Andrew Carr, Outreach Director at the Hammond Campus, and Josh Evans, Oakleaf Connections Pastor, recently came together to develop a very creative method to reach and connect with people moving to our community. The ingenious idea was the creation of a “new move-in bag.” What better way to welcome new families to our area than with a thoughtful and useful gift? Research indicates that literally hundreds of families move to our area each year and the new home construction around us bears this out.
Beginning with our official Trinity logo gift bags (that was the easy part), the team explored many ideas to make a successful outreach tool. The result was to place a small potted succulent plant in the bag as a gift, as well as information about our church and a note of welcome to the community.
Assembly lines began putting together the bags, and the next step was creating a plan to distribute them. So, how did this unfold? Announcements during services invited our church family to participate by picking up gift bags to deliver to their new neighbors. Word was spread on social media. Trinity’s members were eager to participate, and bags were quickly picked up after church, far exceeding our expectations. Our people were so energized that multiple bags were taken, and our teams were pressed into producing more bags than were originally anticipated.
explains Josh. “It didn’t take a lot of convincing because our people, our church family, are passionate about outreach. It was encouraging to see everyone excited to get involved.”
In the short span of a few weeks, over 300 gift bags have been distributed. Many receiving the gift bags have called to say thanks and to ask for information about our church. Andrew and Josh believe this will result in further interest over the coming months, and that the effect will be long term as families settle in and look for a church home or perhaps have a need.
In terms of numbers, this campaign appears successful. However, the greatest success might be seeing so many people in our church engaged in connecting with those outside our church. Andrew sums it up this way,
“Success is not really how many bags were distributed, but it’s God’s people stepping up, stepping out, to show the love of Jesus to our community. We’d love to see everyone in our church mobilized as the hands and feet of Jesus so that those we encounter will say, ‘Wow, those people really care’.”
Earlier this year, we shared that our missionary partners in Togo, West Africa reported dire circumstances in the area due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Travel and roadways were shut down between villages resulting in the breakdown of the supply chain while the cost of food skyrocketed.
Due to the generosity of people like you donating to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, Trinity Baptist Church was able to send emergency aid that was used to purchase 38 bags of corn, each weighing 100 pounds. After months of struggling to find and obtain food, this was welcomed as nothing short of a miracle to the people of Togo.
Pictured above is Mouda. He is widely known and carries great influence in the area because he is a voodoo-practicing witch doctor. Living directly across from one of the churches planted by our missionary team, Mouda watches all that goes on. He is revered as a powerful leader but even he could not produce food for those who looked to him.
The man pictured above in the mask is Jean, a member of the church across the street from Mouda. Jean gave him some of his own money and one of those huge bags of corn. These gifts, although seemingly small to us, brought Mouda to tears as he said that he never imagined that a church would be so generous. Seizing a tender moment, Jean was able to share the gospel with him. Mouda has now heard and felt the gospel due to the generosity of God’s people who were willing to give to World Missions. What a victory for the cause of Jesus Christ!
Not only are we participating in giving, especially in these crucial times, but donors also continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus. The willingness and generosity of people just like you is impacting the lives of those in need all over the world and claiming souls for the eternal kingdom of God.
If you would like to be a part of making a difference by giving to World Missions, donations can be made at https://tbc.org/give/
According to their own words, Jimmy and Shelley both knew as children they would be missionaries; it was just understood. They met According to their own words, Jimmy and Shelley both knew as children they would be missionaries; it was just understood. They met at Trinity Baptist College, married and prepared for their next step in God’s plan. Shelley is a product of Trinity Baptist Church and the daughter of Steve and Kaye Carswell, faithful members here for many years. Trinity is the Dinsmores’ sending church, so it can be seen how integral Trinity is in partnering with Jimmy and Shelley as they bring the message of God to the people of Guatemala.
Jimmy and Shelley have been in Guatemala since August of 2006. They are parents to twin boys, Jonah and Silas, daughter, Eden, and the youngest, Titus.
In addition to planting churches in their hometown of Peten, the Dinsmores have been given the vision of establishing a Pastor’s Institute to meet multiple needs in this area. The institute features a 3-year program for the purpose of training national Christian men to become self-sustaining pastors. The program further calls for the graduates to go throughout the country planting new churches. The current goal is to train 150 pastors for 150 villages over the next 10 years.
