This past month I had the privilege of leading ten members of the Little Bethel Baptist Association in western Kentucky, on a two-day vision tour to eastern Kentucky. We visited God’s Love from a Diaper Bag in Jenkins, a ministry directed by MSC Missionaries Lester and Bessie McPeek.
God’s Love from a Diaper Bag began approximately fourteen years ago when Lester and Bessie began handing out diapers to mothers who could not afford to purchase them for their babies. From there the ministry has grown to also include all types of baby items, baby showers for expectant mothers, food and clothing for the entire family, home repairs, school and hygiene items, Vacation Bible School, Backyard Bible Clubs, a dental clinic, and all types of outreach.
From there we went to Marrowbone and a stop at the Freeda Harris Baptist Center. MSC Missionaries Greg and Alice Whitetree have served at this ministry for over 30 years. Greg and Alice planted themselves deep into this rural community and minister to families at their point of need. While there we met a team from Glenrock Baptist Church in South Carolina that had come to serve with the Whitetrees.
After a nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse and a good night’s rest at the Holiday Inn Express in Pikeville, we were back on the road again the second day. Our first stop was God’s Appalachian Partnership (GAP) in McDowell, where MSC Missionary John Morris shared about the history, the vision, and the ministry at GAP. GAP, like all of the other ministries we visited, exists to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people in Appalachia. In 2013 John Morris became the Executive Director of this ministry that began in 1999. GAP’s outreach events include resource distribution, beanstalk, a community Easter Egg Hunt, Kidstock (a back to school event providing new shoes, socks, school supplies, and backpacks for students in Head Start through 12th grade), and a large Christmas outreach.
From GAP we traveled to Williamsburg, KY and Cedaridge Ministries, where we met MSC Missionaries Keith, Joyce, and Holly Decker. Cedaridge also ministers to families in their area through food and clothing, baby items, hygiene items, home repairs, Backyard Bible Clubs, and many other ways. They host large events that reach hundreds of people and are very intentional, as are the other three ministries, in sharing the gospel of Christ at each event.
Together these four ministries reported 188 professions of faith in Christ in 2016 and had 3811 volunteers assist with their ministries.
Little Bethel Association took this vision tour to learn about the ministries and how they might come alongside to help reach these areas for Christ. They are prayerfully considering which ministry or ministries to partner with.
Perhaps your church, association, or even you personally would also like to explore opportunities to serve right here in Kentucky. There are ministries and missionaries all across our state that would love to have you partner with them. Let us help you get started by planning your mission tour. To learn more, please contact us at [email protected] We would love to help connect you.