by carol pipes
Ministering to the city that never sleeps: The Big
AppleThe first time I handed a sandwich to a hungry person in
Central Park, I knew what I wanted to do with my lifeshow Gods love to people
who are suffering.
PHOTO BY gibbs frazeur
Kareem Goubrans parents came to the U.S. from Egypt two months before he was
born. They settled in New York City where Kareem still lives and ministers as
Director of Church and Community Ministries for the Metropolitan New York
Baptist Association (MNYBA). Since the attacks on September 11, Kareem and the
staff at the MNYBA have been working with the local churches to assess the
needs of their neighbors. We are reaching out to the victims families and to
local firefighters, says Kareem. We are just trying to survive this difficult
City: New York City
Mission: Reaching out to a city that is hurting.
Kareem worked as a summer missionary with Graffiti Church, a New York City
mission center. He took part in FLIPFree Lunch in the Parka program to feed the
homeless in Central Park.
I saw Gods love in action through this outreach, says Kareem. It changed my
With a masters degree in social work, Kareem became a bivocational
missionary, working with Graffiti and as a social worker with the City of New
York. I knew God wanted me to minister in my home townto be a missionary in my
daily life, says Kareem.
In 1998, Kareem began his ministry with the MNYBA. His job is to help
churches in New York City develop ministries that reach out into the community.
Eighteen million people representing many different ethnic groups live in
metropolitan New York and the surrounding area. There are 200 churches in the
association to minister to this huge group of people.
New York City is very much representative of our pluralistic society, Kareem
admits. There seems to be someone on every corner preaching a different
message. Its hard to compete. But when we minister to peoples needs, they dont
just hear talk, but they see a demonstration of Gods love in action. The needs
are all around us in this city. The homeless, drug addicts, prostitutesthey all
need Gods love.
Ministering in the inner city is challenging and Kareem recognizes that he
cant do it in his own strength. Im grateful to God that He gave me the training
I have to work with people who are suffering. Its not easy, but I focus on the
fact that God came to us through Jesus Christ. He fed the hungry. He healed the
sick. He touched the outcast. He never hesitated to reach out to people in
need, no matter where they came from. When we use Christ as our model, we can
share His love with those who are suffering and make an impact on their
Someone took the time to tell me that God loved me. My passion is to share
that love by helping others.
Introducing girls to missionsMissions should be fun,
innovative and hands-on, says Clairann Haney who teaches Girls in Action (GAs)
for first through sixth grade girls at Oak Harbor Southern Baptist Church in
Oak Harbor, Washington.
My goal is to involve the girls in more hands-on missions projects and give
them some challenges, she says. We contact missionaries via the Internet and
find out how we can help them. We are in a prayer partnership with a missionary
family in Southeast Asia, and we sponsor a young man in the Dominican
Name: Clairann Haney
Location: Oak Harbor, Washington
Mission: Cultivating in young girls a desire to serve
The girls are involved in cultural projects, missions study, Bible memory,
Bible study, arts and crafts, service projects, field trips and a yearly
The study of countries where Southern Baptist missionaries serve is very
applicable to this group of girls. Most of them are from military families who
eventually move to other countries. They want to learn about the culture and
the people, says Clairann.
In the summer of 2000, Clairann took a small group of girls to Lake Chelan,
Washington, to work with a struggling church in a Spanish-speaking area. The
girls made bilingual tracts and passed them out at a street fair.
PHOTO courtesy of oak harbor baptist church
Our mission trips are for fourth- through sixth-grade girls who must gain
sufficient credits to go, through attendance, memory work, service, scholarship
Last summer they took a day trip to World Concerns Supply Center in
Lynnwood, Washington. World Concern is a national charitable ministry that
sends needed items to all parts of the world. We took medical supplies, seeds
and a check to buy two rabbits for a family in Rwanda, a goat for a family in
Haiti and an educational care package for a girl in Ethiopia. We also sorted
clothes to be shipped out to Tajikestan and Kazakhstan.
Their missions focus for next year is Asia and Asian communities in the U.S.
Clairann hopes to do a mission project in Seattles International District and
attend services at a Cantonese-Mandarin-English-speaking church in Seattle.
As these girls move on to other military stations or move ahead into the
youth group I hope that their time in GAs will have been a spiritual growth
experience that will move them forward with God.
For information about starting a GAs or Royal Ambassadors (RAs) program in
your church visit www.wmu.com, www.namb.net or www.kidzplace.org.
Taking the gospel to the street
Jamie Clark was raised by godly parents and attended a Southern Baptist church
all her life, but she didnt become a Christian until she was in college. She
had never been on a mission trip, but shortly after giving her life to Christ
she knew she needed to be involved in missions. I realized that God wanted me
to be about the business of growing His kingdom, says Jamie. I knew that if He
commanded it I should do it.
photo by gibbs frazeur
As a US/C-2 missionary, Jamie is serving in her second year at Montgomery
Village Baptist Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. The center is an inner-city
haven for low-income children and adults. Jamie helps with the centers
community market, which includes a clothes closet and food pantry. Residents
from the neighborhood walk through the center and pick out food just like you
would in a grocery store, says Jamie.
