July 2019

Refugee connects with Arab evangelist on social media

July 10 2019 by Madeline Arthington, IMB

Brahim*, now living in a European refugee camp, left his North African country in search of a better life far from the war and desperation of his home.

Brahim* and Yoseph* pray for boldness to share the gospel with North African and Middle Eastern men and women who have never heard about God’s love for them.

Only 22 years old, Brahim doesn’t own much. But he does have a phone, and that is how he first encountered the gospel.
Through a gospel-themed page on social media, Brahim began messaging with Yoseph*, an Arab evangelist with a heart for ministry to other Arabic speakers. Through these exchanges, Brahim heard the gospel and made a profession of faith in Christ.
Yoseph and his ministry partner drove to the refugee camp to visit Brahim. He was tentative in his faith and felt isolated. They studied scripture and prayed that Brahim would be bold to share with others.
A few weeks later, Yoseph met with a large group of believers gathered in his city – Arabs, Europeans and Americans – and together they prayed that God would work among North African and Middle Eastern men and women.
The next day, Yoseph and his ministry partner heard from Brahim. He had shared the gospel with his roommate, who believed.
When Yoseph and his partner visited them, Brahim was changed. He was excited, confident and sure about his faith. They ended the visit by celebrating the Lord’s Supper and praying for more people to know the joy of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Pray that God would strengthen Brahim and his roommate in their faith and use them as laborers in the harvest fields.
Gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering support Southern Baptists who work among refugees such as Brahim from North Africa and the Middle East, helping new believers grow in their faith and share the Good News of God’s Word.
To learn more about North African and Middle Eastern people, click here.
*Names changed.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Madeline Arthington is a writer who serves with the International Mission Board in Central Asia.)

7/10/2019 1:01:22 PM by Madeline Arthington, IMB | with 0 comments

Navy chaplain helps Marines ‘HEAR’ Bible

July 10 2019 by Aaron Wilson, LifeWay Christian Resources

As a Navy chaplain serving in combat logistics, Trevor Carpenter has traveled on guided-missile destroyers and served with teams scouting for air assault attacks.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill Dodge
Navy Chaplain Trevor Carpenter, right, leads a prayer during a 2016 deployment.

