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fellowship!

CBF

December 2010/January 2011

Cooperative baptist fellowship | www.thefellowship.info

Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission

A long way from home

In southern Spain, CBF field personnel Joel and Tiffne Whitley minister among the migrant population, being hands and feet of Christ to people who often carry burdens of family responsibility and feel alone. One aspect of their work is a vegetable delivery ministry, picking up free excess vegetables from warehouses and delivering them to migrant families and individuals.

CBF photo

Learn more about their work and other ministries to migrants on page 10-16.


The next 20 years When CBF began 20 years ago it was formed with the best thinking and planning that was available. The organization reflected that time and the historical context of our beginning. Through the years we have given attention to organizational matters, and in many ways, I believe we have matured institutionally. In April of this year, I called together the leadership of more than 20 partnering ministries, along with state/regional leadership and the senior staff from Atlanta to begin planning for the General Assembly in 2011. Babs Baugh, who will chair the 2011 Assembly, co-hosted this event and also funded it with a gracious grant from the Baugh Foundation. From that retreat at Callaway Gardens in Georgia there emerged a strong consensus that we need a greater clarity and commitment around our institutional identity, mission and organizational structure. So I asked our then moderator, Hal Bass, along with the officers, to appoint a committee to vision the missional and organizational future of CBF. The Coordinating Council in its June meeting gave a blessing to the purpose of this “2012 Task Force” with the idea that it will bring reports and recommendations to the next two assemblies. The task force will be asked to address the following questions:  1. What is the best model of community that fosters missional collaboration rather than competition for resources? 2. How can we refocus and streamline organizational structures in order to provide leadership and resources for churches and other ministries to respond more effectively to global challenges? 3. How do we help Baptist churches and organizations embrace their identity as partners with this community? With all my heart, I believe God has called and created Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and a host of partnering ministries into being. God has blessed us and worked through us, and we should be thankful. In this spirit of gratitude let us dream, hope and plan for a bright future. With an open heart and mind, let’s ask and answer some hard questions about congregational identity while keeping our focus on a denomination/institution serving churches rather than churches serving a denomination/institution.  With “an abundance mentality” let’s explore ways to increase resources for the mission we have been given. Let us not be afraid to consider different models (new and old) of connection and collaboration for effective ministry. In the coming months let us attend to our organizational and institutional well-being. Let us seek ways to be more effective and fruitful, more vibrant and vital. I realize that these kinds of conversations can be tedious to some and divisive to

Vol. 20, No. 5 executive Coordinator • Daniel Vestal Coordinator, Fellowship Advancement • Ben McDade

others. But I refuse to believe that this is inevitable. I have great confidence in the people who will lead us, in the process that will unfold and in divine providence. I also believe that our most fruitful ministry is in not in the past 20 years but in the next 20 years.

Editor • Lance Wallace managing Editor • Patricia Heys Associate Editor • Carla Wynn Davis Phone • (770) 220-1600 Fax • (770) 220-1685 E-Mail • fellowship@thefellowship.info Web Site • www.thefellowship.info

fellowship! is published 7 times a year in Feb./March, April/May, June/July, Aug./Sept., Oct./Nov., Dec./Jan. and Special (Aug.) by The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc., 2930 Flowers Rd. South Ste 133, Atlanta, GA 30341. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, GA. USPS #015-625. 2

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Daniel Vestal, CBF Executive Coordinator

Learn more about the 2012 Task Force on page 26, including a list of the task force members and thoughts from chair David Hull. Additional information is available online at www.thefellowship.info/2012taskforce.

December 2010/January 2011


Contents

A long way from home: Whitleys minister to African migrants in southern Spain

10-16

A spiritual home: Church, field personnel, reach out to Karen refugees in United States Christmas story changes life of refugee

17 18-24

December Affect Missions Education Resource Missional people Going where God leads: Hospital chaplain shares God’s love with patients, staff, families ‘A chaplain to all’: Former Marine follows call to ministry in the military Missional people and mission communities

25 27 28-30 31

January Affect Missions Education Resource Meet new CBF Foundation president James R. Smith Fellowship gifts impact tsunami recovery Five Tips for giving through the CBF Gift Catalog

Read about the Fellowship’s response to the 2004 tsunami on pages 28-30.

FROM THE EDITOR

This is the season for going home.

In the United States, between the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans travel in mass by car, train and plane to visit loved ones. We welcome friends and family into our homes in joyous celebration and recognition of the birth of Jesus. This issue of the fellowship! magazine tells the stories of immigrants and refugees who are a long way from home (pages 10-16). You’ll read about African migrants in Spain searching for a better life and Karen and Afghan families who have fled the violence in their home countries. Fellowship Baptists and partner churches are showing God’s love to these individuals and families, who are often overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness and isolation. Their stories are not much different than the story we read over and over again this time of year — the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Far from home, Joseph and Mary found shelter where they could — in a stable. And as their child was born, there were no family members present to bear witness to the birth, so they welcomed strangers — local shepherds — to celebrate with them. As you celebrate the miracle and hope of Jesus’s birth this season with friends and family, extend God’s love to those who are a long way from home. Welcome a stranger to your home. Pray for families separated from loved ones. Give to a ministry that serves immigrants and refugees on a daily basis. Be the presence of Christ.

Patricia Heys, managing editor pheys@thefellowship.info fellowship!

December 2010/January 2011

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When you give... “The financial gifts of Fellowship Baptists allow us to have a long-term presence among unreached people groups. Through building relationships and translating Scripture into local languages, we are able to bring the word of God’s love to hungry hearts.”

CBF field personnel, Southeast Asia

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hen Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Kirk and Suzie first began their Bible translation work among a hilltribe people in Southeast Asia, they met a young man named Noi. In fact, Noi invited Kirk and Suzie to come live in his village and develop an alphabet for the oral language of his people. Now, 14 years later, Noi has sought them out to share the news that he is ready to follow Christ. “His life has been hard,” Kirk said. “His wife died after being struck by lightning. He went into debt staging ceremonies to exorcize her troubled spirit from the village, which was demanded by other villagers. His mother died, harvests failed, he had fights with his kids and his drinking increased.

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CBF photo

Kirk and Suzie On at least 10 occasions, Noi told us he was ready to commit suicide. But from time to time, he would read a few pages of the Bible we gave him 14 years ago and was comforted. Noi says he is ready for a new life. He says he believes in God.” Kirk showed Noi the new video “God’s Story,” which was produced by Kirk and Suzie and their team in the language of the hilltribe people. The video is just one part of their translation ministry with this people group, one of the least evangelized in the world and a minority in Southeast Asia. Kirk and Suzie have helped create not only an alphabet but also literacy materials from the hilltribe people’s oral language. Their ministry is possible because of your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which funds their long-term presence among the people group. Financial gifts to the Offer-

Noi, left, practices writing in his people group’s language.

ing enable Kirk and Suzie to continue their Bible translation work and build relationships among this people group, where the gospel is taking root in hearts and lives. Your gifts make a difference in the lives of people like Noi, who is interested in following Christ. He wants to tell his children and his siblings about Christ and hopes they will join him. “There are many challenges to reaching out to unreached people groups, such as this hilltribe people,” said Suzie. “But CBF churches and individuals have stood with us in prayer and giving for many years, and it is encouraging to see a small group of believers forming here as a result.” Due to global security concerns, names and specific locations of CBF field personnel will not be publicized.

Please give. Your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions enable the life-changing ministries of Kirk and Suzie in Southeast Asia. To give, use the envelope included in this issue or go online to www.thefellowship.info/give.

December 2010/January 2011


Serve

Are you called to help the homeless?

serve

at Union Mission and at Faith House Shelter in Enfield, N.C., where the Andersons minister to women and children in constant need of assistance with heating, electricity, practical life skills like parenting and maintaining a job and Bible study. “I believe we could be helping people in emergency situations every day — if we had the means,” Anna said. “We work in a part of the state that is economically deprived and depressed. There are a lot of people struggling to get by.” One of the Andersons’ primary goals as CBF field personnel is connecting individuals in need to churches with resources to meet those needs. Currently, the Andersons have five encourager churches that regularly contribute to their LaCount Anderson, right, serves at two ministry centers in ministry by sending money eastern North Carolina. and/or serving alongside them in the field. Churches and individuals can fellowship and sharing. serve by sending missions teams to sort “You will be blessed if you come here,” food and clothes in the shelter’s pantry, LaCount said. “I don’t apologize for it — cooking meals for those on the street and there’s no sightseeing. This is poverty work. at the mission, distributing groceries, doing But I think that’s what most people want construction work and participating in to do.” Carla Wynn Davis photo

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evi came to Union Mission in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., not only homeless, but with a scarred face and a broken leg after crashing into the windshield of an automobile while riding an ATV. Just 21 years old, he had spent the past two years on the street, mostly under the influence of drugs, unemployed and feeling rejected. His mother brought him to LaCount Anderson at Union Mission, a residential program for men struggling to function within society. She felt she was not able to help him — and believed the caring people at Union Mission could. Within three months of attending Bible study, participating in discipleship and learning life skills through the recovery program, Levi became a “success story,” said Anderson, who, together with his wife, Anna, serve as self-funded CBF field personnel in eastern North Carolina. “He mainly needed an environment where he was loved and accepted,” said LaCount, who has worked with homeless men at Union Mission for the past three years. “Levi is growing in the Lord. He’s happy, probably for the first time in his life. He’s beginning to think of other people — and that shows he’s getting healthy.” There are many stories like Levi’s, both

Women’s Shelter Facility Repair, Enfield, N.C. Faith House is a homeless shelter for women and children. It is located in an impoverished area. The building used for the shelter is 100 years old and is in need of repair. Window replacement, painting, roofing and porch repair are all needed. When: Ongoing Length: 5 days Homeless Shelter Repair and Service Work, Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Union Mission is a community center and homeless shelter located in the downtown area. Facility painting is currently the most crucial repair need. There is also a need for a children’s day camp or after-school program. When: Ongoing Length: 5 days Sports Camps Individuals/Groups (males only) are needed to hold soccer, baseball, basketball and/or softball training camps for boys, teens or men. When: Ongoing Length: One week to six months To learn more about these opportunities to serve alongside the Andersons, contact Chris Boltin at engage@thefellowship.info or (800) 352-8741. Learn more about the Andersons’ ministry by watching a video on CBF’s YouTube channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo. fellowship!

