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God is on the Move

Almost two years ago, God’s Appalachian Partnership began the process of building on Elk Ridge. At first we had envisioned that our first phase would be building GAP’s office/distribution building. However, because of several factors that were out of our control, the Lord directed that Phase I would be GAP’s Mission House. We are so excited to announce that the Mission House is completed! God miraculously provided for this building which houses GAP’s executive director’s family, summer interns, and small mission teams.

In the building of the Mission House, we have seen the amazing provision of our Father in Heaven.  As you know, GAP did not publicize a huge building campaign in order to build Phase I. God provided by working in the hearts of individuals, companies, and numerous talented laborers to complete an overwhelming building! A local contractor and his team worked tirelessly for the glory of God. This building is a visible reminder to all around that God is Jehovah-Jireh. It is a mighty display of His power and how He accomplishes the impossible! The Morris family moved into a portion of the Mission House just a few days before Christmas. Now we need to look at furnishing the apartment section that will be used by mission teams and interns. We need your help. Following is a list of needed items to furnish the apartment and an estimated cost of each. Would you please consider partnering with us by providing the financial cost of these items? Perhaps you as an individual, your Sunday School Class, or your church could partner together to purchase these needed items.

Bedroom 1 = $2,776 

  • Twin Bunk Beds – $731
  • 2 Twin Mattresses – $450
  • Queen Mattress/ Box Spring Set w/rails – $1,000
  • 2 Night Stands – $215
  • 2 Lamps – $40
  • 2 Luggage Racks – $40
  • Curtains & Linens/Bedding for all beds in room – $300

Bedroom 2 = $2,776

  • Twin Bunk Beds – $731
  • 2 Twin Mattresses – $450
  • Queen Mattress/ Box Spring Set w/rails – $1,000
  • 2 Night Stands – $215
  • 2 Lamps – $40
  • 2 Luggage Racks – $40
  • Curtains & Linens/Bedding for all beds in room – $300

Common Area = $2,310

  • Couch & Love seat – $2,100
  • Coffee Tables – $100
  • Lamps/Rug – $110

Kitchen = $2,074

  • Stove + 5 Year Protection Plan – $629
  • Refrigerator + 5 Year Protection Plan – $946
  • Microwave/Hood Combo + Year Protection Plan – $329
  • Dishes/Silverware – $50
  • Cooking Pans, etc. – $120

Utility Room = $1,116

  • Washer + 5 Year Protection Plan – $558
  • Dryer + 5 Year Protection Plan – $558

This is a great project for you, your Sunday School Class, or church! You can click the “Donate Now” button at the bottom of the newsletter email to give online. Please just note in the memo section your designation. You may also call me with any questions or to discuss your intentions with this exciting opportunity. Please prayerfully consider joining the Lord in completing the Mission House for His use!

Summer Ministry 2021

This summer was like a breath of fresh air as we hosted six mission teams who served alongside us for a ministry-filled summer here at God’s Appalachian Partnership. After a year of having no mission teams and limited ministry due to COVID-19, the staff was excited to engage our communities with the Gospel. We continued with drive-thru distribution and teams served families a hot meal in to-go-boxes, prayed with them, and shared the Gospel. Our GAP families loved the interactions and delicious food they were served!

We had five weeks of Day Camps (four days each week) for children in our area in three different locations. One week, we hosted two different Day Camps at different locations. We had a wonderful turn out averaging 10-12 children each day. The teams did a tremendous job not only sharing the Gospel Message but also showing the love of Christ with these children. Once the camps ended and teams left, many of the kids would ask for team members by name.

After a long pause in ministry, we were so excited to be back into the Group Home to visit our precious friends. It had been a year since the staff had been in the facility due to COVID-19. Some of our old friends had passed away, others had moved, a few were still there, but it did not take long to make many new friends! What a blessing it is to visit and minister here each week. Plus, we were able to start back at the Senior Citizens Building for about three weeks this summer. How we have missed seeing their smiling faces, even through masks!

