West Virginia Missions
WEST VIRGINIA MISSION TRIP REPORT 2023
A team of 140+ from Kilpatrick Baptist Association and Hephzibah Baptist Association traveled to WV/VA in July to minister to those living in the area around Bluefield, WV/VA. We had 6 VBS teams serving in Matoaka, Pocahontas, Pipestem, Princeton, Bluewell, and Edgmont. We had 300+ in the various VBS classes for the week with at least 5 salvations. Our construction team met needs in Bluewell, WV. We also had an oil change station team serve the Pocahontas community. We are thankful for how God worked this week in West Virginia!
MATOAKA: Wadley Baptist Church along with FCA students from Edmund Burke Academy in Waynesboro were privileged to host VBS in Matoaka. This was my personal 8th year there. I have grown quite attached to Pastor and Mrs. Tom Carpenter and the children of that area. I have watched so many come and go but about a 1/3 of them I have come much attached to. This year’s group was the largest that we have ever had there, I believe I am correct in saying the average number daily was in the low 70's with ages from 6 months to 80 years old. Also on average we served around 266 meals a day - this included team meals, VBS meals and community meals at night. This has grown over the years and my team and I feel this is part of the success of our great crowd this year for VBS. Sure most are there for what they can physically get from us in these visits but the seed is plated and they heard for 4 days the name of Jesus and the great things he can do in their lives. I tell my teachers each year the biggest things these little ones want and need throughout the week is love, hugs and smiles as so many are lacking in that department at home.
The Youth in our group did several community projects like cleaning and painting a new church parking lot for Bridge Baptist, they painted a retaining wall that runs along the creek bed and posted 3 crosses with brick and mulch as a decorative touch to the church grounds.
I am very proud of the group we took this year.. We had 2 new faculty members from EBA that worked in the kitchen this year, they were a great addition to our group also - everyone worked together for the same purpose, the GLORY OF GOD!
Submitted by: Terese Dixon – Wadley Baptist Church/HBA
Forty-nine mission volunteers from Sharon Baptist Church enjoyed reconnecting and worshiping with the folks from Boissevain, Pocahontas and Abbs Valley on Sunday morning at Boissevain Baptist Church. After a time of fellowship and lunch with them, we set up our tents and worship rally pavilion at Laurel Park in Pocahontas and were thankful to see there were more picnic tables available for our use this year. We then split into teams, prayed, and canvassed the town, inviting people to VBS and praying with folks that allowed us to do so. Anna Dunn reports, "One of my favorite interactions is when one of the kids saw us and came out to meet us. He already knew what we were doing and wanted us to know that he was already registered and was excited about VBS."
Sunday evening our team leader Andy Collins led us in a commissioning service that entailed repentance, focus on commitment to what God called us to, and a time of prayer over one another for the task ahead.
Ninety-seven children, youth and adults throughout the Pocahontas, Boissevain, and Abbs Valley communities attended VBS in the park with us. So many familiar faces and several new ones, too! Team member Anna Dunn shares that during Opening Rally and music time, they were able to give away dolls and bears, homemade by a group with Timeless Hope Creations, as prizes. She says, "The kids loved them and James (my 2 yr old son) was blessed to also receive one of these bears."
It was exciting to see the Bible study teachers leading their children with joy and earnestness and to see how the craft, music and rec leaders engaged them further with the lesson through various activities. Please read Ed Lepley's story below this report for a first-hand account of VBS Bible study in the park. We praise the Lord for the three children that accepted Christ as Lord and Savior and for the one child that reaffirmed his decision to follow Christ.
We held events on three different evenings there in Pocahontas. On Monday evening we hosted the movie, "God's Not Dead" in the park. Tuesday evening was set aside for Teen Night: 8 teenage girls from the community joined us for a special dinner, a devotion by Emily Dyches and two crafts, all with the theme "Seeing yourself as God sees you"; and 17 teen boys from the community took part in our escape room event with theme of how to be saved from our sin and how to receive the gift of life in Christ led by Andy Collins. On Thursday night at least 175 people gathered at our community cook-out where we visited, played corn hole and other games, and 17 choir members from our team sang several songs in worship as well before hugs and good-byes.
We are so very thankful for the hard work of our cook team! We are thankful and blessed, too, to have had 12 first-time team members and 6 whole families as part of our mission team this year. While these families bore witness (to those who attended VBS in the park this week) of what a family can be like if the Lord is the Lord of that family, they also allowed the Lord to cultivate a missions heart in the lives of their own children this week. As brothers and sisters in Christ, it is a wonderful blessing to serve alongside one another, whether it be in your home church, in your community or on a mission trip hundreds of miles away! If you have never served in some capacity at church or on a mission trip, we encourage you to use the gifts God has given you with to share the love of Christ. It is God who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
Submitted by: Susan Batchelor
A Close Encounter with Satan
On Monday this first day of VBS while I was discussing Sharing the Gospel with Kids I noticed they were listening very intently. I could see this in their eyes. Then, all of a sudden they were no longer listening and watching me. Their focus was now on a little black dog that had wandered into our group. I asked them to return their attention back to what we were discussing. Even though I wanted them to listen to me they just kept on petting the little black dog.
