Loving the People
The best way to get to know people is to connect with them - step into their world. Our team's goal was to do that in Booneville - once you've connected, the door opens to sharing the Gospel. There's a difference between missions and evangelism. Missions is evangelism but in a cross-cultural context. Appalachia is different than Atlanta. There was a great need, but no one begged. Not a single person asked me for money. They arrived daily at the mission wondering if we were giving away clothes and food. You love people for who they are - we can't change them - only the Lord can do that.
Clothes & Food
One of the greatest needs in Appalachia is clothes and food. Yesterday our team served over 300 hot dogs throughout Owsley County. Booneville has a local food pantry that receives a weekly delivery from Lexington - hundreds of residents rely on this food to meet their hunger needs. Giving away free clothes and food is one way to open the door to advance the Gospel. We always include tracts with the food and ask if residents have prayer requests. We're thankful for First Baptist Church of Frankfort, they own and operate the mission center we're staying at. They bought an old motel and renovated it for mission teams to stay and work out of.
Our ministry team went to the nursing home and senior's center. Many people don't think about sharing the Gospel with senior adults. One of our team members asked an elderly man about his relationship with God, and he responded, "I'm going to hell."
He told him he didn't have to go to hell, and shared the Good News about Jesus. That senior citizen trusted in Christ yesterday in Booneville, Kentucky. We have no idea who God is preparing to respond to His Word. We're told in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word never returns void. Yesterday, one more was added to God's Kingdom.
Last week at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump spoke about, "Forgotten America." The flyover part of our nation that's missed economic growth. 34 people from First Baptist Church, Moreland, Georgia are staying in Booneville, Kentucky. Four different teams serving and sharing the Good News in Owsley County.
Many times when we think of missions, we first think internationally. While that must be a priority, we can't forget of our home. The needs are great here in Appalachia - God hasn't "Forgotten" about this part of America. Be in prayer for our four teams as we begin a life-changing week.
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