“Wait” Before We Go

When it comes to the Great Commission, the lostness of the world is second to the global glory of God.  God’s greatest concern is His great glory among the nations.  Only when our passion for God’s glory blazes will our endeavors to make Him famous among the nations shine bright. 

photo by IMB

Ironically, instead of blazing a trail for God’s glory in Jerusalem and abroad, the early disciples were first told to wait.  Wait?  The strategy for which the Lord gave the apostles began with waiting.  That seems quite odd for a movement that was intended to take the world by storm.  But if you think about it, where does this unquenchable passion for God’s glory among the nations come from? 

Jesus knew that what the early disciples needed most was power from on high, not power from within.  Passion for God is ultimately God-given passion.  Therefore, Jesus instructs the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for what the Father had promised, namely the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).  Both the power and passion for accomplishing the Great Commission comes from above; it comes from outside of ourselves.  The Holy Spirit would ignite a passion and provide the power to go into all the world preaching the gospel (Acts 1:6-8).

Interestingly, after Jesus’ departure, we find the disciples locked up in an upper room . . . waiting.  That is, waiting and praying (Acts 1:12-14).  Great Commission advancement always invovles waiting and praying.  A survey through Acts demonstrates that gospel boldness is closely connected and often follows the fervant prayers of God’s people (e.g., Acts 2:42; 3:1; 4:23-31; 6:6-7; 10:9; 13:1-3).

As we examine the book of Acts it’s no wonder why we see such incredible gospel advancement.  The early church bathed the advancement of the gospel in prayer.  Yet, prayer seems to be an afterthought in so many churches today when it comes to Great Commission faithfulness.  “The gospel must be on the go,” we say.  “We don’t have time to pray when lostness is all around us,” we chide.  Yet, the underlying truth that the early church understood, that we would do well to understand, is that the gospel advances supernaturally through the prayers of the people of God.  In other words, the battle against lostness is first fought on our knees.

photo by IMB

We need churches and associations entering the battlefield on their knees before going to their feet.  Yes, “beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things” (Rom 10:15).  Yet, as we see from Acts, the beauty of our feet comes from calloused knees.  Great Commission faithfulness must begin with empowerment thru prayer.  Strategies void of prayer will be strategies void of power.  Only when God’s people cry out to Him, who alone can take a message offensive and foolish to the world and turn it into a beautiful embrace of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, will that message advance powerfully.  Let us be faithful to advance the Great Commission, but let us wait upon calloused knees for God to give us His power and passion.

Importance of the Pastor as a Catalyst for Missions

The Pastor is called to be a preacher/teacher within the body of faith.  This place of leadership gives him a unique authority and influence in the local church.  When the shepherd of the flock leads, the flock will follow.   This is crucial for the general health of the church but also for the missional health of the body of Christ.

The pastor is called to be God’s strategist for the local mission field but is also critical for God’s command to take the Gospel to the nations.  When the pastor has a passion for missions the church will be ignited to go into all the world for the sake of the Gospel.

The pastor is vital in:

  • Casting a missional vision. If it is not said from the pulpit most in the pews do not think it is important.
  • Helping the body of Christ understand lostness. When the pastor is consumed by the urgency of our work for Christ, it will overflow to the people in the pews.
  • Making missions a regular and important part of worship. Missions should flow from the worship of God. We were created to give God glory. When we meet God in worship, it stirs our hearts to make His name known among all peoples.  The pastor plays a key role by seeking ways to make missions a part of worship (preaching on missions, showing mission clips, praying for missions, highlighting mission offerings, using missions’ illustrations in his message, inviting missionaries to speak).
  • Preaching the Word faithfully and challenging the people to live life on mission for Christ.
  • Leading by example. The church will never be more committed than their leader.
  • Fostering the development of missionaries within the congregation by seeking to grow and encourage those in the family of faith to serve and surrender to a missions’ calling. Pastors are called to equip up the saints, so that these disciples may be sent out on mission for Christ.  The Missions Mobilization Team at the Kentucky Baptist Convention can assist individuals in connecting with our Southern Baptist missionary sending organizations to begin exploring the missionary appointment process.
  • Developing a comprehensive mission strategy to move the church to reach its Jerusalem, to have impact in the church’s Judea and Samaria, and to take the Gospel to the farthest corners of the globe.
  • Being an encourager of missions and missionaries. Invite missionaries to your church and help the church to build relationships with missionaries.
  • Promoting missions giving. This is the lifeblood of missions, and when we give cooperatively, we can do more for the Kingdom than any of us can alone. The pastor plays a vital role in helping the church to understand why we give to missions and choose to work cooperatively as Southern Baptists.
  • Encouraging the church to pray for missions, unreached peoples, and missionaries.
  • Energizing the flock to “Go.”