Committing to 3 years at the institute can be a daunting challenge for these student pastors. They use their personal resources plus borrowed funds just for passage to arrive at the institute. Like missionaries, they leave behind their climate, culture and families, as well as jobs, to attend the studies that will eventually prepare them for pastoring and church planting. Unreached villages are almost always hostile to the gospel as the graduates go from a structured environment to less than friendly under-developed backwoods settlements.
Currently, the Pastor’s Institute is dealing with a major situation due to the rainy season, Hurricane Eta and poor drainage.
Subject to frequent flooding, the student housing units and church building are riddled with water damage. Poor drainage has resulted in the need to rebuild the houses, all of which have been affected. Getting this situation under control is especially critical since January 19, 2021 will start a new educational year with new students arriving, and housing must be ready by then.
Plans are in place to fix the drainage problems, repairing the parking lot and replacing wooden housing supports with concrete columns which will last much longer and hopefully alleviate future water damage.
A construction project of this scale does not come without a large price tag, especially in an area where construction supplies are difficult to obtain. Many of the students themselves are willing and eager to handle much of the labor. The Dinsmores are in the processing of raising funds for this much-needed reconstruction event but need assistance. As a sending and giving church, Trinity Baptist Church has provided them with additional funds to go toward their present need. This is fulfilling our mission to give to worldwide ministry in a very real way. Celebrate with us the incredible work that we as a church are helping to accomplish, not only in Guatemala, but around the world.
If you would like to participate in giving to this and other worldwide ministries, you can go to tbc.org/give and check World Mission Giving under the Choose a Fund tab.
We look forward to hearing of the successful completion of construction work needed at the Bible Institute in Guatemala and pray for Jimmy and Shelley Dinsmore as they continue to lift the name of Jesus in this far away and foreign land.
In the times of COVID-19, life looks a little different, especially when you are a four-year-old boy.
The Oakleaf campus of Trinity Baptist Church meets in a local elementary school, Enterprise Learning Center. The church and school have developed a valued partnership, and members of the church are eager to serve and to help out the school that generously provides their weekly worship auditorium.
Word came from the school that they were in dire need of school supplies. Funds were required to purchase items that were critically needed for school re-opening. This is where four-year-old Aaron came up with the idea of creating a lemonade stand even though he wasn’t sure how to go about it. With planning and implementing, it quickly became a family project, with mom Tiffany and older brother Luke making signs and gathering lemonade supplies to launch their enterprising fundraiser.
The big day arrived and the lemonade stand was set up in front of their home, complete with masks and hand sanitizer, ever present signs of the time. The team’s marketing plan had included advance notice to neighbors who gladly contributed to the endeavor. These good neighbors and their children joined in enthusiastically and helped with selling to the customers who drove up, making the day a true neighborhood event. The team had gotten bigger.
During the sales process, people asked about the proceeds of the fundraiser and mom Tiffany was able to share the story about the relationship between Trinity Oakleaf and Enterprise, and the current urgent need for school supplies. She shared that she had felt prompted to act since we are a generous people because we serve a generous God. The lemonade stand was a perfect tangible picture of the mission and heart of the church – to go and to serve. Many meaningful conversations began that day, questions asked and answered. Interest was sparked as neighbors and customers became a group of people, working together for a result bigger than themselves. Even big brother Luke was impressed by the concept of giving to others what God had provided, and not keeping for ourselves.
“God provided it for us, so I want to give it” – Luke
At the end of the day, it’s more than a fun time outside, selling lemonade – it’s an example of how our obedience to God can open doors to minister to those around us and bring others together on our mission, as a family and as a neighborhood.
And Aaron, your idea about a Lemonade Stand – good call!
“Can you put me on the same program that you put Esteban on?” I was taken back by the question and really did not know what they meant so I followed up with the question, “What do you mean?”