December 2010/January 2011

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Learn

Bringing missions from far away to every day

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Photo courtesy of First Baptist Waynesboro

onnecting children’s minds with far-away people and far-away ideas is one of the challenges of missions education. One church has found that marrying careful planning with Spark, CBF’s missions education resources for children, has helped these concepts come alive in children’s imaginations. “We’ve had really good success with Spark and Form,” said Natalie Kline, associate pastor of children and families at First Baptist Church Waynesboro, Va. “We’ve been using them for three years now, and my leaders love it. That’s always

a plus because it’s very user-friendly and happy volunteers are important for success.” This fall, various age groups studied a Spark unit on Kenya, as special guests the Daraja Children’s Choir from Africa performed at the church. “This fall was awesome for our kids and our church,” Kline said. “When the choir came, I borrowed things friends of mine have brought back from Kenya, and we put together our own missions marketplace.” Laura Tadlock, a volunteer leader, said the Spark material provides insight into the human story of CBF field personnel and their families, including who they minister among and how Fellowship Baptists can pray for them. “It helps to make real something that seems so far away and removed from our everyday lives,” Tadlock said. “It helps us understand the field personnel as real people, when we can understand who they encounter in their work every day and the things that bring them joy or the things they might struggle with.” Kline said Spark complements the other ways their young people learn about missions, including Vacation Bible School and Passport Kids, a CBF partner. Kline also works with After learning about medical missions in Kenya, children created care packages for local doctors and nurses. the youth minister so

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Tips for using Spark From Natalie Kline

C B F C H I L D R E N ’ S M IS S IONS EDUC AT ION R ES OUR C E

SEPT • OCT • NOV

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A New Adventure in Kenya

Showing God’s Love through Medical Missions

God Multiplies Our Efforts

Two Churches Make a Difference in Peru

God Loves Outsiders

Discover How God is Changing the Lives of Outsiders

2. Learn and appreciate different cultures of the world Learn the clothing, food, music and art of the people who CBF field personnel are serving. Preschoolers and children learn in many different ways, such as seeing photos, hearing the music and tasting the food of different cultures. 3. Prayer We pray at every meeting for the field personnel we are learning about, the people they are serving and for each other. 4. Family involvement Getting children to talk about what they are learning at home helps to involve their parents in the discussion of missional living. 5. Be an example As a teacher, strive to be missional in your own life in order to be an example to children.

that by the time students move to the youth group, they’ve had a good foundation in missions. “The kids love the materials because they get insight into what a missionary does and how they can apply those lessons at home,” Kline said.

Spark helps children experience the missional journey through active learning and mission participation. Children using Spark this winter are learning about ministry among immigrants in Spain, missional people and serving the servers in China. For more information about Spark or to place your order, visit www.cbfstore.info.

December 2010/January 2011

Weekly session plans now available at www.thefellowship.info/ teacherhelps

1. Conduct real-life mission projects Continually facilitate service projects and have children directly involved so that they understand the importance of service and being a witness to others through their actions. For example, one week the preschoolers put together snack bags for a local homeless shelter in conjunction with World Homeless Day.


Pray Breath Prayer

By Rick Bennett, CBF Director of Congregational Formation

invited him to try and pattern his breathing after my own. After several minutes, I encouraged him uffering terribly from to remember and add his breath seasonal allergies, my prayer, “Holy Spirit, be near.” For son recently woke me the next 20 minutes, we inhaled at 3:30 a.m. deeply together “Holy Spirit,” exhaling Rick Bennett concerned about his “be near.” Having helped restore difficulty breathing. Pacing the his awareness of God’s presence, room, his demeanor betrayed the panic I returned to bed. in his heart. Feeling alone in a sleeping The practice of breath prayer equips us house, he urgently required a reminder to lean more deeply into an awareness of of presence. Lying down with him, I God’s promised presence — the “miracle

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Prayer Calendar (CH) = Chaplain (FP) = Field Personnel (PC) = Pastoral Counselor (FPC) = Child of Field Personnel (PLT) = Church Planter (GMP) = Global Missions Partner

December 1 Tori Wentz, Fredericksburg, VA (FP) 2 Connie Madden, St. Louis, MO (CH) 3 Rosemary Barfield, Jeffersonville, IN (CH) 3 Ed Beddingfield, Fayetteville, NC (PC) 3 Rachel Gunter Shapard, Jacksonville, FL (CH) 3 James Heath, Dry Prong, LA (CH) 3 Shane McNary, Slovakia (FP) 3 Gennady Podgaisky, Ukraine (FP) 3 Jim Tillman, Swansboro, NC (PLT) 3 David Wilson, Chapel Hill, NC (CH) 4 ________, Middle East (FP) 4 Jose Albovias, Louisville, KY (CH) 5 Chuck Gass, Gainesville, FL (CH) 5 Kenn Lowther, Columbus, OH (CH) 5 Chris O’Rear, Nashville, TN (PC) 5 Judith Powell, Whiteville, NC (CH) 6 Mickael Eyraud, China (FP) 6 Sarah Ladd, Student.Go intern, Miami, FL (FP) 6 Joe Mills, Waleska, GA (CH) 7 Phil Hester, Emeritus (PLT) 7 Robert Wilder, Jacksonville, FL (CH) 8 Tommy Deal, Orlando, FL (CH) 8 Edward Erwin, Pensacola, FL (CH) 8 Shane Gaster, Tampa, FL (CH) 8 Stephanie, Los Angeles, CA (FP) 8 Crystal Ham, Atlanta, GA (CH) 8 Donald Hagler, Gulfport, MS (CH) 8 Donald Kriner, Canton, GA (CH) 8 Robert Pitts, Greenville, MS (PLT) 9 Julie Brown, France (FP) 9 Wayne Hyatt, Spartanburg, SC (PC) 10 Cecelia Beck, Shelby, NC (FP) 10 James Williams, Montgomery, AL (CH) 13 Tom Cleary, Emeritus (FP) 13 Rick Landon, Lexington, KY (PC)

13 Scott Lee, Auburn, AL (CH) 13 Frank Stillwell, Lexington, KY (PC) 13 Robin Sullens, Dallas, TX (PC) 15 Anna Anderson, Scotland Neck, NC (FP) 15 James Close, Louisville, KY (CH) 16 Daniel Call, San Antonio, TX (CH) 16 Ina Winstead, Emeritus (FP) 17 Craig Cantrall, Springfield, IL (CH) 17 Perry Carroll, Anderson, SC (CH) 17 Buddy Presley, Jonesborough, TN (CH) 17 Ronald Wilson, Northport, AL (CH) 18 Joel DeFehr, Oklahoma City, OK (CH) 19 Anna-Grace Acker, 2005, Uganda (FPC) 19 Joseph Alexander, Pfafftown, NC (CH) 19 Bernard Morris, Chester, VA (CH) 19 James Palmer, Pensacola, FL (CH) 19 Harrison Roper, Hewitt, TX (CH) 20 Emily Jane Clark, 2008, Philippines (FPC) 20 Larry Glover-Wetherington, Richlands, NC (PC) 20 Alan Willard, Blacksburg, VA (PC) 21 ________, North Africa (FP) 21 Bethany McLemore, Roanoke, VA (PC) 22 Chang Soon Lee, Southeast Asia (GMP) 22 William Thompson, Los Alamitos, CA (CH) 22 Sarah Wofford, Greenville, NC (CH) 23 Frances Brown, Surfside Beach, SC (PC) 23 Robert Elkowitz, Cumming, GA (CH) 23 Stephen Ivy, Indianapolis, IN (CH) 23 Hal Lee, Clinton, MS (CH) 23 Mary Lois Sanders, The Villages, FL (PLT) 23 Linda Strange, Denton, TX (CH) 24 Michael Carter, Dallas, TX (CH) 24 Phuc Luu, Houston, TX (CH) 24 Bogdan Podgaisky, 1997, Ukraine (FPC) 25 Taylor McNary, 1993, Slovakia (FPC) 26 Robert Marsh, Richmond, VA (CH) 26 Chang Kyun Park, Senegal (GMP) 26 Scottie Stamper, Charlotte, NC (CH) 27 Larry Austin, Fredericksburg, VA (CH) 27 Steve Clark, Louisville, KY (FP) 27 Gail Davidson, Orlando, FL (CH) 28 Jamie Ellis, Chattanooga, TN (CH) 28 Claudia Forrest, Cordova, TN (CH) 28 John Halbrook, Wilton, CT (PC) 28 Thomas Holbrook, Berea, KY (PC)

of prayer” — and to “pray without ceasing.” To create your own, chose two phrases or words that characterize your praise, thanksgiving, lament, petition or intercession before God. Verbally or mentally pray them rhythmically with your breathing. Use your breath prayer for a day, a season or the rest of your life. Share it with friends, and invite them to pray it with you as a way of praying with and for you. In doing so, rediscover your breath as a reminder of God’s presence, each breath a gift the body prays.

28 Cynthia Jordan, Conover, NC (CH) 29 Lon Cullen, Hoover, AL (CH) 29 Art Wiggins, Triangle, VA (CH) 30 Shay Crenshaw, Raleigh, NC (CH) 30 Revonda Deal, Emeritus (FP) 30 James Garrison, Arden, NC (CH) 30 Kenneth Kelly, Black Mountain, NC (CH) 30 Ramona Reynolds, Orlando, FL (CH) 30 Lex Robertson, Spokane, WA (CH) 31 Nathaniel Newell, 1998, Helena, AR (FPC) 31 Pamela Rains, Wynne, AR (CH)

January 1 Sam Bandela, Atlanta, GA (FP) 1 Dave Harding, 1991, Orlando, FL (FPC) 1 Jae S. Kim, New Zealand (GMP) 2 Gabriella Newell, 2002, Helena, AR (FPC) 2 Tammy Stocks, Romania (FP) 2 Jack Younts, Blythewood, SC (CH) 3 Christopher Bowers, Powhatan, VA (PC) 3 Bill McCann, Madisonville, KY (CH) 3 Meilyn Norman, 2001, Four Oaks, NC (FPC) 5 Richard Durham, Mount Pleasant, NC (CH) 5 Charles Kirby, Hendersonville, NC (CH) 5 Kevin Lynch, Spartanburg, SC (PC) 5 Calvin McIver, Sacramento, CA (CH) 5 Linda Serino, Memphis, TN (CH) 6 Larry Hardin, Topeka, KS (CH) 7 Denny Spear, Dunwoody, GA (CH) 7 Jung Sook Kim, Philippines (GMP) 7 Matthew Van Hook, Killeen, TX (CH) 8 Rachel Hill, Shelby, NC (CH) 8 Mee K. Lee, Philippines (GMP) 9 Bill Cayard, China (FP) 9 Paul Hamilton, Orangeburg, SC (CH) 9 Patrick Moses, Mansfield, TX (PLT) 9 Jonathan Myrick, 1994, Kenya (FPC) 10 Melody Harrell, East Africa (FP) 10 Kenny Sherin, Columbia, MO (FP) 11 Chris Carson, Ft. Bragg, NC (CH) 11 Ed Waldrop, Augusta, GA (CH) 12 Neil Cochran, Greenville, SC (CH) 12 Larry Connelly, Decatur, GA (CH) 13 Jeffrey Cantrell, Bruceville, TX (CH) 13 Dianne McNary, Slovakia (FP)

fellowship!

