Today's BP Ledger contains items from:
Kentucky Baptist Convention
World News Service
Show Hope announces partnership with Tim Tebow Foundation
Alliance Creates Greater Awareness and Provides Assistance for
Families of Special Needs Adoptions
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Show Hope) -- Show Hope™, a nonprofit orphan care ministry founded by GRAMMY award winning Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth, is honored to announce a partnership with the Tim Tebow Foundation that will raise awareness and provide assistance for families, who have a desire to adopt children with special needs.
"We are privileged to combine our efforts with funds provided by the Tim Tebow Foundation to provide critical help to waiting children with special needs," said Scott Hasenbalg, Executive Director, Show Hope. "With this assistance, we can help to remove the financial barrier that exists for many families. We celebrate the thousands of children that Show Hope has helped through the miracle of adoption, but the truth is, the need is great. Together, we will help make adoption a reality as we continue to transform the lives of many children with special needs."
Show Hope believes that the millions of waiting children around the world should not be left as orphans. By collaboratively addressing their needs, this partnership will have a life-changing impact in illuminating the need for families to adopt children with special needs and by helping to place these children from across the globe with forever families. Additionally, families will be awarded with financial grants to help them overcome the high cost of adoption.
"We are so excited to be able to partner with Show Hope in providing financial assistance to these families who are courageously adopting children with special needs," said Erik Dellenback, Executive Director, Tim Tebow Foundation. "We believe this program is a great way to share God's love and it ties perfectly to our mission to bring Faith Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need."
In helping to shape an adoption-friendly culture, the goal is to come together through this alignment to raise awareness and provide assistance for families to adopt children with special needs and make it a viable option for many to build their families.
Since Show Hope's inception ten years ago, monetary donations to their Adoption Aid Program have helped to provide more than 3,500 waiting orphans with forever families through financial grants. Additionally, hundreds of orphans with special needs have received the medical care they so desperately needed through Show Hope's Special Care Centers in China. Yet, millions of orphaned children are still waiting for a forever family.
"Ten years ago we began this ministry because the need outgrew what we were blessed to do by ourselves," explains Steven Curtis Chapman. "We always believed we can do more by working together and we are thrilled to be working with Tim and his foundation - we believe this is the start of life change for many orphaned children with special needs in the months and years to come."
Approximately 1,000 families apply annually to Show Hope for adoption assistance. Often, families are willing to welcome a child into their home, but are unable to afford the high cost, which averages $25,000 per adoption. Due to the lack of funding, more than 8,000 grant requests have been turned away since Show Hope was founded in 2003. With the financial support from the Tim Tebow Foundation, Show Hope can help more children through grants, which will be awarded in the average amount of $7,000 to $10,000 to each family. With an initial contribution given in December, a hundred percent of the donations received from the Tim Tebow Foundation will go directly toward special needs adoptions. As a result, about 10 to 14 additional families will receive grants on an annual basis.
Additionally, to commemorate the past decade, Show Hope is hosting its 10-year Anniversary Celebration with two full days of fellowship, food, music and fun for the entire family. The event will take place Saturday, May 25 at Show Hope's office in Franklin, Tenn., and carry through to Sunday, May 26 at Lipscomb University in downtown Nashville where attendees will enjoy a live concert featuring Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Hall of Casting Crowns and Andrew Peterson. Tickets are available at www.ticketnashville.com.
About Show Hope
Show Hope™, a nonprofit founded in 2003 by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth, helps to care for millions of orphans around the world. From the thousands of adoption aid grants given, to providing medical care for more than one thousand orphans with special needs, to consecutive Red Bus Project tours in the spring and fall, to hands-on trips offered to China and Haiti, to a new artists and advocates program, Show Hope celebrates an incredible ten years in ministry in 2013 and looks ahead to an even brighter future. For more information, visit www.showhope.org.
About Tim Tebow Foundation
The Tim Tebow Foundation exists to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The Foundation fulfills this mission every day by fulfilling dreams through the W15H Program, building the Tebow CURE Hospital, building Timmy's Playrooms in children's hospitals, providing care to orphans worldwide and encouraging service to others through Team Tebow. For more information please visit www.timtebowfoundation.org.