But for the past several months, Carpenter’s focus hasn’t involved ballistics and helicopters as much as it has Bibles and highlighters.
“I currently have around 70 Marines and their spouses digging into scripture each week through the H.E.A.R. journaling method,” said Carpenter, who’s stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
H.E.A.R. stands for Highlight, Explain, Apply and Respond, a Bible-study method developed by pastor Robby Gallaty, senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., and creator of the H.E.A.R. journaling method. Carpenter discovered the method in the CSB Disciple’s Study Bible.
“Being in the military, I’m a pretty programed guy,” Carpenter said. “So when I picked up a copy of the Disciple’s Study Bible, I decided to go through its journaling plan as a self-guided Bible study. It became the meat and potatoes of spiritual growth for my wife and I while I was stationed [in Norfolk, Va.].”
Upon being transferred to Hawaii, Carpenter said he met six young Christian Marines and their spouses who were part of a group that had been formed by another chaplain to establish Christian community on base. The couples – who each hailed from different parts of the U.S. – asked if Carpenter would begin discipling them.
Carpenter accepted and told them about the Bible-journaling method he and his wife had been going through the past eight months.
“Because they’re military, they got out their military journals and asked how to use the H.E.A.R. method to study the Word,” Carpenter said. “Since then, we’ve been meeting in a living room every Wednesday night to discuss what we study and journal about throughout the week.”
Shortly after Carpenter met these couples, several single Marines approached Carpenter and asked for advice on how to read the Bible. Carpenter quickly formed a second discipleship group for these Marines. He also launched a weekly lunch group for Marines who live off base to allow them to get together and discuss their Bible-journaling experiences.
Gallaty noted, “Journaling through scripture has impacted my own Bible reading through the years. I’m encouraged to learn how God is using the same H.E.A.R. journaling method to equip these Marines. I can’t wait to see how God uses them to live as missionaries wherever they serve.”
Recently, Carpenter was also asked by his pastor to teach a Bible journaling class over the summer to members of his church. Carpenter noted when he first started using the H.E.A.R. method, he had no idea it was going to spark a movement of Marines and churchgoers journaling through God’s Word in the middle of the Pacific.
“I’m now taking four different groups through the H.E.A.R. method of studying scripture,” he said. “I have people coming up to me every week saying, ‘Will you teach me how to open up the Bible?’”
In the process of forming these discipleship groups, Carpenter said he’s also come in contact with more than a half dozen Marines who are planning to enter vocational ministry after they fulfill their commitment to the military. In addition to journaling together through the Bible, Carpenter and these Marines listen to Christian programing from the LifeWay Leadership Podcast Network throughout the week. They then come together to discuss what they’ve learned.
Podcast episodes they’ve discussed so far have come from “5 Leadership Questions” hosted by Todd Adkins and Daniel Im, “Making Disciples” with Robby Gallaty, and “Ask Me Anything” with J.D. Greear.
“Each week we hear stories from leaders around the globe who’ve been encouraged or equipped in some way through our LifeWay Leadership podcast network,” said Adkins, director of LifeWay Leadership. “These stories keep us striving to continue bringing practical and immediately applicable resources to churches and church leaders working to make disciples.”
As for the original Bible that served as a catalyst for this discipleship movement, Carpenter says he no longer has it. He’s gone through several Disciple’s Study Bibles since then, but his original copy is now in Africa.
“I was sitting next to a couple from the Kenyan Navy, and the wife kept looking at my Bible that had all my handwritten notes in it,” Carpenter recalled. “I’ve served in Africa and so I asked her in Swahili, ‘Do you want this?’
“She took the Bible saying, ‘I’d like to learn what you’re thinking about,’” Carpenter said. “When I meet someone who doesn’t have a Bible – which is unfortunately quite often – I always give them mine.”
Trevin Wax, director of Bibles and reference for LifeWay, says one of the most exciting aspects of his job is learning how the biblical resources his team creates helps people come to a deeper knowledge of God through His Word.
“Tools, study notes, reading plans – all of these can help people get into the scriptures for themselves,” Wax said. “I’m delighted to hear of how God is using the Disciple’s Study Bible around the world.”
As for Carpenter, he says he sees his work in the military as a fulfillment of the Great Commission and appreciates how LifeWay’s biblical resources help him serve as an ambassador for Christ wherever he’s stationed.
“I’ve gone on dives with SEAL teams, shot guns with Marines and have been on warships in downrange deployments, but I’m a missionary the same way a missionary to China is a missionary,” Carpenter said. “They’re learning Chinese; I’m just learning military language. And I’m wearing the clothes and speaking the language of my people.
“I’m in it because people need to find Jesus.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Aaron Wilson is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources.)

7/10/2019 12:52:33 PM by Aaron Wilson, LifeWay Christian Resources | with 0 comments

New Orleans ministry heals bodies, souls

July 10 2019 by Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message

Deep in the heart of New Orleans’ most impoverished neighborhoods, the missionaries and staff of Baptist Community Health Services (BCHS) treat not only the body, but also the souls of the more than 10,000 people who pass through the medical ministry’s doors each year.

Submitted photo
Baptist Community Health Services has provided gospel-centered health care to several impoverished areas of New Orleans since 2014.

With a mission of “demonstrating the love of Christ by providing high quality primary medical and behavioral healthcare in underserved communities,” BCHS provides needed services while sharing the love of Christ, noted CEO Shawn Powers.
BCHS operates four medical clinics in New Orleans, and is believed to be the only known federally qualified health center connected to a Southern Baptist local association of churches, he said. The New Orleans Baptist Association (NOBA), with the help of the Baptist Community Ministries (BCM, a foundation set up with proceeds from the 1995 sale of the Southern Baptist Hospital in New Orleans) and Southern Baptists’ North American Mission Board (NAMB), launched the medical ministry in 2014.
“We are thankful for the many partners, including BCM, NAMB and NOBA, who invested in the vision of what is today a thriving Christ-exalting healthcare mission,” Powers told the Baptist Message. “We pray our many trusted partners and donors see this accomplishment as BCHS’ ongoing dedication to the stewardship of medical mission that has been entrusted to us.”