13 Maxine Moseley, Olive Branch, MS (CH) 13 George Pickle, Marietta, GA (CH) 14 Randy McDaniel, Floyd, VA (PLT) 15 Keith Ethridge, Yorktown, VA (CH) 15 John Foxworth, Fort Knox, KY (CH) 15 Dae Jun Kim, Asia (GMP) 16 Eliza, 1996, Asia (FPC) 16 Fran Graham, Asheville, NC (FP) 16 Merrie Grace Harding, 1995, Orlando, FL (FPC) 16 Jerry Hendrix, Abilene, TX (PLT) 16 David Hormenoo, Durham, NC (CH) 16 Mary Lynn Lewis, San Antonio, TX (CH) 16 Michelle Smith, Fayetteville, NC (CH) 16 Jessica Togba-Doya, 2002, Liberia (FPC) 17 Anjani Cole, Spain (FP) 17 Latha Bandela, Atlanta, GA (FP) 17 Donna Manning, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 17 Glenn Norris, Sherwood, AR (CH) 17 Neal Sasser, Suffolk, VA (CH) 18 Jeanell Cox, Smithfield, NC (CH) 19 Kaelah-Joy Acker, 2008, Uganda (FPC) 19 Jackie Ward, Goshen, KY (CH) 20 Marcia Binkley, Uniontown, OH (FP) 20 Marshall Gupton, Smyrna, TN (CH) 20 Kevin Morgan, Destin, FL (CH) 20 Paul Tolbert, Clayton, NC (CH) 21 Jim King, Fort Belvoir, VA (CH) 23 Richard Atkinson, Bastrop, TX (CH) 23 Mark Williams, South Africa (FP) 25 ________, New Jersey (FP) 25 Kyong Sun Kim, Asia (GMP) 25 Cynthia Levesque, China (FP) 25 Christopher Nagel, Houston, TX (CH) 26 Sandy Hale, Lebanon, NH (CH) 27 Darrell Bare, Boone, NC (CH) 27 Ben Sandford, Camp Lejeune, NC (CH) 27 Eric Smith, San Antonio, TX (CH) 28 Chuck Ahlemann, Des Moines, IA (CH) 29 Darryl Jefferson, Charlotte, NC (CH) 30 Hal Ritter, Waco, TX (PC) 31 Rebecca Andrews, Irving, TX (CH) 31 John Manuel, Elgin, SC (CH) 31 Ed Richardson, Spring Lake, NC (CH) 31 Paul Smith, Waynesboro, MS (CH)

December 2010/January 2011

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fellowship People

Jaime Cortez

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aime Cortez had no intention of pursuing higher education until he became a Christian. But with encouragement from his pastor, he decided to go to college and then seminary. Now, he’s a student at the Baptist University of the Américas, a CBF partner theological school that focuses on training Hispanic church leaders. “I have been praying that if it is the will of God for me to continue my study that God would open the doors,” said Cortez, who is originally from Mexico. With a full scholarship to seminary from a generous donor, doors opened for Cortez, and he moved to Texas. He’s encouraged

by professors that challenge him to nurture his devotional life. Cortez wants to focus his study on international mission. He is not sure where God will lead him, but for now, he is intent on ministering to Hispanic Americans. Currently, one avenue he has found for reaching out to the Hispanic community is teaching English classes. “God has blessed me with the opportunity to learn English,” Cortez said. “Now I get to share that with others while showing God’s love.”

Jaime Cortez

Doug and Terri Vancil

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usic ministry is a passion for Doug Vancil, associate pastor of music and worship, and his wife, Terri, assistant pastor of music and worship at CBF partner First Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C. “Providing the opportunity for corporate moments of transcendence, finding musical expressions for the prayer and praise for our people is for us the most high calling,” Doug said. Recently, the couple led the First Baptist youth choir to work alongside CBF field personnel in Hungary, where music is an important part of the culture. The choir performed at public schools, community centers and orphanages. The choir also performed at the Gandhi School, where CBF field person-

nel have served. It’s the only high school in the country for Roma gypsy people, a minority frequently discriminated against in Hungary. The First Baptist choir surprised the Gandhi students by singing a song in their native language. “That was a memorable day,” Doug said. “The barriers of race, language, wealth, nationality and religion sometimes seem impossible Doug and Terri Vancil to overcome; but for those few hours with those young people none of the divisions seemed to matter. What mattered was the mutual contribution and exchange of goodwill and friendship.”

Beth Fulton

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fter graduating from Mercer University, Beth Fulton was on track for a successful business career. But her passion for telling stories led her to the Art Institute of Atlanta, where she enrolled in the school’s video production program. She wanted to use her media skills to highlight the work of non-profits and their services. “I think that a lot of good things can be happening around the world, around the country or around the city, but if no one knows about those things, then they can’t continue,” said Fulton, who lives in Atlanta, Ga. Through Mercer and her church, Park Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta, Fulton was introduced to the Fellowship. Now, she works with the Fellowship’s communications team to produce videos about CBF’s

mission and ministries. When Fulton documented the work CBF field personnel Mike and Fran Graham, she was challenged by their commitment and service to immigrants relocating from the former Soviet Union. “For them, this isn’t a part-time job or a side ministry, it’s a lifestyle,” Fulton said. “It’s a passion and a love that they devote their entire lives to, and having Beth Fulton the opportunity to witness that was truly amazing. I left feeling like we were all in some sort of family with a common mission to share Christ in our everyday lives.”

Tom Robinson

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hen his trip to Mexico was canceled earlier this year because of violence in the region, Tom Robinson was frustrated and disappointed. Robinson, an ophthalmologist, had planned to conduct 150 surgeries for various tribes, including Aztecs, Chinenteca, Lapatec, Mixe, Tostile and Zapateco throughout Mexico. Robinson’s calling to medical mission came one Sunday in 1977 when the church bulletin highlighted a missionary to Mexico. “I received a thought so foreign I knew it came from God,” Robinson said. “Chill bumps went up my spine. I was meant to go and do eye surgery in Mexico.” Since then, Robinson averages four medical mission trips a year,

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recruiting other medical professionals to join him. Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria, La., where Robinson is a member, provides many of the needed medical supplies for the trips. Robinson remembers traveling to Niltepec, where he was able to restore sight for three young siblings blinded by developmental cataracts. After the successful surgeries, the village held a revival in praise and worship, and Tom Robinson many people made professions of faith in Christ. “The needs are great [in these villages],” Robinson said. “It just seems like this is what the Lord called me to do until I can’t do it anymore.”


CHURCH WORKS! CONFER ENCE

Because Ministry Is Unscripted.

Schedule

Make plans to attend this year’s ChurchWorks Conference, which is designed especially for Christian educators and young leaders. Join us for unconventional training and worship led by keynote speaker Allison Gilmore from DuMore Improv. Building on 20 years experience in improvisational comedy, Gilmore bridges the tools of improvisation with business management skills in order to help people reach their leadership potential. Glimore will help participants learn how to improve creative thinking, create hopeful solutions to problems, elicit positive responses from those with whom they interact daily and be better communicators in their personal, professional and pastoral relationships.  

* Schedule is tentative and subject to change. Go to the CBF web site for the most up-to-date schedule.

Monday 11 a.m. Welcome Center Opens 11:30 a.m. Lunch 12:45 p.m. Welcome 1:30 p.m. Worship 2 p.m. Presentation 3:15 p.m. Refreshment Break 3:45 p.m. Ministry Network Gatherings 5:30 p.m. Dinner & Award Presentations 7 p.m. Dessert & Game Night

Allison Gilmore

ChurchWorks is sponsored by Current, CBF’s network of young leaders, and CBF Congregational Formation Initiative.

February 21-23, 2011 First Baptist Church of Decatur, Atlanta, Ga. Conference cost: $90 ($40 for students from CBF theological partner schools) Hotel arrangements can be made through the Holiday Inn in Decatur, Ga. Ask for the ChurchWorks discounted rate.

www.thefellowship.info/churchworks

Tuesday 8:30 a.m. Coffee Fellowship 9 a.m. Worship 9:45 a.m. Workshop Options 1 11 a.m. Workshop Options 2 Noon Lunch 1:15 p.m. Because Ministry Is Unscripted 4:30 p.m. Free Time 6:30 p.m. Dinner Groups Wednesday 8:30 a.m. Coffee Fellowship 9 a.m. Worship 9:45 a.m. Whose Line Is It Anyway? Noon Lunch

Review retirement investments at year’s end to avoid reactive strategy Nearly everyone grows concerned about their investments when they hear about market volatility in the media. But Gary Skeen, president of Church Benefits Board, said he thinks the end of the year is the best time to review one’s portfolio. “As I approach the end of one year and beginning of another, I find it’s a good time to review my investments because I can do so usually without emotion,” Skeen said. “The most common errors investors make are reacting to the market swings, when in reality sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing.” As investors approach 2011, Skeen offers some tips on reviewing your portfolio: • Diversify! “Experts say putting all of your nest egg in one basket is too big of a gamble. Look for investing opportunities that use ‘asset allocation’ to spread your money among different investments. Portfolio diversification doesn’t necessarily prevent losses, but it substantially reduces exposure to individual company events or manager mistakes which could result in losses.” • Where am I? “Ask yourself: Am I comfortable with the amount of risk I have

taken on, or are market swings more than I can handle? Did my portfolio become overweighted in any one area, causing more volatility than I am comfortable with? Has my outlook changed or has my target retirement date been revised? Has my family situation changed? For example, are children going to or getting out of college? All of these variables affect your investment outlook and how contributions are allocated.” • You’re really not too old! “Investors nearing retirement age can still afford to take on some risk. Their retirement savings will be spent over a long period of time, perhaps 25 years or more. That means their time horizon is long enough that they can afford to allocate some of their assets to stocks in the hope of a higher return. If you feel you have too much risk, consider moving future contributions to bonds or cash equivalents such as money market funds to reduce exposure. You might also consider increasing your investment contribution and adjusting your allocation accordingly.” Finally, Skeen invites CBF-affiliated churches to call with questions about retirement investing. “The CBB staff is here and trained to answer your questions, regardless if you invest in the CBF 403(b) or not,” Skeen said. “Benefits are our ministry, and we stand ready to help you and your church navigate the complex benefits and human resources waters.”

CBB is a ministry of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, established in 1998. CBB’s mission is to provide Fortune 500-quality benefits to Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission. To learn more, contact CBB at (800) 352-8741 or go to www.churchbenefits.org. fellowship!

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Photos courtesy of the Whitleys

Women from a local church in Spain have started a kid’s club in partnership with Joel and Tiffne (far left) Whitley, providing fun and educational activities for children of migrants twice a month.

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A long way

from

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home

Whitleys minister to African migrants in southern Spain

n the province of Almeria in southern Spain, about one mile inland from a holiday resort destination on the Mediterranean Sea, is a community called Roquetas de Mar (“Little Rocks of the Sea”). Here, migrants from places such as Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ecuador, Romania and Argentina come to seek work in the greenhouses. They harvest peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers and melons to earn money to send to their families back home. They come to Spain because jobs in their home countries are scarce, their large extended families are hungry and they have seen television ads depicting Europeans with nice homes, cars, plenty to eat and few worries. They come because their villages in Africa put pressure on the brightest young men to travel to Europe to fulfill their dreams. Some come because they know someone else who has already made the journey. But, once they cross the Sahara Desert or Mediterranean Sea — long journeys that can be quite dangerous — most discover that jobs in Europe are harder to come by than they expected. Many encounter loneliness, hunger and the stress of being unable to provide for their loved ones who depend upon them for survival. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Joel and Tiffne Whitley are in their fourth year of living among and min-

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Tiffne Whitley, far right, and two of her children share a traditional African meal with a family from Senegal.

istering to the large migrant population in Roquetas de Mar, being the hands and feet of Christ among people who often carry heavy burdens of family responsibility and feel friendless and alone. “It’s hard — it’s lonely — it’s frustrating [for the immigrants],” said Joel. “Many don’t speak Spanish when they arrive. Tensions can be high — primarily, we think, because of a lack of work. Of every 10 people we talk to, only two or three have work — but even then, it’s not steady.”

