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org

November 2011

A n ewsletter of th e K en tuc k y B aptis t Fel lowsh ip

Scatterlings of Africa 2011: Refugee and Migrant Ministry in Morocco
by Roy Fuller (Highland Baptist, Louisville) The photo is like so many taken: an overview of a city from a vantage point on a hill at the edge of town. The city in this case is Oujda, Morocco. Located in the far east of the country, Oujda is far removed from the well-worn tourist destinations of Fes and Marrakesh. Kentuckians made this journey in October as a part of our partnership with the Protestant Church in Morocco (EEAM) and their work with migrants in Morocco (known as CEI). Along with a group from Highland who traveled in July, we wanted to see the place where many migrants and refugees enter Morocco with hopes of perhaps eventually making it into Europe and the promise of improved opportunities. Oujda’s significance lies in its location, just a few kilometers from the border with Algeria, a border which has been officially closed for 17 years. As is often the case with closed borders, there is some traffic which crosses. In Oujda, human trafficking is the primary cargo which crosses this desolate border between Algeria and Morocco. Sub-Saharan migrants and refugees who are fleeing their homelands due to political or religious persecutions because they belonged to the wrong political party or were perceived to be on the wrong side following a political transition; persons escaping war-torn countries like the Congo, where an estimated 5 million persons have died since 1996 in a series of wars and conflicts; persons whose desperate economic circumstances drive them forward in hopes of providing for themselves, their families, or in some cases, whole villages launch out on extremely dangerous journeys and wind up passing through Algeria. Refugee and Migrant Ministry in Morocco cont’d on front of insert

Mission Intern Reflections
By Chelsey Constant It’s a small world. As an intern with Kentucky Baptist Fellowship I do a lot of what I like to call “active shadowing”. This, to me, means I attend certain meetings with Josh and I take a look into the backstage work done in ministry. In the meetings I have attended so far, I have known some of the people, but most of them are new to me. This is good because I love to meet new people. The even better part is that when I start talking to these people I realize that they know a lot of the same people I do. Realizing that all of these people know each other is truly exciting to me because I see that we are all really working towards the same goal. KBF is an organization whose goals are to connect churches and Christians with hands on mission work, as well as become a more connected community, and I feel blessed to be able to see these goals coming to life in the people around me every day. Psalm 133:1 says “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” I feel that God has helped to create a strong unity between the people working with KBF and the community around us. I look

calendar
November 8: Baptist Women in Ministry Day, Georgetown College, Georgetown November 17-19: New Baptist Covenant II, Location TBD January 3-5: National Festival of Young Preachers, Seelbach Hotel, Louisville January 20-21: Wakeful Parenting Workshop, Broadway Baptist, Louisville February 27-March 1: CBF ChurchWorks Conference, Norfolk, VA April 20-21: KBF Spring Gathering, Georgetown College, Georgetown

Save The Dates!
From Uganda to Miami and dozens of places in between, you will find God working and changing lives through CBF ministries. Are you ready to engage your passion and be part of God’s mission? With the CBF Offering, you join God’s mission by investing in life-changing ministries of more than 135 CBF field personnel who share Christ with the world’s most neglected people. For every dollar you give to CBF’s Offering for Global Missions, 23 cents goes to Poverty and Transformational Ministries, 19 cents goes to International Ministries, 4 cents goes to Justice & Peace Making Ministries, 17 cents goes to Education Ministries, 22 cents goes to Church Starts & Faith Sharing Ministries, 8 cents goes to Economic Development Ministries, 5 cents goes to Medical Ministries, and 2 cents goes to Disaster Response Ministries? Learn more about the CBF Offering For Global Missions at http://www.thefellowship.info/OGM

