volunteering in missions
Usually traveling to the beach or mountains each summer, the Guinn family
was looking for a different kind of vacation when mom Sharon searched for a
family mission trip on the Internet last February. Despite a collective groan
from her family when she told them about going to Kentucky coal-country to do
mission work, she signed up the Guinn clan.
"We'd done the same things for summer vacation over the years and I was just
burnt out," says Sharon, who drove six hours from their home in Lugoff, South
Carolina, to Lynch, Kentucky, with husband, Creig, and their four children,
The Guinn family's work projects included grass cutting for Creig and park
cleanup and weed-eating for Sharon and the kids. Daughter Lydia dressed up as a
clown for a Fourth of July block party at a local park. "It was the best
vacation we've ever had as a family," says Sharon. "It was a life-changing
experience for all of us." It was an eternity-changing experience for Creig,
who was led to Christ by another dad during their four days in Lynch. "That was
the crowning moment for us," says Sharon, a member of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
in Camden, S.C.
More than 50 families-coming from as far away as Michigan, Wisconsin and
even Arizona-participated in NAMB's inaugural Families on Mission experience.
Lynch is home of Meridzo Center Ministries, a local ministry run by NAMB
Mission Service Corp missionaries Lonnie and Belinda Riley.
Half of every day was spent on family devotionals, prayer, worship, mission
awareness and family small-group discussions. Families spent the rest of the
day involved in mission projects, including minor home repairs, painting, free
car washes, visiting shut-ins, cutting grass and even offering free swimming
lessons to local children.
Wendy Goldie grew up as an MK (Missionary Kid) in South Korea. When she and
her husband, Reg, heard about the family mission trip, they thought it would be
the perfect experience for their kids, Kristen and Kurt. "God has given Reg and
me a bigger perspective of the world," says Wendy. "We really wanted our kids
to have that perspective and open their eyes to other parts of the world."
The Goldies spent the week painting picnic tables in a local park. Kristen
and Kurt were able to interact with the kids in the neighborhood who were
curious about their work.
"Not only did we get to do hands-on mission projects, but we got to know the
people in the community," says Wendy. "It was a great experience for our family
and especially meaningful to me to be back on the mission field with my own
To learn more about Family Mission Trips and other mission experiences
available through the North American Mission Board, visit www.namb.net/fom.
By Phillip Connor
It's easy to stay in the dark when it comes to cross-cultural awareness.
Perhaps we greet our Hispanic neighbors, we're friendly to the Indian woman
serving us our lunch, and we respect the Middle Eastern doctor giving us advice
about our health. But do we really seek to know the people who don't look like
us? And do we teach our children the importance of knowing about other cultural
groups and befriending folk from cultures besides our own. Here are some ways
to help raise a more cross-cultural kid:
Phillip Connor is Manager of Research Missiology at the North American
By Carolyn R. Bennett
"I've found that a lot of people will pay for a plane ticket to minister in
Peru or some other Latin American country, but they haven't talked to the Latin
Americans right down the street in their own cities," says David Lema, a Cuban
native and associate director for theological and distance learning for the
Florida Baptist Convention. "Did you know that New Orleans, for example, has
the third largest number of Hondurans in the world?"
New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., rank among the top
metropolitan cities with large immigrant populations from around the world, but
other cities across the United States also are home to large immigrant
communities. About 30,000 Somali and 70,000 Hmong refugees settled in
Minneapolis and St. Paul in the mid-1990s where they could find jobs requiring
little or no English skills. The warm climate in Florida cities like Orlando
and Tampa have attracted immigrants from India and other Southeast Asian
Immigrants from the Middle East began to settle in Dearborn, Michigan, when
the Ford Motor Company began hiring Arabs in the 1930s. Today, many communities
on Dearborn's south and east sides are primarily Islamic, making the city one
of the highest Arab populations outside the Middle East. Other cities with high
immigrant populations include Boston, Orlando, Cleveland and San Francisco.
Scattered throughout the United States, these immigrant communities provide
a wonderful opportunity for Christians to reach other ethnic groups without
leaving the country. Many agencies already work within immigrant communities in
the U.S. Contact your local Baptist association or State Baptist Convention for
ways to volunteer in ministries to immigrants. The North American Mission Board
can help you connect with missionaries who are serving immigrant populations
across North America. Visit thebridge.namb.net.
Carolyn R. Bennett is the chief editor at Accelerating International
Mission Strategies (AIMS) in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she is a freelance
writer and serves her local church.
By Marilyn Stewart
Picture a child's face as she steps into a very special department store
where money isn't accepted and a customer brings only her Christmas shopping
list. Or imagine a mother's satisfaction as she leaves a Christmas store
bearing free gifts for her children to be placed under an otherwise barren
On Mission magazine
4200 North Point Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA firstname.lastname@example.org
Though these churches may differ significantly in size and budget, all of
them welcome the Christmas shopping season as an opportunity to share the
gospel while giving parents and children in less-than-privileged circumstances
the joy of opening gifts from each other on Christmas morning. Here's how you
can join these churches in meeting the needs of your community during the
Marilyn Stewart is a writer living in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The tragedy of Katrina has opened a floodgate of volunteers helping New
Orleans recover from the loss incurred more than a year ago. Housed and
headquartered in the World Trade Center in downtown New Orleans, a band ?of
nearly 1,000 volunteers cycle in and out ?of the area offering their skills in
carpentry, electrical work, flooring and just about any other service required
for renovation of a thousand homes. This is Operation NOAH Rebuild, a two-year
project funded by the North American Mission Board and fueled by volunteer
labor from congregations and State Conventions throughout North America. For
more information on how you and your church can bring light to the New Orleans
area, visit www.namb.net/noah.
Keystone Baptist Church
Pastor: Terry Nelson
Location: Harrison High
Pastor's path: A former
executive for the mortgage company HomeBanc, Terry Nelson has served 25 years
in a variety of ministries. He studied at Mercer University in Atlanta and at
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
A brief history: Keystone
started more than a year ago meeting with a core group of about 40 in another
church's facilities just south of Kennesaw. Now they meet in the auditorium and
classrooms of a local high school where they seek to reach a niche of people
interested in more traditional ways of doing church and more traditional
values. "We want to be relevant, but we also want to appreciate the tradition
where we find our roots," Terry says. "We want everyone to feel welcome
regardless of their background."
Why the Nativity? (Tyndale, 2006) by
David Jeremiah provides a response to "The Nativity Story," a film about the
birth of Jesus and the historical events surrounding it. To be released in
3,000 theaters nationwide December 1, 2006, the movie is expected to raise
questions that'll spark an interest in our Faith. Jeremiah provides answers to
some of the questions movie-goers might raise, and helps believers prepare for
those divine appointments.
The Costly Call
(Kregel, 2006) by Emir Fethi Caner and H. Edward Pruitt tells the stories of
Muslims all over the world who have converted to Christianity. It recounts how
they came to faith in Christ, how that decision changed their lives personally
and communally and, most important, how the decision has influenced the lives
of those around them.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC