Sharing the Gospel in Hostile Times

Syrian refugee girls march at a United Nations refugee camp in Jordan.

Oftentimes, the mission of God does not seem to match our conveniently constructed models. God calls us to love all people, which means taking the gospel to hard places, among hard people, and during difficult times. In Acts 8:26-40, we catch a glimpse of how God brings about what He has promised is going to happen in Revelation 5:9-10. God orchestrated circumstances in such a way that Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch met on a desert road to bring about His will, and He continues to do so today for the same purposes. However, we see some things about this mission that are often missed, or even rejected, in the West. Philip understood that God would never leave him or forsake him, so he never stopped sharing the gospel no matter where God sent him. In this passage, we see four realities regarding the mission of God that can empower us to share the gospel in hostile times.

  • The mission of God is inconvenient
    Think about the inconvenience of the Lord’s assignment for Phillip. Phillip had just been scattered from Jerusalem and gone to Samaria where “revival” broke out. Then, God ask him to leave and go south to Gaza. Not very convenient to go to a place that is known for robbers, in the middle of the desert in order to talk to a wealthy, Ethiopian eunuch. For someone limited on time, surely there were better assignments. In the West, our culture is built on convenience, constantly attempting to make life more comfortable. While some conveniences may have their place, the mission of God is never convenient, at least not the way our culture thinks about convenience. Church, we will never have mission without sacrifice.
  • The mission of God appears inefficient
    Phillip was praying, and God directed him to go to a desert place. Once there, the Spirit directed him to run alongside of a chariot of foreigners. The eunuch’s journey to Jerusalem was conceivably five months long, one way. Once there, he was doubly denied entrance into the assembly at the temple for being a Gentile and a eunuch. While efficiency has its place, the mission of God is hardly efficient, and the details surrounding Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch underscore this point. In the West, as one of the holdovers from the Industrial Revolution, our culture loves efficiency. We value seeking the greatest output for the least input. Church, we must obey God’s call, share Christ without fear and trust the Lord with the results.
  • The mission of God is ingenious
    God combats the core human instinct to “go our own way,” even our feeble attempts to earn His favor by our convenient, efficient means. The gospel is a gift, and the only way to be made right in God’s eyes is to admit you need salvation and to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Nothing is more convenient than that! But the genius of God is that to grow in this grace is to receive His mission,  “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Grace writes a blank check for the obedience of the recipient. Church, we must spend time in prayer, hear from God and obey him at all costs.
  • The mission of God is indisputable
    God has given us the end of the story. Either it is true, or it is not. And if this story is the true story of what He is doing in the world, then the reason His mission seems inconvenient and difficult to many is perhaps because we are living for a different story. Jesus said, “All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have command you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Church, the Great Commission is not an option clause, it is a command from our living Lord, Jesus Christ.

The Missions Mobilization team exist to serve you and your church, as you seek to fulfill the Great Commission. If you have any questions, please contact John Barnett at [email protected] or text 502-654-3385.

Would You interSEED for our KY-MSC Missionaries?

Each month we post an interSEED prayer calendar for Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionaries and Church Planters.  Many of you download this calendar and pray for the missionaries and planters on their birthdays, and we thank you for doing so.  But now, I am asking that you go another step and pray for all of the 117 KY-MSC Missionaries for the next month. 

The last few weeks have been difficult for many of our missionaries, and they have shared many specific prayer requests.  Some have experienced health issues, others surgeries, family deaths, family and ministry-related issues.  All of these going on while continuing to minister to others.

Ministry can be hard and discouraging at times, especially when the missionaries are dealing with personal problems.  They need our prayers and encouragement more now than ever. 

I would like to ask you to go to www.kybaptist.org/msc, where you will find a list of the missionaries, their pictures, a ministry description, and email address.  As you view their profiles would you pray for each missionary and perhaps even send an encouraging email.  (If you would like to send encouragement or prayer cards email [email protected] for mailing addresses.)

Pray for the missionaries’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

Pray for their families, their children, their marriages to remain strong.

Pray for the missionaries to have strength to do the work they have been called to do.  Most all of them work long hours, days without a break, and without enough help.  Pray for co-laborers to come alongside and share in the work.

Pray for safety.  Yes, even in Kentucky, many are serving in dangerous areas.

Pray for both personal and ministry finances.  All of these missionaries are self-funded and often find support very lean.

