It is hard to believe that fall is here in the mountains but it is evident everywhere you look with the trees full of colorful leaves. The cool crisp mornings are a reminder that winter is just around the bend. God in all His splendor displays His majesty through creation especially during the changing of the seasons. Just as the seasons change, there are so many things in this world that are constantly changing. Yet we serve God, who has always been and who will always be. He is unchanging!
On October 8th, God’s Appalachian Partnership along with a team from First Baptist Church of Pikeville, held a fall festival at the Left Beaver Townhouses. This is an apartment complex where we had hosted Day Camps this past summer ministering to the children. The purpose of the event was to reconnect with children and their families while continuing to share the Gospel with them. 21 children and 10 adults attended the event and we had a wonderful afternoon of ministry.
The festival consisted of different games for the children and families to play, pumpkin station where they could decorate their own, craft station where they could paint a fall sun-catcher, cupcake walk, food and prizes. Pastor Keenan, who is the Student Pastor at FBC Pikeville did a wonderful presentation of the gospel using a carved pumpkin. The children and parents were so appreciative and thankful for the event.
As we were loading up to leave, a couple of the kids asked if we could come back next Saturday. Followed by, “When are you coming back?” As I type these words, those kids’ voices are heavy upon my heart. They just want to be loved. Many do not have a positive male role model in their lives. At their young age, they have already experienced far too much. So much hurt, pain and sorrow that a child should not have to deal with. Perhaps, you have ministered at Left Beaver Townhouses alongside of us before. You may remember these kids’ faces or one of them by name. Please join us in praying for them and this entire community. What they need is the Hope found only in Jesus Christ!
We are almost three months out from the July 28th flood that devastated eastern Kentucky. In the midst of all that has transpired, God has miraculously been at work! First, I praise God for you! God has used YOU, our prayer and financial partners to support us in ways that is indescribable! Your partnership has enabled us to sometimes be the first responder, the resource provider, the shoulder to lean on, for numerous families affected by the flood in our area. We continue to be able to purchase new appliances, building supplies, household goods, etc. to hurting families while ministering to their spiritual needs. Thank you for your generous and loving gifts that allow us to meet our communities at the point of their need and share with them Jesus!
Secondly, I praise God for the rebuild groups that have already came and who are planning to come in. Seasons have changed which means a change in temperature and a renewed urgency for rebuilding flooded homes. Our brothers and sisters from SC not only responded immediately by sending disaster relief (DR) teams for several weeks but one team has come back and worked on rebuilding the house they tore out. At least two other DR teams from SC have brought in needed household supplies and just this week the SC state DR office sent gift cards they collected at a state-wide DR training. Next month, another SC DR team will arrive to work on a couple houses they tore out. Dallasburg BC from northern KY was one of our first teams to come and help with rebuild. They will be coming back again next month. Smoke Rise BC from Stone Mountain, GA, FBC Mt. Vernon, KY, Lawndale BC, NC are just a few coming aside us helping with rebuild. Praise God for these who are willing to “stand in the GAP” and share the love of Christ with the hurting in our region.
There are many different ways we are ministering to families affected by the flood but one way soon will be through our Christmas Project for those with children. We anticipate a few more families than last year due to the flood so I would encourage you to consider sponsoring a child this Christmas Season. You can donate and sponsor a child by clicking the donate now button at the bottom of the newsletter or on our website and write in the memo Christmas Project. Each child can be sponsored for only $43. All gifts are tax-deducible.