modern day northern Turkey.  However, the Holy Spirit forbid him to speak the word in Asia (Acts 16:6).  In fact, the “Spirit of Jesus did not permit them” to go there (Acts 16:7).  Instead, they traveled west toward Europe under the Lord’s leading.  Why? Because Paul had a vision during the night of a man in Macedonia (present day Greece), saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9).

So, immediately they concluded that the Lord was calling them to preach the gospel to them, and they went.  The first city they came to was Philippi.  Paul and his traveling companions went to the riverside outside of the city to find people who would be gathered there for prayer.  Women were there, and as Paul shared about Jesus, God opened the heart of an influential business woman named Lydia and she believed (Acts 16:14).  Paul and his team then shared with her whole family and they all believed and were baptized (Acts 16:15).

What an incredible start for this mission team as they were sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  The gospel is shared for the first time on European soil and a house church is birthed.  Lest one think that things always go this well, the following events take a different turn for Paul and Silas.  As they continued to stay in Philippi for many more days a slave girl with a spirit of divination began following them.  She continually said, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17).

Paul finally has enough and casts the spirit out of this girl.  Her master sees that his form of profit is now gone and drags Paul and Silas before the authorities, accusing them of throwing the city into confusion by proclaiming unlawful customs (Acts 16:19-21).  The authorities beat them with rods and throw them into jail.  Things definitely have turned downward…or have they?

While in jail Paul and Silas sit shackled singing praises to God.  Around midnight an earthquake rocks the jail and all the prison doors and shackles are unfastened (Acts 16:25-26).  Fearing that the prisoners had escaped, the jailor intends to kill himself, but Paul cries out to him, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here” (Acts 16:28).  The jailor then asks the question of all questions—“Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:29)?  “Believe in the Lord Jesus,” Paul and Silas reply, “and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30).

Here are a several take-aways from this visit to Philippi.  First, gospel advancement relies upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Where do we go?  Just be faithful to go and trust God to lead you in where to go.  Second, gospel advancement involves engaging people where they are.  Go where people are gathered and engage them with the gospel.  Third, share the gospel and trust God to open hearts.  Ours is not the responsibility for results, but for faithfulness to share.  Fourth, gospel advancement often involves opposition.  Here is the bottom line, the devil does not like for us to advance the gospel.  Therefore, don’t be surprised when opposition arises; in fact, expect it.  Last, gospel advancement, amidst opposition, often leads to opportunities for God to do the unimaginable.  God can use demon possessed girls, earthquakes, and jail cells to change sinners’ lives.  If we will simply listen, we might hear the faint cry of someone “over there” saying, “Hey, come over here.  We need your help!”