First Walnut Grove fills town with love
WALNUT GROVE—First Baptist Church here in this town of around 500 recently participated in a “Summer of Missions” emphasis that enabled the church to follow through on its commitment to take the Acts 1:8 challenge.
Under the guiding hand of the church’s director of missions, Michelle Hayter, 15 mission projects were put together. Each one had its own leader.
On May 6, all mission opportunities were presented to the church during Mission Sunday. Each person attending church that day, member or not, was given a sticker with his or her name on it. He or she was then challenged to attach it to one of the 15 missions. More than 70 signed up that day; soon afterward aqua blue t-shirts with the “Summer of Missions” logo on the front and a list of missions on the back began to flood the church.
Starting May 26-27, the ministry began with a home improvement project and a “Cater to the Crew” outreach. The first involved more than 20 church members tearing old shingles off a roof, replacing decking, putting on new shingles, and working in the yard for a church family in need. The second included eight people who fed the workers.
On June 3, “Children’s Miracle Network Telethon” featured eight volunteers answering phones for an hour to help raise money for the organization.
Two ladies opened the church’s clothing room on June 9 during the city-wide garage sale, giving out many items. Another project was launched June 11 when seven volunteers washed windows and did other odd jobs.
Camping was the focus June 15-16 when three cabin leaders and eight campers participated in “Baptist Hill Introduction to Camping.” Two campers accepted Christ in the midst of enjoying music, swimming, crafts, Bible study, horse riding and missions.
June 16 was also marked by all of the campers plus another 10 or more people going to Walnut Grove Senior Housing for an “Adopt a Grandparent” project. Workers planted flowers for their adopted grandparents along with eating supper with them and playing games.
June 18 was the first of three dates for prayer walking. Three were in attendance and prayer was lifted up for the churches of Walnut Grove under the heading of “Almighty God’s Will, Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else.”
The labor continued June 22-23 with “Habitat for Humanity,” as four volunteers worked on a home and were witnesses for God.
The June 30 mission was “Pump It Up,” featuring six who worked as full service gas attendants. They managed to wash windshields, give out coupons for $5 off a tank of gas, and witness for Christ.
On July 14, the “Fire and Ice” children’s mission included 16 children and eight adults going to the Walnut Grove Fire House to serve the rescue workers by washing fire engines and rescue trucks.
One week later the second prayer walk was held. After praying for the community, participants gathered for a “Rally in the Park,” a partnership with Life After Meth Ministries. Hot dogs and drinks were served as leaders delivered testimonies.
On Aug. 2-5, youth went on 72 hours of missions. They attended a cowboy church and visited with missionaries from Mexico and Spain. They also made a trip to one of the Missouri Baptist Children’s Homes, worked an afternoon for a homeless ministry, served hot dogs and drinks, and gave out Frisbees and squirt guns to people at a local beach.
Part of the experience for the youth was attending a different church for Sunday morning worship. They also learned about several tribes and nations through devotions.
“Victory Mission Back to School” included eight volunteers who helped with registration and giving out clothes. More than 5,000 people were served through this ministry, organizers said. It is the third year for the church to participate.
Heading toward the end of August, First Walnut Grove had two projects left to do on its list of 15. Those were “Possum Trot Days” and “Community Health Celebration.”
Church members noted that their responsibilities as missionaries are far from over. As such, the list of opportunities for the 2008 “Summer of Missions” has already begun.