Monday, August 19, 2013

Taylors spend six months serving in South Africa

By Dawn Freeman, Volunteer Writer

The Call to Go
It was a late life dream for Rodney and Patty Taylor, and it had been two years in the making. However, they got back last month from what would be a memorable short-term mission journey to Cape Town, South Africa.

In 2008, Rodney went on a mission trip to Cape Town. As he got to know John Thomas, founder of Living Hope, pastor of King of Kings Baptist Church, and board member at Cape Town Baptist Seminary (CTBS), he learned that one of the professors at the school was scheduled for furlough in the states. Because he taught Greek he'd only be gone a couple of months.

"John told the seminary about me, and we began discussions about my replacing him for a semester because I had the skills and background to teach Greek," Rodney said. "So this tour to Cape Town was to allow me to join the faculty of CTBS and teach Greek, both elementary and advanced. As a part of my responsibilities, I also taught a course on Ephesians."

Rodney said he and his wife, Patty, left Nashville on January 11, had a 26-hour flight, and arrived late in Cape Town on January 12. They were there six months and two days. They left to return home on July 14. During that time, they experienced a lot.

Cape Town Baptist Seminary
Rodney talked about one of his memories from the trip. It was during Mission Week at the seminary when students went into the townships to do various kinds of ministry. Both Rodney and Patty joined with the students a couple of days to observe and participate in the activities.

"I watched in amazement as one of my students, Mzamo Stuurman, went through a township, stopping everyone he met on the street, and asking them if they knew Jesus," he said. "If not, he would take time to stop and share the gospel and witness to them. I personally observed him lead three or four people to the Lord in the matter of a morning."

According to Rodney, that experience made him long for the same kind of excitement and dedication among our church family.

Living Hope
Patty also spoke of a memorable time for her. It happened during the senior adult club for men and women that she worked with. Each week, they met for Bible study, support, and craft time.

She took dish towels, trim, embroidery thread—all donated by her Bible study and LIFE Group. She taught them how to simply thread a needle and embroider. Each person completed a dish towel and decorated washcloths with buttons and trim. In addition, she taught them how to make greeting cards, name bracelets, and cross necklaces.

"I was intrigued by the fact that they wanted to do their best, wanted me to approve," she said. "And [they] acted like little children when they had accomplished their project. The group leader told me that many of them probably had never had anything with their names on it or made anything like we had done."

According to Patty, the group planned a lunch and invited the Taylors to join them to say goodbye when their time had come to leave. She said, "They fed us, thanked us, hugged us, and gave us a card they all had signed.”

Ministry Impact
Patty said, "Most everyone whom we encountered impacted us. The humbleness of the people in the townships is hard to ignore. They so greatly appreciate whatever you do for them. The people generally are friendly and want to know about America."

Rodney spoke of his time and impact among the seminary students. He said, “I considered it a privilege to teach students who will be going out and impacting many others. It was a way that I could multiply my contribution to the kingdom of God many times over and over multiple generations.”

He also talked about the people who impacted him—his students. He said, “They are all so dedicated to their purpose in the kingdom and to leading the African continent to the Lord.  To them, one’s relationship with God is utmost, and they have dedicated themselves to preparing their heads, their hearts, and their hands to do the work to which God has called them."

Rodney said he was impressed by their willingness to lay it all out on the line for Jesus. Most attend seminary under extreme financial conditions. Some come from the townships where poverty is a way of life. But they do whatever it takes to break that cycle and get an education. 

He said, "They recognize that education is their ticket out of poverty, and they acknowledge that God has provided."

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Medical Dental Unit sets sail on maiden voyage

By Kaylan Christopher, Staff Writer

On Friday, August 9, the new Medical Dental Unit left the church parking lot at 6:00 a.m. for the first national mission journey to East Tennessee, making stops in two of the area's poorest communities.

A team of 31 Kairos and Brentwood Baptist medical volunteers, including doctors, dentists, nurses, and hygienists, went to partner with Of One Accord Ministry. Together, they hosted two half-day clinics including dental services, health screenings, and activities for kids.

