Monthly Archives: March 2017

Fall Celebration

On October 15, 2016, GAP hosted a ministry event unlike any other we do throughout the year. Sharing the Gospel and building relationships was still the purpose of the event but what set this event apart was our target audience. For the first time we were not focused upon ministering to families with children, although we did of course. Our focus was to share the gospel and build relationships with adults. The ministry event, called Fall Celebration, was held in the Weeksbury community with 111 local people in attendance, plus volunteer workers.

The afternoon was full of activities such as a corn hole tournament, a dessert bake-off contest, cakewalks, a pie eating contest, music, pumpkin painting, good food, and great fellowship. We also had several games and activities for children. The day allowed us to build many new, wonderful relationships and strengthen some old ones. It was filled with so much laughter and fun that the community continues to ask when we are going to have another one.

Nevaeh was a young girl who came to the event with her grandpa on the back of an ATV. She was shy and unwilling to leave her grandpa’s side, until the Christian illusionists began his presentation of the Gospel. After that, she was glued to Kathy the rest of the day. They played every game, painted pumpkins together, and even ate together. As Kathy built a relationship with Nevaeh, several of us were able to meet and spend time talking with her grandpa who really needed someone just to listen and pray with him. At the end of the day, Nevaeh made a bag and wrote, “I love Kathy” on it.

The pie-eating contest was a sight-to-behold. There was whipped topping and chocolate pie filling everywhere and the best part about it was that everyone was around the contestants cheering them on. Paula won the cash prize contest and was so excited because she said it was the first thing she had ever won. I spent time with Paula that day, sharing with her and talking a lot about the Christian Illusionists that was there from Springfield, MO. I was able to share more about the Gospel message with her through the magic the illusionists did. Paula confessed she was a believer but had stopped attending church. However, that day God used the Fall Celebration to get Paula back into church. One month later Paula was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer and died only a few short days afterwards. Her niece still talks about what a difference there was in Paula’s life. The difference was God! What a mighty, all-knowing, gracious God we serve.

The day ended with a presentation of the Gospel using a pumpkin, the awarding of ribbons, and lots of hugs and goodbyes to new friends. Special thanks to ministering partners South Gate Baptist Church from Springfield, MO, McDowell First Baptist Church, and Fitzpatrick Baptist Church. May every tool, gift, and talent we possess continue to declare the good news to all we encounter. (Click on the image below to view more photos.)

Christmas Project 2016

In the midst of the business of Christmas, too often our focus is upon the giving and receiving of gifts. We forget to stop and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. One of the families we served during Christmas Project 2016 wrote us this note, “Thank you all for everything that you do for our family. If it wasn’t’ for your help our kids would not have had a gift under the tree this year. So, we want to thank you from the bottom of our heart, God bless you!” Through this event, hearts are softened and the Gospel is proclaimed. We use each opportunity like this to share that every item in our warehouse is from God, not us. We explain how He has provided each doll, truck, basketball and curling iron because of His great love and desire to have a personal relationship with us. The awesome thing about GAP’s Christmas Project is that it does not center on gift giving. The focus of the ministry is sharing the true gift of Christmas, which is Jesus Christ! We are grateful for the many partners of GAP who made Christmas Project 2016 possible for the 998 children in our area. Your generosity, love, prayers, and service have humbled me. Thank you.

This year we added a new and exciting way to communicate the truth of Christmas. We gave each family a 2016 limited edition GAP Christmas ornament. Using the ornament, we explained, “true love was born in a manger”. Each ornament came in a box with a story attached describing the true gift of Christmas. Families were encouraged to read the story to their family as they hung the ornament on their tree. Our plans are to make this an annual part of our Christmas ministry with a new ornament each year sharing a different aspect of the Christmas story.

I received a card in the mail that read, “Thanks for being there and helping all of us. We love the Christmas ornament. I came home, read the card to the kids, and let them hang it on the tree. We are looking forward to next year’s already. Gabe points at it and says look mom there is baby Jesus in a manger. Thanks for all you have done this Christmas for my family and throughout the year.”

Thank you to the many partners who have financially supported Christmas Project 2016 and those who have partnered through prayer. I cannot express in words my gratitude for your faithfulness and your value in ministry. Thank you to the many volunteers who came and served alongside of us for a day or several days in the Christmas Store or Parents’ Store. Without each of us partnering together, Christmas Project 2016 would not be able to happen. Above all, I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father who always provides and who is at work all around and in us! Thank you Jesus! (Click on the image below to view more photos.)

New Journey Delivers Needed Food

Here at GAP we continually remind those we serve that any items they receive are not from us, but from God who has provided for their needs because of His great love for them. We know and want to teach that every good gift is from above and provided because of His great desire for each person to come to know Him and to have a personal relationship with Him. On February 25th GAP received 16,000+ good gifts. New Journey Baptist Church, from Bryantsville, Kentucky, delivered two trailers full of much needed food and personal items. We were not only blessed by what they brought, but also by the number of individuals who drove all the way here to help unload. Thank you New Journey for this mountain of resources that will be used to teach about who God is and how He provides. Thank you for partnering with us in sharing the Gospel with those we serve! (Click on image below to view more pictures.)

Kreation Kids’ Day of Ministry

On Saturday, February 25th, GAP was honored to host Kreation Kids from Big Creek Baptist Church in Hazard, Kentucky. These enthusiastic children and their leaders arrived eager to work and ready to serve. The first half of their day was spent separating and pointing diapers they had generously collected to distribute to mothers here in Appalachia. The second half was spent sorting and pointing a large quantity of food items that had arrived that afternoon from Bryantsville, KY. These children were not only a blessing to those in our area, but also to us who were so encouraged by the desire of there young hearts to serve the Lord. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord”- Romans 12:11. Thank you Big Creek Baptist Church for your partnership in ministry and continuing to teach your children the importance of missions! (Click on photo below to view more images.)