Elkhorn Servant Named Baptist Missionary of the Year
By Whitney Jones
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Kentucky Baptist Convention) -- For the Kentucky Baptist Missionary of the Year, missions encompasses more than sharing the gospel verbally. Sandra Williams meets the most basic needs of people who are hurting deeply while making sincere relationships with them—all in the name of Jesus Christ.
Williams is the woman behind many of Elkhorn Baptist Association's most visible ministries. She has served as director of church and community ministries since 1995 for the Lexington-area association that includes more than 80 churches and 14 new missions.
For the needy in Lexington and the surrounding areas, Williams and her volunteers serve hot meals for the hungry every week, help teach struggling children how to read, provide tax assistance, sack lunches and many other services.
A North American Mission Board missionary, Williams said she thinks the best way to convey God's love to others is to serve them at all times.
"It's just not coming in and saying 'Jesus loves you' and then walking away from it," she said. "You're there to walk with them and to cry with them and to laugh with them and to be with them."
Kentucky Baptists will present Williams the missionary of the year award Friday at the Kentucky Woman's Missionary Union Annual Meeting and 125th Anniversary Celebration in Hopkinsville.
"In the Bible, it says for us to do two things: to love God and to love our neighbor," Williams said. "And I think as we're loving our neighbor and building our relationships with them, they learn more about His love for them."
Eric Allen is leader of the Kentucky Baptist Convention's Missions Mobilization Team. His group gathers the nominations for missionary of the year.
He says Williams' work is vital because she reaches many people who are too often ignored by the rest of society.
Lexington alone has approximately 1,400 homeless according to the last census.
"She works with all of the churches in the Elkhorn Baptist Association to help them (minister) to those who are in very marginalized places in the society," Allen said.
He commended Williams' out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to serving her community.
As the bitter winter outside brought families and friends together to watch the Super Bowl this year, Williams saw the nationwide event as a way to witness to the homeless.
Allen said, for Williams, the football game was about much more than entertainment.
"These are people who generally live on the streets," he said. But through Elkhorn's Souperbowl Party, held at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, "they come together, get to watch the (game) and share snacks just like you and I might do with our friends."
And, they hear the gospel.
Much of Williams' work involves first filling hungry bellies. Elkhorn Baptist Association Director of Missions Don Reed said every week volunteers serve several hot meals and pack hundreds of sack lunches for the people in their community.
Many of those meals are served in Irishtown, a poverty-stricken area in the shadow of Rupp Arena, where the association has established a ministry center.
They also address other types of hunger there. Volunteer tutors teach children and adults how to read. Other Elkhorn Baptists lead Bible studies and worship services.
Spiritual growth, often takes time, though.
Williams recalled a woman who became a regular at one of their hot meal ministries. At the time, the homeless woman was living by the downtown library.
At first, Williams said, the woman was hostile to anything related to the gospel, but after months of friendship and sincere service from Elkhorn Baptists, the person being served actually began serving others.
After about six months of working alongside the volunteers packing sack lunches, the woman softened to the message being lived out around her, and she accepted Christ.
"It was exciting just to see that growth and to see how that change took place in her. And how as we built relationships with her that her whole attitude and feelings changed," Williams said. "She had been willing to listen and then took a step."
In the past five years of Williams' service, 18 people have made professions of faith and 15 have been baptized as result of the ministries she coordinates. She has also become a mentor to the believers working alongside her.
Rachel Riquelme was a summer missionary and intern for Elkhorn Association from 2005 to 2007, and now works as family and children's minister at High Street Baptist Church in Somerset.
Riquelme said her time working with Williams demonstrated the important place women can have in ministry. Riquelme said the experience encouraged her to continue following that path.
"The first year I worked with her, I was fighting the call to ministry," Riquelme said. "Working side by side with her and seeing how she was a woman doing ministry and learning from her just showed me that, yeah, this is what God wants me to do."
Prior to her appointment with Elkhorn Association, Williams was a teacher, music minister and then director of church development for Western Connecticut Baptist Association.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a cooperative missions and ministry organization made up of nearly 2,400 autonomous Baptist churches in Kentucky. A variety of state and worldwide ministries are coordinated through its administrative offices in Louisville, including: missions work, disaster relief, ministry training and support, church development, evangelism and more.
For more information, visit the KBC website at www.kybaptist.org or find "Kentucky Baptist Convention" on Facebook or follow "kentuckybaptist" on Twitter.
