Posts Tagged ‘Texas Baptists’

An opportunity to help the terminally-ill in Southern Africa

June 21, 2010

In the African village of Maliwane in Lesotho, a 64-year-old grandmother lay dying of AIDS, her only source of comfort and relief coming from a five-gallon bucket of hygiene and medical supplies shipped from a U.S. church.

The bucket was shipped to Jim and Teresa Flora, partners with Baptist Global Relief, who walked two hours to reach the grandmother’s home and teach them how to use the supplies in side. It’s not much, but it’s what the family has to care and comfort their matriarch.

The Texas Baptists Church2Church Partnerships Office has joined with Baptists Global Response to launch a summer missions opportunity to collect and send these “In-Home Care Kits” for terminally ill persons in Southern Africa. Much like the Buckets of Hope, various health care supplies will be placed in a five-gallon bucket. These supplies will provide a touch of physical and spiritual healing to terminally-ill people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The kits, which can be put together for $75 or less, are opportunities for churches, Sunday School classes, Vacation Bible Schools, missions groups and people of all ages a way to be a part of a circle of caring and sharing to these terminally-ill people.  Items in these kits will make the caregiver’s task much easier, but more importantly, will ease the suffering of the ones affected by terminal illness.

“These kits are a tool that not only provide physical comfort but also are a way for missionaries to share Christ individually with those dying of HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.” said Marla Bearden, Church2Church Partnerships.  She believes Texas Baptists can send 1,000 In-Home Care Kits to Africa.

Visit to find what items go in the kit, how to pack the items and other promotional items including a seven Day prayer guide that provides information that will help increase understanding and compassion for people suffering with HIV/AIDS around the world.  Once your kits are complete please deliver/send them to Texas Baptists at 333 N. Washington Ave., Dallas 75246. Deadline for sending kits is Sept. 1 and they will be distributed by BGR missionaries in winter 2010.  For more information contact Marla Bearden at 1-800-244-9400 or email her at

The world of social media

June 14, 2010

During the last few weeks, the Texas Baptists communications department has been talking about ways to better connect with Texas Baptists. Because of the day and age we are in, naturally social media was brought into the conversation. We’ve been using several outlets like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, You Tube and Flickr for a while now, but we realize we could be using these in a better way to help, encourage and connect Texas Baptists.

This is where we need your input. Let us know how we can better serve you through these outlets.

  • How would you like Texas Baptists to connect with you through Facebook and Twitter?
  • What types of videos do you want to see on our You Tube channel?
  • What topics do you want addressed through the Texas Baptists blog?
  • Are there other types of social media that you would like to see us adopt?
  • This is your chance to share your opinion and ideas. We are listening and want to make improvements that will help Texas Baptists be better encouraged, better equipped and better prepared to reach the state with the hope of Christ.

    Grants available for volunteers to help in Haiti

    June 10, 2010

    Texas Baptists is coordinating mission trips to the Grand-Goâve area of Haiti (2.5 hours from Port-au-Prince). Chaplains, counselors, builders, doctors, nurses, eye doctors and any willing hard workers are needed for rebuilding projects and other mission opportunities.

    Trip dates are June 26-July 3, July 10-17, Aug. 21-28, Sept. 4-11, Oct. 9-16, and Nov. 13-20. Trip costs are $40 per day plus airfare and include meals, water, tents, showers and toilet facilities.

    Texas Baptists is offering grants to assist with airfare to Haiti. Contact Marla Bearden at 214-828-5382 for more information.

    Texas Baptists goals and missional characteristics

    May 6, 2010

    Yesterday during the Texas Baptists monthly staff chapel service, Executive Director Randel Everett cast a vision for the next several years of convention ministry and gave the characteristics of healthy, missional churches. Click on the link below to hear what he had to say.

    Goals and missional characteristics by Randel Everett


    Bike Out Hunger, Ryan Musser and Morgan Woodard

    May 4, 2010

    College students are gross

    April 29, 2010

    But it seems to work for them. The Baptist Student Ministry at the University of Texas at Arlington recently held its annual Jar Wars and Slim Slide to raise money to send students on mission to various places. This year, they set a record in messiness and fundraising. As a result of this event, $15,000 was given to missions.

    Still, that stuff they’re sliding in is gross.

    Uncharted territory

    April 29, 2010

    Two years ago, Jon Meyer took a leap of faith and packed his bags for an unprecedented assignment in the former Soviet block nation of Moldova. With a Ph. D. in Social Work and as senior advisor for BCFS’ overseas division, Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI), he would serve as a consultant to the Moldovan government, developing guidelines for supervising the country’s first group of professional social workers.

    What led you to this project?

    Years ago when I was in school, I attended a worship service where I committed my life to serving God as a foreign missionary. At the time, I thought I would go the traditional route by attending seminary and applying to some type of missions organization. Turns out, God had a different plan.

    I guess I’ve always been an adventurous person. When this opportunity came about, the timing seemed to be right for me on a personal level and CERI was open to it, so I jumped in. We had a plan of what I would do in Moldova, but we also recognized that we were taking on uncharted territory working with a foreign, communist government. It was a total faith thing.

    What did you set out to accomplish?

    My role as a consultant to the Moldovan Ministry of Social Protection was to develop a model for supervising social workers throughout the country. This was a unique project because the profession of social work in Moldova is still in its infancy. I learned about the entrenched poverty of Moldavians as well as the difficult work environment for social workers by visiting numerous villages across the country.

