It’s “Back-To-School” time and many students are getting help from Kentucky Baptist churches and ministries all across the state through their back-to-school community missions outreach programs.
Last week I made a trip to Monticello, KY and picked up 170 pairs of athletic shoes from Evangelist Dale Rose, with E & E Warehouse, and delivered them to Amy Wilhelmus at the Moore Activity Center in Covington, KY. The trunk and back seat of my car could hardly hold the boxes. There were nice shoes of all colors and sizes. These, added to shoes that Amy has collected throughout the year, will be used to serve approximately 200 students that come to the MAC on Saturday, August 13th, for help to begin the new school year. Some of the shoes are donated and others purchased from a monetary donation designated for school shoes. Socks, school supplies and hygiene items will also be given to each student and, along with these items, the Gospel message will be presented.
This is just one of the many similar events that are going on throughout the state. John Morris, with God’s Appalachian Partnership in McDowell, shared that the students at their KidStock 2016 event were excited to receive school supplies and shoes but that most importantly they all heard the Gospel. John told a 9-year old girl that he loved her new shoes, to which she replied, “Do you know where I got them? The lady inside said that Jesus gave them to me because He loves me!”
But, the ministry does not stop with these one-time back-to-school events. Many of our ministries work with schools throughout the year to meet the needs of the students. They help to provide school supplies all year long, as well as hygiene and clothing items that the students may need. Many ministries have ongoing food backpack programs where they send food home with the children for the weekend.
Still other ministries have after school tutoring programs for the children throughout the year. Some ministries, such as First-Priority, FCA, and B.R.E.A.K. are privileged to teach the Bible and lead students in worship during their school day. Missionary Beth Arnold, with Bible Released-Time Education Association of Kentucky (B.R.E.A.K.) in Corbin, says our students are “possibly one the most unreached mission fields in our country.”
Our students have many needs. The need for food, clothing, and other material items. The need to be cared for and loved. And, most importantly, the need to hear the Gospel. Jesus loved the children and we must too. There is a great mission field among the children in our neighborhoods. May we commit to pray and care for our children and youth.
And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”