Throughout the summer, several teams continued to help us minister to families affected by the March 1st flood with home repairs. The Lord has given us amazing opportunities to share the Gospel and build relationships with many families we would have never had the opportunity to meet before. One mission team helped us host a block party in a community greatly affected by the flooding. It was very special to see families who were once so overwhelmed by disaster, join together and be blessed by the fellowship of community and the great love of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in our county, on July 22nd we had to cancel the rest of the mission teams for July, August and September. Later the difficult decision was made to cancel all teams through the rest of 2021 calendar year. We did not come to this decision lightly but for several weeks the number of cases in our region were extremely high. Many of our families had to cancel distribution appointments because they were sick with COVID-19. Please pray for our region as it is being hit hard by this pandemic.   

We praise God for the following partner mission teams that were able to serve alongside of us this summer: Lawndale BC (Lawndale, NC), Forks of Elkhorn BC (Frankfort, KY), Wake Cross Roads BC (Raleigh, NC), Memorial BC (New Haven, MO), Parksville BC (Parksville, KY), and South Orlando BC (Orlando, FL).

Sponsors Needed

We are gearing up for a busy, ministry packed Christmas season at God’s Appalachian Partnership. Due to COVID-19, Christmas Project 2021 will look different this year compared to previous years. However, one thing will remain the same: as families receive needed Christmas gifts they will continue to hear the Gospel message! Christmas Store will be a drive-thru ministry this year. As we register each child we will be taking an interest inventory for gift ideas. And even though we do not start our Christmas project signups until this month, we have been receiving calls for weeks now. It would be easy to allow ourselves to become overwhelmed but we know and trust that God will provide for that which He has called us to do!

GAP began to have sponsorships for the Christmas Project in 2001. Since 2008, the sponsorship amount, per child, has been $35. Now, 13 years later, we see the need to increase that sponsorship amount to $43 per child. The cost of quality gifts has increased, especially gifts for teenagers. $3 of every tax-deductible gift will cover administrative costs and $40 will be used to purchase gifts. Administrative costs include the design and purchase of GAP’s annual Christmas ornament and materials that are used to present the Gospel.

We are grateful for all our partners. If you are unable to sponsor the entire $43 please give as you are led. Every amount, not matter how great or small, will be used to glorify God! Your faithful partnership in ministry is a blessing and allows us to share the Gospel with families in our area! Please consider sponsoring a child today!

Flood Recovery Update

On March 1, 2021, we saw one of the worse flash floods to hit our region since the 1980’s. In Floyd County alone, 199 homes where affected: 12 destroyed, 95 experienced major damage, 81 minor damage, and 11 affected. Total damages estimated at $1.937 million. In normal circumstances rebuilding a home after a disaster presents many challenges, but striving to rebuild during a global pandemic and in an economic depressed region compounds the problem and can leave individuals feeling hopeless.

We are grateful for our many partners who have allowed us to minister to 72 different families over the last several months related to flood relief and recovery. Just a day or two after the flood we were out walking the roads listening to families, feeling their pain, giving out immediate resources, and praying with them. We were overwhelmed with how the Lord provided for the needs of each family, even as those needs changed as days turned into weeks. We handed out cleaning supplies, gift certificates to local restaurants, new and used clothing, building supplies, new and used appliances and furniture, and new mattresses and box spring sets with sheets.                

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Teams from South Carolina came in for three weeks working a total of 884.5 hours and completing a total of 31 mud-out projects. We also had other teams from Smoke Rise BC (Stone Mountain, GA), Fitzpatrick BC (Prestonsburg, KY), and Calvary BC (Lewistown, PA) who helped with rebuild projects. We built many new relationships in our community, had several Gospel-centered conversations, and saw two people come to know Christ!

Summer Ministry 2020

This summer we have enjoyed a different way of doing Children’s Ministry. Due to Covid-19, we had to think outside the box to reach the children that would normally attend day camps. After much prayer and planning we decided to do a front porch Bible time in a couple of our county’s apartment complexes. Families sat on their front porch while we stood in the parking area telling a Bible story through skits. We provided each child with a packet of activities, crafts and a snack to go along with the story each week for four weeks throughout the month of July.

