Convention agencies bring ministry reportsby BSCNC Communications
As a seven-year-old Travis went to live with his aunt and uncle because of the alcohol and drug abuse in his home. But the impact of growing up in that environment had already impacted Travis.
“I had a lot of anger problems and took that out on my aunt and uncle. We decided we needed help,” he said.
Travis’ family turned to Baptist Children’s Homes and Cameron Boys’ Camp, where he learned about God’s love and forgiveness.
“This is not my story; this is God’s story,” Travis shared with messengers during the 2012 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) annual meeting in Greensboro. “It’s about the kids who still need help.”
Travis, now 15, experienced hope and healing during his time at Baptist Children’s Homes. He asked North Carolina Baptists to continue praying for him and his family, and all the children whose lives are being changed because of Baptist Children’s Homes.
The theme for this year’s Thanksgiving Offering for Baptist Children’s Homes is “Sharing Hope,” based on Romans 8:24, and the goal is $1,450,000.
“You have truly made a difference in changing Travis. When you change him, you change everyone around him,” said Travis’ aunt, Karen. “You change his family and his church family. He will be a different husband and father than he would have been because of you.”
Messengers also heard a report from the NC Baptist Foundation, which focused on highlighting ways North Carolina Baptists can be good stewards of the material and financial resources the Lord has provided.
“As Christian stewards, we have a responsibility to determine what will happen to our stuff when we don’t need it anymore. An estate plan should be our greatest act of Christian stewardship,” said Foundation president Clay Warf.
Through endowments and charitable trust funds, Christians can ensure that they continue making a difference in ministry and missions for years to come. Believers should also be good stewards as they prepare documents such as their last will and testament. The NC Baptist Foundation is ready to assist North Carolina Baptists with financial services, investment planning, gift planning and church growth investment funds.
“We want all North Carolina Baptists to finish well,” Warf said. “We are robing God when we fail to tithe our estate. We need to wake up to what we can do for God if we’ll be faithful stewards.”
Church and community relations director Paul Mullen and Vice President of Faith and Health Ministries Gary Gunderson brought the NC Baptist Hospital report. Since 1923, NC Baptist Hospital has sought to provide excellent care to patients.
“Our founders in the Baptist State Convention had a simple dream that would extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ,” Gunderson said.
The Hospital continues to prove a national leader in healthcare, being ranked among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News and World Report in specialty areas such as cancer and geriatrics.
Gunderson thanked North Carolina Baptists for their support of the Mother’s Day Offering, which helps patients in serious financial need pay their hospital bills. In 2012, North Carolina Baptists gave more than $620,000 to the Mother’s Day Offering.
Also bringing a report to messengers was Biblical Recorder editor Allan Blume, who thanked North Carolina Baptists for supporting the Recorder as its staff have “worked diligently to give the Biblical Recorder a fresh identity and to increase its value in Baptist life.”
“We sincerely hope your church, and you personally, are enjoying the inspiring and encouraging stories in the Biblical Recorder about how God is at work among North Carolina Baptists,” Blume said.
Through a print edition, website and weekly e-newsletter, the Biblical Recorder is an excellent resource to help church members broaden their exposure to Kingdom work not only in North Carolina, but throughout the world.
“The Biblical Recorder can be one of the best investments you make in your church flock,” Blume said. “We’re excited to be able to communicate the good stories of people who are standing strong in the faith. Our churches desperately need a powerful movement of God. We want to do our part in encouraging that in every way we can.”