Gospel-centered care

Powers initially helped to advise NOBA during its preparation to launch BCHS. And two years after the medical ministry was founded he became the first full-time CEO of the only healthcare center in the Lower Ninth Ward, Powers noted. He added that Fred Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, helped select the Lower Ninth Ward where BCHS was launched.
That decision was made in large part because residents of the Lower Ninth Ward were struggling with access to primary healthcare even before Hurricane Katrina impacted the area in August 2005.
Southern Baptists, pastors and lay members, compose 100 percent of the organization’s board of directors, Powers said. Moreover, BCHS senior staff and doctors are commissioned missionaries of NOBA.
Since the health center’s formation, the staff has reportedly shared the gospel and prayed with patients more than 20,000 times. In partnership with local Louisiana Baptist Convention churches, BCHS strives to use its medical platform to meet the medical, behavioral health and spiritual care needs of patients living in what the federal government defines are “medically underserved communities.”
In 2016, Powers also led BCHS to provide 100 percent free healthcare for Southern Baptist pastors, church staff and their respective families.
Powers said he wanted to offer this option because of the desire of BCHS to strengthen the ministry of the local church and believing, “healthy pastors lead healthy churches and healthy churches help build healthy communities.”
The ministry accepts commercial insurance; however, the majority of the health center’s patients are covered by Medicaid and Medicare. Patients without insurance also are served and fees are deeply discounted using a sliding payment scale, usually $25 to $60, based on income level and family size. Regardless, no one in need of care is turned away due to financial reasons, Powers said.
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded BCHS a perfect score after conducting a three-day intensive onsite inspection and audit of BCHS’ compliance with 91 federal elements among 18 major categories – which included inspection of the multi-site health center’s clinical quality (practices, policies and patient outcomes) and review of administrative-financial leadership, and board governance.
“In my own local SBC church, First Baptist New Orleans, our pastor challenged us to ‘dare to love this city’ and to be ‘mighty in word and deed to share and show the love of Jesus with our neighbors,’” said Hannah Pounds, chief medical officer for BCHS.
“The vision for what BCHS has become was birthed in the local church, supported by Baptist Community Ministries, the North American Mission Board and made possible through the dedication of the New Orleans Baptist Association,” she said. “If any of those cooperative links had been removed, we would not be celebrating this milestone today and tens of thousands of people would have missed our gospel witness.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Brian Blackwell writes for the Baptist Message, baptistmessage.com, news journal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, where this story first appeared.)

7/10/2019 12:46:57 PM by Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message | with 0 comments

Nationwide ‘Who’s Your One?’ tour to kick off in NC

July 9 2019 by BSC Communications

North Carolina will be the first stop on a nationwide “Who’s Your One?” tour sponsored by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) designed to equip and encourage churches in their evangelistic efforts.

Temple Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., will host the first event on Sunday and Monday, Aug. 11-12, which will feature Johnny Hunt, NAMB’s senior vice president of evangelism and leadership, as the keynote speaker.

The event will feature a rally at 6 p.m. Sunday followed by an evangelism workshop beginning at 8 a.m. Monday. Sunday’s rally is free and open to the public. Monday’s workshop is also free but registration is required.
Training sessions will cover topics such as cultivating your heart for evangelism, practical ways to start gospel conversations, creating a culture of evangelism in your church, and utilizing small groups for evangelism.
During the NAMB report at the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., Hunt said he wishes “every pastor, every staff person and their spouses and your key lay leaders would join us” during the “Who’s Your One?” tour.
Hunt will speak during the Sunday evening rally and also participate in the workshop training on Monday. Ministry leaders scheduled to appear with Hunt for the training workshop in Fayetteville include Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Catherine Renfro, marketing consultant with NAMB; Allan Taylor, director of Sunday School and church education ministries at LifeWay Christian Resources; and Tim Dowdy, senior pastor of Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Ga. Singer and songwriter Charles Billingsley is scheduled to lead worship.
The “Who’s Your One?” tour will include stops in at least 20 cities from August 2019 until May 2020. The tour is designed to underscore the importance of the “Who’s Your One?” evangelism initiative that encourages every Southern Baptist to intentionally build a relationship with one person and pray for them, share the gospel with them and invite them to place their faith in Christ.
The tour also includes a second scheduled stop in North Carolina on March 8-9, 2020, at First Baptist Church of Indian Trail near Charlotte.
More information about the “Who’s Your One?” initiative and tour is available at whosyourone.com.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Information from Baptist Press and the North American Mission Board was used in this report.)

7/9/2019 11:38:00 AM by BSC Communications | with 0 comments

California quakes prompt Southern Baptist response

July 9 2019 by Brandon Elrod, NAMB

A group of local, church volunteers had finished a day of cleaning up and repairing damage to Immanuel Baptist Church, Ridgecrest, Calif., following a 6.4 earthquake on July 4. The next night, the 7.1 earthquake undid their hard work and then some.

