Barry Whitworth: Hello, BRN Family. It’s good to be with you today. I’m here with a couple that we have known for several years in Pennsylvania/South Jersey. This is Dewey and Kathie Aiken, and they are onsite coordinators with Baptist on Mission with the North Carolina Baptists. We’ve had a 15-year partnership with North Carolina Baptists, and it has been so fruitful over the years.
We’ve seen hundreds of teams come into Pennsylvania, and some into South Jersey, to help our churches as they seek to be on mission with God. And this couple has been a huge part of that behind the scenes, helping our churches (perhaps with you!) to know how to connect with a church in North Carolina so that they might be able to come up and help your church with whatever projects you’re doing.
But as we’re here today, I wanted to just introduce Dewey and Kathy to you and have them share about some of the things that they’re going to be doing because they just arrived last night to start a six-month journey to be onsite with us here in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, as well as helping up in New England, our sister state up in the Northeast. So, I wanted to just ask you guys to tell us a few stories of how you have seen God move through the partnership of over 15 years.
Kathie Aiken: One of the things that we have realized is that churches in North Carolina enjoy coming to Pennsylvania. They love working with you. They love working alongside you, and we have enjoyed situations like our teams coming to help in several different towns. One of those is Tamaqua.
We have worked with Steve and Joy Gintz for quite a while and helped with a lot of different ways in reaching the children, reaching the families in their area. One thing that Steven really helped us to enjoy working alongside you was the parks in the area needing help, you know, with teams coming in and doing some painting and refurbishing in the parks, and then they were able to work alongside the children with backyard Bible clubs, sports camps, in that type of setting, and I believe at one time there was like five of those that he had online.
And so North Carolina teams have loved coming to work into Tamaqua and some other areas, like Sunbury, and some other towns. They have really developed good partnerships alongside those. And so we’re just really, really grateful for that opportunity like that of mission teams coming up on short term, but even more, whenever there’s a partnership, a long-term partnership that develops, and that’s a good really good thing (sometimes three to five years, they come for one week and then they keep coming back for not just the summertime but other times as well). So, that’s one of the things: the mission teams coming.
Barry Whitworth: Well, that’s exciting! I know, we’re doing a strong emphasis this year on loving Pennsylvania/South Jersey, and our emphasis, particularly this year, has been on “knowing” your neighbors. And as I’ve known this couple over the years, there are two things I know about them. They love to pray–they love to pray for people!–and they also like to do some exegesis. They like to go in and check things out to see where God’s at work. So, I want to encourage you, if you’re thinking about how can you engage your community, get to know your community, ask this fine couple to come alongside of you and help with that aspect. But let me ask further, Dewey, how can you help churches right here, right now, in Pennsylvania/South Jersey?
Dewey Aiken: Well, the first thing is what you’ve already said, Brother, very well. The things we will be glad to come out and prayerwalk your communities if you’d like for us to do that. We love meeting people. We also love eating in your local restaurants. (As you can tell, I like to eat!) So we enjoy that one, being able to come out to help you, but also, if you need mission teams to come up and help you, whether it be for sports camps or Vacation Bible School, construction, even revival teams or whatever you might need to come out there. We will be glad to help promote those needs for you. We have a lot of churches in North Carolina, and they love to come. And this year we’re seeing more and more teams book than ever before because in previous years, COVID has slowed our mission teams down drastically. But we’re seeing things really pick back up again. So it’s a very simple thing. If you want to contact us, you can just go to baptistonmission.org. There are links to contact us there, and we will be glad to come out and talk with you, come and meet with you. We would love to be able to even come out on Sundays, since we’re going to be here. We would love to come out and worship with you and maybe take the pastor out to lunch or whatever. So, you know, those are just some opportunities for us to come and help and work with you.
Barry Whitworth: Well, another thing I’ve learned to love about this couple is they have a passion for Jesus, the Kingdom, and God has used them in a great way to be connectors within His work. So, if you’re interested in someone coming to help, this couple can help you find someone that can come with whatever project that you might have within your church, to help you to fulfill where God has you right now, and the next step that He’s wanting you to take as a church. So, how do we specifically contact you?
Kathie Aiken: One of the ways is through our email, Dewey_Kate@hotmail.com, and we will be glad to get back with you that way. Also, our telephone numbers. Dewey’s is 828-553-7694 and mine is 828-553-8785. And feel free to text or to call, and we’ll be glad to answer.
Barry Whitworth: And if you can’t get through those ways, you always contact the Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. You know that, we put that out all the time. But thank you, Dewey and Kathy for coming to Pennsylvania/South Jersey. We can’t wait to see what God’s going to do through you, with you, to help others, as we seek to fulfill the mission that Jesus has for us for such a time as this. So, thanks for being here. We appreciate you both. God bless you! Thank you! And thanks for listening in and may God bless you always.