“Before we eat our Thanksgiving meal, let’s go around the room and have everyone share something they are thankful for.”
That request is enough to test the self-control of the most disciplined of individuals. While people smile politely on the outside, many of them are groaning on the inside as they endure a level of restraint uncommon to many Americans. With a delicious meal before them, an aroma that beckons the senses, and food that looks like it came from the set of the Food Network, the last thing some hungry family members want is to undergo the “Thanksgiving Tribulation”. In an attempt to hurry it along before the gravy cools, most family members announce the first thing that comes to their mind, often repeating what the person beside them just said.
This year, however, I am prepared for that question when it comes.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the Cooperative Program.
I say that not because I am a beneficiary of it, but because my position has provided a unique vantage point of the powerful ministry that is happening because of this amazing missions collaboration.
Here are just a few reasons why this Thanksgiving we can be thankful for what is happening because of the SBC Cooperative Program:
- Nearly 3,600 International Mission Board missionaries reported 176,795 new believers and 22,774 new churches started in just the past year.
- NAMB church planters have started 9,200 churches in the US and Canada since 2010.
- Through Sunrise Children’s Services, Kentucky Baptists are caring for approximately 750 foster children and have completed 50 adoptions this year.
- Kentucky Baptists have served more than 900 Afghan refugees who resettled across our state this year. Churches were able to utilize Global Hunger funds to provide food to more than 550 Afghans during their first three months in Kentucky.
- Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief has served hundreds of people, provided thousands of meals, and had 486 gospel conversations with 83 professions of faith as they ministered to victims of the tornado and flood. The development of KY C.A.R.E (Churches Assisting Rebuild Efforts) has provided grants to pastors and churches affected by natural disasters.
- Kentucky Baptist Campus Ministries have a presence on 28 campuses across the state where in the last year they have witnessed 63 professions of faith.
- Nearly 20,000 students attended Crossings Camps where over 900 of them were saved.
- This year our six SBC seminaries graduated 861 Master of Divinity students which will provide more missionaries, pastors, worship ministers, and other leaders sent out to serve our churches.
There are thousands of new believers all across the world worshipping Jesus today because you and your church gave through the KBC to the SBC Cooperative Program. I am thankful for the many Kentucky Baptist Churches who believe we are better together by jointly supporting mission endeavors.
With a celebration like that, there is no reason to sweat what you will say when Aunt Beverly calls on you to share a Thanksgiving praise.
A warning though… if you start sharing ALL that the Cooperative Program does, just be prepared for the mashed potatoes to get cold.
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