Carson-Newman University recognizes Billy Graham as 'Evangelist of the 20th Century'
By Charles Key
MONTREAT, N.C. (Carson-Newman University) -- Throughout his ministry, Billy Graham has earned many titles and recognitions: evangelist, author, minister, and spiritual advisor to U.S. presidents.
Carson-Newman University felt one title was missing. On March 22, the Jefferson City school named Graham as "Evangelist of the 20th Century."
The recognition was presented to Graham here at his home by Carson-Newman University President J. Randall O'Brien.
"I am thankful to Dr. O'Brien and Carson-Newman University for the honor of receiving the 'Evangelist of the 20th Century Award,'" said Graham.
"It is especially meaningful to receive this from a school well known for shaping hearts and minds of next generation students for Jesus Christ. I also commend this church-related institution for recently receiving the status of 'University' — well-fitting Carson-Newman's mission of "Higher Education for a Higher Purpose."
"While I do not deserve this award, I accept it in the name of the One whom I have sought to serve all my life."
O'Brien said the decision to present Graham with the prestigious honor was a unanimous decree from the University's board of trustees.
"We feel we are the privileged ones to be able to present Dr. Graham with this award," said O'Brien. "At Carson-Newman we believe in the power of the gospel in transforming lives to better serve God and neighbor. I can think of no one in modern history who has helped transform more lives for the Kingdom of God than Billy Graham," said O'Brien. "This award joyfully recognizes Dr. Graham's faithful service and heart for sharing with others the saving love of Christ."
Graham's impact throughout his lifetime of ministry cannot be overstated. His accomplishments and recognitions are legendary.
Often referred to as "America's Pastor," Graham has been named to Gallup's "Top 10 Most Admired Men in the World" 56 times since 1948 - the most of any individual. The North Carolina native founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950, and has preached the Gospel to more live audiences than anyone in history — some 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. He is the author of 31 books, many becoming best sellers. He is the recipient of the United States Congressional Gold Medal, 1996, and the Honorary Knight Commander of the order of the British Empire, 2001.
The "Evangelist of the Century" honor is the first of its kind to be presented by Carson-Newman University, O'Brien explained.
"In the years to come, we will continue to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with our world," he said.
Graham was married to the late Ruth Bell Graham. Together they had three daughters and two sons. Ruth Graham, the family's third daughter, serves as honorary chair of Carson-Newman's Women of Vision, an organization that helps support the University through personal, professional, and philanthropic avenues. "Ruth Graham has been a grace-gift to Carson-Newman," O'Brien said. "Her ministry to our students and University family has modeled the compassion of Jesus Christ. Oh, the lives she has touched." he added. "I know her father is proud of her, as are we. We love them both dearly."
Baptist World Alliance president speaks at Campbellsville University
By Samantha Stevenson, student newswriter
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University) -- John Upton, president of Baptist World Alliance, centered his message around the theme found in Ephesians 2:14 "For He is our peace, who made us one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility," at Campbellsville University's weekly chapel service on April 3 in Ransdell Chapel.
Upton said humans are experts at building walls.
He provided photos of famous walls from around the world that he has been able to see and experience during his time as president at Baptist World Alliance. Included were photos of the Berlin Wall, the West Bank Wall in Israel, the wall that stretches from San Diego, California to El Paso, Texas, separating the United States from Mexico.
His final slide was a photo of the Great Wall of China -- the only manmade landmark visible from outer space.
"Isn't it interesting that the only sign of human existence that can be seen from outer space is a wall?" Upton asked.
Upton said, "Our walls separate us from being our best selves, from each other, and from God."
Upton discussed instances in which he's seen political, traditional and prideful walls broken by the power of Jesus Christ.
Upton concluded by offering the hope of Jesus Christ as the solution to the wall problem, by once again referencing Ephesians 2:14.
"There's something inside of us that tells us that these walls are wrong. That's Jesus Christ, and he is our peace. He's knocking down the dividing walls, and has made us one."
Chapel is designed to provide opportunities for corporate worship and exposure through a variety of informative speakers and presentations.
For information about chapel, call the Office of Campus Ministries at (270) 789-5227.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master's degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.