Most of all pray for them spiritually.  Pray that the missionaries have a personal, intimate, growing relationship with the Lord.  Pray that they are bold in their witness and that they are a shining example of Christ.  Pray for mentors and support groups.  Pray that the missionaries are surrounded by other strong Christians and get connected to a strong, supporting church family.

As you spend time in prayer each day don’t forget to thank God for the missionaries serving in our state and pray for them to stand strong in their service.

You might also consider “adopting” a Kentucky missionary through our “Adopt-a-Missionary” initiative.  For information go to www.kybaptist.org/adoptmissionary.

Thanks for your care and concern.

Pray for Ukraine…and Give

Pray for Ukraine. We hear those words often and our hearts break for them and we are moved with compassion. We want to do something, anything to make a difference.


As I look at the images we see on the news and online, I often have no words. There are no words to describe my thoughts, my emotions, and the evil we are seeing happening in our world. I do not feel what these people feel, I have not experienced what these people are experiencing, I am not displaced as these people are, and I am not hurting and scared as these people are. Yet, my heart breaks for them.

As of May 1, 2022, around 13.2 million people – approximately 30.5% of the Ukrainian population – have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing military offensive, including 7.7 million internally displaced and 5.5 million displaced across international borders.

According to the revised estimations, over 24 million people – more than half of Ukraine’s population – will need humanitarian assistance in the months ahead, about 8 million more than estimated less than two months ago. It includes 15.7 million inside Ukraine, whose access to vital necessities have been impacted due to massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, the consequent displacement, and dramatic loss of jobs and livelihoods.

Send Relief continues to be in contact with company and national partners on the ground and Send Relief’s response to this major crisis continues to rise. Send Relief began responding with food relief before the invasion and continues to collaborate with national partners and Baptist Union leaders to provide food, shelter, transportation, medical supplies, clothing, and trauma ministry to those displaced and impacted by the crisis. Send Relief has continued to expand response to displaced people and is now assisting in Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Italy. SBDR disaster response teams have deployed to Poland and Romania, and Send Relief continues to work with field leaders to deploy SBDR and other volunteer teams. SBDR state conventions currently active or in process of activating: North Carolina Baptists on Mission, Texas Baptist Men, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Southern Baptist Texas Convention, Georgia, Missouri, California, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Alabama.

Current projects: Send Relief continues to work in 14 countries and has 42 current relief projects funded through company partners, state convention partners, and Baptist Union partners. Ministry is happening with the support of many Southern Baptists.

So, what can we do? How can we help? Pray for the Ukrainians…and give.

Prayer Requests:
• Pray for peace in Ukraine and Russia.
• Pray for increasing numbers of people being displaced.
• Pray for the rising numbers of refugees in Western Ukraine, many who do not want to leave their country.
• Pray for those unable to leave war ravaged areas of Ukraine who are increasingly in need of basic life sustaining supplies.
• Pray for God to change the hearts of those in power in Russia.
• Pray for God’s protection for believers serving and ministering on the front lines of this crisis.
• Pray for those suffering in the areas of active conflict and for those who have lost loved ones.
• Pray that God will open people to the hope of Christ through this difficult season in their lives.
• Pray that the displaced can find a shelter and basic needs as they flee from the conflict.
• Pray for minority groups being displaced, who are often forgotten and disenfranchised.
• Pray for women and children displaced from home without husbands and fathers, who are often the primary providers in these families.
• Pray that children will be protected from those who might seek to harm or exploit them during this crisis.
• Pray that partners and the local church will have wisdom and strength during this time.
• Pray for local churches and partners in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Germany as they seek to help those fleeing and traumatized by war.
• Pray for the SBDR response teams and other volunteer teams as they serve in response.
• Pray that as we serve together and offer compassionate ministry in these difficult circumstances that all we do would glorify our great Lord and Savior.

Everyone can pray. Most can give and you can support the Ukrainian relief effort by visiting www.kybaptist.org/Ukraine. Some can go. Pray for our Kentucky Baptists scheduled to go in the coming weeks. Give to support this work.

“Brethren, pray for us” 1 Thessalonians 5:25









Information or Transformation?