Extreme Build 7: McCreary County June 8-16, 2012 KBF Spring Gathering: April 20-21, 2012 Georgetown College with Matt Cook, Pastor, Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Arkansas Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly: June 20-23, 2012 Ft. Worth, Texas More info can be found online:

http://www.thefellowship.info/Assembly

The Blessings of KBF
by Susan Reed, KBF Moderator, Associate Pastor (Youth and College Students), Broadway Baptist Church For the past four years I have been blessed to see behind the scenes of the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship. I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the Coordinating Council, participate in Extreme Build, assist with the Children’s Mission Day, and take youth on the Youth Missions Weekend. All of these activities help me see several things about the KBF. The KBF is packed full of opportunities! Whether you want to “get your hands dirty” building a house, discover more about leading your congregation, or even partner with a church on the other side of the world, the KBF has it. There are opportunities for all ages and all skill sets. The KBF is a wonderful resource for churches! The council works together at various meetings throughout the year to design seminars, mission projects, and networking opportunities to help churches engage each other. Currently the KBF is building an “Asset Map” to help churches see each other’s strengths so that we may learn from one another. John and Josh continually travel around the state meeting with churches, helping them to be better connected with the work of the KBF. The KBF truly is a “fellowship” I automatically see this every spring when I attend the Annual Gathering. People from churches all across the state meet to share ideas, fellowship with each other, and worship together. Some churches are rural, some are urban. Some people travel for several hours to reach the meeting, others might come from just down the road. We vary in age and experience. It is a beautiful mosaic of people who desire to partner together to serve God. I am so thankful to serve as Moderator of the KBF this year. The Executive and Coordinating Councils are made up of talented, insightful people who are seeking God’s direction for the KBF. They are committed to helping us grow – both in service and in faith. If you have not had the opportunity to join with the KBF in one of the many service projects, learning opportunities, or community building events, I hope you will plan to do so now!

Morocco Gift Cards: Alternatve Christmas Gifts with Meaning

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship will make Morocco Gift Cards available again for Christmas in 2011. Choose a meaningful gift for a loved one and help refugee children and families in Morocco receive the basic necessities in life. Morocco gift cards work by allowing people to purchase greeting cards for various amounts. The card carries a simple phrase like: “A gift has been made in your honor which will purchase one month of food for a refugee family in Morocco by [insert name] to celebrate the Christmas season.” The contents of each card vary according to the purchase amount: $5 for a blanket, $10 for a winter coat, or $25 for a month of food, to name a few. If you or your church would like to join in this meaningful Christmas project, contact Joshua Speight at the KBF office (502-426-1931 or josh@kybf.org). The gift cards are available to any church or individual choosing to participate.

