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Latest Blog Posts in November 2016

Natalie’s Sisters Training

Posted on Mon, Nov 28, 2016 under Expression 1

Natalie’s Sisters is a ministry which brings God’s love and hope to women and men who are caught up in the sex industry. It is also a ministry to me. When I joined Natalie’s Sisters, I eventually grew comfortable with delivering dinner to dancers in local clubs. I was always struck by the fact that these women were, in many ways, just like me; sharing recipes, proud of their children, caring for elderly parents. 
But then God asked us to expand the reach of this ministry to women working the streets of downtown Lexington. Now that would take courage. My response to the invitation: I am scared, but I will be there. But I wasn’t prepared for the way God would show me this was exactly where He wanted me...
At the organizational meeting for the street ministry, the police with whom we partner allowed us to see mug-shots of ladies who had been arrested for prostitution. In the collection was one of my sweet, former third grade students. I was in.
Through Natalie’s Sisters, I thought I would be the one helping downtrodden women. But, oh, the blessings are mine as well. I have learned so much about life outside the cozy suburbs. I appreciate God so much more than before. I get to volunteer with an incredible group of Christians. My own children have had their faith in “the church’ renewed. Ah, and would you believe God allowed me to reconnect with my former student?
If you’d like to learn more, join us on Saturday, December 17, from 9am to noon at Gardenside Christian Church, where you can learn about God’s bold work. Whether you are called to pray, cook, visit the jail, clubs, or our drop-in center, God has a place for your gifts and talents with Natalie’s Sisters. Come learn about our precious women.
- Written by Carol Reynolds, Team Member

Ornaments Of Hope

Posted on Thu, Nov 24, 2016 under Expression 4

Danville is getting ready for Christmas and we’ve got plenty of opportunities for you and your family to help make Christmas happen for others! Southland is partnering with Danville Public Schools to adopt 35 families who need gifts, food, and groceries this Christmas. The school is involved in these families’ lives throughout the year and knows them well. They have hand picked the families who need help with these resources the most. This opportunity allows us to come alongside both the families and the school to help provide a wonderful Christmas celebration. 
At Connection Point, you'll find a Families First Christmas Blitz tree decorated with ornament cards.
  • Simply take an ornament of your choice which will request either a gift card to McDonalds, groceries, or a gift. 
  • Fill out your information, tear it off, and give it to us.
  • We will contact you with any additional information you may need regarding your purchase.
  • Then simply buy the item or items and bring them back to Connection Point the weekend of December 10th!  
We hope you will be a part of spreading Christmas joy in Danville! If you’d like to learn more, contact Betty Hawkins.

Janelle Earley
Serve The City Coordinator

A Picture Is Worth More Than ” A Thousands Words”...

Posted on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 under Expression 1

We have all heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but what if there are pictures that are worth more than that? Perhaps a picture of a family that has never had a professional picture taken? What about a picture of a homeless person who has never seen what they look like? Or a picture of grandkids given to their grandparents as a Christmas gift that otherwise would not have happened because they could not afford one?
This is the heart of what Help-Portrait has done for the past eight years on the first Saturday of every December, providing the less fortunate in our community with FREE portraits. Help-Portrait was founded by Jeremy Cowart, who recently spoke at Southland. Andrew Fore, a Southland member, founded the Lexington chapter and continues to direct it.
In the first five years Help-Portrait Lexington has provided 825 free professional portraits to over 870 guests. Not only do the guests receive free hair and makeup services and their professional portrait taken, but they also get a 5”x7” framed print (which can be gift wrapped on-site if the guest would like), a gift bag full of items ranging from gloves, socks, toiletries, coupons - plus a belly full of tasty food and beverage. But most importantly, what each guest receives is a sense of hope, self-worth, and the confirmation that they matter and people do love them.
Help-Portrait Lexington is not only about what we do on that wonderful Saturday each December; rather, it is about what we give to those we serve. The stories and blessings which overflow the event each year are simply amazing and we are planning on another big event in a few weeks! The Lexington event will be hosted at Southland’s Richmond Road campus on Saturday, December 3 from 9am to 4pm.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more,  please contact Andrew Fore for more details.

