Working together, Kentucky Baptists continue to minister to the hurting and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief (KBDR) is a great example.
Storms that knocked out power from Ohio to Maryland in the midst of an unprecedented heat wave created a potentially life-threatening situation for hundreds of thousands of people. The North American Mission Board and West Virginia Baptist Disaster Relief called on Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief to deploy to Mt. Nebo, West Virginia to respond to needs created by the storms. Under the leadership of Director Coy Webb, KBDR immediately deployed a kitchen and shower units, along with a host of chaplains and trained volunteers. The work is especially challenging logistically due to power and water outages at many of the work sites.
On the day I am penning this article, workers have already logged hundreds of hours of labor, prepared nearly 6,000 meals per day, distributed Bibles, washed clothes, counseled with the victims and, most importantly, shared the gospel. These ministries are funded in part through the Cooperative Program.
I received a phone call from one of our KBDR volunteers asking for Cooperative Program information for West Virginia. A local pastor, whose church and community was being served by our volunteers, had shared about his plans to lead his church out of their state and national Southern Baptist partnerships. Now that he was on the receiving end of CP assistance and Southern Baptist ministry, however, he was rethinking that plan. I was pleased to provide information regarding how CP dollars are spent in West Virginia, North America, and around the world.
The report I received back regarding this pastor and his church was that they now “want to get more involved and help West Virginia and the SBC to have a greater effect.” Experience has taught me that people become enthusiastic CP supporters when they realize how CP dollars are being used, not to support a mythical “bloated bureaucracy,” but to meet the needs of hurting people, strengthen churches, and take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
I am hopeful that more of our churches will again discover the incredible Great Commission and Great Commandment opportunities presented by the Cooperative Program. Whether on the giving or receiving end, the CP really does allow us to do together what we could never do on our own.