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Week of Prayer – English

September 13-20, 2020
Day 1: The Right Time for a New Work in Kenner, LA

ASK God to strength the Rivera Family as they minister and grow this new church.

ASK God to make the ground of this harvest field fertile so that people´s hearts could be open to the gospel.

ASK the Lord to bring a spiritual awakening in this region so that they could multiply in many other churches around the area.

Jhorman Rivera and his family have committed their lives to sharing the Gospel of Jesus. They were partnering with Celebration Church of Kenner to reach the Dominican Republic. Pastor Dennis Watson and Pastor David Speed felt that God was calling Celebration to start a new work in Kenner to reach the growing Hispanic population. They asked Jhorman to join them on this new adventure. In obedience to God’s call, they made this life-changing journey from the Dominican Republic to Louisiana. It was the right time and the right place to begin.

Through the support of Celebration Church and the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, lives are being changed. According to Pastor Rivera, “This offering has been a blessing for our ministry. This money has allowed us to work on outreach events, sustain the regular expenses of a church and helping brothers and sisters in need.”

Joshua Leyva and the Flores family are among the lives that have been changed. Joshua expressed how difficult life had been in 2019 but the church changed everything. He became a part of the new church and last year, he chose to follow Christ and be baptized. He’s now a life group leader. Sayda and Oscar Flores, were unchurched. Now they’ve found a place to belong and are about to start a couple’s ministry.

Day 2: The Right Time to Reach Hopeless Prisoners

PRAY for the women at LCIW to whom we minister. Ask God to make their hearts hungry for the peace and life that only He can give.

ASK God to strengthen the work of Chaplain Debi Sharkey and her chapel team.

ASK God to give them sensitivity to the spiritual needs of each woman and of the prison personnel with whom she works. 

Louisiana has a large prison population, not just at LCIW, but in prisons throughout the state.  Each incarcerated person is someone God created and someone He desires would know Him and walk with Him, regardless of the wrong turns they have taken. Remember the thief on the cross next to Jesus. Remember how Jesus said to the one thief who confessed his guilt, noting Christ’s innocence, and pled to be remembered when Jesus entered His kingdom. Jesus’s reply was “…today you will be with me in paradise.”  

Women’s Missions and Ministry became involved in this ministry in the year following Hurricane Katrina. There was a need for towels, washcloths and other hygiene items. Since then the items needed have changed, but Louisiana Baptist churches, we are still helping.  

One way Louisiana Baptist women minister is through the distribution of gift boxes. Two gift box packing volunteers in 2019 were residents of a re-entry program. One cried as she shared with the group that she had received a similar box when she was jailed. Just knowing that someone cared enough to do this simple act helped begin a change in her life. The opportunity to pack the box was like an unbelievable dream. She was helping someone in a way she never dreamed. 

Day 3: The Right Time to Show Compassion

PRAY for Dr. Gibbie McMillan, our LBC State Disaster Relief Director, and our leaders to have wisdom they lead this ministry. 

ASK God to call more people to serve on Disaster Relief teams. While it is very rewarding, the number of disasters can leave them physically, emotionally, and mentally fatigued. 

ASK God to also provide financial resources needed so we can be ready to respond when disasters strike.

One day life is good. The next day life seems crushing. This is the experience of those who suffer through unexpected disasters. We’ve seen this through the Covid-19 pandemic. When disaster strikes, the time to respond is critical. Stan Statham knows the power of Disaster Relief to change lives. 

After a devastating storm in 2019, Stan and his team saw 16 people accept Christ in Puerto Rico. His team took about 150 pounds of rice and 150 pounds of beans and shared them with the community. They stayed at a church with no power and cold running water, but the fellowship with the church family was amazing.

Stan noted: “We are blessed to have such committed people serving in our state. People whom our Lord has called and gifted to serve others. It is incredible to see a feeding unit prepare 20,000 meals a day for several weeks. Seeing the relief of the face of senior citizens when a chainsaw team removes huge trees from their home and property makes the work so gratifying. And of course, when you are present when someone repents of their sins and accepts Christ as Savior is the reason we all serve.” 

Thanks to your gifts through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, Disaster Relief continues to be a tool that enables us to live out the Gospel.

Day 4: The Right Time to Plant

PRAY that we can continue to reach all four corners of our state with the Greenhouse Training.

PRAY that planters can have the time to network and train. Often the schedules of bivocational planters are a challenge.

PRAY for new planters that have been trained this year for new works in three towns with no Louisiana Baptist/Southern Baptist church.

Is this really the time to plant more churches? The answer is definitely YES!

Lane Corley has been leading efforts to plant new churches for almost 7 years. Training new church planters is his passion. Lane and his wife, Heather grew up in Louisiana. They were planting churches in Dallas, Texas but they both saw the deep needs in their home state. Lane remarked, “We didn’t have a place in mind, but God brought us to the I-12 Corridor and we saw the tremendous need and have made it our mission field since 2001.”

The Greenhouse Workshop for Church Planting and Revitalization is for anyone starting or restarting ministries in Louisiana. It provides an orientation for networking and accessing resources for new church planters. It also provides a foundation for getting a new church started through evangelism.

By teaching, mentoring and leading other church planters throughout the state, Lane continually looks for opportunities to be a change catalyst. Greenhouse become an incubator for new churches and resurrects the vibrancy of existing churches.