Betty Hawkins
Local Intiatives Leader

Parent Sneak Preview - November 27

Posted on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  Here’s what we’ll be teaching next Sunday in the Big Picture Show.  Take time this week to read it as a family.
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Story of the Foolish Richman (Luke 12:13-21 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Friends of Jesus use their money in good ways
Bible Verse:  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” - James 1:22 NIV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Saul on The Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-20 NIrV)
Big Idea:  The Bible is our connection to God’s power.
Bible Verse:  “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” - Isaiah 40:8 NIV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Lay Counseling

Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 under Expression 1

The Care Department will be conducting a 13 week Lay Counseling Training beginning Wednesday, January 25, 2017. This training will equip you with tools to be an effective Lay Counselor for the purpose of providing a Lay Counseling ministry for Southland. The cost for training materials is $30. Training is limited to 20 people.
For more information contact Allen or register here.

Allen Conner
Care Pastor - Harrodsburg Road


Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 under Expression 4

Southland has an opportunity to generously extend hope to the poor through rebuilding a church in Laragale, Haiti that was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. Here is what the pastor of that church had to say:
I am Pastor Jean Noncent Telciné. I got baptized on December 27th, 1964, I was only 24 years old. From 1965 to 1967 I was an instructor in Sunday School in my church, and then in 1968 I was ordained a Preacher. I married my wife and we got 8 children, 3 boys and 5 girls. Unfortunately, she was diabetic and died in 2010 after the devastating earthquake. 
In 1983, I affiliated with Lifeline where I started a church in the Laregal community. One day I went there to give an injection to someone ( as a health agent) and I prayed with her ( Mrs. Franck Gabriel ) and then she accepted Christ along with her family . After that, 4 other families accepted Jesus.
In 1987, Pastor Bob DEVOE came to Laregal with a group of 17 American missionaries for the first time for the purpose of evangelizing. In 1989, we were leased a piece of land where we built the temple. The church members took their pickaxes, shovels to flatten the land to build the temple using woods and we were given sheet-metals to cover it. We surrounded the church with bamboos in spite of the fact that water used to come in when it rained. As from the year 2000, insects ate the woods and some of them were rotten. And the temple leaned as if it were going to fall, which caused some Christians not to come to church lest the temple fell on them.
I have always remained confident; in a harvest time, I gathered the Christians of the church and told them that I intend to gather stones to build the church without knowing where bricks and cement would come from. In late 2002, an American Pastor named David Price came with Pastor Bob to Laregal to see the place where we used to worship God. Pastor Bob, then, saw the place we prepared without the help of the mission and asked us to pray over his head. In the same month he gave us means (money) to buy tools to make bricks, which gladdened the Christians of the church tremendously and they were so happy to carry the materials.
When we look at what the Hurricane Matthew has done; our church has been broken down. After the hurricane, when we saw the missionaries, we were exceedingly happy and said that they were angels sent by God to help us in our deep sorrow. That is the reason why with our faith, on Tuesday November 1st we gathered a lot of stones to put in the yard because the Lord is going to grant us a beautiful temple. 
It has been for 33 years that we have worked in the Laregal community. I hope and pray that God will grant me the opportunity to see the new Church that He is going to give us through the missionaries who visited us after the hurricane. 
If you would like to learn more about going on a trip to Haiti in 2017, check out the opportunities on our Global page.  

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

Parent Sneak Preview - November 20

Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  Here’s what we’ll be teaching next Sunday in the Big Picture Show.  Take time this week to read it as a family.
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Barnabas the Encourager (Acts 12:1-17; 4:36; I Thessalonians 5: 11, 17 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Friends of Jesus do things to help others.
Bible Verse:  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” - James 1:22 NIV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Jesus calls Matthew to follow him.  (Matthew 9:9-13 NIrV)
Big Idea:  The BIble should be part of our lives each and every day
Bible Verse:  “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” - Isaiah 40:8 NIV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

A Servant With A Smile

Posted on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 under Expression 4