We purposefully planned this event between 5:00 and 6:00 pm so that parents would be home. Not only were children out on their porches, but parents and grandparents also sat listening to the Bible stories and interacting together. Both adults and children were enthralled with the big God of scripture. They discovered that God is the One True God (Elijah on Mount Carmel), Our big God controls even the winds and waves (Jesus walks on the water), Our God enables us to face our big problems (David and Goliath), and Our big God wants us to do big things (The Good Samaritan).

Week after week, we watched the anticipation of the kids grow while a handful of middle school aged kids stood in the background too embarrassed and “cool” to be a part of the group. Each week we passed out the activity packs to all the younger children and tried to encourage the middle schoolers to take one as well. Unfortunately the snack was the only offering they would partake of. On our third week, we finished telling the story of Jesus calming the storm. As we headed back to the office, we looked over and saw that the middle school kids were sitting outside with the younger ones going through all the activities helping them with crafts and other Bible materials.

When you plant a seed you never know how God will use it. We are praying that the Lord will use the scripture and the activity packs that were handed out in a big way. Please join us in praying for the children and families in our area. Pray that the seed that was planted will be watered and flourish to life!

Christmas Project 2020

We have been strategizing a game plan for Christmas ministry for several weeks now. Christmas Project 2020 will be different from previous years because of Covid-19, but we are preparing for a wonderful season of gifts and celebration of our Lord and Savior. GAP’s 2020 limited edition Christmas ornaments arrived a couple weeks ago, which has increased our staff’s excitement. It was with a heavy heart we had to cancel our Easter and back-to-school ministry events, but after much prayer and planning we are preparing for an exciting Christmas Project 2020. However, this year more than ever, we need the prayers and support of all of our donors.

Several aspects will be changing this year. One of the biggest will be not having mission teams helping at the store. Parents’ Store, where children shop for their parents, has been cancelled. In the last couple years, we have had 4 days of traditional Christmas Store, one day of deliveries, and one day at Weeksbury for a total of 6 days. With the current guidelines of Covid-19 it will take us 12 days to accomplish the same and with no mission teams. Plus, we have decided to try and do a lot of shopping online compared to in person to keep down exposure, allowing us to begin early, and enabling us as a staff to shop at a pace we can handle with little help.

We need your help to share the Good News of the Savior with many families in our area. We believe there will be a huge need during this time, which provides a massive opportunity to share the story of Jesus with those who are hurting and are hopeless. Please consider sponsoring a child/children and encouraging your friends and family to sponsor also. Join us in praying for this Christmas ministry.

Ministry Continues

In the face of a pandemic the ministry of GAP continues…continues to give hope, continues to show God’s love, and continues to help those who needed it.  GAP continues, but just like so many things in 2020, we continue in a different way. For example, unlike any year prior, God’s Appalachian Partnership has hosted only one mission team this year. First Baptist Church of Winter Garden, FL. arrived in early March when the pandemic was just beginning. During their week here, we converted to our first drive-thru distribution. Ministry was cut short that week because of Covid-19 and the team headed back to FL a few days early. Little did we know, that Winter Garden would be the only team that would serve alongside of us in 2020.

All mission teams have been cancelled for the rest of the year. We would have never imagined a year at GAP without mission teams, but Covid-19 has transformed our reality in many mays. It has been challenging and has focused us to rethink how we do ministry. However, during these unprecedented times, we continue to be committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus above all else. Families continue to be thankful and blessed by the food they receive during distribution. Many have also expressed their gratitude for the changes made because it allows them to feel safe and protected. And even though we may no longer be able to hug our families, Christ’s love continues to radiate from our hearts with each smile, conversation, prayer, and humble act of service we continue to do. This would not be possible without all our partners who generously give and support monthly, allowing us to faithfully be a witness to those in our area. THANK YOU! We would also like to thank the following churches who have donated food items to keep our pantry full over the last several months: Fitzpatrick BC, Destination Church, South Orlando BC, Winter Garden FBC, Valdosta FBC, Warner Robbins Second BC, and Smoke Rise BC.

