Thoughts, insights and observations from the ABN staff


The man who lived in the tent

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the first blog from Jessica Vanderpool, assistant editor for the Arkansas Baptist News, who is traveling with a mission team in Haiti to report on the ongoing work.

Jessica Vanderpool
Arkansas Baptist News 

VanderpoolI woke up Saturday morning (May 5), to see the world through a haze of pink. I’ve never slept under mosquito netting before, much less pink mosquito netting, but it is an interesting experience. It’s a little like sleeping in a canopy princess bed. But maybe I just have an oversized imagination.

But there is no imagining away the reality of Haiti. Flying in from thousands of feet up, Haiti is a beautiful paradise. Descending into the ravaged country shows a different story. Trash is strewn on the sides of the street, sometimes piled in mounds in empty lots. The people are poor, many even sleeping in tents and makeshift houses. Sanitation is virtually nonexistent.

We met a man who lived in a dingy blue tent on the street corner in the city. We also met his two children and his grandmother. All said they were Christians. The man had lost his wife in the earthquake that devastated the country a little over two years ago. His young daughter had a scar on her leg where she was injured as a result of the earthquake, and she had a hernia due to malnutrition. Our team prayed for them before saying goodbye. His story and those of so many around him show that reality of what the people of Haiti have to deal with every day.

But in the less than 36 hours we have been here, God has already shown us amazing things – not that that is surprising, but it is awesome to see. Today we were supposed to go into the prisons to distribute hygiene kits. However, there were some hold-ups getting permission to do so. We knew God was in control and had a plan, but His plan far exceeded ours. We met with an attorney today who is a Christian, and God really opened doors to possible future ministry. If we had been allowed to go into the prison today as planned, we may not have met him and received these opportunities.

Today has been a great day, though we are all very tired. I know we all look forward to the great ways God is going to move. Please pray for us to have the right words at the right times for the right people.

And as you go about your day, remember the reality of Haiti – a poor country of poor people who need the rich love of God.


Coming in the May 3 edition

Read these stories and more in the May 3 edition of the Arkansas Baptist News (to subscribe click here):

Arsonist strikes rural Prairie Grove church

PRAIRIE GROVE – On Sunday morning following a fire that destroyed the sanctuary of Illinois Chapel Baptist Church, members and guests sang God’s praises as they came to grips with why an arsonist had painted upside-down crosses, a pentagram and graffiti on their historic building before setting it ablaze.

Vanderpool reports on Mission Haiti

The first in a series of articles to be featured in the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) about Arkansas Baptists’ mission in Haiti. ABN reporter Jessica Vanderpool will travel to Haiti May 4-11 to report on the ongoing work.

ABN wins Baptist communicator awards

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) won numerous awards in categories ranging from opinion writing to design at the annual Baptist Communicators Association (BCA) awards competition held in April at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.

Read these stories and much, much more in the May 3 edition of the Arkansas Baptist News. Order your print or digital subscription today here!


Coming in the March 8 edition

Below are some of the stories we are working on for the March 8 edition of the Arkansas Baptist News. Subscribe to our print edition here or our digital edition here.

Changes at NAMB impact Calif. mission

FRESNO, Calif. – The California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC) has released a report on what it calls a breakdown in its partnership with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and how new strategic initiatives by the Southern Baptist entity impact mission work in the state.

‘Great Commission Baptists’ suggested moniker for SBC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A task force studying a possible name change for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has proposed that “Great Commission Baptists” be the new designation for Southern Baptist churches that so desire to rebrand their ministry.

Ark. Baptists respond to task force’s decision

The Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) staff asked Arkansas Baptists their opinions regarding the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) task force’s recommendation to retain the name “Southern Baptist Convention” while offering “Great Commission Baptists” as an informal, nonlegal name for churches to adopt if so desired. More than 100 responses poured in from around the state, revealing a variety of opinions, ranging from, “I will probably change denominations,” to, “I like the decision.”

Glasgow ‘AM of year’

ARKADELPHIA – Gary Glasgow has been named Arkansas Associational Missionary of the Year.

Kaleo Arkansas conference set for April

Kaleo Arkansas ’12, a conference for students interested in becoming Christian leaders, has been set for April 21 at Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock.

Floyd marks 25 years at Cross Church

SPRINGDALE – Jim Hunt remembers 25 years ago when Cliff Palmer, former pastor of First Baptist Church, Springdale, placed a slip of paper into his hand on which were printed two names. One of the names has been forgotten. The other name was Ronnie Floyd.


Coming in the January 12 edition

Following are some of the stories we are working on for our first issue of the new year. Read the entire story in the Jan. 12 edition of the Arkansas Baptist News. Subscribe to our print edition here or our digital edition here.

A call to ‘reclaim regenerate church membership’

RichardsonWyman Richardson, pastor of Central Baptist Church, North Little Rock, challenges conventional thinking and issues a call for churches to return to biblical instruction regarding church membership. In “On Earth as it is in Heaven: Reclaiming Regenerate Church Membership,” Richardson’s aim is to counter “religious consumerism” and rekindle a desire to build church membership around biblical values. The Arkansas Baptist News recently asked Richardson to talk about the book and why he feels passionate about the topic of church membership.

ABN top 10 stories for 2011

THE YEAR IN ARKANSAS BAPTIST LIFE – 2011. The editorial staff of the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) has ranked the following top 10 stories of the year based on overall news value and significance to Arkansas Baptist life.

‘Life House’ reaches diverse audience

TEXARKANA – Life House Church is not your traditional church. Sure, the church holds Sunday and Wednesday night services. And Life House offers ministries for children and youth, Bible studies and more. But it’s the people who regularly attend the church that make the church different. 

W.O.W. – a free women’s conference

CONWAY – Food. Speakers. Music. Location. The thought of hosting a conference may be overwhelming to churches, and the monetary considerations alone may put a halt to the idea altogether.


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