The strength or weakness of each local church’s missionary program, its missionary support, and its missionary outreach will depend, more than any other one element, on the mission-mindedness of its pastor.   

Missions at Home, part 2

At the beginning of the month my blog was on Missions at Home and ways to participate in missions short-term, mid-term and long-term in Kentucky.  A couple of other ways to be involved in “missions at home” is through the interSEED prayer calendar and the Adopt-a-Missionary program.  Let’s look at how these work and where to find information about them.

interSEED    

How could God work through our missionaries and church planters if we better supported them through strategic intercession?

The interSEED monthly prayer calendar is a resource for Kentucky Baptists to support missionaries and church planters serving in Kentucky. These monthly prayer calendars encourage believers to pray for them on their birthdays.

Each month you can go to www.kybaptist.org/interseed and download the prayer calendar.  The calendar will show the birthdays in that month and where the missionaries and church planters are serving. 

Most of them will tell you that prayer is their number one need and you can be a part of their ministry through prayer.  To better personalize your prayer for the missionaries go to www.kybpatist.org/missionaries and see a picture of the missionary and a description of their ministry.  I know they will be so meaningful for the missionaries and for yourself.

Adopt-a-Missionary

Do you want an exciting and meaningful boost for your church?

Do you want your church or small group to be more involved in missions?

Do you want to “get to know” a missionary?

Missionaries are not orphans, but adoption is a beautiful word that helps describe the strong relationship between missionaries and the churches and friends who pray and encourage them in their ministries. The church at Antioch, in a sense, adopted Paul and Barnabas as special messengers of the gospel to Asia and Europe (Acts 13:1-3).

An adopting church or group will experience:

  • A personal relationship with an active missionary.
  • A strengthened commitment to missions.
  • A heightened awareness of mission opportunities.
  • A fresh, outwardly focused ministry perspective.
  • Group building and bonding through service to others.
  • An opportunity to see God at work and an invitation to join Him in it.

The adopted missionary will benefit greatly from the prayer support, encouraging phone calls, emails, cards, visits and care packages they receive from their adoptive church.  Sending mission teams to help with projects and resource needs are also a huge help and, opportunities to visit and speak at the adopting church will be greatly welcomed by the missionary.

Check out the Adopt-a-Missionary program at http://www.kybaptist.org/adopt-a-missionary,1477 and consider adopting a Kentucky missionary.

For more information on interSEED and the Adopt-a-Missionary program contact the Kentucky Baptist Convention Missions Mobilization Team at [email protected].

May you have a blessed 2019 as you connect with missions in Kentucky!!

Is Risk Right in Missions?*

“Is it safe?” This question echoes across church fellowship halls and Sunday School rooms as short-term informational meetings take place throughout the year in churches of all shapes and sizes. The call goes out in the church for a short-term team to go to ____ and do ____. A meeting is scheduled for those interested in this mission opportunity. Inevitably, pressing upon the inner thoughts of those interested or those who love those who are interested is the question of safety. “Will I or my loved one be safe?”

Forming our theology of risk is vital to an overall strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission. The purpose of a theology of risk allows individuals and groups to think through the reality that any mission endeavor (long-, mid- or short-term) involves risk. New Testament missionaries faced risk (e.g., Acts 9:15-16), and it is only appropriate to understand that today’s missionaries may also face risks or crises while serving God during mission efforts. In the face of such crises, a clear understanding of Scripture, as related to risk, should prepare mission team members to honor God despite difficult circumstances.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is the foundation of all the church does in the name of Christ. Like Paul and Barnabas in the book of Acts, we are called upon to “risk” our lives for the cause of Christ (Acts 15:26).

Missions can involve high levels of risk—criminal, political, health, or even natural catastrophe.  Understanding God’s call on our lives is essential (Luke 9:23; 2 Timothy 2:1-4).  The biblical legacy of risk is evident in Scripture.  Paul was ready to be bound and even die, if necessary (Acts 21:13).  Some early believers could have escaped but chose not to (Hebrews 11:32-38).

No single response to danger is given in Scripture. Both fleeing and facing danger is given. There is freedom in either case; therefore, we must be careful not to develop hard-and-fast “rules” for risk. For example, Stephen faced risk in Acts 7-8, and the early believers fled in conjunction to his death (Acts 8:1-4). Neither are viewed as superior or less-than in these circumstances. In fact, God uses both facing and fleeing for His glory (Acts 11:19-26).