The Jeff Carney Family has been associated with Trinity Baptist Church for two decades. When we initially arrived in the Yucatan, we partnered with my parents, Don and Carolyn Carney, to plant Peninsula Baptist Church. In recent days, we are continuing to work with my parents in a new ministry opportunity through REACH ministries called Project 5/10. The goal of this project is to plant 5 Mayan churches in 10 years. God is opening doors for the gospel in the villages via medical clinics, baseball camps, bikes for grades in public schools, and more recently, through the Mayan Food Relief outreach.
The impact of Covid-19 can be readily seen throughout the Yucatan. Most of the men travel to the capital cities of Cancun or Merida to work during the week, but since March, their travel has been drastically reduced. We saw this as a God-given opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a visible way. We began purchasing large quantities of rice, beans, tuna, tomato sauce, pasta, soup, toilet paper and soap. These items are placed in a bag, along with a gospel tract, to be distributed. Each bag costs $8 USD and will feed a family of 4 for just about a week.
Trinity heard about the project and in quick succession pledged $4000 to purchase some 500+ food bags! What a blessing and honor for the Carney Clan to partner with churches and individuals like Trinity through REACH ministries to build Relationships that Empower leaders with Accountability as we proclaim Christ and bring Health to the Mayan villages!
To date, over 2000 bags have been delivered and our plan is to continue to distribute them until Christmas. Any small group, family or individual who desires to participate by donating $8 or more can simply scan the QR code or mail a check to: Don Carney Harrison Bay Rd, Harrison, TN 37341. Please be sure to mark the memo section with Mayan Food Relief.
“Can you put me on the same program that you put Esteban on?” It finally clicked in my mind. Esteban came and received an adjustment at a chiropractic clinic that we sponsored and soon thereafter he became a follower of Christ. Immediately he ceased from being one of the town drunks as he became a new creation in Christ. I responded and told the person that Esteban had taken a pill. The individual asked: “What pill?” I said, “The Jesus pill!”
We ask you to pray that the “Jesus pill” will continue to transform homes and villages as food goes into their hands and the gospel takes root in their hearts.
Reaching with you for them,
The Jeff Carney Family
As families head into a historically unprecedented back-to-school season, I can tell you as a fifteen-year educator that the landscape for education both public and private is complicated. Local schools and school districts are working heroically to mitigate the impacts of a global pandemic and at the same time create successful environments in person and online for learning.
Back in March, we were thrown into virtual learning, and while it wasn’t all bad, for many the experience was not positive. I had the perspective of being on both sides of the screens – on one side as a mom of two, navigating google classrooms with my kids – and on the other side as a teacher transitioning my classroom and curriculum to a virtual format.
We all learned a lot.
While the percentages vary from school to school and region to region, as we begin the 2020-21 school year, it appears that as many as a quarter to a third of all students in our NE Florida region will begin virtually. As a mom and teacher, I wanted to share four ways to help your kids succeed in virtual learning.
1. Create A Daily Schedule (and stick with it!)
While much of the schedule during the day may be dictated by your child’s school, you’ll quickly realize that there is a lot of flexible time before, during and after the virtual plan. In brick and mortar learning, these times are occupied with bathroom breaks, recess, lunch time and resource classes or in-class free time. At home, it can be very easy for these times to devolve into LOTS of screen time, TV or gaming. With a little planning up front, your kids will quickly adapt to a planned schedule that includes class work, but also might include a daily bike ride, 30 minutes of reading, lunch, and a creative project. In our house, we printed the daily schedule and hung them in a few places so the kids knew what was next. We regularly used timers with Alexa around the house to keep us on track and moving. Your kids will appreciate the change of pace, the feeling of accomplishment and the movement onto the next thing.
2. Establish “School Only” Workspaces and Behaviors
During quarantine, my oldest struggled to make the mental separation between being at home and engaging in school. That needed change in environment matters more than we realize for many kids, so creating “school specific” spaces and behaviors can be very important. If you have an empty room or flex room, turn it into a classroom and let your kids create their own spaces. Even a dedicated space at the table during the day can work. I would avoid regularly allowing school work from the bed, the couch or the floor. Also, “normal” school behaviors should be encouraged. Kids should get up, get fully dressed maybe even pack a lunch. All of these environmental changes will allow them to lock in mentally for the school day ahead.