Calling an Audible

By Tanya Parker

In the land of football, the word audible means: a substitute offensive or defensive play called at the line of scrimmage. So the offense lines up and the quarterback looks out and sees how the opposing team defense has lined up.  He then has an opportunity to change his teams play based on that lineup.  So he has an option to call an audible.  He will quickly call it out to let his team know to change it up fast because there isn’t much time.  It is crucial that the team is listening for their quarterback to instruct them so that they can carry out the better plan of action.

I believe this word sums up 2020 Missions and Ministry.  In essence we have seen how everything has lined up and we are calling an audible at the line to adjust for what is coming our way.

Just like in football we must listen for our quarterback’s plan, trust him and do it.  Football coaches spend hours upon hours studying other teams and their strategies in the game.  They lay out the best plays in the playbook but they leave room for their quarterback who is on the field in the game to call an audible.  The quarterback has to spend enough time training with his coaches to know the coaches’ will and best decision in the game.

2020 has certainly lined up differently than any of us imagined.  Our Pastors and Ministry leaders have had to call an “audible” for the Church and Ministries.  At God’s Appalachian Partnership our “quarterback” director John Morris has certainly been calling audibles.  So much has changed.  All of our thought through and planned strategies and events are no good with the current line up!  We must call an audible or we won’t be effective on the field. 

GAP has prayed and sought out, for now, what the Lord would have us do.  We are calling an audible to ensure we are still in the game sharing God’s love in the best way we can.  It looks different, it feels different, but we will trust that God will work through this for His good.

Hunting for the Truth

Spring is just around the corner which means it’s almost time for GAP’s annual Community Easter Egg Hunt, Hunting for the Truth. This annual ministry event is our biggest one-day evangelistic event of the year. Depending upon the weather, we usually have between 500 to 800 people. We are excited about the opportunities the Lord will give us this year, on April 4, 2020, to share the Truth of Easter with our community.

As we plan and prepare for this exciting ministry event, we need your help! There are several ways you can partner with us:

  • Pray – Please bathe this event and its planning in prayer. Ask the Father to reveal Truth to those who have been blinded by this world. Pray that the Gospel message will be at the front of everything that is planned and done.
  • Volunteer – We need volunteers to come Saturday to work at the event. Volunteers need to arrive by 8:00 am and will be done by 2:30 pm. (Lodging accommodations can be made) Volunteers are needed to work games, serve food, work registration, and share the gospel at the Truth Pavilion. Please contact John if interested in volunteering.
  • Gathering & Filling – We use approximately 2,500 plastic eggs filled with non-chocolate candy. We need individuals and/or groups who would collect and fill plastic eggs for our event. We need to know how many you or your group will be doing and we need them one week prior to the event.
  • Financial Partners – We need several financial partners to come alongside us to help sponsor this ministry event. Supplies needed for purchase range from food, drinks, paper supplies, door prizes, and supplies for the Truth Pavilion. We need between $1,100 to $1,300.

Please mark April 4th on your calendar. Begin praying for this exciting day of ministry. If possible, join us on this day to share about the resurrection of our Lord with our community. If you have further questions or need more information, please contact our office.

God’s Love

Due to Christmas and the fact we do not have distribution in the month of January, it has been nearly two months since we have seen some of our families. February 4th was the first Distribution of 2020 and we could hardly wait to be reunited with them again. It’s hard to express how much we miss seeing everyone. During the month of February, we specially designed our bulletin boards and hung balloons to point our families to the love of Christ. We have also made each person a Valentine with an attached piece of chocolate candy.

The purpose of the Valentine is to let everyone know how much we love and missed them and as a reminder to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” (Prov. 3:5). It has turned out to be a constant reminder and source of strength to us as well, as we carry the burdens and extreme hardships that our families are faced with. Our hearts are broken almost daily as we desperately yearn for them to know the hope found only in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just during our last distribution we mourned with a sweet widow suffering from the loneliness and heartache from the death of her spouse, a woman devastated by financial struggles and the possibility of losing her home, a starving drug addict faced with the consequences of her bad choices and desperate for a plate of food, as well as many others facing difficult problems and health issues.

Please join us in praying for our families. We love each and every one of them and want them to know the love of Christ!