Churches that have been through the Greenhouse training since 2015, have experienced more baptisms and higher attendance. It says something about the importance of training and networking, but it also says something about the character and teachability of church planters. Many attend the training multiple times and help train others. A great network is forming across our state.

Day 5: The Right Time for Living Hope

PRAY for new connections and friendships.

ASK God to bring awakening and revival to the Vietnamese people of New Orleans. 

PRAY for courage to seize divine appointments God sends to Jason and his team. 

New Orleans is an incredible mixture of almost every culture the world knows, including the people of Vietnam. Many of them feel isolated and in need of a new hope. For many, this new hope is found at Living Hope Vietnamese Community Church. 

Jason Bedell and his wife of 21 years shared about their call to plant a church:  “Our heart is the mission field and we are willing to go anywhere the Lord is calling us. We came to New Orleans on September 2, 2019. Our hearts were stirred when we realized there had not been an evangelical witness to the Vietnamese citizens of New Orleans in 15 years. It was time.”

Only a few families committed to do this great work, but they are united in the vision to serve the Lord. 95% of the community is Catholic and the idea of Bible study in the home is foreign to them. The Bedells and Living Hope are in the process of building friendships with the community by serving through Lawn Service Ministry. The ministry provides free lawn service to the elderly in the community.  

They moved to New Orleans without a job or any form of income. According to Jason, “We trust the Lord that He will provide and meet all the needs. The Georgia Barnette Offering was an answer to our prayer and a confirmation to His calling.”

Day 6: The Right Time to Share

PRAY God will provide volunteers to help Shade Tree Missions.

PRAY Deanna continues to be sensitive to God’s leading. 

PRAY for the children who are growing up in poverty. Help them understand that it is God who provides for their needs and that they will come to know Christ. 

How do you reach children who may have little or no spiritual guidance in their home? How do you share the truth of the Gospel with those who have find themselves in darkness and despair? Shade Tree Missions believes the right time to address these needs is now.

Deanna Corbett moved to northeast Louisiana in 1998. After serving over 12 years as Minister of Youth and 4 years of serving as a hospice chaplain, she became a full-time missionary in May of 2015. Shade Tree Missions exists to share the love of God in practical ways. The target audience is as varied as the need of those who don’t know Christ  – young, old, those in prisons, in housing projects, and those in nursing homes. 

One of the ways Shade Tree Missions reaches kids is through God’s Big Backyard’ Bible Club. The club is held in one of the oldest housing developments in Rayville. Deanna and her volunteers have seen God do great things, not only in the lives of the children but also in the lives of volunteers. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, they delivered snack packs to the children as they were out of school. One God’s Big Backyard participant carefully approached to get his snack pack and Deanna asked how he was doing. He said, “We all just need to pray.” 

The Georgia Barnette Offering makes a huge difference in the ministry of Shade Tree Missions and the people they touch.

Day 7: The Right Time to Replant

PRAY George Lee will love and lead his church and family well 

PRAY The Springs would continue to show and share the love of Christ to the Barnett Springs community.  

ASK God for an openness in the lives of the people in this region and that many people would accept Christ in the Barnett Springs community and beyond. 

Chad, a college student at a local university, was invited to The Springs, a newly replanted church in Ruston. While Chad stated that he was a believer, he acknowledged that his relationship with the Lord was unhealthy. Chad attended several services and responded one Sunday, rededicating his life to Christ. Since then, Chad has been engaged in discipleship and grown tremendously in his faith.

Chad’s story is only one of many stories of lives that have been changed through this exciting new work the Barnett Springs area of Ruston. Church planter, George Lee shares the driving motivation for this new church start: “Our passion for church planting comes from a desire to build and bridge relationships in our community through sharing the Gospel.”  

The story of The Spring is a story of a return. When Barnett Springs Baptist church, a once vibrant church, closed its doors in December 2017, the Lord provided an opportunity to replant a ministry in its place, The Springs. Reaching this multigenerational, multicultural, and multiethnic population was what the Lord had been preparing George and Cici to do.  

While many of these individuals have not accepted the Lord, a bridge has been created and a door of opportunity has been opened. The Springs Church looks forward to a time when their unbelieving neighbors become a part of their “Springs family!”

Day 8: Timing is Everything

PRAY for the seeds of God’s truth to find good soil. 

PRAY God will lead those seeing commercials to a relationship with Him and a connection with a local church.

This is true whether you’re running a play during a crucial point in a game or whether you’re trying to capture that perfect picture. If the timing is off – the opportunity is often missed.

When it comes to timing, God has it mastered. Paul told the believers in Rome that “Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” (Rom 5:6). He reminded the Galatians “at just the right time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” (Gal 6:9).  

The last several months have demonstrated how quickly and massively things can change. We hardly finished saying “Happy New Year” and “Happy Valentine’s Day” before “COVID” began to dominate the news and our lives.

Due to stay-at-home orders, churches closed their buildings however, the body of Christ continued to gather via online streaming, drive-in services and other creative outlets. 

While Louisiana was on lockdown, Louisiana Baptists were busy seeding God’s truth via Here for You, our multi-media evangelism strategy. Thanks in part to your gifts to the Georgia Barnette Offering, during the first quarter of 2020, you seeded God’s truth into 93% of the TV households across Louisiana an average of eight or more times during the weeks in which the commercials aired.   

People are fearful. They are searching. Today is the day to use current communication platforms to get God’s truth inside every heart and every home almost every day.  

Paul reminded the church in Corinth that, “Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2). 

The timing is right to reach Louisiana …