ABW November Update

Do you ever wonder what the lives of our American Baptist International  Missionaries are like? Last month I shared with you about our young missionary family, Denise and Juan and their two young children that arrived in Mexico and faced two earthquakes in the first days of their mission work.

Since they arrived their son, Juancito, celebrated his 7th birthday and Juan  also celebrated his birthday.  Pictures on Facebook show Juancito’s new skateboard. and them riding new bikes.  They are enrolled in school there and they look happy.

Another ABIM, Susan Hegarty, tripped and broke her right ankle October 12th.  She has pictures on Facebook of her in the hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica.  The X-rays show a plate and pins.  She is now receiving physical therapy.  Her teenage daughter, Katherine, is in high school there.  They recently went through hurricane Nate that was one of the worst storms to hit San Jose.  There was heavy rain, mud slides,  flooding, closed schools and highways.

She said the recent rains brought back memories of when she had to change a tire back in June in heavy rain.  She had most of the lug bolts off when a lady stopped and had her son change the tire.   She said the incident brought back another memory when her father made his children learn to change the oil and change a tire if they were going to drive.

Susan was in WV for Camp Global in 2008 where Lonnie and I got to visit with her.  Juan and Denise were there also.  They had only been in WV a short time.  The last time I saw Susan was two years ago when I went to Costa Rica for my 80th birthday.

Another ABIM, Ray Schellinger, on October 13th, wrote on Facebook about his  recent visit to Deborah’s House In Mexico where he met with two volunteers who go to Deborah’s House for a week each year since 2007. Their skills as an electrical engineer and a chemist are used as they built stairs, a deck, wired the workshop and the new educational building, the sewing center and much more.

While there Ray met with a group of the women, around the dining table, where they discussed the Bible story of the Samaritan woman at the well.  He said, “the Samaritan woman was longing to be in a place where she would be protected.”  He told the group,  “They came together at a home dedicated to becoming a place where all who needed it could find safety.  This is where God meets us in our need as we search for grace, and this is where God offers a  fountain of living water, welling up from within.”  My trip to Deborah’s House opened my eyes to the needs of abused women.

These are some of the stories about the lives of our missionaries. As you can see these missionaries need our prayers and support.  Give to the World Mission Offering.

Illuminate and Glow Kids: November Update

by Ryan Haddox

The month of November always brings about great things in my mind. The leaves are changing to all the vibrant, beautiful colors that make Fall time what it is in our great state. Along with the leaves changing, another wonderful memory and tradition is Thanksgiving dinner! You may not be able to tell from mine or Anna’s size, but we both LOVE to eat and will put ourselves into a food coma at Thanksgiving.

This year though, as I sit back and ponder on the months and days flying past, I think about everything that I’m thankful for. So much has changed in my life this past year and one of those many things has been coming to this church. This has possibly been, beside getting married, the greatest thing to be thankful for. Anna and I have felt and experienced more outpouring of love from this church then we could have ever imagined. We receive support when we need it and direction/words of wisdom when we need it and that means the world to us.

We have so much to be thankful for in our lives, but so many times we just pass by them and take them for granted. I challenge you, this Thanksgiving season, to acknowledge all that you have to be thankful for. But don’t stop there…Carry that thankfulness into Advent season as we focus on the birth of our Savior and learning just how much we have to be thankful for in Him.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Ryan

Advice for the Journey

By Robert A. Wendel

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 Rev. Billy Graham will hopefully celebrate his 99th birthday.  Graham, best known American and television Protestant crusade evangelist of the last six and a half decades, came from humble beginnings.  Voted a ‘most respected American’ 60 times since 1955, his supporter-core is middle-class conservative believers.

Raised on a North Carolina farm during the Great Depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s, “saved’ at age 15, attended Florida Bible Institute earning a B.A. from Wheaton College and graduated in 1943.  He began his ministry conducting meetings as a Youth for Christ speaker and married Ruth Bell, daughter of missionary parents to China.  Dr. and Mrs. Graham had five children together, all of whom are engaged in some form of Christian work.

Their son Franklin succeeded his father as president of the Billy Graham Association and Library.  He also directs the outreach of Samaritan’s Purse and its Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry which is supported by hundreds of congregations including many fellowships in the ABC/USA.