When Jesus offers those famous final words to his disciples on that mountaintop in Galilee, he has the end goal in mind—transformation, that is, mature disciples.  Jesus’s command in the Great Commission is to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19).  The goal of the Great Commission is faithful Jesus followers.  Where the gospels end with the story of Jesus, the book of Acts begins.  Acts is the story of how Jesus’s commission is to be carried out among all nations through the local church.  Churches not only plant churches in Acts to fulfill His mission, but churches are also concerned with maturing as a church by “teaching [disciples] to observe [do] all that Jesus commanded” (Matt 28:20).      

Discipleship must be intentional, or it will not occur.  Followers of Jesus need to be taught scripture reading, doctrine, prayer, evangelism, church membership, fasting, missions, parenting, biblical view of work, ethics and so much more. In other words, each church must have a robust and intentional method of discipling their own people from the youngest to the oldest – from the cradle to the grave with the Word of God.

Churches must ensure that disciples are being formed within their congregation. Paul reminds the church at Colossae that the goal of every church is to proclaim Jesus by “admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete (mature) in Christ” (Col 1:28).  The Great Commission is not simply about forming converts but forming mature disciples. How can we know if a person is becoming a mature disciple?  

The International Mission Board (IMB) is helpful by speaking of 6 marks of a disciple (Foundations, IMB).  In other words, every church’s goal is to see every Jesus follower mature by the transformation of the word in these areas of their life:

  • transformed heart- being born again with a new heart
  • transformed mind- being renewed in our minds
  • transformed affections- being led with godly desires/affections
  • transformed will- being obedient in what we do
  • transformed relationships- being reconciled with others because of Jesus
  • transformed purpose- being engaged in God’s mission

In essence, then, the Great Commission involves the holistic transformation of each disciple in every aspect of their life—heart, mind, affections, will, relationships, and purpose in the context of the local church. 

Further, disciples transformed by the gospel will contribute to overall healthy church formation.  When disciples of Jesus in the context of the local church are becoming more mature in Christ, that local church becomes healthier.  But what does a healthy church look like?  Again, helpful in this conversation is the IMB’s 12 Characteristics of a Healthy Church (Foundations, IMB).

  1. Biblical evangelism
  2. Biblical discipleship
  3. Biblical membership
  4. Biblical leadership
  5. Biblical preaching and teaching
  6. Biblical ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  7. Biblical worship
  8. Biblical fellowship
  9. Biblical prayer
  10. Biblical accountability and discipline
  11. Biblical    

Is your church intentionally working toward these 12 characteristics which will both mature the disciples and the church?  What plans does your church have in place to ensure that all believers are taught not simply to know the Bible, but to live [observe] the Bible?   After all, those famous last words on the mountain with Jesus are meant for our transformation and not simply our information.

Reflections and Updates on the Ukrainian Crisis

I watch as an older man stands in front of his bombed-out house. All of his memories, the small earthly things that give us comfort, his entire history is scattered. There is a confused, bewildered look on his face as he realizes that the accomplishment of his labor is no more.

I see a woman who does not want to leave the danger zone because she just witnessed the death of her family by artillery fire. To her, she is sitting at their grave.

I see people lining up at bordering countries with whatever they can carry and waiting in 15–16-hour lines, exposed to the elements and waiting to be processed. Once they cross the border, their status changes to “refugee,” but regardless of the label, it is the same person fighting disbelief, exhaustion, and desperation as they search for ways to fend for their families.

You see, it does not matter which country is experiencing conflict: Uganda, Yemen, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Syria, Libya, Georgia, Armenia and now Ukraine, war forces people to become displaced.

With the tragic scenario currently unfolding in Ukraine, Send Relief has responded quickly, propelled by God’s love. They are providing food, hygiene items, shelter, safety blankets and transportation to the neighboring countries that people are fleeing to, such as Hungary and Poland, while continuing projects are providing relief to people still trapped in Ukraine itself.

As they monitor the situation, it has become clear that the bulk of the Ukrainian refugee population are currently seeking shelter in countries with similar cultures and languages, as well as those with a large diaspora presence of Ukrainians. Currently, Poland will be the base of operations moving forward, but as is the case many times, the majority of people in dire need are not the refugees outside the country but the displaced people trapped inside the country, with no means of travel and no family or friends to go to.

Present news reports state that over 2.5 million refugees have made it to Poland, with Romania receiving the second highest number at 700,000. All of the countries receiving people need more assistance, because coping with an influx of this number of refugees is difficult for any nation.