On Friday, they made their first stop in Sneedville, hosting a clinic from 2:00-7:00 p.m. 

Sharon Fairchild, Mission Journeys Minister, said, "When we got there, a man man drove up on his riding lawn mower and asked if we were pulling teeth. We told him to see if he could get on the list. … Later in the day, we had space, so he came back and we pulled seven teeth. He went home and came back again later on his mower to tell us 'thank you.'"

At dinner that night, the team talked with their waitress at a local diner, explaining to her why they were there. 

Amy Fairchild, Medical Dental Unit Coordinator, said, "She had some dental issues but didn't have insurance, so we invited her to the clinic the next morning. She was there at 8:00 a.m. and we were able to take care of her."

On Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., they set up shop in Of One Accord's parking lot in Rogersville.

There they provided scheduled dental services and health screenings, which consisted of a general health questionnaire plus glucose and blood pressure checks. Most of the patients didn't have access to a doctor or dentist, or didn't have funds for one.

Michael Vaughan, a Nashville-based dentist on the team, said, "The MDU let us minister to their spiritual and physical needs. We saw people in desperate conditions—experiencing pain, embarrassment, inability to chew their food. We were able to give each person a diagnosis and ideas for treatment. And we did as much dental work as possible."

For a pre-determined 150 kids in need, volunteers donated backpacks filled with school supplies, set up games and crafts, offered fluoride treatments, and handed out food boxes. And to all, they served up a free lunch.

One 6-year-old girl, Lilly, got her backpack then went to pick up her box of food from Tabitha Taylor, a Kairos volunteer, and asked if it was all for her. When Tabitha confirmed it was, Lilly said, "You mean I get to eat today?"

Tabitha said, "Ministry is awesome, and it's fun to be involved around the world, but there are people struggling in our own backyard. Sometimes we don't even know it, and sometimes we just ignore it. It's really humbling to be a part of something like this."

At the end of the weekend, the team saw 24 medical patients, gave 40 fluoride applications, cared for 27 dental patients, pulled 87 teeth, and shared the gospel 34 times. One young man gave his life to Christ and every patient that came through the clinic was prayed over.

Sheldon Livesay, Of One Accord's Founder and Director, said, "Our number one goal is create events and activities like this, bringing people together. There's a church on every corner, but nobody is coming. We have to get outside the church walls, meet people's needs, then present the gospel."

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Volunteers take VBS to inner-city kids in Nashville

Story by Kaylan Christopher, Staff Writer

From July 17-19, just after offering Vacation Bible School to more than 1,000 kids on Brentwood Baptist's campus, a group of volunteers traveled a short 13.5 miles to offer it to the kids in one of Nashville's poorest, inner-city communities. 

Partnering with Set Free Church in Nashville for the second year, and sticking with this year's Colossal Coaster theme, they set up in a field across from the church. Every evening, they welcomed in kids from the surrounding neighborhoods and bussed in children from outer areas.

During VBS, the kids played games, participated in arts and crafts, worshiped, and more. Those who attended heard the gospel and life change stories from believers, and volunteers prayed over each one of them.

Mignon Camp, who led the crew, said, “We loved on more than 100 children, served close to 400 meals, gave out more than 150 snow cones (thanks to the Deaf Church), and popped and served 6 pounds of popcorn. And the children iced and ate 200 cookies!”

On the last night, the team gave out backpacks filled with school supplies. And by the end of the week, three children had made the decision to give their lives to Jesus and follow Him.

Thirty volunteers served, representing Kairos, Brentwood Young Children's School, Summer Play Days, Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church, and Brentwood Baptist's Preschool, Children's, and Student Ministries—along with the Set Free residents, homeless men who live at the church. 

Bob Carlton, Church Multiplication Minister at Brentwood Baptist, said, “Mignon and the Set Free VBS crew once again knocked it out of the park. They made a huge impact in the lives of our city's kids with the gospel. The ride is more fun because we're on it together.”

Leia Mais…