Since 1947 Dr. Graham has been a prophetic voice proclaiming the faith in some 185 countries with listener totals in his stadium-size gathering reaching a reported 215 million people.  Many of these were also broadcast to a global television audience, the last being in New York City in 2005.  His lifetime radio and television listeners and viewers is estimated at some 2.2 billion world-wide with 3.2 million “Coming forward to publicly declare faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior.”

A Southern Baptist author of more than 30 books, interviewed by the Readers Digest at the release of his book “The Journey” in 2007, the now silver-haired minister offered these insights into achieving greater happiness:

  1. Make it your goal to live at peace with others.
  2. Treat others as you’d like them to treat you
  3. Guard your tongue. Use it for good instead of evil.
  4. Never repay evil for evil.
  5. Avoid revenge. Don’t be a captive of the past.
  6. Practice the power of forgiveness.

In a 1995 television interview, Larry King asked Dr. Graham, “How would you like to be remembered” to which the preacher replied “That I was faithful.”  King then asked “What do you think of Heaven?”   Graham responded, I’m looking forward to it!”

It’s Crunch Time

It’s November and it’s crunch time.  At a meeting I went to recently November was referred to as the Super Bowl of shoeboxes.   It all comes together starting the week of November 13th when hundreds and hundreds of shoeboxes will be coming in from churches, organizations and individuals in the Raleigh County area.

Just think of the impact that these shoeboxes will have on the children and their families all around the world.  Most of these children have never even heard the name of Jesus and are given the opportunity to learn about His love for them.  Just think that this miracle all starts with an empty shoebox.  Our youth will be filling shoeboxes with what you’ve brought in all year on November 5th and I am certainly grateful for that help.  It’s a fun evening for them and a chance to learn something about missions.   We hopefully will pack 100 shoeboxes that night.

Recently I asked 30 people to donate $30 to cover the shipping for these boxes and I’m still a little short.  As of October 22nd, I had $420 of the $900 that I need to cover the shipping for the boxes the youth will be packing. Thank you to all who have donated so far but if my math is correct, I still need 16 people.  So if you could find a few extra pennies sometime between now and the 17th of November, it would be greatly appreciated.

One Child’s Story

by Helen Greene

Each week while preparing our backpacks to be taken to Beckley Elementary, we pray that they will make a difference to our Backpack Club children.  A few weeks ago one our church members that is a school nurse shared a conversation she had with one of her students.

A student came to see me for a health need.  As we conversed, I asked about the schools she had attended prior to arriving at high school.  As she explained her middle school and elementary school career, she elaborated about elementary school.

“You know, I went to four elementary schools – we moved a lot.  You want to know the best school I went to – Beckley Elementary because every Friday my siblings and I knew that we would be called to the office and they would give us a backpack filled with food.    This was really important because, you see, we were hungry.  My dad was gone and my mom was really havin’ it hard.  It was the best school I ever went to – because we had food.”

Things are better for this child now – hunger does not accompany her and her family each day.  When she left my office I had to have a few minutes to compose myself before getting back to work.

The Backpack ministry is GODS’ work – local, personal and makes a difference – one child at a time.

Thanks to all of you for your donations of food, money and most of all for your prayers for these children.

For the month of November please donate Vienna sausages for our backpacks.

Pack the Pulpit with Food and Blankets for Helping Hands

Once again this year we are continuing our Thanksgiving project of packing the pulpit with non-perishable food and blankets for Helping Hands.  Our goal is to pack the pulpit with so much food and blankets that Pastor Doc has to preach from the floor of the sanctuary the Sunday before Thanksgiving.    This project has been a huge success in the past and has been a huge blessing to our clients.   Our numbers continue to grow weekly and with the winter fast upon us, that need will surely increase.

We also could use gently used coats, all the way from babies to adults.  Many of our clients come in the winter months with virtually nothing in the way of winter outerwear.  So go through your closets and see if there’s a coat or two that you no longer wear that we could use.

As always, please keep us in your prayers as we continue to serve the people of Raleigh County.

Feeling Full

by Pastor Doc Adkins

But I have all, and abound: I am full…        Philippians 4:18

Thanksgiving!  What a blessed thought.  What is it?  What do I think of it?  Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been a big deal in my life.  Living with my grandparents on that old farm was truly a wonderful time during Thanksgiving.  My grandmother and my momma would begin preparing for the big day at the beginning of the week. The wonderful aroma of all kinds of great stuff fill the air, steamed up all the windows and tempted me every time I walked by them.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I was thinking about my blessings and everything that goes along with the holiday.  Of course my mind couldn’t help but wander to a little turkey, dressing, and big, big homemade rolls.  How full you can feel when you indulge in such a big holiday meal, let alone adding a piece of pumpkin pie on top of it.

