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At the heart of a village
In Camelote, Belize, the Baptist Training Center serves as host to missions teams from churches such as Oakmont Baptist, which seeks to be the presence of Christ in this impoverished village.
Photo courtesy of Oakmont Baptist
Read about the ministry of CBF field personnel Eric and Julie Maas, who serve as directors of the center, on pages 10-13.
2011 General Assembly More than 1,600 Fellowship Baptists celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and looked excitedly toward the future at the annual General Assembly, held June 22-24 in Tampa, Fla. Read more about the Assembly on pages 26-29. Go online to www.thefellowship.info/tampa for more coverage about the event, including photo galleries, transcripts and videos. (Right) James Dunn, professor at CBF partner Wake Forest Divinity School, left, and CBF executive coordinator Daniel Vestal.
Photos by JV McKinney and Beth Fulton
More than 1,000 Fellowship Baptists celebrate the organization’s history at a Wednesday evening banquet.
(Top) For the first time, the CBF General Assembly was held in the city of Tampa. (Above) CBF moderator Christy McMillin-Goodwin presided over the Assembly’s business sessions.
Vol. 21, No. 4 executive Coordinator • Daniel Vestal Coordinator, Fellowship Advancement • Ben McDade Editor • Lance Wallace managing Editor • Patricia Heys Associate Editor • Carla Wynn Davis Phone • (770) 220-1600 Fax • (770) 220-1685 E-Mail • firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site • www.thefellowship.info
fellowship! is published 6 times a year in Feb./March, April/May, June/July, Aug./Sept., Oct./Nov., Dec./Jan. by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc., 2930 Flowers Road South Suite 133, Atlanta, GA 30341. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, GA. USPS #015-625. 2
(Above left and right) Fellowship Baptists of all ages participated in worship, learning, networking and fellowship events.
Musician and songwriter Ken Medema performed musical reflections throughout the Assembly.
In Canada, CBF field personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt are ministering among the immigrants and refugees living in the country’s largest cities.
Five Tips for making the most of your church’s total compensation package Ministry Centers • At the heart of a village: Center provides resources in Belize • Ministry center in Greece provides home for Albanian immigrants • Richmond church creates center for refugees, receives grant
Affect: August Missions Education Resource Caring for children • CBF field personnel minister to kids living on the streets in Kiev • Church makes long-term commitment to children of New York City • Children’s hospital chaplain ministers among young cancer patients
25 26-27 28-29 30 31
Affect: September Missions Education Resource
Photo courtesy of Oakmont Baptist
2011 General Assembly: CBF celebrates 20 years CBF’s newly commissioned field personnel Meet CBF moderator Colleen Burroughs Partner Spotlight: Baptist Center for Ethics
Vacation Bible School is one of the primary ministries of the Baptist Training Center for the children of Camelote. Mission teams from churches in the United States often travel to Belize to lead VBS. See story on pages 10-13.
FROM THE EDITOR On pages 26-27 of this issue of the fellowship! magazine, you’ll read about CBF’s General Assembly held last month in Tampa, Fla. The story and photos offer just a glimpse of what happened at the Assembly — words and images can’t entirely capture the sense of community that pervades the event every year. While General Assembly provided numerous opportunities for worship, networking and education, more than anything else it was about community. Handshakes, hugs, big smiles, hearty laughs and energetic conversations were common sights around the halls of the Tampa Convention Center. This year, as Fellowship Baptists celebrated 20 years of ministry, you heard people use phrases such as “family reunion” and “homecoming” to describe the Assembly. People who started the Fellowship reunited. Former classmates reminisced and reconnected. New CBF field personnel met field personnel who have served for years. Young ministers met fellow young ministers. Lay leaders networked with lay leaders from other churches. If you missed this year’s Assembly, make plans to attend next year (June 21-23, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas). If you don’t know anyone else who will be attending, call us at the CBF Resource Center in Atlanta. We’ll connect you with other Fellowship Baptists who can answer questions you might have, be your host for the event and make you feel welcome. This Fellowship started with a group of Baptists being the presence of Christ to one another. That attitude is still evident 20 years later. And, now a community of thousands has been built around the common vision to be Christ’s presence to a world that still needs God’s love.
Patricia Heys, managing editor email@example.com fellowship!
Why we give... “The CBF mission project that touches me is the Delta Jewels out of HelenaWest Helena, Ark. It’s a cooperative non-profit business where young women make jewelry and sell it. It helps them by teaching them a skill. They earn a little money and leaders of the project share God’s love. to have something for themselves instead of having everything given to them. I bought some jewelry, and I think about this ministry every time I wear it.”
Marion Horton Zebulon Baptist Church in Zebulon, N.C.
arion and Donald Horton Jr. have been members of Zebulon Baptist Church in Zebulon, N.C., for more than 10 years. Raising two sons, Nathaniel, 10, and Ethan, 9, doesn’t leave a lot of time for mission work, but by giving through their local church and supporting CBF missions, the Hortons feel they are making an impact. “The way I view it, giving to my church and giving to CBF is a way for me to carry out the great commission,” Marion said. “At this point in my life, I don’t feel called to go to other parts of the world or other parts of the country, but when my husband and I make a commitment financially, there are
Photo courtesy of Hillary Odom Photography
It touched my heart because it allows these women
people out there who can go.” Joining Zebulon Baptist was a homecoming for Donald because it was the church he attended as a child. His father, Donald Sr., has previously served as moderator for CBF of North Carolina and on CBF’s Coordinating Council. For Marion, who grew up in an Episcopal church, seeing women at Zebulon involved in the church and ministry was important. “Seeing the other women my age who were deacons, who were taking the time to get to know us and our family was very important to me,” she said. “It’s important, I think, for my sons to see their mother and grandmother serve as deacons in the church, and our church is blessed to have a
woman serving as associate pastor.” Donald said there are many reasons his family is committed to giving to the Fellowship. “We know that whatever we give to CBF will be efficiently and effectively used to advance the kingdom of God in numerous ways, including supporting new and existing CBF churches and staff, spreading the gospel both domestically and internationally, providing food, shelter, clothing and love to those who need it most, and providing valuable opportunities for education, training, ministry and fellowship,” he said. “By supporting CBF financially, we extend the presence of Christ in ways we could not otherwise achieve.”
Please give. Your gifts to CBF enable life-changing missions and ministries around the world. To give, use the envelope included in this magazine or go to www.thefellowship.info/give.
Church engages in long-term medical ministry, partnership in Kenya
ur encounters with these children have been truly
life-changing for us. We returned from our first immersion encounter with a clear vision that can be summed up in what has become our guiding principle: We recognize that every child is created in the image of God and endowed with purpose, promise
Tom Ginn Kenya Health Partnership, Leader Knollwood Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C. Tom Ginn was no stranger to medical missions when he first traveled to Kenya in 2004. His healthcare mission work started at free clinics in Winston-Salem, N.C., as a medical student more than 30 years ago. Now he’s a primary care internal medicine physician, and his wife, Judy, is a biologist, nurse and teacher of anatomy and physiology. When the Ginns and other church members at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem felt called to minister to children, the work of CBF field personnel Melody and Sam Harrell in Kenya seemed a perfect fit. Church members wanted to engage in long-term efforts to be the healing presence of Christ, so they decided to partner with Change for Children, a network of eight integrated child development centers created and run by the Harrells. The centers provide
Photo courtesy of Knollwood Baptist
Knollwood church members and physicians Chip Mims and John Roach remove parasitic fleas from the foot of a child.
nutrition, clean water, mosquito bed nets to prevent malaria, healthcare and education to more than 600 Kenyan children ages 3 to 6. “As we traveled with Sam to some remote areas of Kenya, we were immersed in a world where one child in six dies before their fifth birthday; where finding clean water is nearly impossible; where children’s physical and cognitive development is limited by parasite loads; where malaria causes almost 20 percent of deaths in children under 5,” Ginn said. “But we also found a place where smiling and hopeful faces greeted us; where communities sacrificed to prepare a meal to share with us; where teachers worked diligently to equip children for a better life; where people
were not complaining, but were persevering with determination and grit.” The Knollwood Kenya Health Partnership supports the Harrells’ ministry through financial gifts and hands-on service. In 2004, 2006 and 2010, Knollwood members conducted medical clinics at the child development centers. They also delivered educational and medical supplies and met community and government leaders regarding organizing more permanent health interventions. “Through the gifts and ministry of church partners such as Knollwood Baptist, children in Kenya have the opportunity to live out the God-given promise that is inherent in each of their lives,” Sam Harrell said.
Are you interested in serving alongside the Harrells in Kenya? Check out these specific opportunities or to learn more, contact Chris Boltin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional opportunities are listed online at www.thefellowship.info/serve. Missions partnerships
Learn how the gifts and skills of your mission team might connect with the work of the Harrells in Kenya.
Kutana, a cross-cultural experience in which Americans and Kenyans work together, includes opportunities for youth and students to serve.
Passport Kenya Youth can engage in ministry work in Kenya through Passport Kenya, a CBF partner. When: Summer 2012 Length: One week
Teacher training event helps strengthen leadership, engagement
e learned that being a good Sunday School
teacher is more than just being prepared for the lesson. Being a good Sunday School teacher is a commitment to making the class an inviting and intentional time of education and fellowship.”
Tony Vincent Minister of Education
Tony Vincent, minister of education at Trinity Baptist Church in Seneca, S.C., wanted his church to take Sunday School to the next level. After attending the Essentials Conference at CBF’s annual General Assembly, Vincent saw the potential for Sunday School to be a transformational experience for all involved. “Even the best Sunday School class can get stale,” Vincent said. “I don’t think we had a huge need to learn how to prepare a lesson, but I do think we needed help strengthening our teachers in leadership.” Earlier this year, Vincent and Trinity Baptist hosted the two-day “Growing Together: A Christian Education Leadership Conference” led by Cooperative Baptist Fellowship staff Bo Prosser and Devita Parnell. More than 50 teachers from Trinity and nearby churches attended the free event. As they do with all teacher training sessions, CBF staff contextualized the seminar to the needs of Trinity Baptist and the other teachers in attendance. For example, Vin-
Photo courtesy of Trinity Baptist
Trinity Baptist Church, Seneca, S.C.