Dokor’s story For young men especially, the pressure to find work and succeed in Spain is great,

in part because of the large number of family members they must support. Before traveling to southern Spain, Dokor lived in Dakar, Senegal, with his wife and extended family. Despite his higher education, Dokor could not find work in Dakar for a long time. When his father passed away, Dokor, as the oldest male child, became responsible for his father’s entire family — three wives and more than 14 children — as well as his own wife. Then, Dokor’s wife became pregnant. It grew even more important for Dokor to try to make the dangerous journey to Europe to support his family. Dokor boarded a colorful canoe-like Continue on page 12

Learn more about the Whitleys’ ministry on CBF’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo. fellowship!

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Dokor has never held his son but hopes to travel home to Senegal in two years when he receives his papers. The Whitleys often visit the house where Dokor lives, bringing with them mission teams from the United States and basic supplies and food. Dokor has asked Tiffne, “Are all the people in America this nice?” Tiffne has been able to tell him, “We are Christians,” and explain about Jesus and God’s love. “Every day, hundreds of thousands of people leave their home in search of safety, food or simply the opportunity for a peaceful, happy life,” said Tiffne. “Our work here in Spain is twofold: simply meet human needs and present the gospel.”

Hungry mouths, hungry souls Seeing hunger as a primary and immediate need of the immigrants in southern

Spain, the Whitleys began a vegetable delivery ministry in 2007, picking up free excess vegetables from local warehouses, and delivering bags of fresh produce to families and homes filled with young men from North and West Africa. “We did it, really, to begin to have a relationship with folks,” said Joel. “To visit with them in their homes — to spend time with them, listen to their stories, pray with them and be a friend.” First through the vegetable ministry and now also through the purchase and distribution of other items — clothes, blankets, baby supplies, sheep, chickens and kilos of rice, potatoes and onions — the Whitleys have built relationships with several African immigrant families. “As we sit and talk with our friends, we are hearing their stories and discovering their needs,” said Tiffne. “We are able to, in some instances, either meet a critical need

Photos courtesy of the Whitleys

boat filled with 98 other young men. On the way, the motor died out in the ocean. The men ran out of food and water, and 25 men perished. Dokor said he lost friends and loved ones. Determined to make it to Spain, Dokor got on another boat that remained at sea for seven days before being picked up by the Spanish police. Dokor was taken to a detention center and eventually told that he could remain in Spain for three years before receiving his legal papers. Now, Dokor lives in a small, run-down house in Roquetas de Mar with as many as 20 other men who are also migrant workers. “Each morning, Dokor gets up at 4 to try to find work. On the days that he is chosen, he gladly works eight hours in the large, hot greenhouses,” said Tiffne. “He pays the rent, buys very basic food supplies, and sends the rest of the money back home to Africa, where his wife and one-year-old baby boy live.”

A team from First Baptist Church, Blue Springs, Mo., traveled to Spain to work alongside the Whitleys. The group organized a soccer game and cookout as a way to reach out to migrants in the community.

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If you are interested in serving alongside the Whitleys in Spain, contact Chris


or help them meet their needs themselves.” Sometimes the conversations turn to faith and religion. Most of the unchurched immigrants that the Whitleys know come from a Muslim background. According to Tiffne, many are not open to believing the gospel yet, but through friendships, some are becoming open to hearing about the Whitleys’ faith in a personal God. “It takes time,” said Tiffne. “Muslims believe that it’s forbidden to become a Christian.” For this reason, it is unusual for Muslims to develop friendships with Christians — and virtually unheard of to count Christians as part of one’s family. Mosaan is a mother of seven children, who immigrated with five of them from her tribe in Senegal five years ago to join her husband in Spain. Even though Tiffne and Mosaan have become very close, Tiffne was surprised how Mosaan recently described their relationship to a visiting CBF missions team. “We are no longer just friends,” Mosaan said of the Whitleys. “We are family.”

Local and stateside partners Anna Knipple, a student at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, Ga., a CBF partner, was one of two students who traveled to Spain in 2010 through CBF’s Student.Go mission program for college and graduate students. She worked alongside the Whitleys. “Joel and Tiffne are interested in building relationships with the people around them,” she said. “They truly care about the physical and spiritual health of these men and women who have traveled along dangerous routes to reach southern Spain. Because the Whitleys care, families are being fed, women are being empowered and the love of Christ is being communicated in tangible ways.” Not only is partnership with CBF churches and individuals vitally important to the Whitleys in their efforts as they meet the many needs of immigrants — but so is partnership with the local church in Spain.

Involving Spanish Christians in their work with immigrants is part of the Whitleys’ missional charge. Initially, the Whitleys found that Spanish Christians were apprehensive about immigrants in their community, who seemed unfamiliar and different from them. But over time, the Whitleys have been able to help bridge the gap between the local church and the immigrant population. Now, one local church has mission goals written down on paper — and one of them is to partner with the Whitleys in outreach to immigrants. While some men from the church routinely make home visits to young immigrant men and assist with vegetable delivery, some of the women from the church have started organizing a kids’ club that meets twice a month. Another woman from the church, Norma, had an idea to teach a Spanish language class to immigrant women every Friday. “She found out they could speak a little — but they could not read or write in Spanish. So she is teaching them,” said Joel. “She is also teaching them to sew on a machine so they can possess a trade skill and be able to alter their children’s clothes. Their first project was to make ‘letter pillows.’” In its fifth month, Norma’s class size grew from just one woman to 12 women and four infants. “In the last month or so, the ladies have been inviting Norma, who is a Christian, back to their homes for a visit or a meal after class. There is beginning to be a really strong bond between the teacher and the ladies,” said Joel. “In the long term, these are the kinds of ministries we hope to start and continue because they are sustainable by the local Christians.”

Sharing a burden for the unreached Recently, the Whitleys attended a national conference hosted by the Spanish Baptist Union (Union Evangelica Bautista de Espana), the association to which their local Spanish church belongs, and under whose

About the Whitleys Originally from Texas, Joel and Tiffne Whitley have ministered to migrant populations through CBF since 2003. Currently stationed in southern Spain, the Whitleys primarily work with African immigrants who come to Europe seeking work and a means to provide a better life for their families back home. Their outreach ministries include a vegetable delivery ministry; Kilos of Care, a food ministry; the distribution of clothes, blankets and baby supplies; women’s language and sewing classes; a kids’ club; sports ministry; and other relationshipbuilding ministries.

invitation the Whitleys came to Spain. “It’s all coming together,” said Joel. “During the conference, attendees talked about the responsibility the Spanish Baptist church has to reach the unreached. Spain is in a unique place geographically. All these immigrants are coming to Spain, many from countries that are typically closed to Christian missionaries, and we have an opportunity and an obligation to share and be the presence of Christ [among them].” The Whitleys’ ministry to migrants and partnership with local churches is an extension of the mission of Fellowship Baptists, who provide financial and prayer support. “There are still billions of people who have never heard that they can have a personal relationship with God through Jesus,” Tiffne said. “Our heart’s cry is that all will have the opportunity to hear about Jesus.” By contributing writer Laurie Entrekin

Boltin at engage@thefellowship.info or (800) 352-8741 to learn about specific opportunities. fellowship!

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A spiritual

home

Church, field personnel reach out to Karen refugees in United States

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Photos courtesy of Tabernacle Baptist

hey were three typical goals for a high school student — to pass government and geometry in summer school and obtain a driving learner’s permit. But for Say Wah, these goals represented escape from oppression, an adjustment to a new society and a hope for a better life. The 21-year-old refugee, who moved to Richmond, Va., with her family in 2007, is a member of the Karen people, an ethnic minority group from eastern

Say Wah resettled to the United States, where she and her family were welcomed by Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond, Va.

Burma that has suffered religious and political persecution by the country’s military dictatorship since 1962. Armed government troops raid and destroy unarmed Karen villages, destroy food supplies, rape, torture and kill, forcing the Karen to live in hiding or flee to refugee camps on the Thailand border. Say Wah is one of tens of thousands of Karen who have been accepted for resettlement in the United States in recent years. Her family, other Karen and members of other ethnic minority groups from Burma, including the Chin, Karenni and Kachin, have found a spiritual home at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond. Tabernacle members welcomed Say Wah’s family when they arrived in Richmond on July 4, 2007. The church started a Sunday school class for the approximately 40 members from Burma. The church also provides transportation to its Sunday services and Wednesday night activities, and offers tutoring for Karen and other international students. Church members help meet other needs as they arise, which include going to a student’s home to help with a class project and accompanying refugee families to apply for government assistance or to enroll their children in school. Some church members have helped Karen adults learn to drive. When church members heard about Say Wah’s summer goals, they joined with her to overcome obstacles. Her brother drives their parents to work and couldn’t take Say

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Wah to school. So a handful of ministers and lay leaders took turns driving Say Wah to school each day and helped her with her homework. They also helped her study for her driver’s learning permit exam. By the end of the summer, Say Wah had passed both classes — crucial milestones in her effort to graduate from high school this year — and obtained her driver’s license learner’s permit. As the Karen have resettled across the United States, many have sought out Baptist churches. Their connection to Baptists is traced back to American Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson, who arrived in Burma in 1813. The Karen were some of the earliest converts to Christianity in southeast Asia, and the Karen church grew quickly. Duane and Marcia Binkley, jointly commissioned by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and American Baptist Churches USA, have a long relationship with the Karen people. They were appointed as American Baptist missionaries to Thailand in 1982, where they served for approximately 20 years. Now, the Binkleys live in Ohio and draw on their experience with the Karen to bridge gaps between refugees and churches in the United States. The Binkleys know of 160 churches across the country that have connected with Karen, Chin and others from Burma. “We try to be a bridge between the Karen people and our Baptist congregations. We introduce them to

Learn more about resources for ministering to Karen refugees on the Binkleys’ web page — www.thefellowship.info/binkley.


Tabernacle Baptist has started Sunday school classes specifically for church members from Burma.

churches, provide resources to churches and give cultural advice,” Duane Binkley said. The Binkleys assisted Tabernacle by speaking with refugees in the Karen language and introducing them to life in America. Duane also introduced church members to the Karen, explaining why they are being resettled, their history and their Baptist connection. The Binkleys provide Karen-language Sunday school materials and other resources for Karen people and churches. They also connected Tabernacle to Karenlanguage Bibles and hymnals. “He helped us get over a big hurdle,” said Eric Hasha, associate pastor for youth and young adults at Tabernacle.

Although language and cultural differences initially inhibited interaction between the Karen and other members at Tabernacle, the congregation is overcoming those barriers, moving from the “awkward stage” to the “family stage,” Hasha said. American church members call the Karen by name, both groups share each other’s food at fellowship events, and they share their love of music. The Karen know many traditional Baptist hymns. “The Lily of the Valley” was one of the first hymns sung simultaneously in Karen and English by the congregation. Hasha said the congregation recognizes how Judson’s work to spread the gospel in Burma nearly 200 years ago has come full circle. Now Baptists in the United States

are being blessed by the Karen’s presence in American churches. “Before the Karen came, we were very invested in our community, but we were committed without a sense of direction,” Hasha said. “Then when the Karen came, it really forged an identity and a sense of where God is leading us as a congregation.” By contributing writer Charlotte Tubbs

You can also view a video about this ministry on CBF YouTube’s Channel at www.youtube.com/cbfvideo. fellowship!