    I also got to make home visits to assess families as part of the government’s effort to decrease the number of children living in orphanages. I also did a lot of work with CERI’s national staff, developing standards based on U.S. models that will make our work with young adults transitioning out of orphanages and into life on their own more effective.

    Were you successful in your mission?

    Yes, in that I think my work laid a good foundation for social work supervision upon which the country can build. At the end of my project, I produced a comprehensive model that guides the supervision of social workers at the regional and village levels. Bringing about change in Moldova at a national level was difficult though due to a number of political and cultural barriers. Many of those barriers stemmed from the government’s communist mindset. Therefore, I think my model would be most effective implemented at the local level as a step-by-step, how-to guide. There are many children in Moldova living in troubled environments, so I pray this model will ultimately help give social workers the hands-on guidance they need to effectively address many social problems impacting children and families.

    What did you find to be the biggest challenge during your assignment?

    Without a doubt, communication was really challenging. Luckily, CERI helped me by providing a translator. This wasn’t a real silver bullet though, especially when we were trying to talk about industry-specific issues. Because the translators were not familiar with social work, there were some points that didn’t get delivered with their full impact. Purchasing food at a local grocery store was at times tough too; especially when products didn’t have pictures to show what they were. Fortunately, like I said before, I’m adventurous.

    Did the various barriers prevent you from feeling settled in Moldova?

    Not really. Our CERI national staff did a fantastic job finding me an ideal apartment to live in, close to everything I needed in downtown Chisinau. I also found a spiritual home through helping out at a rural Baptist church in Calarasi, and establishing a new church in the city. I grew very close to the pastor of the Chisinau church and spent every Sunday with him and his family. It was a real blessing.

    Any final thoughts?

    The two years I spent in Moldova were unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I had my share of challenges, but at the end of the day, I am hopeful that my work will help the country’s first professional social workers provide safe, quality services for the thousands of children who need their help. The whole experience was a blessing.

    Since returning home to the United States, Dr. Meyer has accepted the role as an evaluator for BCFS’ Community-Based Services Division. He is presently working on evaluation and research projects aimed at abstinence and teen pregnancy prevention.

    Interview courtesy BCFS.

    Putting it all on the line

    April 29, 2010

    It’s one thing to talk about the need to help hungry people. It’s better to give to an effort that helps them. The greatest commitment is the one many churches across Texas are making: directly helping the hungry through food outreaches.

    First Baptist Church in Gatesville is one of the congregations that has stepped up to the plate to help the hungry. Roughly half the town’s kindergarteners and first graders are at or below the poverty line. Many students are on free or reduced lunch programs, finding their only meals at school.

    In response, the church provides about half a ton of food assistance a year in the community. The church works so every child has something to eat. It’s clearly an issue close to Pastor Steve Dominy’s heart.

    “It ticks me off that Texas is hungrier than any state in the nation. Texas is the greatest state in the nation, and there is no way that that should happen. And I am willing to bet that 99 percent of the population doesn’t know about that. So I hope they raise awareness about hunger issues in the state and mobilize some people to get off their butts and do something about it.”

    Bike Out Hunger, some final thoughts

    April 29, 2010

    By John Hall

    On this page, a lot has been said about the riders and why they are involved in Bike Out Hunger. The truth is, it takes a lot more people than a group of riders to pull something like this off.

    Many thanks to Bobby Broyles and First Baptist Church in Ballinger; Kalie Lowrie and Katy Blackshear at Howard Payne University; Keith and Sharon Felton and First Baptist Church in Hamilton; Steve Dominy and his wonderful family at First Baptist Church in Gatesville; Mallory Homeyer of the Texas Hunger Initiative and the good folks at the World Hunger Farm; Carol Woodward and Shawn Shannon at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; and The Fellowship of San Antonio. Your hospitality, spirit and generosity were overwhelming during these six days.

    Carolyn Strickland and Joyce Gilbreath, you worked tirelessly behind the scenes coordinating places where we could rest for a bit and share about the hunger needs of Texas and around the globe. It has been a pleasure allowing you to use us to continue communicating ways people can help the hungry.

    Kaitlin Chapman, Joshua Minatrea, Dennis Parrish, Brian Hurst and Rex Campbell, because of you, we were able to stay on the road and share our hearts through media efforts about needing to help the hungry. Thanks to you, Christ’s call to minister to the least of these has been magnified. Additionally, you were there for each rider with an encouraging word, a helping hand and a cool drink. You were essential.

    Lastly, to each of you who prayed for us and supported us before, during and after the trip, thank you. Your support will provide food for hungry people in Texas and around the world. Your prayers were felt and made a drastic difference in our ability to ride. I have no doubt that because of your prayers, we stayed healthy and strong, riding beyond our abilities.

    As I type this last post, I want to ask you to pray as our Lord taught us to pray. This time as you pray, think about the words as if they were being said by a person who does not know where their next meal will come from.

    Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
    “This, then is how you should pray:
    ’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,
    Your kingdom come,
    Your will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us today our daily bread.
    Forgive us our debts,
    As we also have forgiven our debtors.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from the evil one.’”

    World hunger and Christ’s call

    April 29, 2010

    Ryan Musser, youth minister at First Baptist Church in Hewitt, shared this insight the other day. It’s stuck with me, so I want to share it here.

    “I learned something today about mile 42 in the middle of a hill. I was reminded that the call to take up our cross is not an easy task, and it involves sacrifice. So many times we talk about world hunger and we say that task is just too big. The kingdom of God isn’t about doing easy things. It’s about doing right things. And we were given a way to live, and a sacrificial way to live. And if it hurts, we are supposed to continue pressing on because that is what our King has already done.”