Rocky Nation, far left, a missions education teacher at Trinity Baptist, talks with students about CBF field personnel who serve in China.
cent communicated beforehand that the teachers were looking for new ways to engage people in their church, motivate them to join and regularly attend Sunday School. The church had also recently struggled to develop a child safety policy. On Sunday, Prosser taught young adults during Sunday School, focusing on what it means to be a contributing member of a class, and Parnell taught parents, focusing on methods of nurturing faith with their children at home. “We were encouraged as teachers to begin with a story to engage class members’ interest and to make sure to leave time at the end of the class for an application of the lesson,” said Phil Buckheister, chairperson
Ideas for kicking off the new Sunday School year: • Recruit teachers in late summer. Advertise the positions available and the skills needed in high traffic areas around the church. Consider making some of the positions short-term. Give your members the opportunity to sign up for the areas that interest them. • Consider a variety of resources. CBF offers several short-term studies for older children, youth and adults. Visit www.CBFstore.info.
of Trinity’s Christian Education Council. “I have used it and tried to be more intentional about the application.” Parnell met with Jessica Williams, minister of children and outreach at Trinity, and talked about the resistance the church was facing from members and parents regarding a child safety policy. “Devita took the concerns of the parents and volunteers to heart and found a policy being used by another church that eliminated those concerns,” Williams said. “What meant most to me was that she took time to talk and partner with our church in implementing a successful program. For me, that was the huge success story of that weekend.”
• Plan a kick-off event. On the first Sunday of the new year, plan a fun activity for the entire congregation. Think creatively and have fun! If you are interested in holding a teacher training event, contact CBF staff at (800) 352-8741 to help you plan and lead the event.
Pray Step by step prayers
By Bo Prosser, CBF Coordinator for Missional Congregations
This month, repeat the following prayer, “God lead my steps in your truth.” (This is taken from a he average paraphrase of Psalm 25:4-5.) As American takes you take one step pray, “God lead between 3,000 my steps … ” As you take anothand 5,000 steps er step pray, “ … in your truth.” Bo Prosser per day. Some reBe intentional about praysearchers suggest that we need to ing this as you walk to the water take 10,000 steps each day for maintaining cooler at work, as you walk from the garage our weight and health. Suffice it to say that into your home, as you walk in the yard or we spend a good part of our day “stepping.” at the mall. You probably won’t pray this
Prayer Calendar CH = Chaplain FP = Field Personnel FPC = Child of Field Personnel GMP = Global Missions Partner PC = Pastoral Counselor PLT = Church Planter
August 1 Steven Safreed, Fayetteville, GA (CH) 1 Stephen Saunders, San Antonio, TX (CH) 2 Mike Beach, Knoxville, TN (CH) 3 Mina Podgaiskaya, Ukraine (FP) 3 Mary Ellen Yates, Louisville, KY (PC) 4 Hannah, 1999, Asia (FPC) 4 Martha Hayes, Ft. Shafter, HI (CH) 4 Ruford Hodges, Birmingham, AL (CH) 4 Michial Lewis, Hoover, AL (PLT) 4 Mark Pruitt, Lynchburg, VA (CH) 4 Diane Stamey, Candler, NC (PC) 4 Stanley Vaughan, Columbus, GA (CH) 4 Matthew Wysocki, Cibolo, TX (CH) 5 Mary, Asia (FP) 5 Susan Allen, Midway, KY (CH) 5 Ronald Howard, Tuscaloosa, AL (CH) 5 Donald Lederer, Indian Trail, NC (CH) 5 John Oliver, Durham, NC (CH) 6 Steve Chisolm, Red Oak, TX (CH) 7 Merrie Harding, Orlando, FL (FP) 7 Vernon Westenbroek, Columbia, MO (CH) 8 Janée Angel, Belgium (FP) 8 Ellen Holmes, 1992, Europe (FPC) 8 Andy Lester, Fort Worth, TX (PC) 8 Donald Robinson, Spring, TX (CH) 8 Jon Wyatt, 1995, Canada (FPC) 9 Beth Sample, 1998, San Francisco, CA (FPC) 10 Rebecca Hood-Patterson, Pensacola, FL (CH) 10 Hyong Bong Kim, son, Central Asia (GMP) 10 Elliot Sample, 2004, San Francisco, CA (FPC) 11 Robbie Byrd, Fayetteville, NC (PC) 11 Justin Murphy, Boiling Springs, NC (CH) 11 John Norman, Four Oaks, NC (FP) 11 Karen Rector, Kaneohe, HI (CH)
11 Robert Townsend, Greensboro, NC (CH) 13 Rodney Bolejack, Denton, TX (CH) 13 Thomas Dougherty, Mechanicsville, VA (PC) 13 Cathy Hollon, Union Springs, AL (CH) 13 Wayne Maberry, Alturas, FL (CH) 13 Johnny Taylor, Plano, TX (CH) 14 Maurice Graham, Richmond, VA (PC) 14 Stephanie Miller, Goodlettsville, TN (CH) 14 Roy Moritz, Elizabeth City, NC (CH) 15 Daniel Shadix, Prattville, AL (CH) 16 Don McNeely, Emeritus (FP) 17 Joe Moffitt, Canon City, CO (CH) 17 Anna Sample, 2001, San Francisco, CA (FPC) 18 Ben Craver, Albuquerque, NM (CH) 18 Thomas Riley, Wilson, NC (CH) 18 Fran Stevenson, Fremont, CA (FP) 19 Kaela, 1998, Asia (FPC) 20 Joyce Cleary, Emeritus (FP) 20 Reid Doster, Madisonville, LA (PLT) 20 Jim Ivey, New Albany, IN (CH) 22 Doug Brown, Franklin, IN (CH) 22 Daniel Hix, Maryville, TN (CH) 22 Ana Podgaiskaya, 2001, Ukraine (FPC) 23 Mike Bumgarner, Norman, OK (CH) 23 Keith Little, New Bern, NC (CH) 23 Allen Williams, Asia (FP) 23 Richard Woodall, Memphis, TN (CH) 23 Marc Wyatt, Canada (FP) 24 Craig Klempnauer, Hewitt, TX (CH) 25 Arville Earl, Macedonia (FP) 25 Hyang Shon, Southeast Asia (GMP) 25 Robert McMillan, Oklahoma City, OK (CH) 26 Cindy, Asia (FP) 26 Corwin Harrell, 1991, East Africa (FPC) 26 Mi H. Shon, Russia (GMP) 27 Carson Cole, 2001, Spain (FPC) 27 Verr Dean Williams, Asia (FP) 27 Jim Kirkendall, Oklahoma City, OK (CH) 28 Hattie Jackson-Harris, Montevallo, AL (PLT) 28 Jin Jae Lee, Southeast Asia (GMP) 28 Inez Register, Lexington, SC (CH) 28 Randall Walton, Lynchburg, VA (CH) 29 Pam Foster, Haslet, TX (CH) 30 ________, son, North Africa (FPC)
with every step you take, but, as you focus on your walking at different times during the day, then refocus on your “step prayer.” Now, add one more part to the prayer. Pick one of our field personnel to pray for each day. As you pray your “step prayer” also pray, “God lead (say the name) … ” And with the next step pray, “ … in your truth.” Now you’re praying for yourself and one of the persons on the prayer calendar. It’s as simple as walking to the kitchen for a snack!
