Looking back to six years ago, when I came to GAP I didn’t know what I would be doing and felt inadequate, but I knew that God had a purpose and a plan. The relationships that I have with the people in this community are more than just friends, they are family. I can’t explain the love that I have for them. For a long time, I struggled with loving others and being loved. However, God took this fear and turned it into one of my strengths that allowed me to make some remarkable relationships I will cherish forever.
With a heavy heart, I do believe that God has closed this chapter of my story and is preparing me for the next one. I’m not exactly sure of what that is yet but I do know that God is faithful and His plans are best. Just as I stepped out on faith to come to GAP six years ago, I find myself once again stepping out on faith knowing that my God is faithful!
Good-byes are never easy and though my heart is hurting too, I will ever be grateful for GAP, McDowell First Baptist Church, the many mission teams I have served alongside, and the individuals who have invested into me both spiritually and financially. I am ever grateful for my home/sending church of Freedom Baptist who 21 years ago started discipling me, loving me unconditionally, and instilled within me a passion for evangelism.
Even though I am leaving, I am excited about the Lord’s ministry that will be continuing at GAP and about what He will be doing in the future right here!
GAP will be hosting a celebration in honor of Kathy’s faithful years of ministry in the area on September 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm. The event will be held at the Family Life Center of McDowell First Baptist Church. You are invited! If you are unable to attend and would like to send a card of encouragement please send to: GAP C/O Kathy Henson Celebration, P.O. Box 704, McDowell, KY 41647. If you have questions about the celebration and how you could be a part of the event please contact John Morris at 606-791-0900.
Do you remember the days of tilling the garden, planting rows of produce, hoeing and weeding, watering, and patiently waiting for God’s blessings of harvest? There is just something amazing about eating food that one has grown and cultivated. There is no better food than fresh vegetables from the garden. However, we live in a world were unfortunately the art of gardening has almost been lost. The youth of McDowell First Baptist Church for the last three years are being taught about gardening and GAP and our families are being blessed with the “fruits” of their labor.
Inspired from the Biblical account of Ruth and the concept of gleaning, McDowell’s youth group has raised a garden for the last three years and given the produce to us to distribute to our families. This year around Memorial Day weekend, deacons in the church plowed the garden and prepared it for planting. The youth planted green beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Based upon a weekly work schedule, youth was given tasks to accomplish each week in the garden. As the produce became ready they delivered it to GAP for us to use on Distribution days.
Our families have been thrilled with the fresh produce. A couple of weeks ago, the youth delivered green beans. We divided them up into bags and put them on the shelves for our families that morning for distribution. One lady shared with me that she was so excited for the green beans because this was the first ones she had since last year when we had them on our shelves. I reminded her that God provided them for her and her family and as she eats them just remember how much He loves them all!
Thank you McDowell First Baptist Church for not only teaching our youth the valuable skill of gardening but also compassion, love, caring for others, and for blessings our families with the abundance of God’s harvest! (Click on the image above to view more pictures.)
At the end of summer when it is time for children to go back to school there is always a flood of emotions for both parents and children. The one thing that usually brings smiles to faces is the newness that comes with this time of year. Whether it is a new outfit, a new pair of shoes, or new school supplies, we all enjoy receiving something new in preparation for a new school year.
For many families in our area, KidStock is the means that God uses to provide some of these new items. KidStock is GAP’s annual back-to-school ministry event and it was held July 28th, 2018. 223 children and their families attended this fun-filled day. Families arrived by appointment and each student was given a nametag and new backpack or new pull string bag, depending on their age. Then the fun began! Families walked around playing carnival type games filling their backpacks with much needed school supplies. The day will filled with delicious treats such as cotton candy, snow cones, hot dogs, and lots of candy. Throughout the day each family rotated into the building where they were presented a skit of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Then, in the solemn quietness of the moment, individual volunteers humbly knelt before each child, washed their feet, and placed a new pair of socks and tennis shoes on them while sharing the world’s most powerful message – the Gospel!
Families not only received new supplies for school and new shoes but they heard how they could have a new life in Christ Jesus. This year we had a station for the elementary children where they could color their own Bible bookmark. Volunteers helped them find the scripture on their bookmark in their new Bible while others talked with parents sharing with them how to have newness of life in Christ. It was a blessing to see all the smiles on children’s and parents’ faces alike but nothing compared to the fact of knowing that seven people accepted Christ at KidStock 2018!
Praise God for all our generous donors and partners who made this ministry event a great success! Thank you for your prayers and for the many volunteers who came with hearts dedicated to Jesus and sharing His love! Special thank you to Left Beaver Volunteer Fire Department for providing cotton candy for all to enjoy. Thanks to all who stood in the GAP at KidStock 2018! (Click on the image above to view more pictures.)