Every human life reflects the image of God. As His people, we celebrate and protect life. On January 20, churches across the nation set aside the day to remember our belief in the sanctity of life. Churches are challenged to connect with their local Pregnancy Resource Center to learn how to support their work. Be an advocate for life by partnering with these life-giving ministries.
Several SBC of Virginia churches in the Southwest Region are located along the Appalachian Trail. They have unique opportunities to minister to individuals from all over the U.S. who hike the trail, especially during the hikers’ event called Trail Days. Your church can help by providing supplies that the hikers need. These gifts open doors for churches to minister to hikers and share the Gospel.
Christians are five times more likely to adopt than the secular public. It is a testimony of the heart of the Father in His children – the Church. May is National Adoption month. How can your church support the biblical teaching to care for the orphan? Give a night of respite to an adoptive or foster care family. Help adoptive families network together. Call for prayer amongst your church for God to move in the ministry and spirit of adoption.
Literacy changes lives. According to Arise to Read, NAMB’s nationally recognized program to fight illiteracy, 61% of low-income families have no books – at all – in their home for children. This summer, churches are invited to equip schools, teachers, and families with children’s books. Gather new or gently used children’s books, pre-k through 5th grade reading level, for distribution before the start of the school year. This makes for a great VBS mission project!
Trained Disaster Relief volunteers, “yellow shirts”, are given the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to families after disaster strikes. One of the best ways to meet needs is through gift cards to grocery and hardware stores. Gift cards are transportable, support the local economy, and give families the dignity of purchasing what their family needs. By partnering with Disaster Relief through gift cards, volunteers are able to share eternal hope while meeting physical needs.
The Christmas Backpack project is an annual tradition amongst much of our SBCV family. This project calls upon God’s people to bless the poor as we remember the gift of Jesus. Backpacks are filled with one “wow” Christmas gift and then items to meet the needs of a child. Virginia church planters and leaders working in economically disadvantaged areas strategically use the bookbags to reach families and connect them to church. Your partnership helps reach families in Appalachia as well as new work amongst unreached people groups in Northern Virginia. To God be the glory!
A hallmark of Southern Baptist life is our commitment to international missions. The holidays provide a unique opportunity to minister to international missionaries as they are often separated from loved ones. How can your congregation or small group encourage a missionary this time of year? A care package to a missionary kid in college studying away from family or a note of gratitude to a retiring missionary couple, can bring great encouragement.