Send Relief has established multiple rest and registration facilities at the key entry points, where they can offer refugees relief packages with sandwiches, water, and more necessities, along with working with local authorities to provide a play tent for children to wait in while their parents are processed. As of today, Send Relief is partnering with local churches and national partners in fourteen countries.

Currently, the majority of those fleeing Ukraine are women and children, as most 18–60-year-old men must remain in the country to fight unless they have medical exemptions.

Establishing these rest and registration points will help Send Relief confirm where they will be resettling in Poland and other countries, who they will stay with and if we can arrange follow-up visits to assess and strengthen the financial capacity of host families.

In all of this, we must remember that God is in control. His kingdom expands in a time of turmoil. As the body of Christ unites, believers are emboldened and strengthened in their walks with God.

As Kentucky Baptist, you can join in solidarity with the people of Ukraine by praying, giving and going! Go to https://www.kybaptist.org/ukraine/ today and get involved!

The Missions Mobilization team exist to serve you and your church, as you seek to fulfill the Great Commission. If you have any questions, please contact John Barnett at [email protected] or text 502-654-3385. *field info from Abraham Shepherd, Send Relief (Area Director for Europe, Middle East, and North Africa.

Introducing the 2022 Kentucky Missionary of the Year

Stacey Burton, Director of Lake Cumberland Baptist Association’s PM59 Ministries in Somerset, is the 2022 Kentucky Missionary of the Year.

Stacey has served as a Mission Service Corps Missionary since June 2013.  She directs a ministry to children and families which, in the past, has included a children’s choir, family mission action projects, mission education for children, day camps, family movie nights, and much more. 

In March 2020, when the pandemic forced their regular ministry activities to stop, Stacey found new adventures and new ways to reach her community.  Working with five partnering churches, they began drive thru dinners and, when these stopped, she focused on two housing areas where they continued to deliver meals.

Stacey ministers to ladies at a local rehab center, where she builds relationships, feeds them meals, and offers encouragement.  Over the past couple of years, she has seen many of these ladies profess faith in Christ and follow through with baptism.  Stacey helps to connect them to a local church and continues to disciple them in their new walk with the Lord.

On her 2021 KY-MSC ministry report, Stacey reported thirty professions of faith and twenty-five baptisms as a result of her ministry and/or personal witnessing. 

Each year Stacey coordinates the Christmas Backpack program in Pulaski County, serving nearly one thousand local children.  She works with other churches in the Lake Cumberland Baptist Association to create, organize, and/or maintain their preschool, children, and family ministries, and helps many of the smaller churches with Vacation Bible School.

Stacey left a career as a public-school teacher a few years ago to devote full-time to this ministry position.  In addition to her ministry, she has adopted and fostered several children, some of which are now teenagers, and is leading them to be active in ministry. 

Bro. Ed Amundson, Stacey’s pastor at High Street Baptist Church in Somerset, has shared how valuable Stacey has been in leading their church and other churches in the Lake Cumberland Baptist Association to be on-mission in their local communities. 

Stacey is most deserving of this award, which is given annually to a missionary that demonstrates:

  • Commitment to and effectiveness in evangelism, church planting, or ministry.
  • Demonstration of “going the second mile.”
  • Outstanding performance in achieving assigned tasks.
  • Tenure
  • Unusual commitment to our Lord’s service.
  • Positive representation of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
  • True reflection of being an “On Mission Christian.”

CONGRATULATIONS, Stacey!!

Called to Make a Difference

God has always called His people to make a difference. God has always been a “sending God” where we are called to be sent. We find all through Scripture, and especially in the life of Jeremiah the prophet of being called and sent by God.

As God is calling Jeremiah, He points out to Jeremiah in chapter 1 verse 7, “Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak.”

God called Jeremiah to be a voice calling people to a relationship to God. What is God calling you to? There are four things I want to point out:

First, There is a Call to be Responded To. God’s call on our lives is always a personal call. He does not call us all the same way for the same purpose, but His call to us is always personal.

• He called Noah in a personal way.
• He called Abram in a personal way.
• He called Moses in a personal and unique way.
• He called Samuel in a personal way in the middle of the night.
• He called Jeremiah in a personal way when he was a young man.
• He called Saul in a very personal and unexpected way.

Jesus calls us and He calls us by name in a personal and specific way, each unique.