3. Participate in All Virtual Interactive Experiences
If I look back on our virtual experience last spring with one major regret, it’s that we didn’t participate regularly in available, but optional, online group experiences. This led to a greater disconnect than I originally realized for my kids from their classmates and teachers. As a teacher who was conducting these online experiences, I also began to realize how much connection they provided me with my students. As schools are heading into this year more prepared for virtual learning, I would imagine these opportunities for “hangouts” or “meets” online with teachers and classmates will increase. I would make sure students take advantage of these opportunities, especially if there is a plan to reintroduce them back into brick and mortar classrooms later in the year.
4. Engage Deeply as a Parent
After 15 years as a teacher, I can tell you that few things make more of a difference in the success of a student than a deeply engaged parent or guardian. While many of your responsibilities as the parent of a student will be similar or identical to a brick and mortar experience, there will be some unique responsibilities as a virtual parent. Ensuring your students are navigating their online classes well, staying on top of communication, and managing the ups and downs of the home / school environment will be unique for virtual families. Your commitment to be active as a parent in all these experiences will be the difference between an average and excellent virtual experience. I believe you can do it!
Everything above is simply an idea or a suggestion that might help you in these unique days. It’s important to remember we’re all doing this for the first time and we’ll need each other’s support. My husband has repeatedly said that during this time of pandemic, we are more insulated, but we don’t have to remain isolated. Maintain strong connections with your school, friends, family and local church. We’re better together!
In 2000, a group from Trinity Baptist Church’s youth group embarked on a short missions trip to Togo, West Africa. These teens were able to see firsthand how God was working in Togo, while helping with a few projects for our missionaries, Randy and Jeanette Alderman. The primary job they volunteered for was helping in the construction of a church – mixing and forming concrete blocks by hand. The work was difficult and tedious, and the students immediately recognized a great need. They realized so much more could be done in Togo with the help of an automatic concrete mixer. After completing their trip, the group came back to Trinity with changed hearts and started raising awareness of the need for a concrete mixer in Togo, quickly receiving $4,000 in donations from generous individuals within Trinity Baptist Church – enough to purchase the mixer. The concrete mixer was sent and unloaded in Togo twenty years ago and has been used in the building of an airplane hangar, nearly a dozen churches, and other small projects since then. The mixer is still being used today. Thanks to the actions of those students twenty years ago, we were able to make a long-lasting impact on the work being done in Togo.
Your donations continue to bring about great change around the world as well! If you would like to give to our Missions budget to help fund the incredible work of people like Randy and Jeanette Alderman, give here: tbc.org/give.
We constantly see stories in the news of countries like the United States, China, France, and Italy being deeply affected by COVID-19, but we don’t hear much about other smaller countries. Some of the smaller countries somehow go unnoticed. While the actual virus might not take as many lives in these areas, the breakdown of the global supply chain will.
We’ve been in contact with our missionary partners around the world, and they’ve been telling us of the immense suffering taking place in the areas where they are currently serving. JJ Alderman is one the missionaries who our church has the privilege to partner with; he has been a missionary to Togo, West Africa for many years.
JJ told us that since the beginning of March, the entire region has been shut down for travel between cities for all their people. This causes tremendous problems because people must travel to the more populated areas to earn money and purchase food for their families. Additionally, due to the enforcement of strict social distancing laws, people aren’t allowed to ride together on motorcycles – the most popular means of transportation in their area. This dramatically increases the difficulty for the people of West Africa to both earn money and purchase basic things they need to live.
With less people purchasing food, the prices for things like corn and grain have skyrocketed nearly 100%. Additionally, JJ told us that 50%-75% of the people in that region are struggling to find food or are out of food completely.
As a church, we will do all we can to minister to those in need. After hearing about this tragedy, we partnered with JJ to send food to the people we are ultimately trying to reach with the love of Jesus. Because of generous givers like you giving to Trinity’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, we were able to purchase 38 bags of corn weighing 100lbs each and ship it directly to these people.
The images you’re seeing are some of the many individuals who have received the valuable food supplies that we have sent. We thank you for your continued support of our ministry both here in Jacksonville, and around the world. With you, we are truly making a difference in the lives of many!
Click here to donate today: https://tbc.org/give/