Jamie also teaches an after-school Bible study for youth. The center
provides a safe option for youth who just hang out in the streets when they are
not in class. Working with these kids has made me realize how blessed I am to
have a family and to have been raised by godly parents.
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Mission: Providing love and understanding to inner-city youth and
I want to provide them with some of that stability and love.
Jamie stays busy at the center during the week. There is a worship service
on Thursdays and adult Bible studies on Tuesdays and Fridays. I enjoy sharing
Gods word, says Jamie. But the people in this neighborhood have a real hardness
of heart. I know its God who will change their hearts. I just have to keep
reaching out to them and sharing His love.
To learn more about church and community ministries like the one Jamie is
involved in visit www.namb.net/ccm.
Giving prisoners real freedomAt the 600-bed transfer facility in Tulia, Texas, inmates
are constantly coming and going. Mission Service Corps missionaries, H.L. and
Jean Rowell, try to make sure that each man who stays at the Tulia facility
hears about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
City: Tulia, Texas
Mission: Sharing the gospel with Texas inmates.
I went to the prison to teach Experiencing God about nine years ago. They
didnt have a chaplain at the time, so I asked the warden if he would let me set
up some programs for the men, recalls H.L. He and his wife Jean have been
working at the prison ever since.
We provide worship services in English and Spanish every evening and Sunday
afternoons. On Sunday mornings we have a Bible study, says H.L. Several
churches from the surrounding area come in to help with the services.
In addition to the worship services, the Rowells spend a lot of their time
keeping in touch with the prisoners after they leave the facility. Jean writes
letters to them every week.
photo by toby druin
Their keep up with list includes those who were baptized at the facility,
sang in the Hispanic and Chapel choirs and those who have been faithful in
attending services. More than 1,700 men are on their list. We especially try to
keep up with them on their birthdays and when we know a parole review or a
release date is coming up, says Jean. I also try to answer all the letters that
they send to us. Many of them send beautiful hand-made cards to us at
Since the beginning of their ministry, the Rowells have seen more than 1,400
men come to know Christ as Savior and be baptized. The steady transfer of men
in and out of the unit makes it difficult to reach them. But the Rowells are
determined to introduce them to the One who can truly set them free.
Visit www.namb.net/beonmission/volunteers/msc for information about
serving as an MSC missionary.
Prognosis: more medical clinicsThere are 40 million people in the U.S. who dont have
medical insurance, says Dr. Fred Loper. Known as the working poor, many of
these have jobs but dont have the benefit of insurance and cant afford medical
coverage or care. One way Southern Baptists are battling this chronic problem
is through medical missions.
City: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Mission: Sharing through medicine.
As a national missionary, Dr. Lopers mission is to help Baptists at the
community and state level diagnose the need for clinics in their area and
encourage them to start free medical and dental clinics. I really try to
encourage Baptists to share Christ through medical missions. Together I think
we can really make a difference in peoples livesphysically and spiritually.
Dr. Loper has supported medical missions for 25 years. I first saw the need
when I was in medical school.
photo by kent haruille
I volunteered at Good Shepherd Ministries in downtown Oklahoma City, says
Dr. Loper. We worked with a diverse group of people in the inner city. That
amazing experience really shaped my lifepeople from all over the world coming
together in Christs name.
We were always in touch with the medical needs of the people who came to
Good Shepherd for help. Our pastor led a group of doctors and medical students
into starting a free medical and dental clinic downtown.
Dr. Loper still practices medicine about one day a week, but the rest of his
time is devoted to working with churches and individuals who have a passion for
medical missions. I dont want anyone to miss out on what God is doing. As
Christians we are required to be on mission and tell others about Christ. Once
you get involved in sharing your faith, youre never the same.
Medical missions is a practical way for churches to reach out to their
communities. For information about starting a medical and dental clinic contact
Dr. Loper at 405-528-7688 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEVEN ways you can be on
mission through prayeran essential ingredient of any mission
1. Call 800-554-PRAY (7729) for current missionary requests.
2. Visit www.namb.net/prayerline for a list of missionary birthdays and
3. Subscribe to the North American Missions Prayer-Gram by calling
4. To identify where missionaries are serving and how you can pray for them
visit www.namb.net /missionaries.
5. Subscribe to Missions Mosiac for a list of both North American and
international missionary birthdays by calling 800-968-7301.
6. Adopt and pray for a Strategic Focus City by visiting www.namb.net/prayerline.
7. Call 800-395-PRAY for international missionary requests.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC