Phase One of Building Project

We are so excited to announce that GAP has embarked upon the journey of building new facilities on Elk Ridge! Since acquiring the property several years ago through generous partners, God in His perfect timing has lead us to begin this project. As you know, years of prayer was answered last fall as God provided water on the property; and through a series of events this year, He has made it clear that the time is now.

Currently, we have an architect who has created drawings of all the buildings God has led us to place on the property. He is now drawing up the blueprints for Phase One, which will consist of a Distribution/Office Complex and one staff house. As you know, we have outgrown our current building and are in desperate need of a new one. God has given us a clear vision of what ministry here at GAP will one day look like and we know that our current building is not sufficient. This is a God-sized task and if it were not for the leading of God, I would be terrified. We will be sharing, with you, our faithful partners, the blueprints and 3-D drawings as they become available from the architect. I felt impressed to share these details with you and ask for your prayers during this exciting project. I am spending a great deal of energy working with the architect, engineer, and surveyor at this time. Please pray God will provide a project manager that will take some of this load off my shoulders, especially since I know little to nothing about construction.

We need partners to join us, in standing in the GAP; by partnering together to build this much needed facility. Please pray for God to provide in such a way that everyone will see His all sufficiency and join together in praise of the great I AM! Even before this announcement, God already laid it upon hearts to start giving to the building fund. If you would like to give a one-time gift or even a monthly gift, designated to the building fund, please contact me for more information.

As God continues to lead us into the future, we have become even more certain of His mission for us here is eastern Kentucky. There are hurting, hungry people scattered throughout these beautiful Appalachian Mountains that have not been engaged with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our mission is to meet people at their point of need for the purpose of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. This would not be possible without you, our partners. We have been standing in the GAP since 1999. Will you continue standing in the GAP with us by ensuring future generations will receive Hope by partnering with us in this building project?

Hunting for the TRUTH!

Children and adults who attended this year’s Community Easter Egg Hunt discovered that the truth of Easter has nothing to do with eggs, bunnies, or baskets. As each family arrived on April 8th in the midst of egg hunts, games, music, and food, they each embarked on a “hunt” to discover the truth of Easter.

Children 12 and younger played games, won candy, and collected specially coded cards. After collecting all 10 cards, the children took them to the Truth Pavilion where they received a pair of special decoding glasses and a volunteer helped them decode the truth of Easter – Jesus is Alive! We were then able to share with them how this truth could transform their life just as it has ours. Many children told us that they didn’t know that this was the truth of Easter. It humbled many of our volunteers when they realized that several 10-12 year olds had never even read the name of Jesus before.

At the same time, there were five posters hidden throughout the park with decoding glasses attached. Teens and adults had to find all five posters, use the attached glasses, and write down the special symbol on the paper provided. When they completed that task, they brought it to the Truth Pavilion were someone used those symbols to share the truth of Easter with them and gave them a bracelet with those symbols on it as a reminder. Also, for completing the tasks, their names were put into a drawing for the adult prizes.

This year, Union Baptist Church in northern Kentucky had collected and brought to us beautiful dolls and stuffed bears. The dolls were of all different sizes, colors, and shapes. The women at the church had carefully placed each one in its own box and handled them with such love and care. These dolls gave us the opportunity to share with the children that they too are all different with different color hair and eyes, some short, and some tall and that God loves each of them because He created them in His image. The children loved these dolls and bears. It was so precious to see their faces light up and to see the care and love they handled them with. My heart was overwhelmed as I watched one little boy, who couldn’t have been more than 3-4 years of age, pull back the doll he had been cradling and tenderly look at it and told it “I love you.” God always does amazing things with the resources He provides.

About 600 attended this year’s event and it was one of the best! It is always great spending time with our families in our community but it was such a blessing to see our community come together for an event like this. At one moment during the afternoon, I stood in the middle of the basketball court and just turned around slowly praising God for what He was doing that day and every day through GAP and in this community. I saw families laughing, playing, and so many smiles. I could see young and old looking for posters, finding them, and then putting on some funning looking glasses. I saw a pavilion full of children and adults sitting one on one with a volunteer hearing about the truth of Easter, some for the first time. Two adults accepted Jesus Christ that day and four others made other decisions! Praise the Lord! What a joy it was to see so many of all ages HUNTING for the Truth! I am reminded of Jesus’ words, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37b-38).

