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Crossover to include food distribution

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–As part of Crossover ’09 in Louisville, local Southern Baptists will distribute three truckloads of food and personal care items to some 1,200 families in the greater Louisville area on Saturday, June 20.

The food “drop” is a joint effort by Crossover Louisville, the Southern Baptist Convention, the SBC’s North American Mission Board, the Feed The Children ministry, the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Long Run Baptist Association.

The three truckloads of food will be delivered to Louisville’s Bethlehem Baptist Church, Baptist Fellowship Center and Shively Baptist Church, which are Feed The Children partners. The 1,200 local families have been pre-identified, and each family will receive a box of food and personal care items to help the family for up to one week.

“We are so grateful to work with the Southern Baptist Convention and Crossover Louisville,” said Larry Jones, founder and president of Feed The Children. “Not only will 1,200 Louisville families receive food and personal care items, they will also receive the opportunity to learn about the message of Christ as well.”

“I’m happy to have the privilege to partner with the Christ-honoring ministry of Feed The Children,” said Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention. “Larry Jones and his folks are a blessing to people around the globe. We are thrilled to have them join our efforts at Crossover Louisville as we minister to the needs of folks in Louisville and the surrounding area. Our desire is to meet their needs physically, emotionally and spiritually. We look forward to all God will do during our outreach efforts this weekend.”

Geoff Hammond, president of the North American Mission Board, said, “As you look at a mission field, you look at the needs of people of all different ethnicities. North America is a mission field. Missionaries, pastors and laypeople see those needs. What’s exciting is the tremendous strategic partnership across ministries, agencies and churches. Look at all these partners coming together to show the love of Christ in tangible ways to those in a time of need in Louisville, Ky.

“We also pray that God will use this food distribution as an entry to share the Gospel,” Hammond said. “We don’t just share food. We share food and the Gospel. We share bread and the Bread of Life.”

Dudley Reaves, a member of 1,200-member Bethlehem Baptist in southeast Louisville and team leader for the food drop, said 65 volunteers at his church not only will share food but also will share the Gospel via the distribution of tracts and CDs. Reaves said the pre-identified families will drive through the church’s parking lot and present food vouchers.

One of NAMB’s Intentional Community Evangelism (ICE) teams also is slated to be on hand to talk personally to family members one-on-one who want to come inside Bethlehem Baptist for additional information, Reaves said.

“The North American Mission Board and our local partners — the Kentucky state convention and the local Long Run Baptist Association — welcome the opportunity to work with Feed The Children in this food drop,” said Richard Leach, NAMB’s team leader for servant/ministry evangelism. “Because of the nation’s economic downturn, food ministries like these are more important than ever.

“Requests for national hunger funds from Southern Baptists are growing,” Leach said, “because there are more people with hunger needs and more churches are realizing that the meeting of that need is an opportunity to connect with people.”

Currently more than 2,000 hunger ministries in the United States are funded by the NAMB-administered Domestic Hunger Fund. In 2008, Southern Baptist hunger ministries fed more than 5 million meals to the hungry of North America. As a by-product of these hunger ministries, more than 36,000 professions of faith were reported.

“We at NAMB want to encourage state conventions, local associations and churches to make hunger ministry a higher priority and to promote the World Hunger Fund,” Leach said.

Hunt along with Feed The Children’s Jones, NAMB’s Hammond and Bill Mackey, executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky convention, are scheduled to attend a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on June 20 at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 5708 Preston Highway in Louisville. The food distribution will follow the press conference. For more information on NAMB’s Domestic Hunger Fund ministry, visit www.namb.net/hunger.
Mickey Noah is a writer for the North American Mission Board.

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