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The Ridgetop, Tennessee Pathfinder Club, the Ridgerunners, collected over 2000 food items for Ridgetop Church Community Services in October. They left empty grocery bags with a message explaining that they would be back the following week to collect the filled bags.
With the help of church members and friends, the Ridgerunners filled 108 boxes for Operation Christmas Child which were then delivered to a local collection point.
BY HELEN KELLY
It was the middle of May and the Si Blur, Hsar Tha Blay, and A Soe of the Louisville International Company; Terri Saelee from Adventist Refugee and Immigrant Ministry; Julia O’Carey from ASAP Ministries; and Samuel Thang Ngala were planning a camp meeting for refugees from Myanmar who now reside in the United States.
Several cultures from different tribes around the United States had expressed interest in attending. Planning an event of this magnitude would be a lot of hard work. Conferences needed to be involved, a suitable area needed to be found, and financing secured.
It was decided that the meetings would be held July 4th weekend. Several camp grounds were called around the Kentucky area including Indian Creek Camp. Nothing was available for that many people. However, God was working a miracle to provide what was needed.
Several Sundays were spent looking for a place for the camp meeting. Finally one was located that could accommodate that number of people, but it was under renovation and would not be ready until September. So, Labor Day Weekend became the target date.
August was fast approaching. By this time organizers had learned that people from Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Minnesota, California, Texas, Illinois, and the nation, Myanmar (Burma), planned to attend.
The purpose of the camp meeting was total member involvement; the aim to bring Spiritual Revival; the motto, “Readiness for Jesus’ Second Coming”; the theme song “He is Coming Again for Me”; and the Scripture focus Amos 4: “Prepare to meet your God.”
September was in just a couple of days, and the organizers weren’t sure if everything would work. Their planning was flawless; there was room for everyone. Friday afternoon people began to arrive from all around the world. There were Thai, Filipinos, Burmese, American with only a small language problem, since there were plenty of interpreters. Food was a blend of flavors and scents thanks to BC Hsee Arrow’s talented cooking.
Sabbath was reverential. Over 520 people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Ellen White prophesied in Testimonies Vol. 6, p. 87, “It has been shown me that our camp meetings are to increase in interest and success. As we approach nearer the end, I have seen that in these meetings there will be less preaching and more Bible studies. There will be little groups all over the ground with their Bibles in their hands, and different ones leading out in a free conversational study of the Scripture.” Her prophecy was fulfilled during this weekend at O’Bannon Camp Ground in Indiana. The Holy Spirit was present and everyone was blessed.
Sunday was a time of fun for the young people, including walking through a cave where there were a lot of bats, wet rocks, and a lot of oohs and ahs — followed by swimming in a pool with two water slides, and, of course, a lot of sprinklers for the younger children. There were friendships made that will last forever. Excitement was so high that plans began for another camp meeting next year in North Carolina.
BY DAVID EMMITT
Louisville International Company
Attendees according to state and union
The young people
Conference Welcomes New Administrators
In the spring of 2016, the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference Executive Committee, in dialog with conference administration, gave unanimous support to strengthening ministry to the youth and young adult segments of the conference. While recognizing the traditional and vitally important role that the conference youth department contributes, several additional areas of prioritized need were identified:
- Provide support and strategies for churches that have a desire to do better at attracting and retaining youth and young adults.
- Provide support and create strategies to engage and minister to public school and public university SDA students.
- Provide conference level support and ministry opportunities for the rapidly growing Hispanic youth population.
In order to implement these additional priorities, the Executive Committee, acting on administration’s recommendation, created a new position, that of Associate Youth Director. With the transition of the previous outstanding conference Youth Director, Ken Wetmore, to his new assignment as Senior Pastor of Madison Campus Church, Kentucky-Tennessee Conference is pleased to welcome two new directors to the youth department.
Greg Taylor, MA (Religious Education) is the newly appointed Youth Director and together with his wife Kim, served most recently as the Youth Director for the Wisconsin Conference. Taylor brings an extensive background in youth ministry to this position including having served as a classroom teacher in two conferences, as well as a congregational pastor in Indiana. His passion for youth ministry includes not only providing leadership for the summer camp program, Pathfinders, and traditional conference programs, but he also has significant experience in creating connections with SDA youth who are attending public schools and universities.
Nelson Silva, D. Min. joins Taylor in the youth department as Associate Director after having served as a bi-vocational, bilingual pastor and church planter in the Indiana Conference for the last thirteen years. Together with his wife April, Silva is committed and experienced in helping make Christ relevant and central in the lives of youth. His past experience as a public school counselor, camp pastor, and his doctoral focus in youth ministry reflect his desire to value and involve youth in ministry.
With the realignment of the youth department under the leadership of Taylor and Silva, an exciting new enhanced ministry in this area is certain to be a reality.
—BY STEVE HALEY, President
The POWER Mission
According to the New York Times*, Clay County Kentucky ranks as the worst county in the country to live in due to the persistent poverty and hardships. The needs in Clay County are greater than the needs in any other county in the United States. The Kentucky-Tennessee Youth Department led by Greg Taylor, along with Madison and Highland Academies, led by chaplains Andrew Jamieson and Kaleigh Benge respectively, realize that need and have a desire to serve.
On September 21-24, 75 students, teachers, and parents converged in Manchester, Ky., the heart of Clay County, to serve the community. The POWER Mission team, as they are called, refurbished and renovated five homes throughout the county. These teams built wheelchair ramps, repaired floors that had gaping holes, painted walls, installed doors, built porches, fixed gutters and roofs along with other various tasks and projects around the homes. The impact the students made on each of these homes was dramatic! However, that was not the most powerful or most impactful part of the trip. It’s all about relationships!
Lots of hammering, sawing, and drilling took place on this trip to the Appalachian Mountains, but the real building took place in the hearts of the participants and the homeowners. On the first day, one of the residents became a grandmother. The team decided to purchase gifts and baby items for the family and surprise them with the presents. At another project, George Moyo, a senior at Highland Academy, took time away from the physical building to build a relationship with one elderly resident by watching ‘The Price is Right’ with him. These students understood that porches, ramps, and floors could be built, but what really mattered was building a loving relationship with the individuals encountered. The love and time that was shared will last much longer than any structure that was erected.
Fortunately, sometimes the impact from previous years can be seen and felt. On the way to Manchester, a stop was made at Taco Bell in London, Ky. Christina Mercado, a senior at Madison Academy, began talking to the cashier about the trip. His eyes lit up when he realized this group built a wheelchair ramp for his grandmother a year earlier.
This ministry has been actively working in the Appalachian Region for 27 years, touching countless lives and this year was no exception! It, not only reaches the residents in Clay County, it blesses the participants as well!
—BY ANDREW JAMIESON