30 Christiana Liem, Houston, TX (CH) 30 Karen Sherin, Columbia, MO (FP) 31 Karr La Dickens, Garland, TX (FP) 31 Carl Hart, Stone Mountain, GA (CH) 31 Michael Pimpo, Grayslake, IL (PLT) 31 Cecelia Walker, Montgomery, AL (CH
September 1 Terry Eddinger, Winston-Salem, NC (CH) 1 Milton Snyder, Milledgeville, GA (CH) 1 Daniel Stallard, Newport, RI (CH) 1 Ralph Stocks, Romania (FP) 2 Bob Coons, Owensboro, KY (PLT) 2 Ruth Cuellar, Newnan, GA (PLT) 2 Dennis McDuffie, Atoka, TN (CH) 2 Sara Moran, Greer, SC (CH) 3 Jennifer Jenkins, Haiti (FP) 3 Ann Owen, Viera, FL (CH) 4 Monique Criddell, Waco, TX (CH) 4 Vicki Lumpkin, Greensboro, NC (CH) 4 Shirley Massey, Chapel Hill, NC (CH) 5 Eddie Aldape, India (FP) 5 Becky Brannon, Gainesville, GA (CH) 5 David Brown, France (FP) 5 David D’Amico, Emeritus (FP) 6 Carla Cherry, Dublin, OH (CH) 7 Martha Harper, Madison, MS (CH) 7 Lee Hendricks, Greenville, NC (CH) 7 Lita Sample, San Francisco, CA (FP) 8 Kirk Hall, Pineville, KY (CH) 8 Trey Lyon, Atlanta, GA (FP) 9 Yong M. Chang, Asia (GMP) 10 Timothy Brown, Dublin, GA (CH) 10 Nancy Campbell, Hickory, NC (CH) 10 Keegan, 2009, Los Angeles, CA (FPC) 12 Bryan Lake, Cumming, GA (CH) 13 Andrew Gee, Marietta, GA (PC) 13 Richard Morris, Lebanon, PA (CH) 13 Alan Redditt, Georgetown, KY (CH) 14 Bart Grooms, Birmingham, AL (PC) 14 Priscilla Howick, Jacksonville, FL (CH) 14 Stephanie Moore, Maryville, TN (CH) 15 Rebecca Holmes, 1992, Europe (FPC) 15 Brandy Mullins, Manvel, TX (CH)
16 Christopher Harrell, 1993, Kenya (FPC) 16 Dick Allison, Hattiesburg, MS (CH) 16 Karen Heistand, Charlottesville, VA (CH) 16 Byron Johnson, Twenty-nine Palms, CA (CH) 16 Charles Leggett, Lawton, OK (CH) 17 Angela Clark, Matthews, NC (CH) 17 Jean Craddock, Lexington, KY (PC) 17 George Rossi, Columbia, SC (CH) 18 Susan Barnett, Green Valley, AZ (CH) 19 ________, daughter, North Africa (FPC) 19 Wanda Ashworth Valencia, Homestead, FL (FP) 19 Larry Baker, Commerce City, CO (CH) 19 Josiah Maas, 2007, Belize (FPC) 20 David Bluford, Lenoir City, TN (CH) 20 Renée Owen, Burbank, CA (CH) 20 Tanya Parks, Slovakia (FP) 20 Robert Randolph, Swannanoa, NC (CH) 20 Kenneth Walker, Frankfort, KY (PC) 21 Laura Bridges, 1992, San Antonio, TX (FPC) 21 Mark Flores, Lynchburg, VA (CH) 21 Phil Owens, Marietta, GA (CH) 22 Kim Chafee, Virginia Beach, VA (CH) 22 Josh Reglin, Tahoka, TX (CH) 22 John Robbins, Maiden, NC (CH) 22 Becky Shoaf, Atlanta, GA (CH) 23 Byong K. Kim, Asia (GMP) 24 William Stewart, Yukosuka Naval Base, Japan (CH) 25 Gabe Orea, China (FP) 25 Angel Pittman, Miami, FL (FP) 26 Randy Brookshire, Greenville, SC (CH) 26 Sunny Mitchell, Virginia Beach, VA (CH) 26 Keith Parker, Brevard, NC (PC) 26 Beth Sexton, Harrodsburg, KY (CH) 26 Lynwood Walters, Gainesville, FL (CH) 26 Gloria White, Lawrenceville, GA (PC) 27 Cathy Anderson, Kennesaw, GA (CH) 27 Currian Cole, 2002, Spain (FPC) 27 Peggy Johnson, Hurst, TX (CH) 28 Renate Kruklis, Braselton, GA (CH) 29 John Harris, Pelham, AL (PC) 30 Paul Douglas, Ft. Belvoir, VA (CH) 30 Rebecca Wyatt, 1992, Canada (FPC)
s a volunteer photographer for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, JV McKinney uses his passion and gifts for photography to help an organization he loves, the Coopertive Baptist Fellowship. “I hope my photos will help others sense God’s sacred presence in our day-to-day lives,” McKinney said. In his dark clothes, he moves discreetly with his camera through workshops and events with one mission in mind — to capture moments that will inspire others to become involved with the Fellowship’s ministries. Through photography, McKinney documents events at his home church, Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., mission events such
as CBF’s All Church Challenge in Helena, Ark., state events for CBF of Arkansas and CBF’s annual General Assembly, where he has served as the event’s primary photographer for the past three years. As a former CEO with the YMCA, McKinney developed an appreciation for the power of photography to motivate and inspire people. Since first hearing of the Fellowship in 1991, McKinney has felt at home with the organization’s focus on missions and gender and racial equality.
annah Stuart prayed for a sign about what do with her life, and she said God delivered that sign in the form of an advertisement on the side of a bus reading, “Do you want to work with homeless people? Become a social work major.” Stuart’s passion for working among homeless persons and other underserved populations inspired her to major in social work at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. Stuart’s calling to serve has also led her to CBF’s Student.Go missions program, which provides college and graduate students with an opportunity to serve along CBF ministries and field personnel in hands-on service for a summer or semester. For the second year in a row, Stuart is spending her summer working with the ministries of Touching Miami with Love, a
CBF partner organization run by CBF field personnel Angel and Jason Pittman. Touching Miami with Love serves the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, one of the poorest in the state of Florida, by offering a variety of programs and services for children, youth, families and people who are homeless. Stuart is working with the center’s summer camps and ministry among children. “I think the way that CBF approaches ministry is beautiful because it’s about the love of Christ and not the judgment of God,” said Stuart, who grew up attending First Baptist Church of Jasper, Ga.
fter reading an article in the fellowship! magazine, Megan Fister, 7, decided to ask friends and family to give her money to support the Fellowship’s Water for Hope safe water initiative, which works to provide clean water to communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Uganda and Zambia. “I feel happy for saving people’s lives,” Megan said. “And the people that helped raise money, they are probably happy, too.” Megan’s mother, Jennifer, said she and her husband, Bryan, try
to set an example of helping others and sharing God’s love. They have engaged in the house building ministries of Together for Hope, the Fellowship’s longterm commitment to alleviate rural poverty, in McCreary County, Ky. “It makes me proud as a parent to see the types of feelings that it gives Megan when she knows she’s done the right thing,” Jennifer said.
harles Pettee performs across the country and abroad as a musician and part of The Shady Grove Band. Additionally, he leads music history lessons for school children. But the funeral of a friend transformed Pettee’s love of music from a hobby into service to God. At University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, N.C., where he is now a member, Pettee witnessed a community mourning for a member they had lost. His experience led him to the Bible where he found the Psalms. Wrestling with the text, Pettee was comforted, challenged and found his faith again. He still reads at least one Psalm a day, and the book inspired Pettee to create the Charles Pettee and FolkPsalm, a group of musicians that add melody to the Psalms. Three CDs and nine years
later, the group continues to create and perform. Each song undergoes a meticulous process — consulting 10 or more Bibles, scanning each line of a Psalm, comparing, questioning, conferring with an Old Testament scholar — and finally a song is birthed. Whether performing the Psalms or teaching school children, Pettee prays for his audiences. “I pray they will see Christ however Christ would reveal himself,” Pettee said. “I’m not there to preach, but I do see myself as an agent to demonstrate, by example, the love of Christ. I hope they can look up and see love and experience something of what I experienced in the church.”
for making the most of your church’s compensation package By Gary Skeen
Regardless of your congregation size, the current volatility of today’s economy can put pressure on your church. Reported giving is down, yet the rising costs of gasoline, utilities and even food force us to be creative or make sacrifices with overhead costs such as building maintenance and critical ministries such as outreach, hospital visitation, volunteer trips and more. As one of the single largest expenses of your church budget, staff compensation can become a stressful topic for both ministers and lay leaders. If your church is anything like mine, then you love your staff. But during budget discussions, especially during tough financial times, we seldom communicate that to the people serving among us, and it can be easy for salaries to get lumped into budget discussions alongside lawn care and electric expenses. Now more than ever, a focused, creative approach to church staff compensation is critical to ensure that you are able to meet the needs of the people ministering to your congregation. Here are a few ideas for helping move staff compensation from a line on a spreadsheet to an opportunity for communication and stewardship:
Compensation = Investment
Think about your staff compensation as a long-term investment rather than just an expense. Uncertain economic times actually increase the need for ministry. Raised stress levels in individuals and families often mean greater need for support. Instead of contemplating staff or compensation reduction, remember that a church’s best assets (its people) are the main source of ministry. While staff pay may be a natural place to stop and consider budget cuts, odds are good that your congregation, if asked, would much prefer to see a change in Sunday morning coffee service or Wednesday night dinners rather than risk the loss of a valued and loved staff member. Guiding your church’s compensation committee to scour every possible option other than staff pay to balance your budget can pay great dividends in the long term.
Lance Wallace photo
President, Church Benefits Board
Gary Skeen, left, a member of Parkway Baptist Church in Duluth, Ga., talks with Parkway pastor Jim King, right, and Parkway’s minister to children Rebecca Orton.
Most people don’t go into vocational ministry for financial rewards, instead choosing the opportunity to have an impact on the lives of people in the church and community. When churches keep the care of these ministers front of mind, we have the opportunity to demonstrate biblical stewardship in how we manage our people resources.
Retain instead of search
Total compensation is not just a paycheck or a package. Congregations can demonstrate excellent people management by remembering that retirement investments, medical insurance, life and disability insurance can provide a total compensation package that demonstrates a commitment to good stewardship and a focus on attracting and retaining the very best staff to meet the needs of the church.
Plan for retirement
Most people are aware of the commercials asking, “What’s your retirement number?” Does your church ask, “What is that number for my church staff?” Is your church compensation set up to assure that your ministers are getting the best value for your church’s compensation expenditure? Future plans are a concern of every individual regardless of current
economic circumstances. Acknowledging and meeting the longer-term goals of church staff fosters the type of working environment that allows your staff to provide best-in-class ministry to others. Created by CBF, CBB offers competitive retirement plans with flexibility in managing risk.
Plan for the worst
What happens in the event of a crisis? Ministerial staff and their families can suffer medical emergencies that can cripple a church. On mission trips or just with a routine trip to the grocery store, the unexpected can stop us in our tracks. Many people don’t like to discuss the uncomfortable uncertainties in life, but should staff members require long-term hospitalization, can they be assured that they and their families will be taken care of financially? And, how does the church continue those duties when a key member of the team is sidelined? The CBB Life and Disability insurance provides protection to ministers and churches. At CBB, we recognize that good stewardship goes far beyond the bottom line when it comes to shepherding your church staff. Contact us at 1-800352-8741, www.churchbenefits.org or visit the CBB page on Facebook, to learn about more ways that you can meet the needs of those who are meeting the needs of others.
At the heart of a Adults and youth from Oakmont Baptist Church led Vacation Bible School at the Baptist Training Center.
Photo courtesy of the maases
ordered by Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, Belize may appear to be a beautiful paradise, but for many residents of the tropical country life presents a daily struggle to meet basic needs.
