EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today’s BP Ledger includes items from:
Kentucky Baptist Convention
James Dobson’s Family Talk
Joni and Friends
Substance Abuse Ministries Provide Gospel-Focused Care
By Ken Walker/KBC Communications
WILLISBURG, Ky. (Kentucky Baptist Convention) — Choe Sergent grew up in a stable home, the son of hard-working parents. He didn’t fit the stereotypical image of a strung-out drug abuser. Yet at the bottom of his long slide, Sergent’s addiction cost him a management position and many nights in jail.
His descent originated with a prescription for pain pills to combat the effects of a bowel ailment. Sergent finally slipped over the edge after his fiancé put a rifle to her mouth and pulled the trigger.
“I couldn’t distinguish between physical pain and emotional pain,” Sergent said. “I had a bottle of pills there and when you’re hurting, what are you going to do?”
Faced with the possibility of a trip to the state penitentiary, the Whitley County native wound up at Isaiah House, which receives funding and other assistance from the Kentucky Baptist Convention, local Baptist associations and individual congregations.
Founded in 2001, the residential rehabilitation facility in Willisburg houses about 50 men and hopes to open a separate home for women soon.
Not only did Sergent accept Christ during an eight-month treatment regimen, he sensed God’s call to ministry. Today he pastors Grove Ridge Baptist Church in the Casey County community of Middleburg.
The grandson of a pastor, Sergent grew up hearing the gospel hundreds of times, but he said the message never touched his heart. It was the people he encountered at Isaiah House who helped him meet Christ.
“You had people like Mark (LaPalme, executive director) … and people who came down there and volunteered,” Sergent said. “They had changed their lives and were walking it out. They still had problems but they had ‘Somebody’ who helped them overcome. That’s what drew me.”
Such success stories are why the KBC helps fund substance abuse ministries, said Eric Allen, director of KBC’s Mission Service and Ministries Department.
“I would suspect that every Baptist church has at least one family that has been negatively affected by drug or alcohol use,” he said. “These families need to be ministered to and the Lord has charged us with the responsibility to do so.”
Among other substance abuse ministries Kentucky Baptists play a role in are the 2nd Chance Outreach in Jamestown and the SWAT (Servants With A Testimony) ministry of Northside Baptist Church in Mount Vernon.
Kentucky Baptists provide financial assistance in many ways, through the Cooperative Program, Eliza Broadus State Missions Offering and direct support.
Additionally, contributions to the World Hunger Fund provide groceries and hot meals for guests of Isaiah House.
Assisting people who have substance abuse problems, and the programs that help them, is a worthwhile investment of Kentucky Baptists’ time and money, Allen said.
“The percentage of residents who remain drug free after treatment in faith-based centers is much higher (than other programs) because they guide residents to Christ,” he added.
Jim Clontz, director of missions for South District Baptist Association agrees. South District Baptists support Isaiah House.
“Putting Christ first has been a very important part of it,” Clontz said. “Especially when you consider there have been a lot of things (others) have attempted and it hasn’t helped.”
Through small group Bible studies and Bible-centered 12-step programs, churches are ideally suited to provide ongoing care to men and women who have progressed through a residential treatment program, Allen added.
“One of the greatest needs is for Christians to serve as sponsors and mentors for people in recovery who are involved in small-group follow-up programs such as Celebrate Recovery,” he explained.
Some churches and associations may not be able to start a residential treatment center in their area, but according to Larry Martin, a KBC missions consultant, every Kentucky Baptist can join the fight against substance abuse.
“In Kentucky the use of drugs is such a critical problem in all of society,” said Martin, pastor of Cane Run Baptist Church in Lexington. “I know one elderly grandmother who has lost three grandsons in three separate incidents. The church has to address all of these needs.”
On average, three men each week make professions of faith in Christ at Isaiah House, said Sergent, who serves as secretary of the ministry’s executive board. Every month about five new believers are baptized.
Over the years, many family members of Isaiah House residents have also responded to the gospel and begun their Christian walk through the ministry.
“We live among one of the greatest mission fields that exists,” Sergent said.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a cooperative missions and ministry organization made up of nearly 2,400 autonomous Baptist churches in Kentucky. A variety of state and worldwide ministries are coordinated through its administrative offices in Louisville, including: missions work, disaster relief, ministry training and support, church development, evangelism and more. For more information, visit the KBC website at www.kybaptist.org.
