MINISTRIES THROUGOUT Arkansas are making a difference in thousands of lives through the help of the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering.
This year’s theme – Today Matters – comes from John 4:35, which reads, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (NIV-1984).
“Members of our team and the missions support team chose Today Matters after a considerable amount of prayer and reflection,” said Robby Tingle, Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) missions ministries team leader. “Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well challenges us today to be intentional in engaging our communities with a taste of Jesus’ living water. As Jesus reflected with His disciples on this encounter, He helped them to understand it is not just enough to plan for the harvest. Today was the day for the Samaritan woman – not only her, but for many in her town.
“Churches giving to the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering are making a daily difference in ministries and church planting across our state. Many of these would not exist or be greatly affected without daily support. Today matters.”
Following are a few stories from the field – all made possible through the gifts of Arkansas Baptists through the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering.
Acts 1:8 missions
Last year’s Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip brought more than 125 churches and 1,700 Arkansas Baptists together to share God’s love. More than 50 salvations were recorded from 72 ministry sites. Volunteers gave out food boxes, participated in prayer walking, completed home repairs and yard work, visited nursing homes, offered free medical and dental clinics, shared Christ at car washes and Laundromats and organized block parties, among other activities.
This year’s Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip will take place on Saturday, Oct. 6 in the Forrest City area.
A “multidenominational, faith-based mission to inmates, ex-offenders, their families, and those in the prison of addiction,” according to the 2012 Dixie Jackson planning guide distributed by the ABSC missions ministries team, FreedomWay Ministries is a residential facility conducted from the home of Lloyd and Linda Blanton.
The men who participate in FreedomWay are required to get a job, go to classes Lloyd offers, and attend worship services.
In the last eight years, the Blantons have had more than 65 men live with them in their home.
Lloyd is a former pastor and has been operating FreedomWay Ministries for several years in conjunction with First Baptist Church, Heber Springs, and the Little Red River Baptist Association.
The Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering supports Lloyd in his work. Lloyd credits funds from the offering with helping him start FreedomWay Ministries and for its success.
Any church, no matter how large or small, can be involved in volunteer mission projects, according to Breck Freeman, ABSC missions ministries team member.
Last year, 106 projects were completed around the state, including block parties, backyard Bible clubs and the rebuilding of homes after natural disasters.
Freeman and Jackie James, both with the ABSC, can assist churches in finding a way to become involved in mission projects throughout Arkansas.
For more information, contact James at email@example.com or Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is next for those who have felt the call to surrender to ministry leadership? Who do they turn to for advice or mentoring? KALEO Arkansas is designed to help prepare those who are responding to this call.
KALEO Arkansas equips those called to ministry in Knowing and Affirming Gods’ call to ministry leadership through Life-on-life relationships that provide Encouragement and Opportunities for ministry leadership development.
Arkansas Baptists are reaching people for Christ across the state and are starting new churches. But there is still much to be done, especially in urban settings and in the economically depressed Delta region, according to the 2012 Dixie Jackson planning guide.
Willie Jacobs is the urban planting strategist on the ABSC missions ministries team. Through the help of the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering, Jacobs helps equip those who start new churches in these areas.
As part of a church-planting institute, African-Americans learn how to start churches and discover their Southern Baptist heritage. Through this training, six African-American churches have been planted across the state.
In addition, churches don’t have to be established for several years before they can start planting churches.
One of the emphases of the church-planting group of the ABSC missions ministries team is establishing church planting in the startup of new churches so they will find it natural to plant other churches.
Members of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff saw 30 students rededicate their lives to Christ, four small-group Bible studies start in dormitories and attendance grow at the BCM’s Wednesday luncheons and Thursday night Bible studies.
In addition to seeing God at work in these ways, Arkansas Baptists took part in BCM outreach by sending 2,700 packages of Ramen Noodles to campus.
The packages were distributed by BCM members while sharing Christ with other students.
Note: The above information was compiled from the 2012 Dixie Jackson planning guide distributed by the ABSC.
For more information, visit www.ABSC.org/DixieJackson.