CBF field personnel Eric and Julie Maas moved to Belize three years ago to serve as directors of the Baptist Training Center located in the village of Camelote, just outside the capital city of Belmopan. Their mission is to spread the love of Christ. In Camelote, the cycle of poverty has common manifestations — teen pregnancy, alcoholism, unemployment, the spread of HIV/
AIDS. The Maases estimate that more than a third of children in the village do not attend school, primarily because education costs are not fully funded by the government. Children whose families can afford for them to attend school may travel more than 20 miles to get there. With limited educational opportunities and an economy based on an outdated agricultural system, it is often difficult for
residents to hold on to hope for a better life. “It’s a challenge for parents to be able to cover the costs of school, which continues the cycle of poverty,” said Julie. “Many of the people we meet are in survival mode — they work daily to earn enough money to find food, clothing and shelter.” Based out of the Training Center, the Maases work alongside residents and part-
ners to identify resources that might help meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs. The center, which lies at the heart of the village, is a place of rest and hope for residents and missions teams. “Every day, we can hear people praising God at the church just outside our gates, and we are encouraged by the people of the community coming together to worship,” Eric said.
Serving those who come to serve The Training Center hosts local churches and ministries, who use the 10-acre center
Baptist Training Center provides resources in Belize
for youth camps, revivals, trainings, conferences, Bible schools and retreats. Mission teams from the United States, representing many denominations, make the center their home base during trips to Belize. “The center exists to meet all the needs of Christians in their work here in Belize, whether they come from another town or another country,” Eric said. “It is amazing to see people come together to rest, retreat and grow in their relationships with each other and with God when they are here.” Aside from the directors’ home, where the Maas’ live, the Training Center consists of a groundskeeper’s home, tool sheds, two
kitchens, two dorms, two lodges and an open-aire chapel. Mission teams engage in a variety of ministries — from teaching children to repairing homes to conducting medical clinics. Many teams return year after year to continue the work that has been started through the Training Center. For example: • Oakmont Baptist Church in Greenville, N.C., makes annual trips to Belize, doing construction work, engaging in medical ministries and leading Vacation Bible School in the Camelote community • First Baptist Church in Marion, N.C., Continue on page 12 fellowship!
has served thousands of people each year through medical and dental clinics and helping to construct new churches. • Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., sent a missions team in May to conduct medical and dental clinics in Camelote. • First Baptist Church in Lexington, N.C. has traveled to serve in Belize for many years. Recently, a team completed construction on an open-air building on the Training Center campus. • Westwood Baptist Church in Cary, N.C., has put together a food program and clothing distribution program.
Photo courtesy of Oakmont Baptist
Members of Oakmont Baptist rebuilt a wall of the La Gracia Government School located in a rural area outside Camelote.
“The villagers know when a new group has come into town,” Maas said. “They really look forward to getting to know the teams and their different members, especially the children, which is why they like to hang out here.” Oakmont Baptist Church has served as a CBF Encourager Church for the Maases since their commissioning as CBF field personnel in 2008. The church has sent five teams to Belize and plans to send three more before the end of the year. Like many groups who stay at the Training Center, Oakmont mission teams focus on three primary missions areas — construction and repair, Vacation Bible School and medical and dental care.
On one trip, church members led Vacation Bible School and engaged in construction projects at La Gracia Government School, which is located in a rural area and lacks access to electricity or running water. The missions team not only built relationships with local children but also with Brian Watson, the school’s principal. They learned that more than 15 years ago Watson felt called to serve and has been running the school by day and sleeping on a mattress on the school’s concrete floor at night. He takes showers by pouring a bucket of water over his head. “He spoke to our youth one night during our trip about why God called him to
serve children in this way,” Oakmont senior pastor Greg Rogers said. “What an eyeopening experience to meet someone who was a model of simplicity and confidence that God was working in his life.”
Meeting needs near and far When the Maases arrived in Belize in 2008, Julie immediately started a women’s prayer group, which quickly evolved into a Bible study led by local Belize women. One of the women who attended each week was Consuelo, a housekeeper at the Training Center. “When I started the group, Consuelo was faithful in attending,” said Maas. “Juan David, her son, started hanging around the center more and more often, and our families became close. Now, they are family to us.” Through the nonprofit organization they founded, Seek.Serve.Save., the Maases helped
(Top center) Eric Maas, left, assists a local pastor with a baptism in the village of Camelote. (Top right) The 10-acre campus of the Baptist Training Center hosts youth camps, revivals, trainings, conferences, Bible schools and retreats. (Above) Julie Maas started a Bible study for women at the Baptist Training Center. Now, the weekly study is led by women from Camelote.
About Eric and Julie Maas Hometown: Greenville, N.C. Commissioned: 2008 Prior to serving in Belize, Julie worked as a registered nurse and Eric worked as a general contractor and home inspector. The Maases have two children — Ciera, 8, and Josiah, 4. www.thefellowship.info/maas
Juan David, 14, begin attending the Belize Christian Academy, an international school that focuses on English and math skills. “We’ve seen Juan David’s life change before our eyes,” Maas said. “He has friends who accept him for who he is, not what he can or can’t do. A better education and the love of friends and family will help him break this cycle of poverty.” Through Seek.Serve.Save., the Maases aim to meet a variety of basic needs not only in Belize but also in Central America and other communities struggling to overcome poverty around the world. The Maases work with local and international missions teams and organizations on programs such as housing development, HIV/AIDS education, anti-trafficking
efforts, Christian education, healthcare and food programs. The Maases are thankful for the opportunity to serve as CBF field personnel, and they plan to stay in Belize as long as God calls them. They are also quick to point out that the work being done in Belize wouldn’t be possible without the support of friends, family and partners who help ease the burdens of directing the Training Center. “God is gracious and continues to sustain us,” Maas said. “Experiencing God’s beauty in this environment brings feelings of peace, rest and renewal even in the midst of chaos, and allows us to be the presence of Christ in this community.” By contributing writer Lelia King
If you are interested in serving alongside the Maases in Belize, go to www.thefellowship.info/serve to learn about specific opportunities. Contact Chris Boltin at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741 for more information on ways you can serve. fellowship!
An open door
Ministry center in Greece provides home for Albanian immigrants
rowing up in Albania in the 1990s, Arta and Besnik first heard about Jesus from Christians visiting their home country. It was a unique experience for the pre-teens because for 50 years prior religion had been banned in Albania by a Communist regime. When the regime fell, many Albanians immigrated to nearby Greece in search of a better life. It was in Greece, where Arta and Besnik had both moved with their respective families, that the two first met and fell in love. Soon after, they were married in a Christian ceremony, the first their parents and most of the guests had ever attended. It was also in Greece, in 2005, that this newlywed couple met CBF field personnel
Beth Photos Fulton courtesy photoSof Hannah Heffington
During the 1990s, thousands of Albanians immigrated to Athens, Greece.
Bob and Janice Newell. Then, the Newells were preparing to open Porta, a spiritual and cultural center for Albanians in Athens. With a passion for living like Christ, Arta and Besnik devoted their time and energy to help the Newells create the center. When Porta opened in June 2007, Arta and Besnik were among the first to enroll in the center’s English classes. They have been involved with Porta ever since. “We have had no greater thrill during our time in Athens than to witness the personal growth of Arta and Besnik,” said Janice. “Their dedication to Christ and the maturing of their faith continually serves as a blessing to us.” The mass influx of immigrants arriving in Greece in the early 1990s exacerbated
long-standing prejudices between Greek and Albanians. It is still difficult for Albanians to find work, be paid equal wages, open businesses and receive the same educational opportunities. When the Newells were first looking to rent space for Porta, two landlords turned them down when they found out they were planning to open a cultural center for Albanians. Recognizing the physical, social and spiritual needs of the Albanian community in Greece, the Newells started Porta, which means “door” in Greek and “gate” in Albanian. “Our shared calling has always been to show Christ’s love through personal acceptance and practical assistance,” Bob said.
“Our shared calling has always been to show Christ’s love through personal acceptance and practical assistance.”
(Above) One of the many programs offered at Porta are English as a Foreign Language classes. (Top left) Students from Logsdon Seminary, a CBF partner, worked alongside Bob and Janice Newell and the ministries of Porta. (Left) As part of its commitment to celebrating Albanian culture, Porta hosts groups such as Studenti, the Albanian student association, whose members learn Albanian folk dancing.
In addition to programs that nurture spirituality, Porta also offers programs designed to help Albanians thrive in Greek society — from computer classes to money management seminars to marriage enrichments seminars. Mission teams from CBF partners such as Logsdon Theological Seminary and Truett Seminary have recently traveled to Greece to lead language camps and Christian leadership programs for children and youth. The center also seeks to celebrate Albanian culture, especially through artistic expression. Porta opened the first-
ever all-Albanian art exhibition in Athens, and Albanian actors, poets and writers are frequently featured at the center. The center hosts several Albanian social and student organizations, including a teachers group and singing group, and in the past year, has served as the collection site for donations to aid victims of floods in Albania. “Although our work is rooted in and motivated by the timeless story of God’s love in Jesus Christ, we don’t want to transmit this message in western, American clothing,” said Bob. “All too often, well-intentioned folks like us have so wrapped the good news in the fancy clothes of the messengers and their culture that the universal and culture affirming nature of the story of God’s love gets lost.” As Porta has continued to grow and serve more people, Arta and Besnik have
become leaders in the center. Bob invited Besnik to become his first apprentice, a program the Newells created to provide leadership development opportunities. Earlier this year, Besnik helped plan an Albanian-language worship service that drew more than 100 worshippers. “By God’s grace and through the love of Christ, we daily cast a compelling vision and attempt to personify it for Albanian immigrants in Athens,” Bob said. “We are so encouraged that, despite their many struggles, many Albanians are also beginning to dream great dreams with us. Although it is unusually difficult for the typical Albanian to envision a better future, we are pleased to be able to offer help, hope and wholeness to them through Christ.” By contributing writer Linda Brinson
View videos and photos and learn more about the ministry of CBF field personnel Bob and Janice Newell at www.thefellowship.info/newell/greece. fellowship!