Bluefield College’s J.D. Taylor: Changing Lives with Charity and Water
BLUEFIELD, Va. (Bluefield College) — “Every time you take a sip of clean water, someone dies of unclean water somewhere in the world.” That’s the profound statement that stirs the heart of Bluefield College student J.D. Taylor.
So much so, he’s doing something about it through the help of Charity Water, a non-profit organization designed to bring clean, safe drinking water to underprivileged people in developing countries. In fact, Taylor is challenging the entire Bluefield College family to join him in the cause.
For as long as he can remember, Taylor, a rising senior biology major who plans to attend medical school after BC, has had a passion for missions and ministry. He has served on mission projects in South Africa, Namibia, Peru, Italy, and New York City. He also has participated in street evangelism, after-school programs, praise and worship gatherings, and countless other service projects through his church and BC.
Lately, it’s Charity Water into which Taylor has been sinking his passion. After hearing during a leadership conference about the plight of people without clean, safe water in disadvantaged villages around the world, Taylor discovered Charity Water and how that organization is addressing the need.
Charity Water funds a range of water technologies for those in need, including hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater catchments, and BioSand filters. To date, the charity has funded 6,185 projects, providing clean water to more than 2.5 million needy people in villages, clinics, schools and other facilities around the world.
And, according to Charity Water, a clean water project within a village provides more than safe drinking water. It protects the people from disease and gives them the freedom they need to change their community. In fact, diseases from unsafe water kill more people every year than all forms of violence. And, in Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for clean water.
“Having such a profound impact on not only a village’s water system, but their hygiene, life expectancy, income, educational opportunities, and overall standard of living is a chance very few people get,” said Taylor, who is a member of BC’s Student Government Association, Residence Life staff, and men’s varsity tennis team. “What an incredible thought — knowing that we as a campus community were able to change an entire way of life for a group of people.”
Taylor’s goal: raise $5,000 to build a water well in a needy village. To get there, he has written letters to students, faculty, and staff, inviting them to get involved. He’s created a fundraising portal on the Charity Water web site. And, he has distributed rice bowl piggy banks to students, encouraging them to save their spare change for the cause. He’s also planning a Mr. BC pageant, sports fundraising tournaments, and a benefit concert.
To double the impact, Taylor has partnered with the Alan Morefield Charitable Foundation, who agreed to match his $5,000. In other words, if Taylor meets the $5,000 goal, the Morefield Foundation will contribute another $5,000 to build not just one, but two water wells.
“The thought of providing not just one, but two villages in desperate need of water will be an amazing experience,” said Taylor, “giving our campus the pride and satisfaction of knowing we’ve given such an incredible need to others, who otherwise wouldn’t have had their needs met.”
Taylor, who also serves as a worship leader for convocation and BC’s weekly praise session Elevate, said his involvement in missions at the college has helped him grow spiritually and strengthened his relationship with Christ. This particular mission, he said, has helped him realize the value of sharing God’s love and fulfilling the need to be a part of something larger than ourselves.
“Bluefield College has given me so many resources and opportunities to live my passion,” said Taylor. “I honestly feel no other campus could have enabled me to bring this thing into the light. Having the chance to do so much with something I’m passionate about is a huge deal. It’s now up to me, those involved in event planning, and the student body to help this passion become a reality.”
For more information about Charity Water, visit www.chairtywater.org. To contribute to Taylor’s project, visit www.mycharitywater.org/bluefield.
James Dobson Challenges Parents to Be There and Beware
SAN DIEGO (Family Talk) — Dr. James Dobson capped a four-night, two-weekend Building a Family Legacy event with a call to parents to be active, involved and, most of all, present in the lives of their children.
“Culture flows like a powerful river, and it is extremely difficult to prevent your kids from being swept downstream into unknown waters,” said Dobson, author of 30 best sellers including The Strong-Willed Child and Bringing Up Girls. “You must not become distracted from your ultimate priority, which is to raise healthy children and introduce them to Jesus Christ.”
The series drew more than 5,000 parents to Skyline Church near San Diego to hear the renowned psychologist, author and radio host along with his son Ryan.
Building a Family Legacy is the updated and expanded version of Dobson’s legendary parenting series from 1978, which was filmed and eventually seen by a third of the U.S. population. When Ryan, as a brand new dad, saw the decades-old series four years ago, he urged his father to record a new DVD series and to communicate principles of marriage and parenthood to a younger generation.
“Growing up Dobson, I openly challenged my parents like almost every other kid,” Ryan said. “But I’m so grateful that they loved me enough to hold the line. Dad’s teaching is still just as practical and relevant for parents today.”