Photo courtesy of Immanuel Baptist, Ridgecrest
After enduring two earthquakes – one July 4 followed by a second July 5 – Immanuel Baptist Church, Ridgecrest, Calif., needed to cancel Sunday services. Parts of the ceiling came down throughout the church building. Volunteers from the church had cleaned up much of the damage from the July 4 earthquake only to have their efforts erased by the second quake.

“I was at home with my wife for the 7.1,” said Bill Logan, pastor of Immanuel Baptist. “There was a 5.0 that happened first. When it hit, we wanted to be out of the house. Then, about three minutes later, the seven hit, and all our neighbors were screaming.”
Logan has lived in Southern California for more than 30 years and experienced several earthquakes over his lifetime, “but nothing like what occurred Thursday and Friday,” he said.
The ceiling came down across several areas around the church, littering floors with ceiling tiles, insulation and exposing parts of the air conditioning system. The damage forced the church to cancel Sunday services, but Logan said his was the only Southern Baptist church in the area that had to do so.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) volunteers have visited Ridgecrest to assess the needs, and a team plans to arrive to provide chaplaincy and counseling services to those affected. The tremors created a sense of dread for some residents.
“After the first quake hit, experts were saying there as an 8 percent chance of one bigger than that striking,” said Mike Bivins, SBDR director for California Baptists. “Well, the bigger quake did come, and experts again said there was a 5 percent chance that an even bigger quake could occur. So, people are worried.”
A California Baptist SBDR team will arrive July 9 and stay with the church to help with repairs to the church as well as assist any others in the church’s neighborhood.
“We have made contact with our Southern Baptist churches,” Bivins reported, “and we’re going to be supporting and resourcing them as disaster relief.”
Ridgecrest police have not reported any fatalities. Damage has reportedly been relatively minor for an earthquake of such magnitude. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other seismologists estimated that a total of more than 3,000 earthquakes followed the Independence Day quake.
While on the phone July 8 discussing disaster relief assistance, Logan felt an earthquake. He guessed it was likely a 4.0 on the Richter scale.
“The main issue here is psychological,” Logan said.
The earthquakes emanated roughly 10 miles northeast of the small town and rattled much of Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency the following day in Ridgecrest and San Bernardino County.
Newsom called the quakes a “wake-up call for the rest of [his] state and other parts of the nation” when speaking with the press, advising individuals to take precautions and be prepared.
Some residents of Trona, Calif., in San Bernardino County were being transported to Ridgecrest as the town of about 2,500 people reportedly experienced more extensive damage.
Bivins stated that California Baptist SBDR teams are ready to assist further should they be needed.

Southern Baptist response to flooding, migrant influx continues

In other disaster relief news, after a flood struck the Texas Rio Grande Valley nearly two weeks ago, Southern Baptists with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) and Texas Baptist Men (TBM) have been active in the area, providing food for survivors and clearing out mud from flooded homes.
SBTC and TBM units also continue their efforts to assist with the immigration influx by providing feeding and shower units to churches near the Texas border.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Brandon Elrod writes for the North American Mission Board.)

7/9/2019 11:16:07 AM by Brandon Elrod, NAMB | with 0 comments

Reluctant missionary now leading many to Christ in Peru

July 9 2019 by Melanie Clinton, IMB

When Peruvian couple Caleb and Devora Quispe got married, Devora was a new believer. Caleb longed to become a missionary, but Devora preferred to stay home and help run the family sewing business.

IMB photo
A parade marches through the streets the night before the La Virgen Rasaria festival in Huancané, Peru.