‘Opportunities all around us’ Church creates center for refugees, receives grant from CBF
Photo courtesy of First Baptist
hada Mishra spent most of his life in a refugee camp. In the early 1990s, Bhutan’s government stripped minority ethnic Nepalis of citizenship and forced them into exile. Khada was five years old. Fleeing the violence and hostility of Bhutan, Khada’s family left their home and traveled to refugee camps in nearby Nepal. For the next 17 years, Kahada grew up in a captive existence, leaving the camp only with special permission. In October 2010, the Mishras, along with more than 100,000 other Bhutanese refugees, were given the opportunity to resettle in seven countries. The Mishra family came to Richmond, Va., and started their lives over again. It is families such as the Mishras that First Baptist Church of Richmond seeks to serve through its ministry center for refugees. With more than 20,000 refugees living in the Richmond area and an estimated 300 more arriving each year, the members of First Baptist recognized a way to be the welcoming presence of Christ to an isolated community. “Anywhere you go today, you can run into people with international backgrounds,” said Ralph Starling, associate pastor at First Baptist. “As I begin to talk with refugees, I make a point to remember their names, to make them feel welcome. It’s not hard work. It’s easy for anyone to get involved. Ministry opportunities are all around us, and nobody should be sitting on the bench or feel like they need to get on a plane to go minister to others.” Using CBF’s “It’s Time: A Journey Toward Missional Faithfulness” church-wide study, First Baptist members engaged in a two-year process of discernment about how to live as a missional congregation. They
At First Baptist’s annual river baptism, 13 people were baptized in the James River, including three Bhutanese refugees. Kanchi and Gitanjeli Monger, center, were baptized, by Ralph Starling, back row, shown here with Lindsey McClintock, left.
envisioned a way to reach out to refugees in their community and decided to start a ministry center. Most refugees arrive in Richmond with only a grocery bag full of personal possessions. With limited language skills, they not only feel isolated and alone but also overwhelmed by as they adapt to a new culture. First Baptist’s ministry center provides practical programs, such as English classes, money management seminars and a clothes closet. The center has also provided microloans to adults looking to start small businesses and participate in vocational training. A $16,500 “It’s Time” Missional Ministry Grant from CBF has enabled First Baptist’s center to continue and expand its ministry. For example, church members Julie and Warren Pierce have been part of the refugee ministry from the beginning. They coordi-
nate the center’s furniture collection program, which provides refugees with basic furnishing for their apartments. As the church hosts youth programs, classes and Bible studies, many refugees have become a part of the church family. Refugees of Christian, Hindu and Muslim faiths consider First Baptist to be their church home and attend worship and church events, such as the annual baptism at the James River. “It’s a two-way street for the church, it’s not just a program that we do but it is a part of who we are as a congregation,” said Lindsey McClintock, First Baptist’s pastoral resident of compassion and formation. “It is not just us helping refugees, but all of us working together to bring the kingdom of heaven to Richmond.” By contributing writer Bob Perkins
Established in 2006, the “It’s Time” Missional Ministry Grant is available to qualifying churches to encourage their missional journey. Grants up to $25,000 are available for missional ministries that help to engage a church’s community. For eligibility information and a grant application, visit www.thefellowship.info/grant. To order “It’s Time: A Journey Toward Missional Faithfulness,” contact The CBF Store at (888) 801-4223.
Missions Education Resource How to use this page
The suggestions below will be helpful for using the stories on pages 10-16 of this issue 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. 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. Opening the Door for refugees and immigrants — Before the session gather items to make a display that represents common needs of refugees and immigrants. (A small chair from a dollhouse might represent furniture. A dictionary might represent language skills. A lightbulb might represent utilities. Any piece of clothing can represent that need. A toy car can represent transportation. Use your imagination.) CBF field personnel Bob and Janice Newell and the members of First Baptist Church of Richmond, Va., specialize in opening doors to newcomers. The Newells open doors for Albanian immigrants in Greece, and FBC Richmond opens doors to Bhutanese refugees (and others) in their own community. Read the stories of the Newells and of FBC Richmond. Call attention to the display items and explain that they represent needs of immigrants and refugees. Invite volunteers to pick up an item and name what it represents. As needs are named, write them on a flipchart, whiteboard or chalkboard. After all needs based on displayed items have been named, invite the group to list additional needs. Point out that the needs shown are physical needs. Refugees and immigrants also have emotional and spiritual needs. In fact, their needs are much like our own, only they are challenged to meet those needs in a setting that may be far away or very different from home.
Around the Table Author David Adam says: “It is interesting to see how often Jesus is in the borderlands, between countries, between heaven and earth. He is found on the fringes of society, with lepers, with publicans and sinners” (from Border Lands: The Best of David Adam). Refugees and immigrants are people on the borders, both literally and figuratively. Even when they learn the ropes of a new culture, they are often not accepted as equals, and their sense of cultural identity means they’re living simultaneously in different worlds. CBF field personnel Bob and Janice Newell started a community center called Porta (meaning “door” or “gate”) to reach out to Albanian immigrants in Athens. Their ministry offers practical assistance, including classes to help them adjust to life in Greece. It also offers the encouragement and opportunity to celebrate the Albanian culture in its many forms. 1. As a group, list as many aspects of culture as you can. 2. If you were moving to a new culture, how would you hold on to your identity? 3. What are three items you couldn’t leave behind? 4. What art forms would you bring with you?
Questions for Discussion CBF 1. Have you ever been in a situation in which you lacked what you needed to be successful? What did you do? 2. What are the most important intangible things a person needs to begin life in a new culture? Can lack of any one of them keep someone from reachAt the heart of a ing his or her goals? village 3. Who has opened a door for you? (Have you ever thanked him or her?) 4. In John 10:7, Jesus says that he is the gate for the sheep. While we can’t be gates in the same way Jesus is, how can we serve as gates for immigrants and refugees in our own community and beyond?
fellowship! Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
Read about the ministry of CBF field personnel Eric and Julie Maas, who serve as directors of the center, on pages 10-13.
Remember that refugees who are resettled or make it to the new home they’re aiming for are a tiny minority. Pray for those who remain in camps and in dangerous places. Pray that your congregation will dream new dreams that will lead to the easing of burdens faced by refugees both near and far.
6. What kinds of art do you enjoy? What art forms have you learned to appreciate from other cultures? This week, decorate a doorway in your house. On one side tape a photo of something you value from your own culture. On the other side tape a photo of something you find meaningful from another culture. Every time you go through the doorway, remember the refugees and immigrants who are trying to reconcile their past and present. Pray for them, for the Newells, and for others who have followed Christ to the borderlands.
In Reading Groups In Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt tells of a childhood lived in both Depression-era Brooklyn, New York, and Limerick, Ireland. Heartbreak, humor and resilience are combined in this memorable narrative, which reminds us that we’re all the children of immigrants.
5. What skills would help you and your family remember where you came from?
The stories of children
Podgaiskys minister to kids living on the streets in Kiev
Continue on page 20
hen Gennady and Mina Podgaisky arrived in Kiev, Ukraine, in December 2002, it was in the middle of a cold winter, the kind of cold that requires wearing real fur-insulated boots to keep away the frostbite. They remember that the landscape of Kiev remained covered with snow and ice until the end of March. During that first winter, as the Podgaiskys got to know their new city, they began to recognize children, as young as age 3, living on the streets. They saw a community where they could be the loving presence of Christ. “We cried,” said Mina. “It was overwhelming to see so many kids on the streets.” The children, an estimated 17,000 to 24,000 in Kiev alone, slept in the mornings in the city’s underground tunnels and wandered the streets begging for food later in the day. Fearing being robbed, kidnapped or abused, the children often formed gangs and traveled in groups for safety. The girls dressed like boys to prevent being noticed. The Podgaiskys, who serve as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel in partnership with the Ukrainian Christian Corporation Center, a branch of the Ukrainian Baptist Union, wondered how they could make a difference in the lives of these children in the face of such a proliferate crisis.
Children living on the streets in Kiev often hide under the heating pipes just outside the main train station.
“When you can’t do it — that’s when the Lord says, ‘I can do it. You have faith,’” said Mina. Now, eight years later, with the combined efforts of government entities and numerous faith partners, the number of children living on the streets of Kiev is less
than 3,000. The Podgaiskys helped bring together Christians, churches and parachurch organizations to minister to children at risk and bring them off the streets. “Children in Kiev are now being fed both physically and spiritually, learning essential life lessons, hearing the story of salvation, practicing forgiveness and becoming productive members of society,” said Mina. “Only God could have allowed us to see our dreams come true.”
Making a dent in the crisis
About the Podgaiskys Gennady and Mina Podgaisky, who were commissioned by CBF in 2002, have three children — Bogdan, 13; Mark, 11; Ana Maria, 9. Gennady, is a native of Pyatigorsk, Russia, and everyone in the family speaks Russian and some Ukrainian, as well as English. Mina is a native of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. One of the ministries the Podgaiskys and CBF of North Carolina have helped establish is Village of Hope, a ministry center for at-risk children situated on 17 acres of property located about half an hour from Kiev. Village of Hope hosts year-round Christian camps, miniretreats and seminars and is now also home to four foster families with a total of 23 children. Village of Hope provides a healthy, Christian environment for the children and families. www.thefellowship.info/podgaisky
Soon after they arrived in Kiev, the Podgaiskys began partnering with local churches and Christian organizations to set up and maintain feeding stations in basements and cafeterias. As children came in off the streets to eat, they received balanced, threecourse meals and built relationships with staff and volunteers. The Podgaiskys learned that many children were orphans, who were either abandoned by their parents at birth, put into children’s homes or removed from their parents’ care by social services. Other children had at least one relative, but often it was an adult who was not capable of caring for a child. Sometimes, the Podgaiskys heard stories of relatives sending children into the streets to beg for food or money to bring back home. As the Podgaiskys heard the children’s stories, they became acutely cognizant of the extent of the problems these children faced — illiteracy and lack of education, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other health issues. Plus, the pipes under the city where children hide and sleep are not always insulated, so children are often burned from touching hot pipes. “We realized if we just focused on feeding children, we wouldn’t do much to make a dent in the crisis,” said Mina. “We said, let’s get together [with the other organizations conducting feeding stations] and form a coalition — to make a concerted, coordinated effort to more effectively and strategically reach more children and make a greater impact in the lives of the children we minister to.”