Not sure how to proceed, the Lord provided the appropriate solution. I explained to the kids this is how Satan enters into our lives. That is when I named the little black dog Satan. I told the kids Satan presents us with cute, cuddly, innocent distractions that we really want. These distractions cause us to no longer be focused on God. This is what he did this morning by sending this little black dog into our class. I said to the kids “you kids were listening to God's message and Satan moved in and all your focus was on him”. This is how Satan works in our everyday lives. Satan finally left and we were able to finish sharing the Gospel.
Later, on Monday evening while I was serving snow cones I observed Luke, one of the kids in my VBS class chasing and following Satan. I shouted to Luke: why are you chasing after Satan? Without a word, Luke did a 180 degree turn and walked in the opposite direction. All I could say was, Praise the Lord, he's got it. He understood repentance, turn from following Satan and follow the Lord.
I later found out the little black dog's name is Coco and belongs to one of the families in Pocahontas. This little black dog has been coming to VBS for 11 years. I wonder just how many disruptions Satan has caused over these 11 years. It just proves Satan never gives up.
Sharon Baptist Church
God did it, He used five adults and one teenager, to show His great love to a sweet aroma of ten children and ten adults, Monday through Thursday. On Sunday, the construction team along with Brother Tim Batchelor joined us for morning worship. Bill sang, God You Are by We are Messengers and Bro Tim delivered the morning message from Matthew 25:14-30. God did that too!
Each year I tell myself, not again, but those are tired words from a tired soul at the end of the week. You see I know God does it. He goes before us; His presence is always with us, and He even stays behind to work behind the scenes until time rolls around again. That is the kind of God He is. VBS 2023 physically is over but the seeds we planted will remain, and at the appointed time harvested for God’s glory.
Carla Whitton, Rosemont Baptist Church/HBA
Elizabeth Cobb, Rosemont Baptist Church
Marsha Rider, Rosemont Baptist Church
Mary Knight, Rosemont Baptist Church
Maydene Barfield, Powell Baptist Church, KBA
John Johnson, Grace Baptist Church
BLUEWELL: Ebenezer Baptist Church held VBS at First Baptist Church of Bluewell for Prek-12th grade. Our team consisted of 14 members. We had on average 5 additional people from the church helping. Our total enrollment for the week was 54. The local daycare centers made up over half of the daily attendance. Wee Tots Daycare brought 23 children and Dinger Daycare brought 6 children.
Here is our daily attendance:
Monday: 40 children + 20 volunteers
Tuesday: 46 children + 20 volunteers
Wednesday: 40 children + 19 volunteers
Thursday: 38 children + 20 volunteers
On Wednesday night, we held a special service of singing, dramas and testimony for the families. JC Cornett gave his testimony. Clint Butler gave a short message. Afterwards, we had an ice cream social and door prizes. There were about 60 in attendance. We were happy to see parents come back with their children.
During VBS, we did not have any decisions. I check back with Jim Milam, pastor, after returning home. He is seeing new people in church. We did see an increase in the number of children at VBS this year compared to last year. It was great to see members of this church help in VBS this year. Jim did have 4 baptisms and had 4 families join the church as a result from last year’s VBS. I do not that JC and Megan Cornett who taught the youth have a text group going with these kids. JC keeps in contact with them weekly.
EDGEMONT: The Edgemont Baptist team had 20 workers from Georgia come and help conduct a VBS for the church. We had about 60 total registered at the end of the week as VBS attendees for the church. We were able to hand out school supplies and clothes to all attendees of the VBS. The church has gained one family and several kids as members since VBS. We were able to work at the local pregnancy center as well as take a trip with 13 of the church’s youth kids. We had a blast building relationships and getting to know everyone! Submitted by: Katelynne Kent – Botsford Baptist Church/HBA
VOICE OF CALVARY in Princeton, WV: A 15-person team comprised of Raysville and Washington Heights members served at Voice of Calvary (Princeton) and Covel Baptist (Covel) churches. On Sunday, the team conducted a “One-Day Revival” services at these sister campuses served by Pastor Michael Williams.
During VBS (Voice of Calvary only), we averaged 20 students with a good mix of younger grades, teens, and adults attending. On Wednesday evening we held a “Christmas in July” community outreach event that featured a meal, an age-appropriate movie, and a Bible lesson on “the Greatest Gift ever.” In addition to the 15 younger students and teens at the event, we also had 18 adults who skipped the movie to make gift baskets to share with neighbors or family members in need of both the items in the baskets and God’s gift of salvation. That evening, one teen whom had been personally invited to the event gave her life to the Lord. Submitted by: Pastor Daniel Adkins – Raysville Baptist Church/KBA
CONSTRUCTION: A 6 person team working on 1 house in Bluewell, WV. WE repaired and replaced the underpinning, demolished and removed a 10’ x 30’ deck, replacing it with a 10’ x 10’ deck, removing/demolishing and then replacing a rear wheelchair ramp for an individual with medical problems to allow him the ability to exit his home. The team consisted of members from KBA/HBA.