Caleb strongly believes that when a couple marries, they become one.
“What God has put in my heart, he will put in your heart, too,” he tearfully told his wife, but she remained steadfast in her desire to stay home.
Over time, her heart changed. When their church told Caleb he should remain home and make local disciples rather than become a missionary, Devora responded, “No, you can’t tell us we can’t do this!”
Finally unified, the couple moved several hours away to become bi-vocational missionaries among the Central Aymara, a people group of 506,000. Devora works as a teacher during the day, and on evenings and weekends they visit Aymara farms to build relationships and share God’s Word.
Devora is now a bold witness, and two families along with many students have committed their lives to Christ.
The Aymara worship “Pachamama” (“Earth Mother”) and offer sacrifices like lambs, goats, and home-brewed alcohol in attempts to appease their god and gain good crops. The community often ostracizes new believers and accuses them of angering Pachamama and causing disasters like hail storms.
Pray believers will remain strong in the face of persecution. Also, pray for the Quispes as they share Christ with Aymara families who are plagued by alcoholism and abuse.
Gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering support Southern Baptists living alongside Christians in the Americas to partner with them to expand their gospel witness.
Learn more about the American peoples at imb.org/americas. Or, go to imb.org for more information.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Melanie Clinton is a writer for IMB. She lives in Sub-Saharan Africa with her husband and two children.)

7/9/2019 11:12:38 AM by Melanie Clinton, IMB | with 0 comments

Sudan crisis: Door is ‘wide open’ for the gospel

July 9 2019 by Timothy Cockes, Baptist Press

Despite continuing protests and violence in the nation of Sudan, Abraham Deng sees God opening a door for the church to bear fruit, particularly among Muslims.

Photo submitted
Abraham Deng leads worship for the Sudanese congregation meeting at Clarkston International Bible Church northeast of Atlanta.

Deng, who came to America as a refugee from what is now South Sudan, frequently visits both his hometown area in South Sudan as well as visiting his wife and three children in the nation of Sudan as they await approval to move to the United States.
Deng recounted that three women came to the local church during his visit to Sudan this spring saying they needed to follow “the son of Mary” after seeing him in a dream.
“I had heard accounts of people saying, ‘I saw Jesus in a dream’ or ‘I heard it in movies,’ but I never talked to someone face-to-face telling me they have seen Jesus in a dream, and ‘He asked me to follow Him and directed me to come to the church.’”
This is not a unique occurrence as the events happening in Sudan have “opened the door wide open” to sharing the gospel with Muslims.
“We prayed with them and they accepted Christ, and many others have given their lives to Christ during this crisis,” Deng said. “They say they are tired of Islam, that Islam is no longer the true religion.
“I witnessed many Muslims coming to Christ during those days. Even some Muslims who are not converted yet come to the church and say, ‘Please pray for the country to be at peace because our god cannot save us, but your God as Christians, your Jesus can save us.’”
More than 5,000 copies of the New Testament in Arabic were personally distributed by Deng during his trip to Sudan this spring, and he currently is in the midst of another trip there.
In addition to sharing the gospel in Sudan, Deng is one of the founders and current worship leaders of a congregation of Sudanese refugees meeting at Clarkston International Bible Church (CIBC) in Georgia.
More than 60 countries and 100 languages are represented in Clarkston due to a refugee resettlement program begun during the 1990s.
Lead pastor Trent DeLoach said CIBC has been hosting a number of different ethnic congregations for years, with the Sudanese meeting the longest at over 10 years.
“We try to function as a family of churches and they are a huge part of that,” DeLoach said. “We love them, they love us, and there are relationships between the leaders. We’ve been able to help them out with some of their outreach efforts and in turn they’ve helped us out with our outreach efforts.”
One of the Sudanese congregation’s ministries is a unique Sudanese Christian Family Conference, which been held annually since 2009.
“NAMB, Georgia Baptist Convention and CIBC have been really a huge part of supporting us financially to establish that conference,” Deng said. “It has been very great working together with CIBC, and I’m looking forward for more partnerships in a bigger scale, not only with CIBC but with other Southern Baptist churches to help us.”
In 2017, CIBC partnered with NAMB to create a Send Relief Ministry Center in Clarkston, with DeLoach serving as the director. Construction is in process for the new center and should be completed in 18 months. Multiple churches and ministries continue to operate even as construction is underway. 
“NAMB loves refugees and they have a unique role to play in calling our family of Southern Baptist churches to have a biblical approach toward loving refugees,” DeLoach said.
The opportunity to work with different ethnicities has helped DeLoach realize the importance of praying for foreign-born brothers and sisters when crises arise worldwide.
“I believe the most fruitful and beneficial cross-cultural ministry is born out of prayer,” DeLoach said. “I guarantee you every city in our great country has some element of foreign-born people that live there, and we want all of our Southern Baptist family to step toward refugees and internationals with the love and compassion of Christ.”
Deng said the ways the church in America can pray for Sudan include safety in the country, for civilians to be given government control (toward guaranteeing religious freedom for Christians), and for Christians in Sudan to “step out in faith and boldness to do what God has for us.”
Deng used a metaphor of God shaking up a tree to describe the crisis in Sudan – a difficult and painful experience that ultimately will produce great fruit both in Sudan and in America.
“God has shaken up the country, and the Muslims now are falling as fruit and the church has to go and pick up that fruit.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Timothy Cockes is a Baptist Press summer intern and graduate student at Liberty University.)