Under the Podgaiskys’ leadership, a coalition of people from numerous denominations and social ministry groups began meeting bi-monthly to pray, offer encouragement, share resources and coordinate ministry efforts in reaching street children. The coalition continues today and some of its members have created after-school programs for children and other preventive programs to reach children before they go to the streets. There are approximately 20 day shelters, independent living homes and rehabilitation centers where children can wash their clothes, take a shower, learn to read, see a doctor or nurse and attend Bible classes. And coalition members are involved in a wide-spread initiative across the Ukraine to help children find foster families. Another outcome of the coalition is the creation of a life skills manual by some of its members. Written by Mina and others, the manual includes three volumes with 48 lessons, each one includes a target skill, Bible verse, games, crafts and stories. The manual also includes the plan of salvation. Currently, more than 5,000 children are using the manual, and Mina and her co-authors travel throughout the Ukraine as well as to some former republics of the Soviet Union to conduct training seminars for teachers. “We created it to use as an evangelistic tool, to teach how God permeates through all aspects of our life,” said Mina.
Angelica’s story The Podgaiskys met Angelica for the first time at a local rehabilitation center with which they partnered. Several years later they met her again at their church. At that time she was engaged to be married. Angelica had made a special request that the Podgaiskys conduct premarital counseling with her and her fiancé, and as they heard her story, they learned why. Angelica, now in her early 20s, had been living on the streets since age 6, when she had run away from home because her father had beaten her mother so severely that she died. “On the street, someone asked her, ‘Have you heard of this particular ministry in
Kiev? It’s your last hope,’” Mina said. “She made her way to a ministry that had a feeding station and a rehabilitation center, and they took her in. As we were talking, we realized that she had been at a center that the Podgaiskys supported — seven years ago we had been there at the same time. We used to bring toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and school supplies to that shelter. Angelica remembered receiving the soap.” At the center, teachers worked one-onone with Angelica from junior high school through university, where she received a degree as a graphic designer. Angelica became a Christian. And, she forgave her father and invited him to her wedding. “Our entire ministry is represented in this one girl — everything we’ve ever been involved in. We felt like this was a gift from God — to know that Angelica was made a new creation in Christ.”
The Podgaiskys attribute their ability to live and minister in Kiev, in part, to the sacrificial giving, service and love of Fellowship Baptists. “The Lord has called us to do this type of ministry. We prayed that God would send us to where there is the biggest need and the least resources,” said Mina. “We could not have fully answered our call to the Lord without gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions. We have heard the saying: In radical times, we need a radical faith. It is our desire to awaken Americans to a life of radical sacrifice.” The Podgaisky’s ministry is supported by the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which funds their salary and ministry expenses as they serve children in the Ukraine. The CBF Offering is not an extra contribution to their ministry. The annual $5.5 million CBF Offering goal is the amount required to keep
The call for Christians to serve, give
(Top) Feeding stations provide warm, nutritious meals to children living on the streets. (Above) In eight years, the number of children living on the streets in Kiev has dropped from approximately 17,000 to less than 3,000.
the Podgaiskys and many other field personnel on the mission field. “We praise God that He allowed us to be a part of this ministry,” Gennady said. “We see how God is at work in Ukraine and
there is a hope and a future for the many Ukrainian children and adults through our joint efforts for God’s kingdom.” By contributing writer Laurie Entrekin
The Podgaiskys’ ministry is made possible through Fellowship Baptists’ gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which provides for their salary and ministry expenses. This year’s Offering goal is $5.5 million, and you are a vital part of reaching this goal and keeping CBF field personnel in ministry. You can give to the Offering online at www.thefellowship.info/give or use the envelope included in this issue. fellowship!
Church makes long-term commitment to children of New York City
n the first day of summer camp, Timothy came late. The other 45 day campers had already settled into different activities. As members of Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson, S.C., welcomed him inside
Metro Baptist Church in New York City, it was obvious Timothy was hot, thirsty and agitated. Becky Lynch, Boulevard’s global missions director, met Timothy that day and quickly found he was determined to “march to the beat of his own drummer.”
By the day’s end, almost every member of Boulevard’s mission team had spent time redirecting Timothy’s energy toward positive activities. A few days later, as the campers headed out on a field trip to a local park and museum, Lynch had an opportunity to build a relationship with Timothy.
Carla Wynn Davis photos
Boulevard Baptist Church member Jenean Thomason, left, helps unload school supplies for children in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City.
“Though they live in a big city and they’ve experienced many things the rest of us never will ... they seem to crave the attention that we are very anxious to give.” “I was assigned to Timothy that day, and he continued attempting to do things his way. He showed little interest in the museum, except tearing down what another child had built,” Lynch said. “There were moments en route that I feared losing him in the crowds, but I soon noticed that he was keeping as close an eye on me as I was on him.” Upon leaving the park, Lynch said she was unsure of the way back to the subway and told Timothy that she was directionally impaired. “He looked at me with a huge smile and said, ‘stick with me, I live here. I’ll get you back to the church.’ Several times he took my hand on the journey and said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get you back.’ From that point on, Timothy was a model camper, receiving much positive attention from volunteers,” Lynch said. Through a partnership with Ronnie Adams, one of CBF’s field personnel who serves at Metro Baptist, Boulevard Baptist has made a long-term commitment to the children of New York City. Every summer, mission teams lead camp for children in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. And every August, church members collect school supplies that are distributed to more than 125 children when school begins. “Many of the children that come to camp are from homes where they live at or below the poverty level,” Lynch said.
Mission teams and Metro Baptist staff help children find the supplies they need to start school.
“Though they live in a big city and they’ve experienced many things the rest of us never will, there is so much they’ve never experienced. They seem to crave the attention that we are very anxious to give.” Lynch, along with other Boulevard members, travels to New York each September to help distribute the donated school supplies. Church members, along with the staff at Metro, talk with parents about Metro Baptist’s yearround ministries and register students
for the church’s after-school program, which provides academic assistance and enrichment activities. “You can’t help but love these children,” Lynch said. “Traveling back in September, I find myself watching the doorway to see who comes in next. We look forward to seeing the children whom we’ve gotten to know to see how they’ve grown and find out what they’ve done in the summer.” By contributing writer Bob Perkins
Learn about partnership opportunities with CBF field personnel, such as Ronnie Adams, by contacting Chris Boltin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 352-8741. You can also go online to www.thefellowship.info/serve to learn about specific opportunities.
Are you interested in serving as one of CBF’s field personnel? Oct. 7 is the deadline to register for the global missions cohort, the first step to becoming one of CBF’s self-funded field personnel. The cohort begins Oct. 17 and ends Dec. 23. Register online at www.thefellowship.info/candidateform. fellowship!
Feeling Christ’s presence Children’s hospital chaplain ministers among young cancer patients
ne story sticks out in Paul Byrd’s memory when he thinks about his ministry as a chaplain at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, located in Birmingham. Byrd recalls the years he spent ministering to a teenager battling a life-threatening illness. “He always wanted me to visit, but when we would talk about God stuff, he really didn’t want to share too much,” Byrd said. “And he’d say, ‘It’s okay if you want to pray, but pray for me when you leave.’” When it became clear that the young man was near death, he asked Byrd to pray with him. The patient, who was passionate about food and loved to cook for others, prayed aloud: “So, God, this is the first time you’ve ever heard my voice, and I know I’m not re-
Denise McGill photo
Chaplain Paul Byrd, who provides pastoral care to patients and families at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, has served as a pediatric chaplain since 1995.
ally good about praying, but I’m coming to see you soon and I want two things. I want you to take care of my family — and I want to be your chef when I get up there.” The prayer epitomized the patient’s love of serving others, Byrd said. It also reflected the patient’s sense of not having control over his illness but still having something to give to someone else. “I think a lot of being a chaplain is reflected in that story,” said Byrd, who has served at Children’s Hospital since 2003. “Sometimes being a chaplain means that there is not a lot we can do. We’re there to be God’s presence to kids and families going through the worst things you can imagine and to help them to make some sense out of it.” Children’s Hospital is one of the 10 busiest pediatric medical centers in the
country. Byrd provides pastoral care primarily to hematology and oncology patients through the hospital’s cancer center, which treats 95 percent of pediatric cancer and other blood disorder patients in the state. Byrd is part of a team that provides care to more than 300 patients, ranging in age from three months to 25 years old. “When we minster with children, we do well if we do what Jesus did when he took time out from all the adult interaction and met children on their level,” said Byrd. “We must listen to how children perceive and interpret their world.” Byrd, who is one of more than 600 chaplains and pastoral counselors endorsed with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, ministers to patients and their families from diverse cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. They all share one thing in common — the pain, suffering and anxiety of battling cancer. “Walking into those places that feel overwhelming and very scary is an incredible privilege,” said Byrd. “I see families come together and find strength within themselves and the community that is their church. It’s a privilege to be the person who walks into those situations and reminds them of God’s presence, shares hopeful words and prayers. I get to see them come through the days that can be the worst of their lives into a place of hope.” By contributing writer Rob Marus
If you are interested in being endorsed as one of CBF’s chaplains or pastoral counselors, contact George Pickle at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741.
Missions Education Resource How to use this page
The suggestions below will be helpful for using the stories on pages 18-24 of this issue 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. Go online to www.thefellowship.info/affectonline for more suggestions.