The problem for the church today is often not the decision of whether to face or flee danger, but whether we should even consider danger as an option. We assume that Jesus wants us to be safe and secure, so why would we go to other places where there are risks?  Jesus does not call us to safety; He calls us to be satisfied (in Him).

Facing or fleeing danger seemed to be assessed most often in Scripture based upon the need for the gospel in a particular place.  In Corinth, Paul, who was apparently fearful, was assured by God that he would be safe while he remained in Corinth preaching the gospel (Acts 18:9-11).  He understood that his calling was one of testifying to the gospel of the grace of God in places where it had not been heard (Acts 20:22-24).  He knew danger awaited him. 

There is a sense of urgency in Scripture for gospel advancement. This urgency means that, at times, Jesus calls us to face danger, and at other times, He calls us to flee from danger.  May God give us the wisdom and grace to do both. *(Portions adapted from Alabama Baptist Convention State Board of Missions Policy and Procedure Manual)

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, part 1

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.

Short-term Missions and Security

The world today is much different than it was 10 or 20 years ago.  While global traveling is much easier, it is also more difficult.  Preparing our teams for traveling and serving in strange places (whether in the US or abroad) is essential.

For the protection of the team, missionaries and national partners, here are some security guidelines that will benefit the short-term team.

  1. Never identify people overseas by name. Sharing personal information of partners overseas while you are overseas can jeopardize the work.  Do not share personal information in conversation or through social media.
  2. Avoid using Christian and mission terminology. Instead of using terms like “pray, missions, Bible, church, evangelism,” etc., one can say “talk with Dad, the family, the book, the work,” etc.
  3. Never identify yourself with a church, denomination or the IMB. Avoid clothing and hats that connect you with any of these groups.
  4. Do not leave written or printed information in your room that could identify local church or mission leaders. Places you go like hotels, restaurants, and airplanes have “ears.”  Workers in these places may share information they overhear or see with government officials.
  5. Consider that all communication is being heard or read by others. Speak by phone as if you are not in a private conversation.  Letters, emails, texts, etc. are very public.  If names are used, only use first names and never first and last names.
  6. Never give the impression of being critical of local governments or religions. As an American, you will likely be viewed with suspicion in many of the places you travel to, so do not say anything negative about governments or religions that will hinder your witness.
  7. Avoid visiting with other Christians or missionaries while on your trip. Unless requested by the IMB staff or local partners, contact with other believers in security-sensitive areas should be guarded.
  8. Refuse to be photographed or interviewed by news media. Common sense must be used in these cases.  You have no control how videos and pictures will be used by others to potentially harm the work of Christ.
  9. Always follow the leading of your host missionary and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. As a new person in a new place that is security-sensitive, listen and follow the directions of your host.  Their directions for the team are not meant to hinder ministry, but to enhance long-term ministry.  Further, as the Holy Spirit opens opportunities for gospel conversations, but sensitive to your situation and surrounding and tell others about the good news of Jesus. 

Being security sensitive is not for the purpose of stifling gospel work, but to ensure that it continues long after your short-term team is gone.  The goal in short-term missions is coming alongside long-term partners in order to advance the gospel intentionally and/or exponentially that would not occur otherwise.

What is Disaster Relief?

Our world continues to experience devastation and destruction annually.  Man-made events as well as natural disasters continue to challenge our minds with “why.”  Why has this happened?  Why me?  Why my community?  As Believers, we cannot answer the “why,” but we can respond with love and compassion as we help those affected know that they are not forgotten by God.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is one of the three largest disaster response entities in the United States. Trained volunteers stand ready to respond when disaster hit across our globe.  Disaster Relief ministry provides an opportunity for believers to be the hands and feet of Christ to hurting people.

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief began ministry in 1984 and is part of the larger Southern Baptist Send Relief network of 42 state conventions, the North American Mission Board, and Baptist Global Response.  Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief is supported by gifts of Kentucky Baptists through the Cooperative Program and the Eliza Broadus Offering for State Missions.  This ministry offers opportunities for believers to be on mission for Christ during times of crisis.

The Apostle John instructed us:

“Let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

In times of crisis, people need more than empty words.  They need someone to come alongside them with genuine help and real hope.  Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief brings practical help, the healing grace of Christ, and the hope of the Gospel to those devastated by disaster.  More than 4500 Kentucky Baptists are trained as disaster relief volunteers.  Volunteers can staff mobile kitchens designed to provide thousands of hot meals, move in with a chainsaw after a tornado, assist homeowners in cleaning up a flooded home, offer spiritual care as a chaplain, and provide many other disaster services.