7/9/2019 11:08:38 AM by Timothy Cockes, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

Prayer tent volunteers venture downtown each month

July 9 2019 by Mark Maynard, Kentucky Today

Several devout members of Gano Baptist Church are taking prayer into their community.
They have set up a couple of tents in the middle of downtown Georgetown, Ky., and made themselves available to pray on the second Saturday of every month for the past year.

Photo submitted
Members of Gano Baptist Church in Georgetown, Ky., are taking prayer to their community with a prayer tent outreach the second Saturday of every month.

They pray for those walking up to them off the street in their city of 35,000. They pray for mothers who are hurting over situations with children and fathers who want to be back with family.
They prayed for those injured when an ambulance went screaming by. And they have prayed for a couple who was on the way to the veterinarian to put down a pet.
“We want to be the body of Christ,” said Mike Beaver, who heads up the group of prayer warriors. “Inside those [church] walls we come together, huddle up, strengthen each other, but the mission field is beyond the walls of the church.”
They pray from 9 a.m. until noon – longer if there is an immediate need – and have braved rain and freezing temperatures.
Bad weather doesn’t stop them, and the community notices the intent, Beaver said.
“When we first started a year ago, my anticipation, even though we live in the Bible Belt, is that we would get a lot of negative,” he said. “But it’s almost all positive. We get a lot of horns blowing, people yelling out the window ‘Amen!’ and ‘Thank you for being here!’ We’ve even had people bring us a couple dozen donuts.”
Second Saturday Prayer, the unofficial name of the group, wants to expand with other churches in the community joining them, thus the name of Gano Baptist Church is purposely left off any advertisements.
Beaver said it started after he went with a group to visit a similar prayer tent experience in a tough part of Cincinnati. The needs were heartbreaking and “it affected me,” he said.
Beaver subsequently set up a prayer tent at the National Wild Turkey Federation Jake Day. “Two hundred people came through the tent,” he said. “It was amazing.”
They took the idea back to Gano Baptist Church where they found a supportive pastor in Rob Muncy and some willing prayer volunteers to put faith in action. Anywhere from six to 12 show up on a regular basis at the Second Saturday Prayer, Beaver said.
“Our pastor is there pretty much at every prayer tent we’ve had,” Beaver said. “He’s 100 percent on board.”
“Our goal is to let people know we are there and we are going to be there for them,” Beaver said. “We want to get the word out. We aren’t looking for recognition or anything like that. If we can get enough people involved [through other churches in the area], we can do more than one location or do multiple weekends a month.”
Beaver understands prayer changes everything “and people don’t realize they need prayer until it’s there.”
So the Second Saturday Prayer group, however big or small it may be, promises to be there for those who need prayer in their community.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Mark Maynard is managing editor of Kentucky Today, kentuckytoday.com, the news website of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.)

7/9/2019 11:05:21 AM by Mark Maynard, Kentucky Today | with 0 comments

Flooding draws volunteers to Charlotte, Conover

July 8 2019 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Editor

Baptists on Mission individuals and groups stay busy with jobs in Charlotte and Conover areas, even as Hurricane Florence activity continues.

NCBM photo
Roger Carlson (yellow hat), Neil Brown (blue hat) and Randy Glazier, all volunteers with North Carolina Baptists on Mission (NCBM), pray with a Conover family. While the family’s house was safe from the flood waters, they were only able to access the house by foot.