Ministry among children
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, gather local and national newspapers and magazines, along with articles from the Internet that discuss issues that affect children. 2. Jesus’ ministry was sometimes conducted on a large scale — the feeding of the 5,000, the Sermon on the Mount, the cleansing of the temple. More often it was conducted in the small acts of each day — teaching his closest followers, healing one person at a time, welcoming children. 3. Read the stories of CBF field personnel Gennady and Mina Podgaisky and chaplain Paul Byrd. 4. The Podgaiskys have invested nearly a decade to improve the lives of street children in Kiev. They’ve seen the total number of children living on the streets decline from more than 17,000 to less than 3,000 through the efforts of a large network of governmental, social and faith-based groups. Chaplain Byrd, in his ministry at Children’s Hospital of Alabama, meets with one child at a time, one family at a time. Dealing with young cancer patients, Chaplain Byrd prays, listens and fosters a hope that is more resilient than the grimmest medical diagnosis. 5. Look through the newspapers, magazines and articles from the Internet.
At Home: With Families 1. Read the story about the Podgaiskys’ ministry to street children. Say: There are kids in America as well who do not have a home. 2. Visit the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s web page for kids: http://www.hud.gov/kids/hthsplsh.html. Click “Start right here” and explore the links, beginning with “Who are the homeless?” and “Where are the homeless?” Family members may take turns reading aloud.
Questions for Discussion
Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info
1. What are the greatest, most daunting needs of children in our community? In our country? In the world? Does our faith community see itself as called to address those needs? If so, who are our partners in ministry? What successes have we seen? What are our dreams? 2. Who had the most positive impact on you when you were a child? What qualities did this person have that made the biggest difference? Who helped you get through a crisis? How did he or she help?
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
At the heart of a village Read about the ministry of CBF field personnel Eric and Julie Maas, who serve as directors of the center, on pages 10-13.
3. Is it easier for you to be a team player in a large effort or to minister one on one? Why? Do you think it’s important to be able to do both? 4. How does our church determine its ministry priorities? Does the church encourage each member to listen and respond to God’s call? Close in prayer. Remember ongoing, effective ministries. Remember ministries that are just getting off the ground. Remember those whose needs have yet to be met. Remember those who need to listen and then respond to God’s call.
In Reading Groups Melinda Marchiano writes of her own teenage struggle with cancer in her memoir Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey through Cancer and Recovery. From the early signs of illness and misdiagnosis to cancer treatments and the fight to continue dancing, Melinda tells her story with candor and wit.
3. Say: Some boys and girls go to school each day, just like you, but live in a shelter or with relatives and friends without a stable home. 4. At the top of a piece of construction paper, write “What can we do?” Start a brainstorming list by exploring the remaining two links on the web page, “What can kids do to help?” and “What can I do to help?” Ask children if they remember what the Podgaiskys did to help the street children in Ukraine. Add these ideas to your list. 5. As a family, choose one idea for partnering with a local program for the homeless and make plans to do it. If you do not know of an organization
to partner with, search for homeless services in your area using this link http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states. Click on your state, then “Find Homeless Resources.” 6. Pray for the children without homes far away in Ukraine and those nearby in your own town. Pray for the work of the Podgaiskys. Pray that God would help your family to know how best to respond to the needs of homeless children and adults in your own community.
God’s mission, your passion
Fellowship celebrates 20 years at General Assembly in Tampa During the annual CBF General Assembly, June 22-24, more than 1,600 Fellowship Baptists gathered in Tampa, Fla., to celebrate the organization’s 20-year history and look to the future. Assembly attendees gave $29,134.28 to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which pays the salary, benefits, operating and ministry expenses for fully-funded field personnel and technological support, travel stipends and member care and wellness programs for self-funded personnel. Singer songwriter Ken Medema used a mix of hymns and improvised musical reflections to create a memorable worship experience that reinforced the message of missional faithfulness. The event also included two business sessions, during which the Assembly approved a $12.3 million budget for fiscal year 2011-2012, which begins Oct. 1. The Fellowship’s new officers were moderator-elect Keith Herron, pastor of Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo.; and Renee Bennett, counselor at Classic Equestrian Assisted Family Services, Dublin, Ga. Moderator-elect Colleen Burroughs, vice president of Passport Inc., ascended to the moderator position at the conclusion of the Assembly. (Learn more about Burroughs on page 30). The 20th anniversary banquet, attended by more than 1,000 people, featured humor, poignant recollections and a powerful message from Molly Marshall, president of Central Seminary in Shawnee, Kan. “What we were given was the opportunity to craft a new narrative — a deepened but broadened narrative,” Marshall said about CBF’s beginnings. “We were given the opportunity to find a larger, deeper stream of Baptist identity that plunges us 26
into the larger ecumenical stream of Christianity.” Continuing to celebrate its past, present and future, the Fellowship commissioned 14 individuals to missions work during an evening worship service. (Learn more about the new field personnel on pages 28-29). CBF The Fellowship commissioned 14 people to missions work at the Assembly. Global Missions coordinator Rob Nash talked about the ways Fellowship Baptists said that the future of missions in the 21st have been and are being the presence of century is the engagement of networks of Christ, including in Haiti and North Africa. churches and individuals in God’s mission She also challenged General Assembly atin the world. tendees to continue to seek ways to be in“These field personnel tonight are being clusive and minister to the least of these. called out of networks focused on particular “If I had more time, I could tell you countministry in particular parts of the world as less stories of how CBF is being the presence much as they are being called by CBF — or of Christ all around the world and even right they are creating those networks in order to here in the United States,” she said. “So what do this thing to which God has called them,” is your story? Are you busy being the presNash said. “It truly is something to celebrate ence of Christ to the least of these? Are you … this passion … this energy that drives them busy feeding and visiting and housing? How and the rest of us together and then sends us do you fit into the story that is being written into the world. I’m convinced that we are seeabout God’s work in the world today?” ing here a picture of the global mission future.” CBF executive coordinator Daniel Vestal Earlier in the Assembly, attendees gathhosted a conversation with former moderaered to network and share ideas in the tor John Tyler, long-time supporter Babs Fellowship’s eight mission communities: Baugh, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious poverty/transformation, disaster response, Liberty general counsel Holly Hollman, CBF internationals, church starting/faith sharNorth Carolina Executive Coordinator Larry ing, justice and peacemaking, medical, eco- Hovis, Second Baptist Church of Memphis nomic development and education. pastor Stephen Cook and McAfee School of In her CBF moderator’s report, Christy Theology student Emily Holladay. McMillin-Goodwin, associate minister at “One of the convictions that has susOakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill, S.C., tained me during my time at CBF has been
the conviction that this is about something a lot bigger than we are,” Vestal said. “We are a part of something a lot bigger in the Baptist family, the Christian community and the human community.” In the final sermon of the Assembly, Kyle Reese, pastor of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., told the gathering that the heart of the gospel was “how we treat the least” as recorded in Matthew 25. “Maybe this text is a suggestion to us that when we take a risk we will find friends that we never knew we had, and we will find the power of God at work in us,” Reese said. “That’s not just the story of the gospel, that is the story of CBF. I am convinced that we will be at our best when we are willing to risk and be part of the gracefilled mission of God.” Additional news and events at the Assembly included: • Leadership Institute for ministers and lay leaders focused on the difficulty of “Prophetic Preaching for Anxious People.” • More than 25 college students gathered for the Tampa Sessions, the Assembly’s week-long collegiate event that included missions, reflection, discussion and participation in the Assembly. • Approximately 30 ministers and lay leaders gathered for a three-day retreat “Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace: Praying the Prayer of Francis” at the
During the Assembly’s two worship services, attendees gave more than $29,000 to the CBF Offering for Global Missions.
The Children and Youth Assemblies provided young Baptists with opportunities for fun, worship and learning.
Bethany Center in Tampa. • At the CBF Advocates breakfast, Jeanne Walker, a member of College Park Baptist Church, received the first-ever CBF Advocate of the Year Award for her role in helping her church to give more than $74,000 to the CBF Offering for Global Missions this year. • The CBF Foundation voted to establish the Ed Vick Jr. Memorial Endowment Fund to benefit the Fellowship, Associated Baptist Press and the CBF Foundation. • The Church Benefits Board celebrated its 10-year anniversary.
• The CBF Coordinating Council Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to John Cothran of Greenville, S.C., during a dinner that featured a keynote address by Walter Shurden. • Vestal received the Whitsitt Baptist Heritage Society’s Courage Award, given annually to an individual who has made a lasting contribution to Baptist life, particularly in the face of strong opposition. By CBF Communications staff and contributing writers Patricia Heys, Bob Perkins, Lance Wallace and Carla Wynn Davis
For more coverage of the Assembly, go to www.thefellowship.info/tampa Make plans to attend the 2012 General Assembly June 21-23 in Fort Worth, Texas. fellowship!
CBF Global Missions
Field Personnel Commissioning Guide These individuals were commissioned as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel at this year’s General Assembly.
San Antonio, Texas Ministry: Latin America/Caribbean Advocate for Leadership Development Team: Latin America/Caribbean Team Hometown: San Antonio, Texas Church: Royal Lane Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas Based out of Baptist University of the Américas, a CBF partner, Linda Cross will work to facilitate training, partnership, theological education and professional development opportunities for faculty, students and ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Fellowship Baptists can pray that God is preparing individuals and churches to respond to the needs of the seminaries, their faculties, staffs, graduates and students in practical and appropriate ways that empower the identification, education and support of indigenous and crosscultural leaders among Hispanic Baptists throughout the hemisphere and beyond.”
Alicia and Jeff Lee
Jennifer and Trey Lyon Atlanta, Ga.
Ministry: Urban Ministry Coordinators Team: Urban Team Hometown: Atlanta, Ga. (Jennifer); Mableton, Ga. (Trey) Church: TowneView Baptist Church, Kennesaw, Ga. Jennifer and Trey Lyon will work alongside Park Avenue Baptist Church, a CBF partner, in Atlanta. They will serve the community of Grant Park, located in the southeastern part of the city, through community development and education initiatives, such as afterschool programs, music programs, English and computer literacy classes, Bible studies and community events.