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Christmas story

changes life of refugee E

tionships and offer hospitality to individuals and families who often feel overlooked and lonely. The team experienced what’s at the heart of the Samples’ ministry — being the presence of Christ. And because refugees and immigrants are part of many communities across the United States, churches and Christians have daily opportunities to share the love of Christ with people from around the world. “If anybody had a time and opportunity to reach out to refugees and really show them Christ’s love through selfless friendship, then this is that time,” Lita said. By Carla Wynn Davis, CBF Communications

Photo courtesy MBBC

ach year when Cooperative years, they have focused on helping refuBaptist Fellowship field pergees from Afghanistan, who have resettled sonnel Lita and Rick Sample in the United States due to violence and reflect on the Christmas story, conflict in their home country. Now, the they remember one very special Christmas, Samples also minister among Karen refuwhen a refugee family heard the story of gees, who began relocating to the United Jesus Christ for the first time. States several years ago following decades It was December, and a new refugee fam- of violence in refugee camps along Thaiily had just arrived in Fremont, Calif., from land’s border with Burma/Myanmar. Afghanistan. They had nothing — no furniThis summer nearly 40 adults and chilture, no towels, no dishes. After meeting the dren from CBF partner Mountain Brook family, Rick contacted CBF partner CrossBaptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., travroads Church in Fremont and asked if the eled to Fremont to join the Samples in minchurch would host a Christmas party for the istry. They sponsored special gatherings in family. The church agreed, and at the party, a local park for Afghan refugees and also the family received clothes, pillows, blankets for Karen refugees. Church members were and other basic items to start their new life able to fellowship with refugees, build relain the United States. During the party, someone Mountain Brook Baptist church read about the birth of Jesus members, such as Sandy Ballard, left, traveled to from the gospel of Matthew, and California to minister to then gave the New Testament refugees and immigrants. to the family as a gift. It became Church members the most important gift the sponsored local festivals and built relationships family received. with people from Each night the mother and Afghanistan and father took turns reading the Thailand. New Testament out loud to their three children. Soon, they asked for the entire Bible because they had finished the New Testament. By Valentine’s Day, they had read the Bible through two times and told the Samples they were ready to become followers of Christ. “The power of God’s word had touched their hearts,” Rick said. Since 2002, the Samples have been serving in Fremont, where they minister among refugees and immigrants. For many

Serve

If you are interested in serving alongside the Samples in California, contact Chris Boltin at engage@thefellowship.info or (800) 352-8741 to learn about opportunities. Watch videos about the Samples’ ministry to refugees on CBF’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.

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Opportunities to

Missions Education Resource How to use this page

December 2010

The suggestions below will be helpful for using this issue of fellowship! in the life of your church. Small Group interaction, Study Group or Reading Group options are given, as well as suggestions for other congregational or family settings. Be sure to go online to www.thefellowship.info/affectonline for more suggestions.

In Small Groups:

The following is an outline for adult mission groups, Bible study classes or other small groups. Share copies of fellowship! with group members prior to the meeting and have some extra copies available. These suggestions are for a 45-minute time frame. 1. Before the session borrow the game Mad Gab and secure a computer and projector. 2. To begin the session, divide into teams of 4-5 and play a round or two of Mad Gab. Ask: Why is it difficult to understand the phrase being said? Give teams time to tell stories of miscommunication. What are possible reasons for the miscommunication? 3. Assign each group a story from the fellowship! magazine. Say: Eric Hasha, associate pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Virginia, says that though language and cultural differences had to be addressed, Karen refugees are now part of the family at Tabernacle Baptist. Is it the norm for two or more cultural groups to find a real sense of community within the same congregation? What actions and attitudes are necessary to build intercultural community? 4. To conclude the session, have group members brainstorm various ministry projects the church or group has taken part in over the years. This can include

At Home … Around the Table In the stories in this month’s fellowship!, we learn how CBF field personnel and members of partner churches give gifts of time to meet various physical needs of refugees and to help them feel welcome in new places. Sit around a table with friends or family members. Give everyone a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil, and ask them to write down gifts of time they can offer to other people. (Young children can be assisted by older siblings or adults.) This inventory can include “unskilled” gifts like listening or taking care of someone’s pets while they’re on vacation. It can also include writing a note, drawing a picture, cooking, crafts, transportation, repairs or a planned outing. The only rule is that the primary gift should be of time rather than material. Give each person the opportunity to share the items on his or her list and then allow the group to make suggestions for additional items. Encourage each person to choose at least two or three of these gifts of time to

annual or one-time mission activities as well as ongoing efforts. Break into small groups and ask participants to share about their own involvement in missions, highlighting one or two experiences that have been most meaningful. Have these projects resulted in a broadened sense of community? If not, how could that desired outcome be realized in future efforts?

fellowship!

CBF

Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info

Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission

A long way from home

Learn more about their work and other ministries to migrants on page 10-16.

5. End with a time of prayer for refugees and immigrants as they seek to find home in new places. Pray also for field personnel and churches who are ministering among immigrant communities. Finally pray for those who celebrate birthdays this month by using the CBF Prayer Calendar on page 7.

give during the Advent/Christmas season. Remind everyone that gifts of time are meaningful all year long. Close by giving everyone the chance to talk about a meaningful gift of time they received from someone.

In Reading Groups In Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West, Behzad Yaghmaian traces the paths of refugees from a cross-section of the Muslim world. The author’s interviews illuminate people with a variety of motivations who alternate between despair and hope as they make grueling, dangerous journeys to cultures they thought they understood.

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Missional people Fellowship Baptists strive to be missional — to be the presence of Christ in the world. For individuals and churches, being a part of the mission of God in the world takes many forms. CBF is concerned with helping congregations and individuals become missional — embracing God’s mission as your own personal mission. In this issue, pages 18-24, you’ll learn about different ways Fellowship Baptists are engaging in God’s mission.

Going where God leads

Hospital chaplain shares God’s love with patients, staff, families

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CBF photo

Wendy Flagan Photo

rowing up, Laura Senter told God there were two things she did not want to do with her life. The first was to be a pastor. The second was to be a doctor. Both require responding quickly to desperate calls for help, night or day. “Be careful about telling God what you don’t want to do,” said Senter, who is now a hospital chaplain and frequently responds to emergency calls. “Even halfway through my chaplain training I had this feeling of ‘What am I doing here? Get me out now.’ Facing

death and suffering is very real, not a fairy tale feeling of helping people. But by the end of my training, I knew this was where I was supposed to be and what I’m going to do.” For nine years, Senter has been a staff chaplain at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, a 360-bed facility 20 miles north of Seattle, Wash. It’s across the country from where she grew up in North Carolina but close to her spiritual and vocational roots. Senter’s father is a Baptist pastor, and as a child she attended CBF partner churches, including First Baptist Church of Wadesboro, N.C., where she was ordained to ministry. First trained as a nurse, Senter later attended the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University, a Fellowship partner. Senter listens, counsels and offers prayer not only with patients and staff at the hospital, but with family members facing traumas, Chaplain Laura Senter, left, serves at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Seattle, Wash. anxieties and deaths.

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She has come to see these tasks as her role in God’s mission in the world. “[My role] is to walk with people on their journey, to say ‘I’m here, and I care about you. How can we help and find out what gives you strength to get through this hard time?’ I love what I do,” said Senter, who is endorsed as a chaplain by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Senter’s minsitry takes her throughout the hospital. One of her most challenging assignments is in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, where infants struggle for life — and sometimes to overcome drug addictions. “Many of these young moms don’t even know what a chaplain is,” Senter said. “It can be hard. How do I set myself and any feelings I may have aside and show them God’s love — that they’re worthy and are God’s children?” Senter maintains her church membership at CBF-partner church Hallsboro Baptist Church, Hallsboro, N.C., which her grandmother attended. “I miss everybody and singing the old hymns,” she said, “The farthest I thought I’d ever move was maybe South Carolina. But I have no doubt of my call to ministry and that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. If you go where God leads, it will be the right place.” By contributing writer David Wilson

If you are interested in being endorsed as a chaplain or pastoral counselor with the


‘A chaplain to all’

Former Marine follows call to ministry in the military

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Photo courtesy of Todd DeLaney

his wife and new baby,” Delaney said. “He’s crying his eyes out, and you’re right there with him. It is all about building relationships, touching lives with the love of God. I’m a chaplain to all, from the lowest ranking sailor or Marine to the captain of a ship, from the Muslim cook to the Jewish gunner’s mate.” Currently, DeLaney serves as flag aide to the Navy chief of chaplains. He helps lead 800 active duty and reserve Navy chaplains and is based in offices just one mile from the U.S. Pentagon. His original call to ministry came after he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. His call was inspired, in

Photo courtesy of Todd DeLaney

hen Todd DeLaney became a chaplain, he never imagined he would be ministering to men and women from around the world. In 2008, as a Navy chaplain in the Arabian Gulf, DeLaney moved between ships 27 times in three months, serving sailors from the fleets of the United States and also Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Pakistan and South Korea. His experiences in ministry were not only diverse, they were very personal. “For me, it was all about being on deck in the middle of the night, a million stars up above, with a young sailor away from

Formerly a Marine, Todd DeLaney has served as a chaplain with the United States Navy since 2004. His responsibilities often include leading worship and serving communion, sometimes aboard a ship.

part, by memories of his grandfather, a Baptist pastor who, as a sailor, survived the 1941 attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After his tour with the Marines, DeLaney returned home to Tennessee and began serving as a pastor. “I felt called to ministry, yet I also felt this overwhelming draw back to the military,” DeLaney said. “Then I had an epiphany — why not do both?” DeLaney became a Navy chaplain candidate in 2004 and was endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in the same year. Endorsement by a faith group is required for a chaplain to be employed in the U.S. military. Endorsement by the Fellowship is an official declaration by CBF that a person is in good standing as a minister, and it is also a relationship of care and support from the CBF community. “The life of a military chaplain is not for everyone,” Delaney said. “The unique thing about it is that we go where our people go, we live where they live. If they are deployed overseas, we go. If they go into combat, we go. If they are separated from their families, we are separated from our families.” For DeLaney, that has meant time away from his wife, Anita, and young children, Joseph and Katherine. When DeLaney was based in San Diego, he spent so much time at sea that his family remained in Tennessee. “We call it being a ‘geographical bachelor. It’s the hardest part of the job,” he said. “Being a chaplain can be intense, but it’s a privilege to get to know and share the love of God with men and women in uniform, who I believe are the most wonderful people in the world.” By contributing writer David Wilson

Fellowship, contact George Pickle at gpickle@thefellowship.info or (800) 352-8741. fellowship!

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Missional people & mission comm A mission community is a group of people, churches and organizations who are intentionally participating in the ongoing work of God. The Fellowship has eight mission communities through which people come together to minister around a specific passion — whether it’s medical missions, disaster response or ending poverty in the world. The next few pages, 20-24, tell the story of individuals who are connecting their God-given callings in CBF mission communities. Learn more about the Fellowship’s mission communities at www.thefellowship.info/Communities.

