Mission Fund - Can you contribute any craft items to raise money for the mission purpose in the fall season? Please contact Nine Owen, Craft Team Leader.
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Jess spent part of her summer in South Africa with CBF missionaries Josh and Caroline Smith with the help of First Baptist Church and the Monday Fund. Here’s her story.
When people think of an orphanage, the assumption is usually a five-story building with ten children to a room and a strict guardian per floor. Refilwe is not anything like that. Refilwe is a family-based community development project. There are godparents with their own biological children who adopt abused and abandoned children as well. Some of the children at Refilwe even suffer with HIV/AIDS.
Another important project of the Refilwe community is the new Door of Hope baby house. Door of Hope is a ministry that saves abandoned and discarded babies; babies thrown in trash cans, in rivers, and other horrifying places. This new shelter will serve as a temporary home until permanent placement can be arranged.
It’s difficult to be able to show people how much of my heart is there with those children simply through writing or talking with them. Looking into their beautiful faces, my heart goes crazy with love for them. There is nothing more precious then a child sprinting towards me with open arms and screaming my name.
Moments like that are just snapshots of being able to see things from our Father’s point of view. Imagine how excited He gets when our hearts are running towards Him, calling His name!
If you would like to learn more about Refilwe or Door of Hope and how you can be involved, check out their websites www.refilwe.org and www.doorofhope.co.za.
Hosting an exchange student is a wonderful way for your family to give back together, while experiencing a new culture. Exchange students are between the age of 15 and 18 and come from more than 60 countries around the world. They come with their own spending money and health insurance, and have studied English for at least 3 years. Most of all, they are eager to learn about your American family! Is this the opportunity your family has been waiting for? To learn more about hosting and how you can make a difference, please contact Amanda Jones at 865-207-6594 or email@example.com.
Knox Area Rescue Ministry (KARM) has recently launched a new ministry initiative called “Corners of Your Field”, based on Leviticus 19: 9-10 which says, “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the LORD your God.”
In Leviticus, God commanded His people to leave the corners of their fields as a provision for the poor. Today the gleanings of our fields are no longer grain but they are the excess things that can be utilized to generate care for the needy.
Each day, Knox Area Rescue Ministry (KARM) serves up to 1,500 meals and shelters over 400 homeless men and women. One way you can support this ministry is to donate your excess goods to KARM’s Thrift Stores. The proceeds from the thrift stores go directly to the ministries of KARM. AND you can also help First Baptist’s Benevolence Ministry by letting the thrift store know when you drop off items that you are a part of First Baptist Knoxville. As a participating partner church, First Baptist will receive voucher credits which can be used in our own benevolence ministry. KARM has eight Thrift Stores located throughout Knoxville. To locate a near you go to http://karmstores.com/our-locations.
Did you know Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes provide homes for more than 350 adults in seven locations? Everyone is invited to attend a presentation on residential ministry caring for senior and intellectually disabled adults by Jim Highland, the Director of Development for Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes on Tuesday, June 5 in room 302 at 11:00 AM.
|L-R: Barry Wise, Danny Cochran, Steve Harrison, Charles Browning, Lynn Beam|
Many activities at First Baptist involve food – from Wednesday suppers to the Love Feast and the Valentine (or “Talent”ine) Banquet to Scoop & Swim and Trunk or Treat. Most of those are bonuses – occasions to celebrate and have a special meal or goodies.
The church’s Food Co-op is different. It’s about necessity, yet those involved celebrate the changes it has meant for their lives.
“Our money is very limited, so we depend on pantries a lot,” says Penny Carson, a co-op member. “The only thing that we buy is milk and sometimes meat. This helps immensely.”
Carson and her husband, Ricky, are both on disability. They live in Section 8 housing, but they do not receive food stamps. They joined the Food Co-op soon after it was formed last November.
Carson says she prefers the Co-op to a food pantry.
“I’m earning the food; I’m working,” she says. “I’m doing something. It’s not that I’m going and getting. I’m functioning and doing something to help.”
Overseen by Carol McEntyre, FBC community minister, the ministry invites qualified Knox County residents to participate in a cooperative that requires commitment and consistency. After paying a $5 membership fee and a bimonthly $3 handling fee, members meet every other Tuesday in Trentham Hall to unload food the church has purchased from Second Harvest Food Bank, apportion it and, after a Co-op meeting that includes a devotional, take it home.
McEntyre and a couple of FBC members made a day trip to Atlanta last fall to observe a food co-op there in action.
“It’s a well-run, well-oiled machine,” says church member Emily Plemmons.
FBC is still assembling its machine, but Co-op members and church volunteers say it is well on the way, with 14 families out of a capacity of 25. Eventually, the plan is for the members to run the Co-op.
“I believe that we are working the kinks out as we go, and it’s going to be fine,” says Carson’s daughter, Ibby, who lives in Powell.
She says that she’s found hundreds of food pantries but no other co-ops in Knox County. The difference is palpable.
“When I started coming here, I only knew one person, but now I have grown a bond with two or three people,” she says.
Plemmons says the Co-op members aren’t the only ones developing close ties. The trip to Atlanta with McEntyre and Becky Hudson proved a great bonding experience.
“I knew them and felt like they were my friends before, but it just seems like we have a stronger bond through the Food Co-op,” says Plemmons.
Interns like Buckner intern Kristen Tekell (who recently returned to Baylor) and UT graduate student Wendy Woodward are helping the Co-op find its way. Woodward says the Co-op is building
not just friendships but also community. Members are getting the tools to feed both their bodies and their spirits.
“Handouts don’t really help if we’re not investing in a relationship,” says Woodward. “You wouldn’t believe the sharing that’s been going on in this group.”
|Betty McBroom, Jerry Carver, Jr. and Ramona Gregory at First Baptist Church, Santa Fe, New Mexico|
The Food Co-op leadership team invites all First Baptist gardeners to plant an extra row in their garden for the Food Co-op families. First Baptist’s Food Co-op has been meeting since November and
has 14 families involved. Second Harvest Food Bank, who supplies our food, rarely has fresh produce. Research indicates that low-income households tend to eat less nutritious diets than others and on
average, they do not meet federal recommendations for consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Because of these alarming statistics, we are asking our First Baptist gardners to help provide our Food Co-op participants with fresh produce. Our Food Co-op has been meeting since last November and currently has 14 families participating. Contact Carol McEntyre at firstname.lastname@example.org or 246-4661.