The call from God to be responded to is two-fold: to a relationship with Him and to be on mission for Him.

Second, There is a Commission to be Committed To. God called Jeremiah to be a spokesman to the people. This was his commission to be committed to.

Every Christian has a commission to be committed to (Matt. 28:19-20). And just as God told Jeremiah, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.” The first words God puts in the mouth of any Christian are the words of his/her testimony – a testimony of how God changed your life.

There is also another commission we must be committed to and that is the mission God has assigned to you personally. As the Scripture compares the members to a body (1 Cor. 12), we all have part that we are called and assigned to in God’s plan. We must be committed to the commission we are assigned.

Third, There is a Caution to be Alerted To. In Jeremiah 1:17 God gives him a caution. God was warning Jeremiah not to be more concerned with making excuses for not carrying out the commission than about obedience to fulfilling the call.

We are all full of excuses.
• It is the preacher’s job.
• It is not my gift.
• I witness by my life.
• I am too busy.

However, we should always remain obedient to the call. I am reminded of the words of the old hymn, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus. But to trust and obey.”

Yes, it is just that simple. Not always easy, but it is simple.

Finally, There is a Command to be Obedient To. When God calls a person to follow Him and to answer His call, He expects not dialogue, not discussion, nor debate; but simply obedience.
The Psalmist said, “I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes.” Psalm 119:112

Jesus said in John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.”

Have you been called to make a difference? Are you committed to following His command?

GO! And make a difference in the world around you.

The Mission Continues

As Jesus gathers with his disciples on that Galilean Mountain for a final time, what would he say to them?  Would he say, “It’s been fun. Thanks for the memories.”?  Or maybe, “I will miss you. Hang in there.”  Of course not.  As the disciples see Jesus, they are mixed with worship and worry (Matt 28:17).

In that moment, Jesus says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18-20).

The change in circumstances for the disciples did not change their mission – make disciples of all nations. In fact, it propelled it.  The mission of Jesus is to continue through the disciples of Jesus.  The work is just getting started, he tells his disciples.  Instead of sitting back in fear of what just happened or what might happen, the disciples are given their mission and assured of Jesus’ ongoing presence. 

The circumstances surrounding the last weeks of Jesus’ life on earth did not deter the mission; rather, it gives fuel for the mission.  Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the basis for the mission he gives his disciples.  Though the disciples are long gone and with the Lord now, the mission he gave them on that mountaintop remains.  The mission continues, as Jesus promises his presence to all who live out this mission (Matt 28:20). 

Jesus insists, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20).  Quite literally, Jesus says that he is with us “all the days, even to the end of the age.”  His presence is promised to us as we continue the mission.  Seasons and circumstances change, but the mission marches on as Jesus promises to be with us. 

Whether in pandemics, wars or the like, the mission of Jesus continues until the “end of the age.”  The Lord’s church must find ways to stay on mission locally and globally regardless of the circumstances.  Your church plays a vital role in the mission given to us by Jesus.  How will you ensure that the mission continues across the street and across the sea regardless of the circumstances?  The Missions Mobilization Team is here to help you do just that, to continue the mission of Jesus.        

Meet Our New 2022 KY-MSC Missionaries


We have survived the long Winter season.  Spring is on its way, and things are beginning to point to new life.  What an exciting time of year.  It’s time once again for our annual missionary orientation and commissioning of the new missionaries serving in Kentucky. 

Fifteen men and women that have sensed God’s call to serve in ministries across our state will be commissioned at the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration on Friday, April 8th, at Hodgenville First Baptist Church.

These new missionaries are:

  • Mollie Bentley, Rockhouse Baptist Church Mission Center in Hyden.
  • Perry Cooke, Mark 12 Ministries in Louisville.
  • Marilyn Creighton, KBC North Central Regional Mobilization Consultant in Lexington.
  • Virginia Dial, Connect Community Village in Somerset.
  • David Little, Western Kentucky Correctional Complex in Fredonia.
  • Daryl & Sheila Mullins, The Haven at Clarity in Elizabethtown.
  • Pam Polkey, Irishtown Mission in Lexington.
  • Bryan & Stephanie Proctor, Orphan Care Alliance in Lawrenceburg.
  • Roberta Robertson, Bright Life Farms in Princeton.
  • Rebecca Salyer, The Branch in Prestonsburg.
  • Mary Jane Schopp, Kentucky Joy in the Mourning in Burlington.
  • Jerry & Kimberly Wallace, Northern Kentucky Re-entry in Cold Spring.