“Our dream is that this ministry placement can be a field-lab for CBF churches and individuals to come and serve and learn. Moreover, our deep belief is that this model of partnership between local congregations, field personnel and CBF churches and partners can become a model for community transformation across CBF congregations.”
Ministry: Social Work and Kindergarten Coordinators Team: Albanian-Balkan/Ukraine Team Hometown: Abilene, Texas Church: First Baptist Church Abilene, Texas Alicia and Jeff Lee will seek to be the presence of Christ by engaging in holistic, relational and healing ministries among the ethnic groups of Skopje.
“We are compelled to meet the needs of the poorest and the most marginalized of society. We seek to build partnerships with churches and individuals in order to foster meaningful relationships. We have found a place in CBF where we can nurture our calling. We look to use our distinct skills to meet the needs of the people of Skopje. The encouragement of churches and individuals is something that we cherish and seek in order to touch people for Christ. We would not be able to do anything without the prayer and support of others who are also called to this ministry.”
Jon and Tanya Parks Kosice, Slovakia
Ministry: Conversational English Teachers Team: Gypsy Team Hometown: Kenbridge, Va. Church: Kenbridge Baptist Church, Va. Jon and Tanya Parks will work alongside English teachers at an all-Roma private school. They will lead conversational English classes, facilitate an afterschool English club and look for ways to create additional learning opportunities for students.
“The Roma live on the margins of Western society – exactly the place where Jesus declared, ‘the kingdom of God is arriving!’ We’ve seen that God is already at work among the Roma people, and we are excited to become a part of that work. We are also convinced that as others see the plight of these beautiful but forgotten people, they will fall in love with them as we have. We desire to help build God’s kingdom among the Roma by working to provide opportunities for education, care, and most importantly, for experiencing the love God offers to us all through Jesus Christ.”
The CBF Offering for Global Missions helps keep field personnel working among the most neglected by providing the salary, benefits and operating expenses of fully-funded personnel and technological support, travel stipends and member care and wellness for self-funded personnel. To give, go online to www.thefellowship.info/give or use the envelope included in this issue. August/September 2011
Maner Tyson Waterbury, Conn.
Ministry: Waterbury Baptist Ministries Team: Urban Team Hometown: Waterbury, Conn. Church: Waterbury Baptist Ministry, Conn. Maner Tyson will serve as pastor and director of Waterbury Baptist Ministries. In addition to pastoral responsibilities, he will continue to develop social ministries, such as supervising missions teams. Located in the inner city, Waterbury Baptist Ministries serves a diverse community.
“Through love, mercy and encouragement, I am able to help others fulfill their calling to minister and communicate the good news of Jesus to their neighbors.”
Matt and Michelle Norman Athens, Greece
Ministry: Minister to Albanian Immigrants (PORTA) Team: Albanian-Balkan/Ukraine Team Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga. Church: Scott Boulevard Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga. Matt and Michelle Norman will develop and implement strategies for ministering among Albanian immigrants in Athens, Greece, especially as directed through Porta — the Albanian House in Athens.
“We believe that God is working among the Albanian people, developing community and church leaders who will be Christ’s reconciling and healing presence in Greece and throughout the Balkans. We are compelled to join God in this work, to serve a people marginalized for centuries by war and empires, to share the good news of Christ with many whom have not heard, and to live life together with people who will grow in Christ and serve the world.”
Caroline and Josh Smith
Johannesburg, South Africa Ministry: HIV/AIDS Community Development Team: Sub-Sahara Africa Team Hometown: Abilene, Texas (Caroline); Dayton, Texas (Josh) Church: First Baptist Church, Glendale, Calif. Caroline and Josh Smith will be serving in Johannesburg, South Africa, ministering among people affected by HIV/AIDS. They will work with the Refilwe Community Project, a home for approximately 50 children and program that seeks to break the cycle of poverty in nearby communities.
“We feel very strongly that our calling is not only to be personally involved in ministry in South Africa but to also work alongside churches to help them discern their own missional calling and to see if this calling leads them to engage in partnership with like-minded organizations in South Africa. I believe as local congregations seek to rediscover their own missional purpose beyond that of the denominational structure this will become an important role for CBF field personnel. These churches have a desire to serve and enter into partnerships but may not know where to begin. CBF field personnel can serve as a vital link to help these churches find meaningful ways to serve on a global level.”
Mira and Sasha Zivanov St. Louis, Mo.
Ministry: Church planting among refugees from former Yugoslavia Team: Internationals U.S. Team Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. Church: Kirkwood Baptist Church, St. Louis, Mo. Mira and Sasha Zivanov will work in partnership with the ministries of Kirkwood Baptist Church, a CBF partner congregation, and other local churches to minister among refugees from the former Yugoslavia, which includes the countries of Bosnia, Slovenia and Croatia. One of the important outreach ministries to refugees are food pantries. The Zivanovs hope to develop other outreach programs, including English and computer classes and starting a church among refugees.
“We are hoping to engage churches and partners to work alongside of us in this ministry. We ask Fellowship Baptists to pray for those future partners and that we may have patience and persistence as we serve.”
Learn more about the ministry of CBF’s new field personnel on their web pages and by viewing videos on CBF’s You Tube channel — www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.
Meet CBF moderator
Colleen Burroughs Colleen Burroughs is co-founder and vice president of CBF partner Passport, Inc., a student ministry that seeks to empower students to encounter Christ, embrace community and extend grace to the world, and she is also founder of Watering Malawi, which advocates for long-term solutions to poverty and hunger through access to clean water and simple irrigation in the country. The daughter of missionary parents, Burroughs was born in Zimbabwe and lived in Malawi, Kenya and Bophuthatswana as a child. As current CBF moderator and founder of a CBF partner organization, Burroughs reflects on the importance of cooperation and partnership in the Fellowship movement.
Earliest memory of cooperation. When I was a little girl, women in Zimbabwe taught our family a song about a Shamwadee, (a friend) who offered to help carry our burdens. As they sang they would dance together and pretend to lift imaginary loads from the heads and backs of one another. Sometimes they would untie a baby from one mother’s back and tie the child onto another woman. This image remains a powerful picture of what it can looks like to live and cooperate together as the body of Christ.
Being Cooperative Baptists. Being Baptists who cooperate means that we intentionally look for ways to work with each other and with the world, even when we see things differently. Trying to accomplish thoughtful ministry in a vacuum tends to create redundant systems and limits the capacity for impact. Cooperative is the first word in our name for a reason.
Cooperating in a global setting. Our cooperative mindset is our strongest global asset. I’m always so proud to be affiliated with CBF when I’m standing near our field personnel. They are known as bridge builders in places where that has not always been the case for Baptists. Realizing that we are not big enough to do everything on our own is actually a gift. It has empowered us to work with hundreds and hundreds of diverse ministries around the world. I love being known globally as Baptists who cooperate.
Solving problems through cooperation. Most of us want to participate in something that really does make a difference. Introduce young minds to the problem of water poverty and they will work together to find a solution. That is what our students are doing in Malawi. Their mass cooperation effects change on a grand scale. As CBF cooperates with multiple organizations and denominations focused on water solutions, we can literally shift the balance of extreme poverty in those areas. Access to safe water means that girls can go to school instead of walking to a river every day. In time those girls become literate mothers, which raises both the health of the village and its economic opportunity. It is a systematic and proven approach. I tend to hyper-focus on water because it has a dramatic ripple effect, and I believe that offering cups of water in Jesus’ name makes gospel sense. CBF Global Missions continues to offer our churches thoughtful and creative ways to financially support specific and needed ministry among the most neglected.
Living into a cooperative identity in the future.
Becky Stayner photo
Our world is so polarized that cooperation is a foreign concept. It is the exception not the rule. It is expected of children but not of politicians. CBF holds great potential to host the controversial conversations and critical transitions with grace, wisdom and love. I want CBF to be the exception to the rule and the example for cooperation to whoever might be watching. It would be very Baptist of us to agree to disagree, and then walk out into the world to continue doing the work God asks us all to do.
Baptist Center for Ethics Founded in 1991 under the name Baptist Center for Ethics (BCE), the organization is also known as EthicsDaily.com. The website’s banner reads “Challenging people of faith to advance the common good,” and the organization pursues this mission through both its website and social justice documentaries.
About the BCE Founded: 1991
Robert Parham, executive director of BCE, talks with Eric Levy, left, deputy consul at the Mexican consulate in Little Rock, Ark., and Stephen Copley, right, director of Justice for Our Neighbors.
Website: EthicsDaily.com Executive Director: Robert Parham Location: Nashville, Tenn. EthicsDaily.com is an Internetbased information center for Baptists around the world and other goodwill people of faith. The site features breaking news articles, columns, movie reviews and special features. BCE’s most recent documentary, “Different Photo courtesy of BCE
Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims,” aired on more than 130 ABC television stations.
Partnership • BCE holds an annual luncheon at the CBF General
“BCE and CBF have a common history, constituency and vision; moreover, we have shared leadership, including five BCE board members who have become CBF moderators.
Through collaborative efforts with American Baptist Churches USA,
• EthicsDaily.com has long
Baptist World Alliance, New Baptist Covenant and others, BCE and
advanced CBF priorities,
CBF strengthen the witness and work of goodwill Baptists.”
including advocating for social
— Robert Parham, BCE founder and executive director
justice and addressing poverty. • CBF was a sponsoring
“Year by year BCE provides excellent educational resources for
partner in the BCE
local churches to face the complex ethical challenges of today. In many ways
documentary “Beneath the
they have been on the cutting edge of exploring and explaining the moral
Skin: Baptists and Racism.”
dimensions of the gospel. It is a privilege to call them a partner.” — Daniel Vestal, CBF executive coordinator fellowship!
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2930 Flowers Road South, Suite 133 Atlanta, GA 30341 www.thefellowship.info • (800) 352-8741
Her morning walk should be to school not a muddy river.
God’s mission, your passion Cooperative Baptist Fellowship www.thefellowship.info