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are trained in:

    • Bulk Supply Distribution
    • Chainsaw Ministry
    • Chaplain Care
    • Emergency Childcare
    • Damage Assessment
    • Flood and Wildfire Clean up
    • Mass Feeding
    • Roof Tarping
    • Radio Operations
    • Shower and Laundry Ministry
    • Water Purification and Well Repair

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief has a host of resources that can be mobilized during times of disaster.  Resources that can be deployed are:

  • 4 Mobile Kitchens with the capacity to prepare 68,000 meals a day for disaster survivors
  • 27 Chainsaw/Flood/Fire Recovery Trailers
  • 2 Mobile Communication and Command Units
  • 7 Mobile Shower trailers
  • 1 Mobile Laundry Trailer
  • 2 Mobile Childcare Trailers
  • 3 Mobile Water Purification Units
  • 1 Mobile Roof Tarping Trailer
  • 1 Kuboda Skid-Steer
  • 1 Mobile Lift
  • 2 Fork-lifts

You can get trained in 2019 on the following dates:

  • January 12 at Mount Washington First Baptist Church
  • February 2 at Rose Hill Baptist Church in Ashland
  • March 2 at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Hopkinsville
  • April 6 at High Street Baptist Church in Somerset
  • September 14 at Lifepoint Church in Franklin

To learn how you or your church can get involved in this Kingdom ministry go to http://www.kybaptist.org/dr, or call (502) 489-3527.

Chaplain Provides Hope for Inmates & Children

 

On April 17, 2009 Tom Grugel’s life changed forever.  Having lived his entire life in a very dysfunctional lifestyle, and searching for something he couldn’t put into words, Tom found a church and began to attend.  He was encouraged to go on an Emmaus Walk and during that weekend, at 10:00 AM on April 17, Tom surrendered his life to Christ.  “He had been calling for years and I had ignored Him up to that moment,” said Tom.  “He saved me and put a fire in me that has never gone away.  He created in me a desire to share the Gospel with others.”

Tom began giving out Gospel tracts and felt God was calling him to preach.  Once a week he would go to the Taylor County Detention Center and share with the inmates.  This led to a conversation with the Boyle County Detention Center jailer about doing the same at their facility.  But God had other plans.  Tom was asked not to come just once a week, or once a month, but to be the chaplain at the Boyle County Detention Center.

“Tom has many years of experience as an inmate,” said South District Baptist Association Director of Missions Jim Clontz.  “He knows the challenges of knowing what it is like to be alone and wonder what is going to happen!  He knows what it is like to be without Christ!  In his many years as an inmate, no one ever witnessed to him.  He has a love for the inmates, the staff and the administration.  He has the support of the Jailor and Chief Deputy, and works closely with the Detention Center Administration, local churches and with our association.”  Tom is making a difference in the lives of many of the “guests” of the jail, as he likes to refer to them.  They serve 3000 persons a year in the jail and he has seen over 500 professions of faith in Christ during his years as chaplain, with 319 of them being baptized.

“He offers follow-up when inmates are released,” says Bro. Jim, and “there is a very high correlation between follow-up and whether the inmate will return.”

One day Tom’s heart was broken over children he saw that had come to visit mom and dad in jail.  Some were antsy, some were sitting in chairs staring at the walls, and others sitting on the floor.  “I had to step into another room because I had begun to cry,” he said.  Soon after the jail started a Kid’s Corner to minister to these children.  A beautiful mural was painted on the wall and a child’s table and chairs were added where the children can watch television during their visit.  Each child is given a gift bag, which includes toys and, so far, about 500 “Bags of Smiles” has been given out, all of which is funded by local churches.

Click on the following link to view a recent news story that WKYT-TV in Lexington did on the Kids’ Corner – https://www.wkyt.com/content/news/Kids-corner-at-Boyle-Co-jail-motivates-incarcerated-parents-499202421.html.

Tom shared that the Bags of Smiles in no longer just a jail ministry.  They now work with those who do advocacy with children, and with child protective services, to provide the Bags of Smiles.

“There is so much that the Lord is doing,” says Tom.  And he is always quick to give the God the credit.

Tom works closely with the churches of the South District Baptist Association and, in February 2018, became a Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionary with the Kentucky Baptist Convention in his role as chaplain.

There is a need for new or gently used toys for the Bags of Smiles.  If you would like to partner with Tom please email him at [email protected], or contact Dr. Jim Clontz, Director of Missions at the South District Baptist Association at 859-238-7624.