When we start dwelling on the Thanksgiving holiday, we sometimes think of all those lists of things we are thankful for and we seem to think of them as separate items, but Thanksgiving is more than that.

It’s seeing how God works everything together until we are “full” of His blessings and of His care even through times when we don’t seem to have everything we need (or want).  It’s at those times that we should be thankful too.

I’ve read through that Philippians chapter four many times but when I read through it recently, the word “full” really caught my eye.

Paul is writing to the Philippians and expressing his thankfulness at their care for him and how God had supplied.  You really do need to read the entire chapter to get things in perspective but look at what it says in Philippians 4:11,12.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Paul says, “both to be full and to be hungry”.

He goes on to say in verses 18,19,But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:18,19

It’s wonderful the way that God supplies our needs.  When I read through that chapter, I notice that Paul seems to be looking at the whole picture.  He saw how God had worked through everything for him and how God would supply the needs of those at Philippi.

I don’t think Paul was just making a thankful list but he was really seeing how God had worked through this situation and on into that situation and so on.  He surveyed the whole of how God had been working and supplying and Paul was “full.”

I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing out a list of things to be thankful for.  I think that’s great and sometimes we all need to do that just to reflect on how the Lord has blessed us but I think sometimes we forget to see the whole of how God supplied.

I know personally I don’t always think of those lean times or the times Paul was talking about when he said, “to suffer need”.  Not the things I put right up there at the top of my “thankful” list.  I think especially at the Thanksgiving holiday, we put those things in the back of our minds, but that’s how God takes care of us.  He does it through everything.

Even in those times where we don’t feel so blessed, the Lord is still there supplying our needs and working through our lives.  When I think of it that way, it tends to make me even more grateful and thankful for all of the ways that God supplies.

So…gobble til you wobble.  And be thankFULL.

Off to a good start!

Our Backpack Club is off to a good start this school year.  The first week we had ten children and have gained two every week since.  Please bring canned pasta with meat in October for our backpacks.  Your monetary donations as well as food is greatly appreciated.   Please keep these children and our Backpack program in your prayers.

Gearing Up for Collection Week

by Debbie Vanaman

It’s October and Operation Christmas Child is gearing up for collection week next month and this is where I put my faith, as always, in God that he will provide whatever is needed to make this program the great success it has been for over 15 years here at FBC.

You’ve been very generous during this past year in donating whatever is asked for so that our youth can build our shoeboxes in November but now comes the hard part.  Our goal is to build 100 shoeboxes to go along with whatever we as a church collect.  To go along with those shoeboxes, a check for $9.00 a box has to be given to help with the fuel to carry these boxes around the world as well as the labor charges once they get to their destination to get them to the area that they will be distributed in.  In case you’re no good at math that’s a whopping $900 that is needed by the middle of November.

Now what I’m asking is this.  It takes one donation of $900 or two donations of $450 or 10 people give $90 or maybe 30 people giving $30 and remember you have until the middle of November to do this.  That means six weeks at maybe $5.00 a week.  Maybe take that one out to lunch day and make that your donation every week and before you know it you’re done.  I know it’s hard because it seems like everywhere you turn someone is asking you to contribute to something but this is an important part of the shoebox ministry and it’s what gets the boxes to the hands of children all around the world.  So do what you can and that’s all I can ask of you.

I will also need your help during collection week from November 13th to the 18th.   So don’t wait for me to track you down – volunteer to work a two-hour shift and I will be eternally grateful that I don’t have to hunt you down and beg for your help.  Last but certainly not least if you have any empty shoeboxes, we can use them as well.  They can be left in the church office.

Again you’ve been great in the past with your prayers and help in this vital ministry to spread the name of Jesus around the world to children and families in need.

Helping Hands Who Help Others

As the calendar turns into October, the weather is starting to turn cooler and our focus shifts a bit to providing for needy families for the winter.  Winter coats and blankets are always in need.

Our food pantry continues to run low on our non-perishable items and the demand is constantly rising.  Your non-perishable contributions are greatly appreciated and can be left in the large box outside the church office.  We are also still in need of volunteers to work and would welcome your help there as well.

As always, we appreciate your love and prayers for this ministry and ask that you continue to pray for the needs of our community to be met.