This ministry event is a great example of how God works through many different people as they all partner together in ministry with a common goal of sharing the Gospel with those here in eastern Kentucky. There were several financial donors scattered in several different states that partnered together. WMU groups from several different churches in the Three Forks Association purchased and filled about 5,000 plastic eggs. The Kentucky Baptist WMU at their annual meeting filled over 2,000 plastic eggs and made the cutest bunnies out of socks. Several volunteers from churches came to minister on the day of the event and countless individuals and groups, more than I even know, across many states, prayed in the weeks before and during the event that God would work mightily and that His Truth would be made known to all. This is the true picture of partnership! The decisions that we witnessed that day were a direct result of God working as His children partnered together to accomplish His task of spreading the Gospel. Thank each of you for the part you played in this ministry event but more importantly for your role in the lives that were forever changed because of the Truth! (Click on the photo below to view more pictures of this ministry event.)

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.)

KidStock 2016

dsc_0115On Saturday, July 30th we held our annual back-to-school ministry event, KidStock. The Lord blessed us with a beautiful day and provided all the needed resources for this wonderful ministry event. Families arrived by appointment and each school age child was given a nametag and backpack. Then the fun began! Families walked around playing carnival type games filling their backpacks with much needed school supplies. The day was filled with delicious treats such as cotton candy & snow cones, amazing clowns sharing God’s love through balloon art & laughter, fun filled inflatables, stories of God and His creation through the use of exotic animals by AnimalTales from western Kentucky, and numerous volunteers with hearts dedicated to Jesus and sharing His love.

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.

During this time, I had the privilege of sitting with a grandmother who is currently raising five of her grandchildren. As the children were having their feet washed, her eight year old grandson finished and came running over. Full of excitement, he said “Look mawmaw, my new shoes are orange, my favorite color!” I spoke up and told him that I loved his new shoes. Then I asked him if he knew who had given them to him. The boy responded, “The lady who washed my feet said Jesus did.” “That’s right!” I said, “God provided those shoes just for you because He loves you so much and cares for you.” At this point, all I could think to myself was “WOW! Thank you God for allowing me to be part of this!”

Backpacks, pencils, erasers, crayons, scissors, folders, paper, notebooks, socks, shoes – all of these are just tools that the Lord has given us to use during the back-to-school season to share His love! Our prayer is that as each child continues to use these items, they will be reminded of who provided each of them and why.

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 and served alongside of us for the day! Thank you for standing in the GAP! (Please click on the image above to view more photos of KidStock 2016.)

Gleaning Garden

14256293_1249613498416456_1685670340_n1“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 23:22

According to, each year, well over 100 billion pounds of food are thrown away in this country. Some estimates from 2009 indicate that up to 20 percent of America’s entire food supply goes to waste. At the same time, there are 49 million people, including more than 16 million children, who are at risk of going hungry. Gleaning—the practice of collecting and donating excess foods—helps simultaneously address these pressing issues. Importantly, it also gives low-income individuals access to fresh and locally grown foods. In fact, more than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income neighborhoods where affordable, quality and nutritious foods are inaccessible.

In an effort to combat hunger issues in the rural community of McDowell, Kentucky, the IMPACT (Influencing My Peers As a Christian Teen) Youth Group from McDowell First Baptist Church decided to create a “Gleaning Garden.” Toward the end of May, forty youth and adults came together, tilled the land and planted the seeds that would later bring forth corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, green beans and other fruits and vegetables. The care and upkeep of the garden was performed by the youth in shifts throughout the impending months. The entire harvest was delivered to GAP as it became ripened and able to be picked. Then, the fruits and vegetables were distributed by the missionaries at GAP accordingly.

It was a very rewarding experience to all that were involved. The work was hard, but the benefits far outweighed the labor. It was an event that taught the youth group real life lessons about gardening, use of the land, how hard work pays off, reaping what you sow and many other intangible wisdoms. IMPACT is excited to create an even bigger garden with a larger variety of fruits and vegetables next year! (Please click on the image above to view more photos.)

FBC of Paducah

First Baptist Church of Paducah served at GAP June 19-24, 2016. This was their first year partnering with us and they were such a blessing! The team ministered as the hands and feet of Jesus while serving a hot meal during BeansTalk, teaching children about the love of God during VBS, ministering at the group home, making home visits, and serving at the senior citizens’ building. God also provided the needed resources, for distribution for the following week, through them! Thank you for First Baptist Church of Paducah for your partnership in ministry and for standing in the GAP! (Please click on the photo below to view more pictures.)DSC_0024

Parksville Baptist Church

Parksville Baptist Church served alongside us June 12-16th. Although the Parksville team faced many trials prior to arriving, including transportation problems, through their determination and the Lord’s provision our community was greatly blessed during their time here. The group, consisting largely of youth, brought excitement to Vacation Bible School, BeansTalk, group home ministry and home visits. We are so thankful to you Parksville Baptist church for your faithful partnership and for sharing the love of Jesus. (Please click on the photo below to view more pictures.)DSC_0224