Not long after that, one of the mission workers from a local church had dinner with that boy and his parents, because the parents were curious about what he had learned. They asked a lot of questions but at one point the boy tells his father, “Dad, we’ve talked about this. It is by faith alone that you are saved, not works. The church is WRONG!”
Each evening Disaster Relief teams send in a Daily Report to provide the state DR office with information from their work for that day. Normally the Unit Leader submits the report through an online reporting system. One South Carolina team leader working in Connecticut, however, was not familiar with using the online system, so he sent a text message each evening …
Camp La Vida is special to me because you learn to worship God. They tell you how to pray, how to connect with God, and how to build a relationship with him. You also make new friends. Such as, cabin mates, counselors, staff, and people around the camp. With all sorts of people that will help you on your path to Jesus. We got to meet cool missionaries Who teach us how to change the world for the better! They also take time to plan activities to teach us about their awesome lifestyle. Those are just some of the reasons that Camp La Vida is special to me.
After the first month, students were asking to use their free time, lunch time, or recess minutes to read or work with her. They loved having her to help them with their remediation and practice. The confidence, enthusiasm, and success they shared and the reflection of her support was heartwarming. It was evident that even when she wasn't there, she prayed for them, for me, and for our school.
The Lord moved mightily among freshmen this year at The Citadel BCM. During their Thursday night weekly small groups they saw 40-70 freshmen gather each week to study the word and engage in community.
While the storm was blowing, one man was pulling into his driveway. He could see trees falling in front of him, so he tried to back out, but ran into a tree that had just fallen behind him. Then he could see a tree coming down right at him, so he pulled the lever to recline his seat just before it hit. Miraculously, he was not injured.
In talking with our DR volunteers that were working in his yard weeks later, the man commented that either Someone was trying to get him, or Someone was watching over him. They responded that if God had been out to get him, he wouldn’t be here today! Now this gentleman, who previously had no interest in spiritual matters, is open to conversations about faith in God.
The ongoing European refugee crisis is no longer front-page news, but South Carolina Baptists have not forgotten about those who continue to live in heartbreaking circumstances as they are made to flee their homelands. In late May, twenty volunteers on two different South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) teams returned from trips serving refugees living in Greece. The relief missions are another way for South Carolina Baptists to give all people groups, around the world, the opportunity to hear the hope of the gospel.
Sarah, a Winthrop student, learned about completely trusting the Lord. “We have been put on this earth not to control our lives but to follow the will/plan that God has placed in front of us to glorify His kingdom. I have seen myself and my team become more and more reliant on God and His plan this summer.”
I then opened the New Testament I had brought to 1 John 5:13 and had him read it. I asked him if knowing we have eternal life is possible if we must work for it. He thought about that but didn’t answer. I then had him read Matthew 5:48 about God’s standard being perfection. I said that if we want to work for salvation, we must be perfect – it’s impossible. He agreed.
More than 100 South Carolina Baptist Convention Churches have received training in Compassion Ministries this year. Because of these trainings, multitudes of new ministries now exist: Multi-housing ministries, ESL ministries, School partnerships, After-School Programs and on and on the list goes. These trainings and the ongoing support offered to new ministries are made possible because of the Janie Chapman Offering.
For Spring Break, they partnered with a local church and Faith Missions Ministry and spent the week in Mexico. What a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus by building houses and spending time with the children of an impoverished community.
Pastor Jeff Smoak, Associate Pastor Jeff Whiten, and staff led the third annual Easter Eggstravaganza with intentionality. Pastors Jeff and Jeff engaged Central Baptist Church and Mountain Spring Baptist Church (a predominantly African American congregation) to help with the event. This is just another example of Baptists working together and pooling our resources so we can accomplish more together than we ever could by ourselves. Just another example of your mission dollars at work.
As we prayed and searched for places to meet in our community that, Kentland Park Baptist Church opened its doors for us to use for our Sunday services on Sunday nights and also to allow us to have a community meal during the week. Since the church is situated in the middle of a neighborhood, we have been able to meet, pray with and share the Gospel with people we would not have meet if Kentland Park had not opened its doors!
Justin has been part of BCM for about a year and had heard the Gospel many times. But it wasn’t until one of the Francis Marion BCM student leaders, Rischard Brown, shared the Gospel with him in a Gospel conversation that Justin accepted Christ.
Since our launch we have had the honor of seeing nine people make public confessions of faith, be baptized and begin a 32-week discipleship process.
We believe our church has a simple but effective vision. “Communities transformed by the gospel as we love, serve, share and send.”
The team led one-day Immersion experiences in each of the three cities, with the goal of introducing relational discipleship tools to the pastors. Each event had large group presentations of big ideas, then small group time to work through details, definitions, and allow for more personal interactions.
“We talked about what a disciple is, the biblical foundation for relationships, how Christ set the example of discipleship in the ways that he reached out to people and poured into the disciples.
First Baptist Church, Hardeeville was committed to finding opportunities to serve the whole community, even if it was going to take some additional training and education. The church now has a growing relationship with many in the community who they previously did not know. Friendships are forming, English is being learned and Christ is being proclaimed. This type of ministry would not exist without the Janie Chapman Offering.
The Lord worked powerfully in her heart resulting in her trusting Christ and stepping out in faith to be baptized. She wasn’t alone in her journey…
At our first small group meeting in 2017, we started asking the question: what can we do to cast a larger net in the harvest? With over 8,000 people living in the neighborhoods surrounding our house, and over 7,000 of them with no church home, we were heartbroken at the pervasive lostness that defines our geography.
Several months ago, our team sent a survey to over 400 of our closest neighbors in Goose Creek. Our two part survey was simple: "What event would you like to see in your neighborhood?" and "Why?" From all of the possible events, the main answer was "Block Party" and the main reason, "To meet my neighbors."