James Dobson said: “I am most concerned about the children of parents who are overworked, distracted, exhausted and uninvolved. Without their care and direction, the culture will take them to hell. I have witnessed it a thousand times. Even with proper parental supervision, many of our kids are on the bubble.”
Dobson traced the legacy of his great grandfather, who influenced four generations of his family even long after his death.
The Building a Family Legacy series will be available on DVD in 2013. Dobson currently heads Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, a nonprofit organization and radio program. For 14 years, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and was on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He earned his Ph.D. in child development from USC. He founded and is chairman emeritus of Focus on the Family.
Joni and Friends Television Broadcast in Korea, highlighting disability and bioethics issues
AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (Joni and Friends) — More new and larger international audiences than ever are able to watch the Joni and Friends television program as it is now being broadcast in Korea on the CGNTV network, with carriage in both China and Japan. The Korean network will both dub and subtitle the program in the native languages of the countries where it is being broadcast.
Simultaneous with the television program’s launch in Korea, ministry founder Joni Eareckson Tada’s most recent book, “A Place of Healing,” was translated into Korean and is now available for purchase in bookstores and online.
“The Joni and Friends television series is a vital tool providing encouragement and strength to those affected by disability,” said Joni and Friends President Doug Mazza. “It also delivers the Gospel message with a sense of hope and purpose for those who suffer.”
This 30-minute weekly program, hosted by Tada, highlights an unusually open and honest approach to tough questions about the goodness of God in a world shattered by pain and suffering. The TV series presents a dramatic and powerful look into the lives of real people who have endured, or are still living through, heart-wrenching trials. Tada and her guests put Scripture to the toughest of tests, showing why God is worth believing and how to trust Him in the worst of times.
The Korean television network CGNTV, carried via satellite to more than 170 countries, was first established on the Internet in 2000 as the Christian Missionary Educational Broadcasting Network, to provide instruction and encouragement for Korean missionaries serving in remote areas. Launched on satellite in 2005, the network now carries programming in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, English, Spanish and Portuguese, reaching most of Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa and the Americas. It hopes to launch Arabic broadcasts in the near future, and content has expanded to serve beyond Korean missionaries to Korean and other Christians around the world, and those interested in becoming Christians across the globe.
In addition to the Korean network, the Joni and Friends television series is carried on The Miracle Channel throughout Canada; on CNLTV Russian Network to Russian-speaking audiences throughout Europe and Asia; on ERF Medien to Germany and German-speaking countries in Europe; on the Australian Christian Channel to Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand; on United Christian Broadcasters, Ltd., to the United Kingdom; on Alfa Omega TV in Romania; Aradana Broadcasting to India; C-Channel to Korea; Family 7 TV to The Netherlands; Friends Forever TV to Jamaica and Guyana; Gospel Channel to Iceland; Patmos Foundation/Studio 24 to Finland; Shalom TV to India; and throughout Mexico and the Caribbean as well as the U.S. and Canada via Global Christian Network. Altogether, these international networks reach a nearly worldwide audience.
Other U.S. outlets currently airing the program include: National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) on DirecTV; Cornerstone Network, based in Pittsburgh, with 70 affiliates; Legacy TV based in Odessa, Fla.; Liberty Channel based in Lynchburg, Va.; KGEB/GEB (Oral Roberts University) in Tulsa, Okla.; KJEO 32.4 (Manavision3) in Sanger, Calif.; KGSC 47 in Cheyenne, Wyo.; KNXT TV (Catholic Television) based in Fresno, Calif.; Starfish Network based in Salt Lake City (carried on Dish Network); TCT Network with 45 affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada; TLN (Total Living Network) based in Chicago, with 90 affiliates nationwide, including KTLN in San Francisco and KEEN in Las Vegas; The Dove TV in Medford, Ore.; WATC TV in Atlanta; WAZT TV in Woodstock, Va.; WLMB TV 40 in Toledo, Ohio; WVCY TV in Milwaukee; WTWV TV in Memphis, Tenn.; and WRXY TV, an affiliate of Christian Television Network, in Punta Gorda, Fla.
For more than 30 years, Joni and Friends International Disability Center has worked to accelerate ministry to the disability community, offering a wide array of life-affirming ministries to people with disabilities around the world. Joni and Friends does this through the Christian Institute on Disability; the International Disability Center; international radio and television programs filled with inspirational stories; Wheels for the World, which every year sees thousands of individuals receive wheelchairs and the life-giving message of the Gospel, and Family Retreats, where families affected by disability learn they are not alone.