Refugee and Migrant Ministry in Morocco cont’d
In Algeria, they are often taken advantage of by the military and “mafias” who play upon the lack of options and vulnerable situation such migrants and refugees find themselves in. Very often official papers (passports and other documentation) are taken and destroyed so that when persons finally arrive in Oujda, they have no official identification and little means to prove who they are and where they come from; therefore, they are migrants (only those who have papers can apply to receive official refugee status from UNCHR - United Nations Commission on Human Rights). For those who are successful in making it to Oujda (some die along the way crossing the Sahara Desert or at the hands of smugglers), their troubles continue. With no public resources available for the tremendous needs of this population, a few NGO’s (non-government organizations) and churches have taken up the cause and the plight of this unwanted and unwelcome group of refugees. They need everything: housing, clothing, food, and medical attention. They cannot work legally in Morocco, nor do they wish to stay in Morocco. They are “in-between” or “in transit” as they say. Most cannot go home, and they find it practically impossible to go forward. Forward in their case would be Europe, where they hope to secure employment and a better life for themselves and those who may be depending on them. “Connection money” – money paid to smugglers to take them to Spain in rafts and boats can run as high as 2000 Euros, a sum which is astronomically high for refugees who have lost everything on this journey. The last leg of the journey for those few who make it to Europe is to cross from Africa to Spain. One can read regular reports of drowning by those who did not make it because their overloaded boats capsized. What the picture above does not show is that directly behind the spot where this photo was taken are the camps of these refugees. “Camps” is generous in many ways. Sticks and pieces of plastic out of which crude shelters are made. Cooking is done over open fires with water hauled in from wherever it may be found. The groups are organized by country of origin. The photo was taken from the Ghana camp. The 30 plus mostly young men we saw had that look of desperation and hunger found among those who have sacrificed much to arrive where they are, yet are still a long way from where they hope to be. You may be asking why I did not take a photo of the camp or some of the refugees whose stories we heard. The beauty of the forest in which the refugees live hides an ugly reality. The reason I did not photograph the refugees is because these people have been used and abused, in predictable ways of course, but also by journalists and others. They are very skittish, pessimistic, and even somewhat hostile towards outsiders and who could blame them. They are “the least of these” – at least in that place, and they feel alone. A very transient population of approximately 700 lives in such conditions. One of our purposes for our visit was to convey to those who would listen that they were not alone, that the Protestant Church in Morocco cares about their plight, and that by partnering with Christians in Morocco, we would not only support direct aid efforts but would let others outside Morocco know of their plight. There is more to say about this situation, and while I would wish to have shown pictures of the refugees of Oujda and how they live, my description will have to suffice. That is what the picture doesn’t show.
Roy wrote these words of reflection after his journey with two others from Highland in July of this year. His word capture what our group of eight Kentuckians witnessed while in Oujda this October. For more information about the KBF/EEAM partnership, contact Josh Speight (josh@kybf.org)

Summer Report from Nada
By Paula Settle, CBF Field Personnel for Eastern Kentucky From May to August 2011, 21 mission teams worked in Nada and Booneville which involved over 275 volunteers. The churches came from Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky, and Georgia. This included three churches that provided reverse mission trips for our youth and adults to visit Asheville, NC, Winchester, VA / Washington, DC, and Hiddenite, NC. The summer included three VBS sessions at Nada, a sports camp in Booneville, lots of remodeling jobs, visits at the two retirement communities in Booneville, as well as the Senior Center in Booneville. Food was also distributed to families connected to the Owsley County Outreach Center, a new kitchen/bathroom addition was started for one family, and a two bedroom addition was started for another family in Booneville.

House in Booneville

There were two special highlights this summer: The first highlight would be the three reverse mission trips to NC and Virginia / Washington, DC. These are special because they allow our youth and adults to visit places that they would never get to see and they get to build relationships with individual families and churches where they stay. They get to see different styles of worship and have some private in-depth Bible studies. The second highlight was relationship building that happened more this Third Baptist Youth (Owensboro) summer than ever before. Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte continues to build on relationships with 25-35 youth from Owsley County High Sschool each year. FBC Bristol, VA and their new Nada friend shared tears when they parted. The Nada man commented that he had never before experienced that kind of compassion from a group.

225 S Hurstbourne Pkwy. Suite 205 Louisville, KY 40222 Phone: 502-426-1931 Fax: 502-426-1612

www.kybf.org
KBF Coordinator John Lepper - jlepper@kybf.org

KBF Associate Coordinator for Missions Josh Speight - josh@kybf.org KBF Administrative Assistant Shannan Posey - shannan@kybf.org

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On the Road Again
Traveling Around Kentucky with our Coordinators
John Lepper, Coordinator
John Lepper is on a sabbatical/study leave in November. He is working on a resource to help churches during the interim between pastors: “Building Bridges During the Interim.”

Visit www.kybf.org

Joshua Speight, Associate Coordinator for Missions
Oct. 31-Nov.3: Foundations of Christian Leadership Session 2, Durham, NC Nov. 8: Baptist Women in Ministry Day, Georgetown College, Georgetown Nov. 13: Preach, Community Baptist Church, Henderson Nov. 17: Peer Learning Group Lunch, Louisville

John Lepper and Joshua Speight are available to speak/teach/lead at your church. Please contact the KBF office at 502-426-1931 for information and availability.

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