Linda's Articles

A New Chapter in Literacy Missions

As persons whose first language is not English continue to move into our area, the need for literacy grows. There are 3 categories of literacy missions your church might consider as it seeks to minister to adults and families who need to learn to read and to become more proficient in English.

#1 – Adults Reading and Writing (ARW): This approach works to improve reading and writing skills to enable adults to find better jobs, help their children in school, and raise their educational level

#2 – English as a Second Language (ESL): This ministry helps people with writing and reading and adds skills needed for those whose first language isn’t English. Learning English will help them navigate everyday activities such as shopping, going to the doctor, filling out school forms and taking citizenship classes.

#3 – Tutoring Children and Youth (TCY): This program assists students in reading, writing, and math while learning in a safe place with an adult friend. The Bible is used as a textbook to teach cultural values.

Literacy missions began 58 years ago and is still a viable way for churches to expand their impact on newcomers to their communities. For more information go to Patches of Light blog at AnnKnowles.com  Knowles has worked in literacy missions for 40 years and encourages persons to volunteer to help change lives for Christ. 

Looking for a Way to Expand Your Church’s Global Perspective?

WorldCrafts has just introduced a Global Perspectives Collection that will help your church learn about other cultures and topics in a fun and exciting way. Each product contains activities and materials that are designed to inform, intrigue and inspire.

WorldCrafts, a fair trade ministry, provides financial assistance to artisans around the world. It is a holistic approach to financial security as it introduces artisans to God’s love through His Son Jesus.

The Global Perspectives Collection offers 3 kits: Africa, the Amazon Basin, and a special Christmas Around the World unit. They can be ordered online at WorldCrafts.org

Refugees Are Here…. Now What?

If your church is seeking ways to minister to refugees, consider the following steps to take to connect with newcomers to our nation and state.

  • Find out who they are. Displaced from countries experiencing conflict, most refugees are distraught, frightened, and alone.
  • Discover their background. Learn about where they’re from and what their home was like. Find out about their culture and what kind of trouble they’ve experienced.
  • Step toward, not away from refugees. Pray for guidance as God helps you overcome your hesitancy about unknown circumstances. Ask Him to free you from any fears you have about interacting with strangers.
  • Understand the many possibilities for ministry. Respond to needs as opportunities to share God’s love.
  •  Be a resource for refugees to receive assistance with learning English, applying for jobs, housing, or childcare. Connect with refugee families in a warm, friendly way and be ready to help them in practical ways.

Reaching out to people who have experienced great loss can be a rewarding ministry. The relationships you form will demonstrate God’s love and point them to a saving knowledge of Christ.  

Transformed Coming to Clarksville!

Transformed, an annual event for Indiana women, is coming to our area on March 9-10 at First Southern Baptist Church, Clarksville. The event will feature guest speakers and missionaries, and music led by Sarah Scarborough. Seminars focusing on heart, soul, mind, and mission will be featured – something for everyone! A special breakfast for pastors’ wives will be held Saturday morning. Registration is only $55 if paid by February 9; $65 if by February 23. Cost includes registration, bag, coffee connection on Friday and lunch on Saturday.

Don’t miss this event that has been planned with Indiana women in mind! Bring your friends and experience two days of fellowship, inspiration, and discovery. Go to www.scbi.org/transformed  for more information and to register.

Winter Missions Ideas

Now that we are in 2018, how about some fresh ideas to involve others in mission activities? Here are a few suggestions that might jump-start your church’s participation:

  1. Host an “Encourage the Nations” event – This can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Set a time before or after a worship service, at mid-week, or on a Saturday to feature praying for missionaries and mission projects around the world. Enlist station hosts to gather photos and décor items from different countries. Provide snacks from recipes of those nations. Station hosts should know facts about their country and share them as attendees visit each station. Provide prayer requests for missionaries in each area. This event is excellent for families and children, and it’s a great way to introduce your church to the scope of Southern Baptist missions.
  2. Purses with a Purpose project – Ask the women in your church to come to a Purse Party and bring a purse they no longer want (a purse in good condition!). Ask them to also bring personal items such as lip balm, tissue packets, purse-size lotions, notepads, pens, pocket-sized New Testaments, etc. At the gathering stuff the purses with the items and include a personal note or Christian tract sharing the good news of Jesus. Close with a devotion about reaching out to strangers in the area and ministering to their needs. Serve light refreshments. You can show a missions video from www.imbconnecting.com or www.namb.net  Deliver the “stuffed” purses to a women’ shelter or center.
  3. Make and deliver prayer baskets for children in times of distress. Fire stations and law enforcement agencies welcome the stuffed animals, quilts, and blankets to comfort little ones who are victims of fire, disaster or domestic abuse. You might establish an on-going group that meets on a regular basis to work on the blankets and quilts together for fellowship and encouragement. Pray over each basket before delivering it.

