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Baptists demonstrating Godís lovecomment (0)

December 16, 2004

By Johnie Sentell

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Ken May, director of missions (DOM) for Montgomery Association, recently noted, “I know our culture says, ‘Want this!’ and ‘You’ve really gotta have this,’ but what we really need is to give gifts with meaning and that signify God’s gift to us.”

Baptists across Alabama are sharing God’s love through a wide variety of activities.

Six hundred Baptists in Birmingham Association recently served almost 3,000 hot meals to homeless people in a four-day period. Also provided were hygiene kits, warm clothes and Bibles.

Earlier this month in Bullock Centennial Association, Baptists gave freezer bags full of toiletries, Bible tracts, chips and candy to men in prison and invited them to the weekly service in the chapel.

Members of Baldwin Association churches delivered 672 pies to the Loxley Work Release Center, and prisoners were given Christmas cards they could mail to their family members.

Appropriately, churches in Coffee Association recently provided 285 coffee cakes to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries for distribution to group homes across Alabama.

This Saturday, Dec. 18, children of Grant’s Creek Baptist Church in Fosters (Tuscaloosa Assoc.) will be visiting about 20 homes of shut-ins to sing and give out cookies.

On Sunday the youth choir of Talladega First Baptist Church will present “Come in From the Cold.” It will be a musical culmination for Operation Warmth, an effort by the youth group to collect and distribute warm clothing to needy families in the community. At the end of the presentation the congregation will be asked to bring coats and leave them at the altar.

Members of South Roebuck Baptist Church, Birmingham, are donating toys for children in Matamoros, Mexico. After Christmas, a ministry there will provide needy families with a good meal each day for three days, gifts and the good news of Jesus Christ.

Next week about 30 Baptists from East Liberty Association will go to Reynosa, Mexico, for medical missions work, building projects and delivering gifts to orphans. Coordinator of the group is Doug Dewberry, a hospital administrator and deacon at Lanett First Baptist Church.

As they have for 26 years, members of Chalkville First Baptist Church (Birmingham Assoc.) reached out to local nursing home residents by having a Christmas party for them at the church. Last year one guest in a wheelchair said, “Thank you. This is the only Christmas I will have.”

Westview Baptist Church, Sylacauga (Coosa River Assoc.) recently held another Swap Day. People who visit the church on Swap Day receive a sack or bag and get items they choose. The price? Just a smile.

Members of Hillview Baptist Church (Birmingham Assoc.) are preparing gifts and letters for Marines in Iraq, filling boxes with toiletries and other gifts for the Jimmie Hale Mission, benefiting patients at Children’s Hospital and donating canned goods and money for needy people who call on the church.

Limestone Association DOM Robert Fullerton rejoiced that last year God allowed Southern Baptist missionaries to begin work with 192 additional people groups. In all, Southern Baptists are sharing God’s love with 1,471 people groups worldwide. “But a giant task still remains,” he said. “More than 5,000 people groups still have little or no access to the gospel.”

Baptists across Alabama are collecting for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, which goes entirely to international missions work.

This Sunday at North Shelby Baptist Church (Shelby Assoc.) church members will place their Lottie Moon Christmas Offering envelopes in a manger as their gift to Jesus for His birthday.

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