Thank You Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteers!

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief finished an active year of disaster response in 2018.  Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are often the first to arrive on the scene in times of disaster and the last to leave.

This past year saw Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers respond to flooding in Kentucky, wildfires in Colorado, tornadoes in Connecticut, and record flooding in Pennsylvania.  Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief played a significant role in disaster response in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.  In addition, teams brought clean water to the Central African Republic and Mozambique.

This active year had disaster relief teams serving 40 weeks in response and saw the following ministry:

Volunteer Days: 5468 Days

Ministry contacts: 5468

Chaplain contacts: 3271

Gospel Presentations:  216

Decisions for Christ: 136

Meals Served: 156,388

Damage Assessments: 678

Flood Clean-up Jobs Completed: 407

Chainsaw Jobs Completed: 411

Heavy Equipment Hours of Operation: 692

Temporary Roofing Jobs Completed (Tarping):  113

Showers Provided: 6110

Laundry Loads Provided: 894

Bibles Distributed: 1346

Bottles of Water Distributed: 66,874

Wells Established or Repaired in Mozambique and Central African Republic: 9

“Thank You” Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers for your compassionate and faithful ministry to those devastated by disasters in 2018!

“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Defend, Protect and Value Life

The sanctity of human life is a core principle for me as a follower of Jesus Christ.  I believe that humans are created by God and in His image (Genesis 1:27). That means that every person, from conception to death, possesses dignity and worth – including unborn children, elderly individuals and those with special needs. As Christ followers, we are called to defend, protect and value all human life. 

On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a presidential proclamation designating Sunday, January 22, 1984 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day, noting that it was the 11th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. President Reagan was a strong pro-life advocate who said that in Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court “struck down our laws protecting the lives of unborn children”.

Reagan issued the proclamation annually thereafter, designating Sanctity of Human Life Day to be the closest Sunday to the original January 22 date.  Many, but not all of our presidents since then, have continued the annual proclamation of Sanctity of Life Day. Sunday, January 20 of 2019 will be this year’s observance of Sanctity of Life.  

Human life is defended, protected and valued everyday throughout Kentucky in pregnancy care centers that are there to support and encourage mothers through the birth process by helping them to choose life for their unborn children.

With Sanctity of Life Sunday only a few weeks away, let me encourage you to be an advocate for human life by offering your assistance to one of the many pregnancy care centers in Kentucky.  Why not visit your local pregnancy resource center to discover ways that you can help. Learn how you can pray for and/or with center directors and volunteers.

Pray that God will:

  • Protect center personnel (board of directors, staff, volunteers, families) from any type of physical abuse or harm and from discouragement or doubt from the enemy.
  • Meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of center staff.
  • Lead clients to the center so they may hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Give counselors special wisdom and boldness in sharing the Gospel with clients, challenging them to live a life of obedience and purity.
  • Change the minds and hearts of mothers who are considering abortion and give them the courage to choose life and consider adoption, when appropriate, for their unborn children.
  • Bring healing and a renewed relationship with Christ to women and families inside and outside the church who have chosen abortion in the past.
  • Meet the financial needs of each resource center.

Consider helping your local pregnancy resource center in the following ways:

  • Donate baby clothing, furniture, car seats, and/or formula.
  • Provide food, clothing, and a safe place for expectant mothers.
  • Serve as a mentor for expectant mothers.
  • Sponsor a baby shower for the center with gifts of clothing, furniture, diapers, and formula.
  • Partner with a pregnancy resource center to teach young women good parenting skills.
  • Plan a mission trip to a center to do maintenance, painting, and redecorating, if needed (call the center director first before visiting to determine an appropriate time to arrive).

The Kentucky Baptist Convention recognizes and appreciates the life-giving ministry of faith-based pregnancy care centers in Kentucky. We encourage your support of the pro-life pregnancy care centers with which KBC churches and associations partner. Click on this link for a current list of those centers: http://www.kybaptist.org/pregnancycare/

Missions at Home

The holiday season is over, 2018 is now past and we are into the year 2019.  Many churches are beginning to plan for spring and summer and looking ahead to opportunities to serve.  Have you planned your 2019 mission experience?  Kentucky is full of opportunities.

Why do missions in Kentucky?

Many times, when we think of missions, we think of somewhere “across the seas,” but the Great Commission tells us to go to our “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  With an 18.5% poverty rate, and an average of only 12.1% of the Kentucky population in church on a given Sunday, Kentucky is a state with lots of physical and spiritual needs and is certainly a mission field.

The number of single parent homes, grandparents raising grandchildren, few jobs in some areas or loss of jobs, low literacy and education rates, job skills, and the drugs are just some of the issues that cause poverty to be so high in Kentucky. Many children do not have the food, clothing, health care, and essentials they need as a result.  Many of them are not taught the stories of the Bible, have not heard that Christ loves them, and are not encouraged to attend church where they would learn these things.

Mission teams and self-funded missionaries serve in Kentucky to help alleviate these physical and spiritual needs.  Thousands come each year to assist local churches and missionaries in reaching out to the physical needs, opening doors to share about the spiritual.  They may serve on a short-term mission trip, partner with a church or ministry and make multiple trips, or commit to long-term service in an area.  In-state mission opportunities are numerous.

Short-term opportunities

Looking for ways to put your faith into action?  Missions is year-round in Kentucky and there are lots of ways to get involved.  The KBC Missions Mobilization Team can help connect you with dozens of one day to one- or two-week opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus through acts of service.  Mission opportunities are available across the state and include pretty much anything for which an individual or team might be gifted.  Check out the many short-term listings at www.kybaptist.org/go.  You can search by type of project, location and length of assignment.

Mid-term opportunities

Opportunities are also available to serve from a few weeks to 6 or 9 months.  With many of the 2,400 Kentucky churches being small in number, some can use help with a music program, children’s ministry, food & clothing ministry, or all types of outreach.

Ministry centers across the state can use summer interns to serve alongside them.  These mid-term opportunities too, can be found at www.kybaptist.org/go.  Click on the “6 months or more” tab to view.

Long-term opportunities

Perhaps God is calling you to serve long-term as a self-funded Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionary.  A Kentucky Mission Service Corps missionary (KY-MSC) is an adult (18 years of age or older), called by God and connected to a Kentucky Baptist Convention church, who commits to serve from nine months to two years (renewable). The positions engage in or directly support missions, church planting, collegiate ministry or evangelism, in cooperative partnership with a Kentucky Baptist Convention church, association or organization.

John & Shaughanessy Morris, from Hazard, sensed God’s call on their lives as missionaries.  They felt certain they would serve “over-seas” in another country, but God called them to their own people of eastern Kentucky.  John & Shaughanessy now direct God’s Appalachian Partnership in McDowell (Floyd County), Kentucky, a ministry that meets the spiritual and physical needs of people in Appalachia.

The KBC can assist with the application process and placement in a ministry.  Go to www.kybaptist.org/msc/ for more information.