Today's From the States features items from:
Baptist Messenger (Oklahoma)
Arkansas Baptist News
Amped student ministry: 'Taking
it to the streets,' literally
By Shannon Baker
FREDERICK, Md. (BaptistLIFE) -- The team at Amped Ministry, the student ministry of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, is serious about teaching teenagers to evangelize. They decided to take this year's summer camp theme, "Taking it to the Streets," literally.
Doug DuBois, BCM/D missionary for student evangelism, believes "the best way to teach students about sharing the Gospel is to literally take them to the streets."
So they took a hard look at how they do summer camp. And they decided to change some things.
Most notably, they have built intentional times of evangelism -- actual mission projects and prayer -- into the week of programming for their two summer camps, reCHARGE and Missions Camp. These camps, for youth who have completed grades 6-12, are held for three weeks in late June and early July.
During each week, church groups of students can opt to spend an afternoon biking along a "prayer path" through Frederick, with scheduled stops with specific prayer requests and activities to perform along the way. By the end of the day, students will have prayed for city schools, homeless shelters, local city services and more.
The students will be given specific ways to pray as found in the Bible.
Alternatively, students may choose to help impact a community with the love of Christ by assisting a local church with an outreach block party either at a park near South End Baptist Church, at Waverly Elementary School, which is near First Baptist Church, Frederick, or at the Frederick Rescue Mission, working alongside Strong Tower Church.
Amped Ministry will provide the block party essentials—moon bounce, cotton candy and the like -- to the church or park, where the teens will help host a fun day for kids in the surrounding neighborhoods. The students will be able to display the love of Christ while they play with children and tell them about Jesus.
At all three sites, teams will run a block party Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for three weeks, reaching the community and connecting them to the churches, DuBois stresses. Other student groups will participate in a video scavenger hunt. This teen group will navigate their way through the city of Frederick where they have to complete tasks and collect items in a timed race. At each task, they will have the opportunity to meet and pray for plenty of new people as they travel as a group to complete the hunt. All the tasks will be based on outreach.
"Every day, that means a third of our students are going to do ministry in Frederick -- every day we are bombarding the city of Frederick with at least 100 students!" says DuBois.
In addition to the reCHARGE camps, other church youth groups will stay at Skycroft's Kamp Kaylor and do missions work in Frederick for the whole week. They will assist churches with the block parties, construction projects and tutoring at the Frederick Rescue Mission, and tutoring at Lincoln Elementary School.
Please pray for the students who will take the Gospel to the streets and for the lives changed by the love of Christ. Learn more at http://ampedministry.org.
This article appeared in BaptistLIFE (baptistlifeonline.org), newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. Shannon Baker is a national correspondent for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.
By Annie Scheffe
OKLAHOMA CITY (Baptist Messenger) -- Marta Caceres, director of the Robert Haskins School of Leadership (RHSL), is proud of her hard-working students. The fourth formal commencement ceremony at the Baptist Building graduated 22 students, with 16 receiving a diploma in Christian ministry and six in Theology. RHSL also offers a degree in Church Planting.
RHSL's goal is stated in their mission statement: "Training leaders of the present and future today." Robert Haskins had a dream to "develop Ethnic leaders for each ethnic group." Caceres said.
Through his dream came the Contextual Leadership Development (CDL) program, which is dedicated to training and developing effective leaders and workers of multicultural churches in the state of Oklahoma through the partnership of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (GGBTS).
The school works to provide a variety of experiences. RHSL sees the importance in reminding the students that mission work is not limited to their home country. Dr. Robert Haskins, whom the school is named after, gave the commencement address on June 1.
"Nothing you will ever do will take the place of sharing God's Word," Haskins said. "There is simply no substitute for the Word of God. It is to be preached and shared at every opportunity."
With their degrees "they can become ethnic pastors, ethnic church planters or go back to their own countries to start churches where they came from and work as laymen," Caceres said. The graduating students represented five countries including El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela and the United States. They come from around the world to grow and serve the Lord in the best way possible.
Oklahoma is a leader in the area of CDL. Unable to attend the ceremony, Jeff Iorg, president of GGBTS, shared his congratulations through a video message. "Our Contextualized Leadership Development Program and partnership with Oklahoma Baptists is making a significant difference all across your state, shaping leaders who can expand God's kingdom by being pastors, church planters and other kinds of church servants," Iorg said.