Weeping With Those Who Weep
By Whitney Davis
Despite the number of people affected by suicide, few churches have counseling or grief ministries specifically for survivors
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WORLD News Service) -- Two weeks ago, Cynthia Wachenheim jumped out a window in her Manhattan apartment, plunging eight floors to her death. Wachenheim leaves behind a husband and an eight-month-old son who miraculously survived the fall in his mother's arms. As Wachenheim's husband tries to process his pain and understand what happened, he will grapple with questions and doubts unique to suicide survivors.
Every year more than 30,000 people in the United States commit suicide. It is the nation's eighth leading cause of death, and for those 15 to 24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death. For every suicide, at least six other people's lives are affected, according to a Harvard Medical School study. Those left behind not only have to grieve the death of a loved one, but face feelings unique to the grief caused by suicide. Despite the vast number of suicide survivors, few churches address the issue specifically.
But suicide survivors are in desperate need of support. Candy Arrington, co-author of Aftershock: Help, Hope and Healing in the Wake of Suicide, described a suicide survivor's emotional turmoil as something similar to an earthquake registering off the Richter scale. Life changes in an instant with an event that opens the earth in a yawning chasm. And as with the survivors of an actual earthquake, suicide survivors are in shock, simply existing in the wake of destruction.
Brian Keay, a former counselor with Freedom in Christ Ministries who holds a master's in family counseling, thinks the church needs to be more involved in the grieving process and offer better support for suicide survivors.
"I think it can be a little scary for churches to get involved with this kind of issue," he said. "They're told it's a counseling issue, and not to get into that. But the body of Christ is the ultimate family and it's something the body should get involved with."
Church members often try too hard to offer solutions to the grieving, when what they really need to do is offer a physical, listening presence in a suicide survivor's life, Keay said.
Many larger churches have counseling programs, but few are specifically geared toward suicide prevention or aiding suicide survivors. Ministries like Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) provide resources for churches to use in dealing with grief, and they do have counselors who work with all kinds of issues, including suicide.
Robert Cheong, the lead counseling pastor of Sojourn Church in Lousville, Ky., said his ministry looks to care for suicide survivors with the gospel much in the same way it cares for anyone who loses a loved one. With a suicide survivor, he tries to address any shame or stigma associated with suicide and answer concerns regarding salvation for the one who committed suicide. He also tries to ensure ongoing support from family and friends, who often struggle with anger and a sense of betrayal. He even watches for any expressions of a desire to follow suit and equips the survivors to minister to one another in the days and months to follow.
Despite his own church's efforts, Cheong agrees with Keay that the church as a whole could do a better job dealing with issues related to suicide: "As with any struggle that results in human suffering, we, as the church, need to learn as much as we can to help the body of Christ navigate through the difficulties of life. The church should not shy away from understanding and caring for those with any form of human struggle, to include suicide."
Joe Roswech lost his brother Dan, who suffered from manic depression, to suicide ten years ago. Roswech had the opportunity to lead his brother to Christ a few months before he killed himself, and he was confident in his brother's salvation. But Roswech struggled with feelings of guilt, wishing he had spent more time with his brother. He wondered what he could have done differently in their relationship.
He explained that while he leaned on scripture for comfort, fellow believers were not always helpful as he dealt with his profound grief.
"A lot of believers don't know what to do with something like that," he said. "When there is severe brokenness, they don't know what to do so they back off. That leaves more room for the enemy to isolate us. When he goes to attack, he will try to pick off on the edge."
The middle of the flock is a safer place for believers, and anyone struggling with brokenness should strive to be there, Roswech said. Members of the church should strive to surround survivors, so they don't feel isolated.
Both Keay and Cheong encourage Christians to act in that important support role, no matter how difficult the situation might be.
"As with any forms of suffering, every member of the church can love those grieving suicide well by journeying with them over the long haul, weeping, rejoicing, encouraging and fighting the good fight of faith with one another." said Cheong, referencing 1 Timothy 6:12.
Keay also said that on an individual level, being with someone grieving that intensely is scary, but necessary: "When you stand with someone you are bearing their pain with them, are willing to go be part of and feel pain—that's hard. Don't be afraid to sit and hear people cry deeply. Don't be afraid of that deep moaning grief. Do what God has enabled you to do."
Copyright (c) 2013 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net