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2BC BLOG

Gifts Just For You—Gifts From You by Karen Rogers

It’s that time of year, isn’t it? We begin to think of the gifts we will exchange with friends and family. Exchange, yes. Both giving and receiving. We thoughtfully plan for gifts which we think will match each loved one’s needs and interests. And sometimes we wonder about what might come to us in return. Will what I receive be right on target or will it miss the mark? Will I be thrilled, or will I remind myself, “It’s the thought that counts”? We’ve all experienced the joy that follows when even the simplest token perfectly touches our heart and we know that the giver knows us well. 

So it may be with gifts we receive from God. In a letter to believers, Peter reminds us that we are all recipients of God’s gifts, but that is only half of the exchange. Something is to be given in return.

God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other,

passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings. (1 Peter 4:10, The Living Bible). 

God knows us well. God has created us and implanted special abilities in our innermost selves. But what shall we give God? What is a suitable gift in response to God’s generosity? The answer varies for each of us. For many, the most lasting and meaningful gift may be participation in missions. Engagement in the missions of the church may lead us through the “belong” and “believe” stages of our lives as believers, into readiness to “become” more fully the person God has uniquely created each of us to be. 

Second Baptist Church has a long history of meaningful involvement in missions. Indeed, it was a commitment to living out God’s missional purpose that lead to the creation of this set-apart congregation. That yearning to be God’s presence in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8) continues as 2BC moves into the 2019-2020 Catalyst season. 

  • Our Jerusalem is Liberty and the metroplex. We continue our partnerships with local ministries, such as In As Much, Love INC, Hillcrest, Schumacher school connections, the Christmas Store, the Fuller Center, Table of Faiths, Many Hands Fair Trade Shop, Rebuilding Together KC, and more. And we study ways of expanding those efforts to ensure that we are helping the vulnerable of our community to regain the dignity and independence that frees them to become neighbors whose dreams can become reality. Sometimes, the gifts we pass on to others is accomplished by investing our finances. Sometimes it requires offering our skills and talents. Sometimes it means providing transportation, companionship, prayer. Sometimes it means adding our voices to theirs.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV).

  • Our Judaea and Samaria stretch into the Heartland. Our most extensive partnership has been with the Lakota people of South Dakota. What began as part of CBF’s 20-year commitment to the 20 poorest counties in the US has developed into a loving relationship which has involved 2BC families for 18 years, and which 2BC has committed to extending to the year 2025. Earning the trust of the Lakota has been a slow process because of our national history. Relationship, Respect, Reconciliation, and Reciprocity are hallmark goals for Second’s partnership in South Dakota. In the remaining years of the formal partnership, the focus will increasingly be to build on the assets of the local communities to achieve long-term sustainability.  “Doing for” is evolving into “doing with,” and has the goal of attaining a relationship in which the communities initiate and mobilize their own progress without requiring outside assistance. Has God gifted you with special abilities which can help? Your support of the Catalyst budget will underwrite 2BC’s continued presence as our middle-schoolers, high school students, and adults work alongside the Lakota people to move from relief efforts, through rehabilitation and development, into self-sustaining well-being.
  • Our Uttermost Parts of the world stretch from ocean to ocean. Second Baptist has been engaged in meaningful work in many countries. The open minds and caring hearts of the 2BC membership continue to lead us into service in Slovakia, Romania, India, and Ukraine. Our primary partnerships reflected in the next Catalyst budget proposal will be working alongside our CBF field personnel in Haiti and UHDP personnel in Thailand. Serving at the invitation of local Christian leaders, we know that our efforts will be concentrated in areas of genuine need, that local resources will be used whenever possible, that follow-up and integration with other community projects will seamless, and that all will be done in Christ’s name.

Jenny Jenkins’ leadership as a nurse and all-around community organizer and trusted friend in Haiti is making a dream come true. In a remote area, ground will soon be broken for construction of a complex of six buildings forming a Mountain Medical Clinic. Second Baptist will be an important partner as Jenny and community leaders lead local laborers in doing most of the construction. Read more about the beginning of the project in Jeff Langford’s “Impossible Dream” October 29, 2018 blog

 

 

 

 

Thailand’s Upland Holistic Development Project (UHDP) is an innovative Christian response to the need for rural development in the mountains of northern Thailand and beyond. The holistic approach considers environmental, economic, human rights, and spiritual needs of the residents, most of whom are refugees from Myanmar who have faced great hardship crossing the border into Thailand and trying to establish lives there. Bill Gossett’s April 16, 2018 blog presents a touching and challenging overview of the need and the promise of God’s work in Thailand through UHDP. 

 

 

 

 

Yes, God has gifted each of us. What gifts will we offer to God as our response? As we pray, become more mindful of the urgings God is placing on our hearts, and engage in a blessed community with others, we may sense that God would have us pray, serve, and give generously. Our prayer is that each member of Second Baptist will find fulfilling ways to pass on to others God’s blessings.