GGBTS has recognized RHSL for its distinguished leadership through its monetary contribution to the CDL program. RHSL received this recognition in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The BGCO has centers in Clinton, Ardmore, Lawton, Duncan, Enid, Guymon, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, as well as one currently overseas in Armenia. Armenia should also graduate 22 students this semester.
RHSL seeks to grow and develop a new center for Native Americans in the Fall 2013 semester. The school is also working with GGBTS to offer another diploma in Christian Education in the near future.
The RHSL is funded through the Cooperative Program as well as through the Edna McMillan State Missions Offering.
This article appeared in the Baptist Messenger (baptistmessenger.com), newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Annie Scheffe is an intern for the Baptist Messenger.
team sees 42 saved
By Jessica Vanderpool
DUFORT, Haiti (Arkansas Baptist News) -- She was a 24-year-old Haitian woman, bitter from years of abuse by a Voodoo bishop -- until April, when a team from Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, brought the news of Jesus.
Now she is free.
"Central Baptist Church of Jonesboro is one of several Arkansas Baptist churches that have adopted a geographic area in Haiti," said Bob Fielding, Arkansas Baptist State Convention missions ministries team member and Haiti project coordinator.
Every few months, Central Baptist sends teams to the place they adopted -- Dufort.
The April team focused on evangelism and follow up. During their trip, they saw 42 people accept Christ, including the abused woman, two Voodoo priests and two of the team's translators.
Larry Bailey, missions pastor at Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, shared the team's experience. As a few team members were attempting to follow up with new believers from their previous trip, they ran across a man who was interested in hearing the gospel -- but in private. So a team member and translator followed him back to his house to talk.
An hour and a half later, Bailey received a call. Twenty-plus people, including a Voodoo priest had accepted Christ. One of these new believers was the woman who had been abused.
When Bailey arrived at the scene, the abused woman came out to greet him, and he could tell she was "very fearful."
Bailey had felt God laying on his heart the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6, which speaks of forgiveness.
"And so I gently began to teach her that prayer," Bailey said. "And I said to her, 'Look you need to release this bishop. This is for your own good, because every time he did something to you, he hurt you. It's like shooting you in the heart with an arrow.'
"And I said, 'For your personal freedom, we need to gently remove those arrows. God still has him on the judgment docket. He's not going to let him get away with what he's done.'"
He could see her soaking in the words, so he taught her a prayer asking God to release her from the hurt and help her forgive.
Bailey could see her transformation.
"I'm telling you -- she was set free," Bailey said. "And she came out with the most beautiful smile that you've ever seen in someone."
A second Voodoo priest was saved the following day.
"We have a volunteer that is called really to share Christ with Voodoo priests, and he's been quite successful," said Bailey, explaining the man is a former gang member and drug dealer. "He knows how to identify with them, he knows how to sit down with them and gain their trust where he can talk to them. And then he shares Christ -- and it seems to work."
The difficult issue Central Baptist has been facing is how to follow up with new believers, said Bailey. The church can only send teams so often, so they have been praying they would find a Haitian man or woman to help them with the follow-up process. They think God answered that prayer in the form of Luckenson Pierre Louis, a translator for Arkansas Baptist teams who is mentoring John Robert, a man they met during the April trip. Since April, Robert has been following up with a small church in the area.
"You try as best you can to hear what God is doing and what God wants you to do. But that's just the beginning," Bailey said about their work in Haiti. "You've got to hear from God on every move you make. And sometimes you have to spend a good deal of time talking to God to find out what are some of the keys and some of the key people that are going to be instrumental in beginning a work."
He added he "knew it was imperative that we have somebody on the ground … that would be responsible to follow up and to keep it going."
"And so it's just a walk with God," he said. "You can't attempt something like this without it."
Central Baptist is one of many churches actively ministering in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Since that time, numerous volunteers have been involved in everything from evangelism to prison ministry, medical clinics and more.
For more information on ministry in Haiti or adopting a people group, email Fielding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Arkansas Baptist News (arkansasbaptistnews.squarespace.com/), newsjournal of the Arkasnas Baptist Convention. Jessica Vanderpool is assistant editor of the Arkansas Baptist News.
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