The orientation is a time for the missionaries to learn about the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Program, Eliza Broadus State Missions and many resources and support available to them.  This time of networking is most valuable.

You can partner with these and/or one of our current 116 Kentucky Mission Service Corps missionaries by:

Plan to join us for this special commissioning service where you can meet the missionaries and pledge your support for them.  The 2022 Kentucky Missionary of the Year will also be recognized at the service.

For more information on the missionaries, email [email protected].  To register for the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration go to http://www.kywmu.org/annualmeeting

We hope to see you there.

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As the World Watches – There is Something We Can Do!

As the world watches, Ukrainians are being invaded by Russia and forced to flee from their homes.  While the actual numbers are believed to be higher, it was reported today by national news sources today that 365 Ukrainians have been killed and 759 have been injured.  We’ve seen the videos of families crying and praying as shots are fired and shells dropped in or near their homes. The world is watching as mothers and children wait it out in subway stations or bomb shelters throughout the Ukraine.  It’s so heartbreaking and perhaps even traumatizing. 

Many have denounced the actions and feel strong emotions toward those responsible. I’ve felt that too.  But I want to do more than feel, I want to help.  But what can I do?  Are there things I can do to help those that are experiencing isolation, hunger, physical pain, death of loved ones, unemployment and loss of shelter?  The answer is yes.  There are two primary ways we can help at this time in the crisis:

  1. Prayer – prayer is the best way to face anything, especially a crisis.  Prayer is a real connection to God and helps us as we petition God on behalf of others. God encourages us to cry out to Him when there is trouble.  “Call out to me when trouble comes. I will save you. And you will honor me.” (Psalms 50:15; Psalm 91:15).

Here are some specific ways to pray:

  • Pray for peace, asking God to bring an end to the violence and tension between these countries.
  • Pray that God will redeem this situation by drawing people to himself. 
  • Pray those in the crisis will place their hope in Christ rather than governments, a powerful military or diplomacy.
  • Pray that leaders will exercise wisdom and seek God about decisions being made.
  • Pray for the safety of soldiers and their families while separated from them. 
  • Pray for the 1.5 million refugees who have been displaced that are now seeking safety, shelter and food. 
  • Pray that Christians in both countries will stand strong and boldly proclaim their faith as it is tested.
  • Giving – giving is a way for us to bless those in the crisis as we’ve been blessed, and we certainly have been!  Donating to relief efforts encourages a grateful and generous spirit in us as we determine in our heart to give and help others who are in need. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). 

There are many organizations receiving financial gifts on behalf of the Ukrainian crisis and to whom you give is of utmost importance.  Here are a few things to consider before writing a check or making a charge on your credit card:

  • Research the organization you are giving through to ensure they are credible and have boots on the ground that can carry-out the response effort.
  • Consider becoming a partner to the organization and giving over the long haul because relief and recovery efforts may take months, and sometimes even years.    
  • Support an organization that was there before the crisis and already invested in the people. Unfortunately, charities come out of the woodwork following a disaster and many don’t have the local network, infrastructure or relationships to efficiently and effectively distribute aid to victims.
  • Make sure that the organization you are giving to is a registered non-profit with the state regulator.  If you wish to receive a tax deduction for your gift, make sure that they are registered with the IRS as a tax-exempt organization.  You can check this out at: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search

The Kentucky Baptist Convention (www.kybaptist.org/ukraine) is an organization collecting financial aid on behalf of the Ukrainian crisis. It is the organization that many choose to give through because it meets all the criteria outlined above.  They have partners on the ground already providing aid. To date, our nationally partner, SEND Relief, has already dispersed almost a million dollars in aid.  We have boots on the ground meeting needs because we were there prior to the crisis and have plans (Lord willing) to still be there when the dust settles.  Additionally, a small portion of the financial aid received through the KBC will be used specifically to aid Ukrainian refugees who settle in Kentucky. If Ukrainian refugees don’t settle in Kentucky, any dollars withheld will be forwarded to our national partner, SEND Relief. 

I can’t imagine being forced out of my home, community or country. But if it happened, I would find encouragement and strength in knowing that people everywhere are praying for me and giving financially toward my recovery.