Mission Community: Economic development

Holistic vision for missions leads to sewing centers in India

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oday in four separate villages in India, teenage girls are learning to stitch dresses at local sewing centers. The CBF-sponsored centers, which have been in operation for more than five years, provide the girls with the sewing skills and tools they will need to generate income for both themselves and their families. The vision of Sam Bandela, one of CBF’s field personnel, these centers give young girls a chance to earn an above-average

CBF photo

Sam Bandela, center, distributes Bibles and sewing machines at graduation.

paycheck and an opportunity to build their self-esteem. “After the tsunami hit in 2004, many of these girls were devastated, neglected and lost,” Bandela said. “Instead of throwing money at them, we wanted to show God’s grace by helping them in a way that would change the rest of their lives.” The sewing centers offer a six-month program to girls age 12 to 18. During that time, the students learn proper sewing skills using modern sewing machines. At

the end of six months, each girl will be able to earn around $2 a day making dresses — much more than the average wage for Indian women. “Many parents still believe that having a baby girl is bad luck,” he said. “We work to help girls understand that they are worthy.” Girls who complete the program participate in a community-wide graduation ceremony, where they are presented with a sewing kit, sewing machine and a Bible in the presence of community leaders, local and state politicians, family and friends. Bandela, originally a follower of the Hindu faith, feels called to reach unevangelized people groups in India. “I know that many people here would like to learn about the Christian faith,” he said. “I search for other converts who have a vision, call and burden to reach their own people, and I network with them to develop partnerships in local communities.” The sewing centers are just one of many culturally appropriate projects directed by Bandela as part of the Fellowship’s holistic approach to mission work in India.

Learn more about Bandela’s ministry in India on CBF’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo. 20

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unities Mission Community: Internationals

Texan uses computer skills to serve immigrants

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or Les Dolezal, one trip to Athens, Greece, helped him realize how his expertise could be a vital part of God’s mission in the world. Last summer, Dolezal traveled to Athens with a mission team from his church, Sugar Land Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Texas. The team served at a culture, hospitality, education and reconciliation center for Albanians living in Athens called Porta, which was started by CBF field personnel Bob and Janice Newell. The team led Vacation Bible School and assisted with other programs at the center. Dolezal, an information technology manager, saw an opportunity to put his training and knowledge to use in the center’s computer lab. “This trip opened my eyes to a whole

other use God may have for me and others,” Dolezal said. “Medical professionals and teachers use their skills on mission trips, but most of us check our skills at the airport. Could we not all better be a part of God’s mission in the world if we utilize our vocational skills?” Following the collapse of communism in the early 1990s, many Albanians fled to Greece, but the mass immigrant influx prompted a backlash of denying many access to social services. The more than 500,000 Albanians in Greece remain a discriminated minority, so Porta provides a place of community for immigrants. The center offer language classes, computer classes, marriage enrichment and single’s seminars, as well as a lending library and

art gallery. The computer lab was funded by Sugar Land Baptist several years before. Run by staff member Niko Sejati, the classes provide Les Dolezal important training for job seekers. Dolezal connected Sejati with additional online computer training programs and encouraged him to record his training sessions. With a waiting list for the computer classes, the recordings will allow Porta to serve more people. “Through the computer training offered at Porta, Albanians are exposed to the gospel and the love of Christ in action,” Dolezal said. “I want to be a part of that.”

Watch a video about the Porta ministry center in Greece on CBF’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.

Mission community: Education

College graduate follows God’s call to South Korea between CBF and Baptist Press Korea to rea, the teaching experience has given Hicks connect individuals with a passion for eduan opportunity to connect with part of her cation and missions with opportunities to identity, learning the language and culture. serve. There is a deficit of English teachers “I don’t know if it’s because I’m putting in South Korea, and the Fellowship assists more of my trust in God to get me through with recruiting viable candidates for posieach day, or if it’s something else,” Hicks tions in South Korea. said. “But, I thank God every day for this When her adult classes were almost canamazing opportunity.” celed, several of her students met with the school administration to persuade them to keep the class. “That meant a lot to me, that they enjoyed class enough to talk to the principal and vice principal,” Hicks said. “My adult students have all been very gracious.” Adopted as a child from South Ko- Caroline Hicks teaches English to children and adults in South Korea. Photo courtesy of Caroline Hicks

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fter college graduation, Caroline Hicks was unsure what to do with her new degree. With encouragement from her church family, First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City, Okla., she applied for a year-long position teaching English in South Korea through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hicks teaches two adult classes for mothers at a local elementary school, and she shares responsibility for teaching 22 classes for fourth through sixth grade students with three South Korean teachers. “From an early age I’ve always loved working with kids,” said Hicks, who lives in Sindorim, Guro-Gu, South Korea. “While I was a youth at First Baptist of Oklahoma City, every summer I was able to, I would be a youth sponsor during camps. I never imagined that I would be in South Korea teaching kids. But, in a way I do feel like I’ve been called to serve here.” Hicks’ position is part of a partnership

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Missional people & mission comm Mission Community: Medical

Doctor goes where medical services most needed ministry there. Hambrick’s church, Faith Baptist Church in Georgetown, Ky., has also supported the medical ministry of CBF in Southeast Asia, sending other members to serve as well. “One woman with severe, infected burns on her legs waded through thick mud just to get to [us],” Hambrick said. “She needed a hospital, which would have been hopeless in years past. But because the CBF field personnel we work with had built a water purification system for a local birthing hospital and had good relationships there, we were able to transport our patient there for treatment.” As it turns out, that patient was the daughter of a village chief, and that experience opened new doors for sharing Christ

with yet another local community. “When we meet people’s basic needs — help them feel less pain and start to heal — that Horace Hambrick served opens the in southeast Asia providing door to real medical care. relationships,” Hambrick said. “Once those relationships are established, we can better explain that we do this work because of the love of God in each of us, and then we are able to share the message of Christ.” Photo courtesy of Horace Hambrick

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n 2002, Horace Hambrick contacted CBF to offer his medical services for overseas mission work. He had no location in mind but asked that CBF place him where his medical services were needed most. Hambrick, a doctor, found himself in Southeast Asia, working in secluded villages and offering medical help to patients without access to hospitals, doctors or much-needed medicines. “I have always felt called to missions, but once I became a pediatrician I knew I had to go.” Hambrick said. “Helping these children is so important. They motivate me to continue this work.” Hambrick has now been to Southeast Asia three times and sees the fruits of CBF’s

Mission Community: Disaster Response

One woman’s idea inspires church’s hands-on project for Haiti sions group, had another idea that she hopes So for a craft project during Vacation will impact lives for a long time — incorpoBible School, children worked on dolls, rate doll making with Vacation Bible School. drawing faces or doing other work to com“As a former VBS coordinator, I know plete them. In total, Britton-Oliver estimatthat you can conduct the offering and tell ed the church has made and shipped more kids what you are going to do with the than 250 dolls to Haiti. money, but it’s more real to them when they can put their hands on a project,” Britton-Oliver said. “I think it was meaningful to them that they could work on the dolls and touch them and know that they were going to be given to children in Haiti Members of Monument Heights presented dolls to Tori Wentz, front right, one of CBF’s field personnel, to be distributed to children in Haiti. just like them.” Photo courtesy of Monument Heights

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ell Warren, a member of Monument Heights Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., was reading a magazine one day when she got an idea. It was an idea that would begin to change the lives of children and adults in her church and in Haiti. Warren saw instructions in the magazine on how to easily make dolls for children. She made a few dolls herself and thought they would make perfect gifts for the children who survived the January earthquake in Haiti. Facing an impending surgery, she asked people in her church if they would like to take over the project. A missions group decided to start making the dolls. When Tori Wentz, one of CBF’s field personnel who served this year in Haiti, visited Monument Heights, the group presented her with more than 100 dolls. Kim Britton-Oliver, co-director of the mis-

Watch videos about the Fellowship’s long-term relief efforts in Haiti on CBF’s YouTube channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo. Stay up-to-date with the latest news from Haiti on the Fellowship blog at www.thefellowship.info/blog. 22

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unities Mission Community: Faith sharing

‘Through the eyes of Christ’

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hen Craig Sherouse was called in 2008 to pastor Second Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., the church was in the midst of a visioning process. Though the transition team had many ideas about how to be the presence of Christ in the community, one desire surfaced time and time again — that the church would deepen its relationships with Richmond’s ethnic communities. That desire resonated with Sherouse. Since living in Germany as a college student and experiencing first-hand how it felt to be an outsider, Sherouse has sympathized with people who live in America but don’t speak English. The team decided to focus on two

specific strategies: to develop and host a training program for Richmond-area Hispanic lay church planters, and to encourage and support a worshipping community of Hispanics. “We want to see people in our own neighborhood through the eyes of Christ and welcome them in,” Sherouse said. Sherouse contacted Greg Smith, one of CBF’s field personnel and co-founder of LUCHA Ministries, an organization created to help Latinos transition to life in the United States. Sherouse and Smith then partnered with other local organizations to develop a two-year college level training program to help equip Hispanic pastors with knowledge and skills in theology, biblical studies and church planting. The

program is housed at Second Baptist, which also provides scholarships for many students. The members of Second Baptist Craig Sherouse encourage youth and children in Hispanic families to become involved in regular church activities. The church also recently established a Spanishlanguage worship service. “Second Baptist has really become like an international missions headquarters right here at home,” Sherouse said. “My personal vision is that we would continue to erase the lines on our maps and become one church, focused on Christ.”

Mission Community: Justice and peacemaking

‘God spoke to our hearts’ Transformation Ministries, who collaborates in administering the program for students affected by war, about the future of the program. His passion for seeing these students Courtney and Stephen McCalley, center in blue succeed was shirts, traveled to Uganda to learn more about the contagious, and we peacemaking ministries of CBF field personnel left feeling more Jade, far left, and Shelah Acker. inspired than ever. The time we spent with the Ackers was life-changing for us. They are truly amazing people who show Christ’s love to refugees, former child soldiers and others affected by war. Their hope is for the individuals they meet to become advocates for peace in their own communities. We felt the call to missions even more after the visit and will continue supporting the education program. We pray every day for the students there and hope to return soon. Photo courtesy of the McCalleys

In July 2008, we became aware of the worldwide epidemic of child involvement in armed conflicts. If someone had told us then that we would be in Uganda two years later working with individuals affected by war, we wouldn’t have believed it. God spoke to our hearts and we began researching ways to get involved. We contacted CBF and asked if there were field personnel working with child soldiers. They directed us to Jade and Shelah Acker in Uganda. When we began corresponding with the Ackers, we learned that they were beginning a project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help youth affected by war return to school. We then spoke to the youth group at our church, First Baptist Church in Winchester, Va., about this education program, and they held fundraisers throughout the year in support (surpassing their goal!) Although we were overjoyed that our church had partnered with Jade and Shelah to impact these children’s lives, we still felt a call to experience more of their ministry. We took a leap of faith and made plans to visit the Ackers in Uganda. While we were in Uganda, we helped at the Center of Hope, which provides English classes, Bible studies and youth conferences to refugees. We traveled to other project sites where the Ackers minister, meeting widows and former militia members who work cooperatively in community gardens. We traveled to a small community in eastern Uganda that is recovering from tribal conflict and served at the resource center the Ackers are establishing. We talked with pastor Stephen Bamoleke of Shalom

— Courtney and Stephen McCalley, Winchester, Va. fellowship!

