In 2001 Lester & Bessie McPeek from Jenkins, KY began “God’s Love from a Diaper Bag,” a ministry to young mothers struggling to provide diapers for their babies. Now, nineteen years later, this ministry is still going strong and has grown beyond anything they could have thought or imagined.
Along with diapers, this ministry provides now baby clothes, baby food, wipes, car seats and pretty much anything a parent might need for their baby. They host baby showers for expectant mothers and teach lessons on how to care for the babies. They partner with local health departments, hospitals, sheriff departments and even jails, to minister to families.
Early in their ministry Mrs. Bessie began to address the “Shaken Baby Syndrome” issue, using eggs and baby food jars to demonstrate. She would put an egg in each of three baby food jars. The white of the egg represented the membrane, the yoke represented the brain and the baby food jar the skull. As she shook the first jar the yoke of the egg would separate into the membrane. The egg in the second jar, when shaken a little harder, would separate a little more. The egg in the third jar, when shaken violently, would look like scrambled eggs. This allowed the parents to actually “see” the seriousness of shaking their babies.
Now, with the addition of two fairly new members to the “God’s Love from a Diaper Bag” team, Mrs. Bessie can demonstrate this problem even more realistically. Miss Helen Arabella Grace, a “Shaken Baby” doll, is the size and weight of an actual baby, but with a clear head that allows the parents to look inside the brain. When the doll is shaken, the head lights up in the part of the brain that is affected, allowing the parents see what happens when they shake their baby. She shares with them how, when they get to the point of frustration, to deal with it in other, non-violent, ways even to the point of calling someone to help when they got to that point. One lady with three young children said to her, “but Mrs. Bessie, I don’t have anyone to call” to which Mrs. Bessie replied, “then call me.”
One night at 8:00 the lady called. The children were crying, there was no milk or diapers, the boyfriend had been put in jail due to drugs and the lady was so distraught. Mrs. Bessie went to the house, took milk and diapers, rocked the children, put them to bed and just sat with the lady until she calmed down. The love of Jesus demonstrated.
The other new “member” is Miss Patti, a “Drug” doll, representing a baby that is addicted to drugs. The doll’s face grimaces as if in pain, her hands and feet are clutched, and her stomach is sunken in. The doll tremors like she is going into DTs and she cries constantly. This doll helps the families to see how using drugs will affect their babies.
These two dolls are great tools is teaching families to care for their children, which is so important, but the McPeeks do not stop there. Mrs. Bessie shares that “the plan of salvation is given to every person who attend any of our mission events or that we deal with on a daily basis.” Over the past four years they have witnessed 81 persons praying to receive Christ as a result of their ministry and/or personal witnessing.
Please pray for the McPeeks as they minister in their hometown of Jenkins and surrounding areas. Pray for the babies and families they serve. Pray for mission teams to work alongside them and pray for many more to come to Christ as a result of this ministry.
Contact the KBC Missions Mobilization office ([email protected]) to learn of ways to serve with this ministry.