Storms in early June left flooding in areas of Mecklenburg and Catawba counties. Crews set up at Calvary Baptist Church in Charlotte and Oxford Baptist Church in Conover.
“It’s a ministry, not a work detail,” said Jimmy Lawrence, the North Carolina Baptists on Mission (NCBM) state disaster recovery coordinator. Mud out and tear out teams were needed most.
“We’ve just had people that’s displaced,” he said.
Lawrence noted that crews worked the week of July 4, including the holiday, to help families return to their homes. He said he and his wife Pam “feel really called to do this kind of work.”
As a former fire chief, Lawrence has seen firsthand what Baptists do when disaster strikes. Lawrence was answering an emergency call in 1998 to a tornado site. NCBM was there with chainsaw teams clearing property and helping the local people.
“I had been going to a Baptist church but didn’t really know anything about Baptist disaster relief,” he said. “The rest is history.”
As members of First Baptist Church in Mayodan, the couple serves together: he coordinates sites and Pam helps with administration. “It’s a lifelong commitment for us,” he said.
Lawrence said one guy had lived in his home since 1971 and flooding had only ever gotten to the second step leading into his house. But “this time, he had 43 inches of water in his house.”
Lawrence said many people had to be evacuated in the middle of the night and early morning hours.

Hurricane Florence recovery continues

While work winds down in the western part of the state, volunteers are expected for at least the next three years at rebuild sites related to Hurricane Florence devastation.
“Hurricane Florence was the worst natural disaster to ever hit our state,” said Richard Brunson, NCBM executive director-treasurer. “Over 80,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by Florence.”

NCBM photo
Teams are needed to clear out houses and help rebuild for victims of Hurricane Florence. The North Carolina Baptists on Mission have several sites where volunteers can serve.

NCBM hosts four large rebuild sites and two smaller sites where volunteers can help people recover from the damage.
Brunson said it is helpful to have skilled workers on volunteer teams, but volunteers are not required to have training. “We have experienced leaders at each site who help coordinate the work of the volunteers,” he said.
NCBM uses one of its mission camps – Red Springs – as a location for volunteers, along with three rebuild centers. Brunson said it is likely at least one of these three rebuild centers will be turned into a mission camp in the future.
Because of the generosity of North Carolina Baptists through the North Carolina Missions Offering and other gifts, Brunson said NCBM owns sites in Lumberton, Rose Hill and New Bern. The three rebuild hubs combined house and feed up to 500 volunteers at a time. NCBM also is partnering with churches in Wilmington  to house up to another 200 volunteers.
“There are many stories that could be told of how God is using volunteers to share His love with hurting people,” he said.
A site coordinator in Wilmington called a homeowner after Hurricane Florence because he had enough workers to help at another site.
“The homeowner told the site coordinator that he was planning on taking his own life that day because he was in such despair,” Brunson said. Those students offered hope to the homeowner through their work tearing out damaged floors and walls. Because of the volunteers, that homeowner and many others have hope and know that God and others care about them.”
Visit baptistsonmission.org for more information.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Dianna L. Cagle is Assistant Editor for the Biblical Recorder, brnow.org, news journal of the Southern Baptist Convention of North Carolina.)

7/8/2019 3:26:09 PM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Editor | with 0 comments

Scripture plaques serve as visual reminder of Gardner-Webb’s calling

July 8 2019 by Gardner-Webb Communications

The main entrances to every building on the Gardner-Webb University (GWU) campus recently received plaques that serve as visual reminders of the university’s calling. An initiative of the GWU President’s Council on Christian Mission and Identity, the signs are engraved with Mark 12:29-31 – “Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these’” (New Kings James Version). 

According to Tracy Jessup, vice president for Christian Life and Service, senior minister to the university and a member of the President’s Council, these verses were chosen because of the example set by GWU supporters, Robert and Carolyn Tucker.
In 2010, the Tuckers, owners of Shoe Show, Inc. in Kannapolis, N.C., donated $5.5 million for the new student center.
“At the request of the Tucker Family, such a plaque has adorned the entrance of the Tucker Student Center since its dedication,” Jessup related.
“The Tuckers have given a similar plaque to all their children and grandchildren to place at the entrance of their homes. These words express the greatest commandments according to Jesus – love of God and love of neighbor. Furthermore, these words are central to the motto of Gardner-Webb University – ‘For God and Humanity.’”
Recently, the family gave a $4 million scholarship endowment – also based on Mark 12:29-31 – to establish the “Tucker Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength Scholarship.”
More than 70 plaques were installed on campus. Every building has at least one plaque, with some buildings getting two or three – based on main entrances used by staff/faculty, students, and guests.
In addition to the new signs, the council has enhanced the presentation of the University’s Christian mission and identity on the GWU website (gardner-webb.edu).

7/8/2019 3:21:31 PM by Gardner-Webb Communications | with 0 comments

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