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Missional people & mission communities Mission Community: Poverty and transformation

Student.Go participant follows calling back to Helena

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the jewelry for problems. Now, Chyna shares be a part of everything, experience everyher dreams, which involve pursuing a degree thing and find a place where they fit in a in psychology and becoming a counselor. short amount of time.” Palmer began to realize that her presAs participants in the Student.Go proence and encouragement were making a gram work alongside people living in impovdifference in the lives of the girls and others erished communities, they are often led to in Helena and Phillips County, one of the examine their callings and specific passion nation’s poorest counties where one in two for missions. children grow up in poverty. She was also “The students encourage each other not to drawing on her experience with non-profits settle in life and take the easiest job that’s goand pursuing her passions for justice and ing to guarantee the most amount of money,” marginalized people. said Jeremy Lewis, CBF’s manger of Together In 2010, Palmer moved to Helena, recfor Hope. “But they are seeking out what it is ognizing that God was calling her to be the to make a long-term difference peoples’ lives presence of Christ there on a full-time basis and follow where Jesus is calling us to be.” in Helena. “I’m an extremely relationIn 2008, Mollie al person,” said Palmer, who Palmer served in Helena through serves as an assistant director Student.Go. Now, of Together for Hope Arshe lives and kansas. “To have a job that’s works in Helena about getting to know people full-time. and being in community with them felt right. It reminds me of the description of the early church in Acts, where they gathered in their homes, broke bread together and praised God together.” Both Palmer and Catherine Bahn, who also serves as an assistant director at Together for Hope Arkansas, were introduced to the Helena community through Student.Go, CBF’s mission program for students. “I felt like I saw and participated in the majority of the ministries taking place here,” Palmer said of her experience as an intern. “The program allows students to Carla Wynn Davis photo

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ollie Palmer always thought that a call involved hearing the audible voice of God, but for her it sounded like the chatter of teenage girls and the stringing of plastic beads. Palmer grew up in North Little Rock, Ark., only two hours from Helena, Ark. She wasn’t aware of the Mississippi Delta community and its struggles with poverty until she served in 2008 as a CBF Student.Go intern with Together for Hope Arkansas, part of CBF’s rural poverty ministry. Despite Palmer’s fears that her lack of basketball abilities would prevent her from connecting with children attending a Helena summer day camp, she found that they sought her attention. “I knew that in some situations, the positive things that I said to the kids might have been the only positive things that they heard all day,” said Palmer, who grew up attending Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock. “I just wanted to say to as many kids as I could, ‘You can do whatever you want to do, you can be whatever you want to be and you are loved.’ “To feel that my words, and the way I was behaving was making a difference to these kids was huge.” After the summer she moved back to the Little Rock area, but returned to Helena frequently. On Saturdays, she worked with a group of girls who were making earrings, necklaces and bracelets as part of a project designed to give them job experience and a small source of income. One member of the group, 14-year-old Chyna, seldom spoke and expressed little interest in the jewelry making. But during the past two years, Chyna shifted from the role of a reluctant participant to a leadership position that involves checking

Watch videos about Together for Hope’s ministry in Helena on CBF’s YouTube Channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo. Learn more about Together for Hope at www.thefellowship.info/togetherforhope.

December 2010/January 2011


Opportunities to

Missions Education Resource How to use this page

January 2011

The suggestions below will be helpful for using this issue of fellowship! in the life of your church. Small Group interaction, Study Group or Reading Group options are given, as well as suggestions for other congregational or family settings. Be sure to go online to www.thefellowship.info/affectonline for more suggestions.

In Small Groups:

The following is an outline for adult mission groups, Bible study classes or other small groups. Share copies of fellowship! with group members prior to the meeting and have some extra copies available. These suggestions are for a 45-minute time-frame. 1. Before the session, write the names of field personnel and partners on colored index cards and their job assignments on cards of a different color. Borrow the game, Apples to Apples (either children’s or regular version). Gather recent local newspapers and local and national news magazines. Secure U.S. and world maps for display. 2. Play a round of Apples to Apples. Say: What is the most surprising match to score a point? 3. Distribute copies of fellowship! and call the group’s attention to the stories for January on pages 18-24. Put prepared index cards out on the table and ask the group to match each person to his or her ministry task. Then place a U.S. map and a world map on the wall and invite group members to mark the locations where CBF field personnel and members of CBF partner churches have served. 4. Assign one story to small groups of two to four people. Ask the groups to tell how each person ended up in his or her mission assignment.

Say: What do these stories teach us about what it means to be called to ministry? 5. Distribute the newspapers and news magazines to the small groups. Have them list needs that are indicated by various stories. Say: How could Fellowship Christians demonstrate the presence of Christ in these settings? What skills would be useful in the process? (Encourage groups to be as creative as possible.)

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CBF

Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info

Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission

A long way from home

Learn more about their work and other ministries to migrants on page 10-16.

6. Conclude the session with prayer for the field personnel and partners highlighted in the articles. Pray also that each person present will gain a new vision for using his or her gifts to make a difference in the world. Also pray for those celebrating birthdays this month by using the CBF Prayer Calendar on page 7.

In Prayer Meeting Before prayer meeting, distribute small pieces of paper to each person attending. Gather offering plates to use at the end of the meeting. Enlist five young people to summarize one (each) of the stories highlighted in the January resources on pages 18-24 of fellowship! You might also want them to share some story from their own lives about how God has used them to make a difference in the world. During prayer meeting, invite each of the five young people to share. Afterward say: On Sunday mornings, we pass the offering plate, allowing people to offer their financial resources for the work of God’s kingdom. As important as that is, we have so much more to offer. We’ve heard the stories of people who offered vocational skills, talents and new interests to God. What has God given to us that we haven’t offered back? Encourage each person to write one or more of his or her skills or interests on the small slip of paper. (No names need to be written). Have someone lead the congregation in singing “The Servant Song” while the offering plates are passed. Invite individuals to offer their gifts to God. Share this offertory prayer: Almighty God, We are so grateful for the resources you’ve placed in our hands, hearts

In Reading Groups Robert Seiple has served as president of World Vision, as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and as the founder and chairman of the board for the Institute for Global Engagement. In Ambassadors of Hope Seiple takes an unvarnished look at places where conflict is chronic and despair rampant. He tells of small and large steps taken toward reconciliation and, little by little, restores our hopes that peace really is possible. Seiple argues that followers of Christ must take their places among all people of good will to work and pray for a world that is more just.

and minds. You have been so rich toward us, and we confess that while we may say or sing that we’re giving all to you, in reality we often hold things in reserve. Give us grace to see ourselves, each other, and the world in new ways. Bless each person in this community of faith and the talents you‘ve given us. In this new year, may we dream new dreams as we seek to serve you with our whole lives. Amen. fellowship!

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2012 Task Force

‘Live out our God-called mission’

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wenty years ago I was a member of the interim steering committee that shaped the formation of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. In the context of that day and time, we did the best that we could to design an organization that would allow freedom-loving Baptists to live out our God-called mission in the world. Those were exciting days of new beginnings for the infant known as CBF. I look at pictures of me taken 20 years ago, and then I look in the mirror today. Things certainly have changed. If that is true for one person, think about how true that is for a Fellowship composed of thousands of people. As CBF turns 20, it is time for us to acknowledge these changes in our community life and consider how we can best be organized to live out our God-called mission for the next 20 years. That is the assignment of the 2012 Task Force. We will begin by listening. We want to hear from individuals, churches, ministry partners, CBF leaders and Coordinating Council members, organizational experts and

anyone else who can contribute to the conversation about how our beloved Fellowship can be shaped to face the future. Things are different now than they were 20 years ago. How should CBF change to meet the challenges of these days? Our Task Force wants to hear from you. Many months will be spent in various forms of listening and learning. Our assignment is to bring recommendations to the Coordinating Council concerning a future design for the Fellowship. At this time we do not know what these recommendations will look like. We do know that changes of some kind will be recommended. I like the saying that I once heard: “Change is a given, but growth is a choice.” We have seen the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years. That is a given. Now it is time for us all to work together to choose growth for the community known as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Pray for us ... talk to us ... and let us work together to choose growth for the future.

2012 Task Force Timeline June 2010 Established at the General Assembly in Charlotte, N.C. Sept. 2010 June 2011 Listening opportunities June 2011 Interim Report to the General Assembly in Tampa, Fla. July 2011 Spring 2012 Development of recommendations Spring 2012 Presentation of recommendations to the Coordinating Council June 2012 Final Report to the General Assembly in Ft. Worth, Texas

— David Hull, chair of 2012 Task Force and pastor of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala.

Task Force Members

Stephen Cook

Danville, VA – Pastor, First Baptist Church

Larry Hovis Winston-Salem, NC – Executive coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina

R. Alan Culpepper

Atlanta, GA – Dean, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University

David Hull

Task Force Chair Huntsville, AL – Pastor, First Baptist Church

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Susan Deal

Ray Higgins

Laura Hoffman

Hollyn Hollman

Tony Hopkins

Orlando, FL – Associate pastor of worship arts, College Park Baptist Church

Little Rock, AR – Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

St. Louis, MO – 7th grade teacher, Grand Center Arts Academy

Washington, DC – General counsel, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

Greenwood, SC – Senior pastor, First Baptist Church

Connie McNeill

Jean Kenlan Willingham

Kasey Jones

Washington, DC – Senior pastor, National Baptist Memorial Church

Ruth Perkins Lee

Auburn, AL – Minister of students, Auburn First Baptist Church

Rene Maciel

San Antonio, TX – President, Baptist University of the Américas

Atlanta, GA – Coordinator of administration, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

St. Petersburg, FL – Board member, CBF Foundation

To learn more about the task force or to share your ideas, go to www.thefellowship.info/2012taskforce.

December 2010/January 2011


Meet CBF Foundation President

James R. Smith On Oct. 1, James R. Smith began serving as president of the CBF Foundation. A native of Oklahoma, Smith previously served as president of the Missouri Baptist Foundation. He has also served as pastor of churches in Oklahoma and Texas and interim pastor at more than 30 churches. His passion for mission and stewardship projects has taken him around the world — Korea, Belarus, China and Mexico. Smith is based out of the CBF Resource Center in Atlanta. As Smith leads the CBF Foundation during his first year, he reflects on challenges and possibilities for the future.

Future he dreamed about As a child, I thought I wanted to be a rancher or dog trainer. I grew up around quarter horses and had a passion for working with animals. Later, I thought about being an educator or business leader, and then my call to ministry was clear. What I learned is that God’s stewardship of our experiences and aptitudes is very efficient. There is a path God directs as we submit the circumstances of our lives to God’s will. The future I dreamed about as a child has been exceeded far more than I could imagine.

Future of CBF Foundation The future depends on a highly engaged board and staff and their ability to dream, pray and work together strategically, responsive to the needs of those we serve. Expansion of Foundation staff, services and growth of assets under management should be shaped by the needs of CBF Foundation constituents. The Foundation will bring solutions to provide income streams, permanent funding, financial health and strength for mission and ministry causes, and, above all, assist donors to achieve their highest aspirations in generous giving.

Future of charitable giving The future of charitable giving is a matter of the heart. CBF Foundation donors providing gifts for ministry is more a matter of a transformation than a transaction. A passion for the cause of Christ, a vision for the future and commitment to ministry partners results in generous, sacrificial giving. As laws, regulations and trends ebb and flow, a wide spectrum of planned giving options will be available to assist generous stewards through the Foundation.

Future of your ministry I have a firm commitment to serving Christ as CBF Foundation president within a community which is compatible with my spiritual journey and that of my family. I have a desire to be a good steward of professional experience, make a leadership contribution and strategically plan and implement objectives to increase the effectiveness of both Foundation board and staff in this ministry whose services are vital and far-reaching. I am very prayerful that new avenues of preaching and mission service will be part of my journey, as they have been a very integral part of past service.

