When was the last time you had your heart melted?

When I began to learn some of the stories of the Karen people who are now attending our church, I knew God wanted me join Him to help these precious adults and their children adjust to a new home.  What I did not yet realize was how much God was going to use them to bless MY life.

The Karen families have reminded me that:

  • True joy is not defined by status or possessions,
  • Biblically defined community can still exist,
  • Simplicity is better,
  • Faith trumps circumstances, and
  • Abundant living is found through loving and serving God and people.

When I witnessed a Karen father wipe tears from his eyes as he met his own daughter’s teacher at the school’s Open House, I was reminded how blessed I am that my children could get an education.   Meanwhile, I am continuing to relive the joy I experienced watching my boys play on sports teams as I watch the Karen children excel in soccer, form relationships with coaches and players, and chatter excitedly about their experiences.    My hearts continues to melt as I am given hugs around the neck, waist, and legs.

I am so glad God “asked” my heart, “These are My children.  Will they be your children too?”

By: Connie Vigus

 

“Let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.” 1 John 3:18

 Do you want to make a difference in the lives of refugees coming to our area?

Visit http://www.becauselovedoes.org to find out out how. 

 

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You’re Invited To Make A Difference

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We have two weeks left for you to sign up to make a commitment to fight HUNGER in our area through our year long mission trip into our community called KOG2ILM.  There are many opportunities available for you to say yes to making an impact to alleviate hunger insecurity  for adults, families, kids and  the elderly in our community.

This Sunday Is Food Sunday food-sunday

Help us meet the goal to collect 10,000 lbs of food to be distributed to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard and Nourish NC, a backpack program for kids in school to have food over the weekend.  Bring your food items THIS SUNDAY (11-13-16) to the connector building.  FOOD LIST HERE

Lasting Impressions

  • Serve lunch once a week at the Good Shepherd House SIGN UP HERE
  • Deliver a meal once a week through Meals On Wheels SIGN UP HERE
  • Commit to sharing a meal around the table with our guests EVERY week during the Tuesday Night Feeding Ministry. Around the table you will have the opportunity to build relationships and show the unconditional love of Christ by learning the names and stories of homeless men and women each week. SIGN UP HERE

Would you consider making a high involvement lasting impression in the area of Hunger? This “all in” commitment will allow you to build relationships through a deeper time investment while helping to feed those who are hungry in our community.

 

Did You Know…

Food Insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a hunger-stampsufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
Food Deserts are geographic areas with a high concentration of poverty where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent. (Food Empowerment Project). There are 7 food deserts in our area. In Wilmington alone, 16,000 people in our area live in food deserts.
  • 16% of the population of New Hanover County are food insecure (32,350 people)
  • 23.7% of Children live in “Food Insecure” homes (almost 1 in 4)
  • 12,697 is the number of children eligible for free and reduced price school meals

 

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We Are In This Together

Expanding my Bubble…. I’ve lived in Wilmington for 4 years, and until recently, I had never been to certain areas of town. I’ve simply had no reason to be there.  For convenience and efficiency, I’ve operated within my own “bubble” — darting out here or there as needed for some specific reason.  For me (and probably many of my friends and neighbors) my bubble doesn’t include the Creekwood Community near 30th & Emory or the Hillcrest community near Dawson and 14th… areas of Wilmington that, statistically speaking, are struggling.  

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Through #KOG2ILM and Rev. James Jamison’s Boots on the Ground initiative (more on that below), our Vineyard Sunday School class has pushed out of our respective geographic and social bubbles to meet, feed, and develop relationships with people in Creekwood, Hillcrest and other faith communities that don’t necessarily look like the folks sitting in the pews with us on Sunday morning. 

And while we’d like to think our actions with Boots on the Ground are beneficial for the people we’re serving, I think it’s important to note we’re not on a one-way “giving” train. Everyone in our class would agree that we’ve gained something, too.  Our lives are richer, our perspectives have expanded, and our families & faith have been strengthened. 

While we’ve only participated with BOTG for a couple of months now, I think the message we hope to convey is simple…It’s  “We see you. We care enough to come where you are. We are in it together.” And most importantly, “There is hope in God. 

My bubble now includes Creekwood. My hope during the remainder of #becauselovedoes, is that every person at FBC will bravely and eagerly search out opportunities to expand their own bubble in whatever way God leads. 

More about Boots on the Ground 

A few months ago, FBC members participated in a prayer walk around our church to focus on specific areas of brokenness in our city.  Our Sunday School class, the “Vineyard,” felt called to action, specifically to help with children facing hunger.  Scott Burrell took the initiative, and Pastor Jim Everette put him in touch with Rev. James Jamison.  Reverend Jamison is a chaplain with the Wilmington Police Department, pastor of Hope Baptist Church and primary founder and organizer of “Boots on the Ground,” an interdenominational group who goes into areas of the city that need it most to provide a meal and caring presence, typically once a month. 

The Vineyard class has teamed up with Jamison’s group for 4 events now, including an Interdenominational Back-2-School bash where we, along with numerous others, served up over 3000 hot dogs at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center one very hot Saturday in August.   

By: Peyton Earey

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#becauselovedoes   #KOG2ILM

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LEARN MORE AT : www.becauselovedoes.org

KOG2ILM STOP #2-HUNGER RELIEF FOR OUR COMMUNITY

Our second mission trip stop in our community will be in the area of HUNGER.

LOVE DOES is a two-year missional journey into our communityimg_0366 that we are taking together. As a congregation we want to discover how God wants to use the best of who we are, as individuals and as a church, to meet the deep needs in our community and in our world. We’re calling this “Love Does” because love does change everything. What takes a hurting world and replaces it with hope and possibility? Love does! Love isn’t just a feel-ing, it’s a do-ing.  And love doesn’t just change the world, it changes us, too.

Education, Hunger, Refugees, Homelessness, and Incarceration – you are invited to Pray, Learn, Do and Reflect on what we are being called to do to bring the Kingdom of God to Wilmington (KOG2ILM) in these areas of brokenness.

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North Carolina is one of five states with the highest rates of people who struggle with food insecurity. But we are followers of a savior who is capable of taking what we give him and using it to feed the multitudes.

“Let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.” 1 John 3:18

picture2 Each person of First Baptist is encouraged to go deep by picking one of the five areas of brokenness and make a significant time and heart investment. Every emphasis will have three ways to be involved:

  • The low involvement is a mission opportunity that everyone can participate.
  • The medium involvement is a mission opportunity with a time commitment and deeper participation.
  • The high involvement mission opportunity is an “all in” commitment to build relationships through a deeper time investment.

ARE YOU READY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HUNGER? LET’S GO CLICK HERE!

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WWW.BECAUSELOVEDOES.ORG