How Does Your Church Respond to Violence?

The current issues of Missions Mosaic Magazine contains an excellent article by Sue Sprenkle, missionary/writer/photographer, about the need for churches to break the silence on this crisis. She asks the probing question, “Why is the church silent?” The article gives 6 ways your church can break the silence and extend a helping hand. Copies of the January 2018 issue can be ordered from Woman’s Missionary Union (1.800.968.7301, customer service). The article appears on page 23. You can order this monthly magazine online at www.wmustore.com  

Update on Associational Ministries

If you and your church are looking for ways to plug into existing ministries in Southeastern Baptist Association, here are a few ways to do that. In our 9-county area, there are many ways to be of help and share the gospel through your compassionate actions.

Louisville Rescue Mission – Go to www.LousivilleRescurMission.org to see the variety of ministries that need your help in providing care and guidance for clients. You can participate in this ministry for homeless people by:

*organizing a drive for cleaning supplies, food, home essentials, and personal toiletries

*leading a chapel service to encourage residents   *partnering in prayer for healing and transformation

*preparing a meal for residents                                  *serving at the Thrift ‘n’ Thrive shop

*serving in the Day Shelter which provides vital relief services in a safe environment

*taking a customized group mission tour of the Louisville mission 

 *teaching a class or mentoring adult students on a variety of topics

 

Another ministry that relies heavily on volunteers is the Pearl Street Feeding Ministry. This ministry serves a Community Meal each week. Prayer requests are taken along with a brief message before a hot meal is served. Volunteers can help with food prep, serving, and presenting the gospel. Contact Bruce Farnsley for more information.

Choices Life Resource Center has reported that so far in 2017, 629 gospel presentations have been made to clients using the prenatal, mentoring, sonogram, and counseling resources. In the past 12 months staff, and volunteers have welcomed 68 babies into the world! Contact Rose Contra, Executive Director, for specifics of how you can become involved in this valuable ministry.

   These ministries continue to exist and expand because of your faithful support through prayer, involvement, and giving!

2017 International Mission Board Activities

Southern Baptists, through their cooperative giving, work together to tell unreached people groups around the world about the good news of Jesus. More than 47,000 churches partner with the IMB to disciple new believers and plant churches in places that have never heard Christ’s name. Use the following information to encourage your church’s missions awareness.

Southern Baptists give: $153 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and $98 million through the Cooperative Program.

Southern Baptists see: 87, 287 new believers and 4,550 new churches started.

Southern Baptists go: For the first time in history, the Bible has been translated into the Udmurt language for people in Eastern Europe. The first church ever was planted among a Muslim people called the Mwani in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In a time when missionary-sending has been declining, Southern Baptists are again on a firm financial foundation and are commissioning new missionaries to go to the “ends of the world” with God’s love.

Each of us has a role to play in God’s Mission; explore your next steps at www.imb.org/next

Don’t Miss This!

In the November issue of Missions Mosaic magazine, SEIBA’s own Rhonda Wilkinson has written an article about her work in Hispanic church planting in our area. She relates stories of how God is working through Hispanic church planters and their families and about her work at Choices with Spanish-speaking clients. Her article is on page 10. Send her a note or email of encouragement of the great work she is doing!  

News Flash: The Holidays Are Almost Here!

If your church is looking for a fresh, new way to minister during the coming holidays, there are resources to help you!

“33 Easy Ways to Do Missions in Indiana” – This resource leaflet was written specifically with Indiana in mind! You can obtain a copy by emailing Linda Clark at: lclark1213@hotmail.com  User-friendly ideas are only a couple of clicks away!

WorldCrafts  Party – How about hosting a party that will help women artisans around the world? You’re going to shop for gifts anyway, so why not buy fair trade hand-crafted items from artisan groups that exist to provide women with a sustainable income while introducing them to Jesus? Go to www.WorldCrafts.org to view the online catalog and order a party kit complete with invitations, games, recipes, and a sample of items.

“Across the Street and Around the World” by Diana Davis & Autumn Wall is a new source listing ministry ideas designed for the amount of time you have. What a great idea!

Consider a Christmas ministry to missionaries in the United States for their stateside assignments. How about ministering to a care-giver in your church? Is there anything you can do to be an advocate for children in your community? Contact Caleb Creel, SEIBA’s collegiate minister, about ways you could help him (call SEIBA’s office to contact him).