Future of CBF Foundation partnerships The CBF Foundation will bring expanded services and resources to ministry partners and facilitate networking among partners. It is a sacred responsibility to understand the mission and the resource needs of partners and to work strategically with them and others to produce solutions.

Future of microenterprise and the poor Jesus said the poor will always be with us. Poverty on a global scale is staggering and one in seven Americans now live in poverty. The generous response of CBF Foundation clients through microenterprise initiatives is significant. As Foundation leadership evaluates the effectiveness of microenterprise and as we listen to clients and beneficiaries, we will discern where God is leading for the days ahead.

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Remembering the tsunami

For six years, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has

ministered among survivors of the tragic 2004 tsunami. Now, as the Fellowship officially concludes its tsunami response, we take a look back at the ways Fellowship Baptists left a legacy of being the presence of Christ.

In the months following the 2004 tsunami, CBF field personnel and shortterm workers provided resources so that those affected could have clean water, a place to sleep and a means to provide for their families.

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saster response. “In response to much prayer, CBF field personnel and volunteers dropped their usual and familiar ministries and entered into the traumatized lives of people in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and the Andaman Islands.” Harding said the contributions of Fellowship Baptists provided a comprehensive response that was specifically tailored to the needs of indiEddie Ruble, left, one of CBF’s field personnel, facilitated the vidual communities providconstruction and staffing of an educational training center in Aceh. ing emergency medical care, clean water, housing, school reconstruction, tsunami-affected region, but there are real educational centers and the restoration of signs of hope that have emerged from the livelihoods through replacement boats, fishnumerous relief and development projects ing nets, sewing machines and more. undertaken through the giving of Fellow“Unprecedented cooperation was seen ship Baptists. among Baptist groups worldwide and new “There is significant and real improvepartnerships were formed that built on the ment in Aceh,” Ruble said. “There has been strengths of the individual members and significant assistance with government and the local capacity of communities,” Hardmanagement as well as infrastructure and ing said. “At the outset of our response, the housing. I wouldn’t be surprised if in another goal was to quickly seize the longer-term five years, Aceh becomes more advanced than perspective of years rather than providing other provinces of Indonesia — thus becomimmediate relief over the course of a few ing a model for how international assistance months. This allowed significant relationand development work can happen effectiveships to develop that continue to today.” ly, when enough funding is channeled into it.” Life will never be “normal” again in the Continue on page 30 CBF photos

More than 230,000 people died on Dec. 26, 2004, in 14 countries lining the coast of the Indian Ocean after an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck in the waters off the coast of the province of Aceh in the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Minutes after the quake, up to 100-foot-high walls of water came crashing ashore killing and maiming the inhabitants of coastal villages as entire communities were literally washed off the face of the earth. “When whole regions of housing were leveled to the foundations, families lost dozens of members and many who survived went through horrific ordeals, there was a communal state of shock,” said Eddy Ruble, one of CBF’s field personnel who began working in Aceh within days of the disaster. “People were paralyzed and immobilized by the trauma, loss, devastation and senselessness of it all.” The tsunami prompted the largest and most comprehensive response from foreign aid groups in history. More than $2.4 million was given to the Fellowship to aid in tsunami response. Fellowship Baptists served in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, including a dozen CBF field personnel and contract workers. “The tragedy of the tsunami brought all of us to our knees,” said David Harding, the Fellowship’s international coordinator of di-

What your gifts accomplished in the tsunami-affected region: Andaman Islands • Fishing and sewing microenterprise projects • Wells drilled • Water purification equipment installed India • Churches built or rebuilt • Homes rebuilt • Medical clinic run by CBF volunteers • Community centers established • Water purification equipment installed • Microenterprise projects, including boats, fishing nets, sewing machines Indonesia • Conducted medical clinics • Water purifier installed and maintained at a camp for 3,000 people

• Cleared 7.6 hectares of land and fishponds • Distributed food, clothing to 2,130 families • Distributed 150 tents and cots • Provided school uniforms, shoes, supplies to 2,080 students • Built more than 100 public toilets • Microenterprise project to replant fields of Pandan, a plant used for weaving mats • Repaired and renovated schools • Repaired and renovated well and pipes to 10 villages • Drilled more than 45 wells • Built a multi-purpose training center • Rebuilt 1.5 km drainage canal for 64 hectares of communal farm land • Sanitation projects

• Removed debris • Provided fishing boats and nets • Conducted community health education • Provided art therapy for traumatized residents • Provided leader training • Operated a reading room and library Sri Lanka • Homes built • Wells drilled • Water purification equipment installed Thailand • Homes built • Microenterprise projects supplying fishing boats and nets

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Through the financial gifts of Fellowship Baptists, CBF built homes in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and Thailand.

One of the most tangible symbols of hope in the Aceh town of Sigli is a multipurpose training center which hosts frequent teacher training seminars and a small library. The center’s construction and staffing has been supervised by Ruble, and now, the teacher training team works with two regions to improve elementary education and upgrade teacher skills. The library benefits 75 to 150 students each day. In India, CBF field personnel Eddie and Macarena Aldape worked in the town of Cuddalore in the state of Tamil Nadu, operating health clinics with the assistance of CBF short-term medical teams. Sam Bandela, also one of CBF’s field personnel in India, initiated sewing training centers in Pedda Lank, Sardhu Kadapa, Chinna

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Lanka and Rusthumbad in the Andra Pradesh region. “Because of CBF funds, many girls have been trained and provided a lifetime skill to earn money with dignity and respect and stand on their own feet to support their families,” Bandela said. One church seating up to 300 people was built in Rusthumbad, and construction continues on two others in the region. The emotional recovery of individuals has been more complicated. Nearly every person in the affected areas experienced the loss of family members. “The pain and the unexplainable senselessness of a family member’s death is a battle each person deals with in their own way,” Ruble said. “Time also helps heal or at

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fellowship!

By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications

Please give to support the continued work of the Fellowship to major disasters around the world. To give, use the envelope provided in this issue of the magazine and write “Disaster response” in the memo line or go to www.thefellowship.info/give. Learn more about the Fellowship’s response to the 2004 tsunami by watching a video on CBF’s YouTube channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.

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least close up the wounds and pain to allow people to get on with life as best they can with what they have.” Because of the relief work in Aceh, Ruble was able to facilitate much-needed medical care for three young people who faced life-threatening heart defects. Relief funds helped all three have corrective surgery in Jakarta at the National Heart Center. “Many lives were touched and helped just by being there,” Harding said. “This ongoing influence is the fruit and legacy of God directing our steps along the way. It is time to formally close our response now, but the relationships and hidden fruit will continue into the future.”

December 2010/January 2011


for giving through the CBF Gift Catalog By Rob Nash Coordinator, CBF Global Missions

The CBF Gift Catalog provides opportunities for Fellowship Baptists to give to ministry projects that change lives around the world. As you celebrate the Christmas season and purchase gifts for loved Rob Nash ones, consider buying a lifechanging gift from the catalog in their honor. Whether you purchase a $20 pair of shoes for a child in the Middle East or a $120 pew for a new church in China, your gift essentially transforms a life somewhere in the world. What better way to celebrate the birth of the savior of the world! Here are a few ideas for giving through the catalog:

1

Give gifts that reflect the mission interests of friends and family

Is your daughter passionate about eliminating human trafficking? Consider a $100 gift that will provide a year’s worth of human trafficking prevention brochures for vulnerable Southeast Asians seeking to work abroad. Does your brother feel called to medical ministries? Then consider a $25 gift that will provide dental services for a refugee. Do you have a friend who advocates for the care of children? Purchase a $4 blanket for an orphan in the Middle East.

Gifts are available in every price range and in eight different ministry areas. Pick a gift that reflects the interests of the people you love. With the gifts, you are letting them know you care and at the same time helping someone in need.

2

Give with ease

Have a long-distance friend? Avoid the hassles of holiday shipping and choose a gift from the CBF Gift Catalog. Let him or her know how much keeping in touch means to you by giving just $3 to help a refugee call family members back home. Or celebrate the birth of Jesus by purchasing a new baby welcome kit ($50) for Albanian immigrant parents in Greece. It’s easy to place an order. The catalog is available in two formats: Place your order online at www.thefellowship.info/giftcatalog or request a printed catalog and mail in your order. Plus, when you order from the CBF Gift Catalog, you can request a gift card to present to your friend or family member. It’s that easy.

3

Give a meal as you celebrate with holiday meals

As you celebrate the holiday season with meals and parties, take the opportunity to give meals as well. When you dine with co-workers, neighbors or church groups, collect money to contribute toward a $20 bag of Unimix food for malnourished children in Kenya. Just $1.25 will provide lunch for a child living in poverty in Skopje, Macedonia.

Or, instead of baking sweets or wrapping candies, buy a small gift from the CBF Gift Catalog. With gifts available for under $5, you can buy a meaningful gift for less than it costs to bake a dozen cookies.

4

Give with your Sunday school class or small group

This Christmas your Sunday school class or small group might think about God’s love as reflected in the birth of Jesus by demonstrating love to families in need. Browse the CBF Gift Catalog as a group and select a gift to which members would like to contribute. For example, $700 will fund a water pump for an Ethiopian village, or $25 will provide an emergency food box for a Roma gypsy family. Allow several weeks for members to contribute. Then, mail in your order or purchase the gift online. This is also a great idea for children’s and youth Sunday school classes. Select one of the gifts that benefits children and teens; then, encourage the class to bring in money to buy the gift.

5

Give year-round

The CBF Gift Catalog is available year-round, so bookmark the online giving link or keep the printed copy on hand. As you celebrate holidays and special occasions — birthdays, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, anniversaries — select a lifechanging gift from the catalog to give in honor of friends and family.

Request a gift catalog or shop online at www.thefellowship.info/giftcatalog. The gifts mentioned here are just a few of the more than 130 items in this year’s CBF Gift Catalog. The catalog reflects the ministries of CBF field personnel who serve around the world. If you are interested in giving to support the salaries and ministry expenses of these field personnel, give your gift to the CBF Offering for Global Missions. Information on the CBF Offering is also available in the catalog.

fellowship!

December 2010/January 2011

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Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2930 Flowers Road South, Suite 133 Atlanta, GA 30341 www.thefellowship.info • (800) 352-8741

God’s mission, your passion: Celebrating our 20-year journey toward Come celebrate 20 years of the faithfulness Cooperative 2011 CBF General Assembly June 22-25 in Tampa, Fla.

Baptist Fellowship Make plans early to be part of this historic Baptist celebration. You can pre-register online for the Assembly for free at www.thefellowship.info/assembly. After you pre-register, you’ll be able to reserve a hotel room at a downtown Tampa hotel with a CBF group discount.

Build your own Assembly There’s so much planned for this year’s 20th anniversary celebration that you can build your own Assembly around events that interest you. Event highlights include: • Inspiring Worship • CBF partner organization celebrations • Practical Ministry Workshops • Resource Fair • Tampa Sessions for college students • and much more!

www.thefellowship.info/assembly

After the Assembly, take advantage of the great Florida location by staying a few extra days. You can “Stay and Play” by visiting popular Tampa destinations with other Fellowship Baptists and “Stay and Pray” by worshipping at a local CBF partner church on Sunday. Start making your travel plans now at www.thefellowship.info/assembly.

2010 December/2011 January fellowship!  

December/January fellowship!