Andy Sims, Director of Leadership Development at Lifeline, one of Southland’s Mission Partners, shared the following story about his recent experience in La Régale, Haiti. He was privileged to see God’s power at work first hand in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. 
The view became more and more spectacular the higher we ascended to La Régale. Years ago, Pastor Nocent had started a Lifeline Church and School among these simple, often forgotten people. Both the church and the school had grown to be bright spots in this out-of-the-way place. Nocent was a perfect fit for La Régale. His quiet, humble, and somewhat poetic demeanor hide an inner strength and visionary spirit. The source of his success is plain to see when Nocent prays. What else could explain a thriving church of over 300 people on a mountainside without a single house in sight? Still spry at 78 years old, Nocent has now passed most of the responsibility to his son, Philemon. Much more outgoing than his father, Philemon always wears a smile on his face. 
But that was before Hurricane Matthew blew through La Régale. While we knew the areas hit hardest by the storm were farther west, we also knew the church and portions of the school had been destroyed. How would this affect the ministry? And how would their new leader react in the face of this enormous challenge?  
When I got my first glimpse of what was left of the church, I saw the metal roof had been peeled back and twisted, broken blocks and steel doors lay amidst the rubble. It was easy to visualize the path of those hurricane winds howling directly up the valley, then through the church. But what caught my eye was the crowd of people already gathered, waiting to help. After surveying the damage, our team quickly went to work. 
When we pulled Nocent and Philemon aside to ask for more details, we erre told school had been cancelled. Homes everywhere were damaged. Crops and livestock were lost. There was nowhere to turn. No other relief expected. No hope. "How are you feeling?" I asked them. "Are you discouraged? Angry?"
Philemon seemed surprised. "Why would we be angry?" he replied with his familiar smile. You see, the church had gathered amidst the rubble three days before for worship as he preached from Romans 8:28. Philemon quoted the text to us, "God works all things together for the good to those who love Him.“ Then reminded us, “God provides. Our job is to wait. We don't know when He will provide. And we don't know how. I told them to be patient… because we know Who will provide." 
Our team worked all day clearing the debris, sheltering several classrooms with tarps so school could restart. We prayed over the leaders and eventually headed back down the mountain, each of us struggling to process all we'd experienced. I don't think La Régale has changed. Their church building is gone. A new leader has emerged. But the same faith that has anchored this community will lead it forward. Perhaps I'd smile more if I knew God like Philemon does.

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

Reflections on Veteran’s Day

Posted on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 under Expression 1

My father-in-law died a couple of years ago.  I miss him.  Forty-five years ago I started dating his daughter. Three years later we married. From the beginning he treated me as his own, and that never changed. 
Diminutive in physical stature, he was nevertheless a giant of a man, a WWII veteran who served in the US Navy on a destroyer.  He never talked much about the war, but when he did, he almost always cried.  Many of his friends made the ultimate sacrifice.  He never got over that.  I suppose no one does.
"Mr. Wesner," as I always called him, was a leader in his church for 50 years, and a dedicated employee of Ford Motor Company for 34 years.  He was a collector of coins, stamps and antique cars.  He still had his first new car, a beautiful 1949 Ford Custom, when he died.
Like so many from "The Greatest Generation," he was disciplined, diligent and gave everything his best. I learned mechanic work from him. I learned about the design and engineering of an automobile, and a thousand other things.  But most of all, I learned a lot about the character of Jesus, because he modeled it every day of his 89 years. His greatest gift to me was my wife, Linda, but there are innumerable other gifts, all wonderful in their own way.
I had the privilege of officiating at his funeral.  He was buried with full military honors.  After the ceremony, we made the longest walk in the world, the walk away from a loved one’s fresh grave. We buried a body; the soul was already Home...reunited with his mom who died of tuberculosis when he was only two years old. Reunited with his dad who never remarried and raised two hungry kids during the Great Depression, and reunited with so many people whom he influenced in so many ways. 
Seasons come and seasons go, and the press of life pushes forward, ever forward. My father-in-law is Home now with Jesus, but on this Veteran's Day weekend, I, along with many others, stand and applaud and say, "Well done, sir, well done.  Thank you for loving God and others, and thank you for your service to our country."  No one was ever more proud to call himself an American. 
By the way, when you get to Heaven, if you see someone driving a like-new '49 Ford, be sure to wave. It will be my father-in-law, and he'll have a small American flag flying from the antenna.  God bless him...and all our veterans...and God bless America.

Gary Black
Teaching Development Director

BHG Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted on Mon, Nov 07, 2016 under Expression 1

It’s that time of year again… time for one of our favorite community events, The BHG Thanksgiving Dinner. Every year on Thanksgiving Day, Southland partners with the Bluegrass Hospitality Group and other community organizations to provide a free Thanksgiving meal to thousands of individuals and families in the Lexington area at Malone’s Restaurant on Tates Creek Road.
As many of you know, this is one of the greatest outreach efforts we have, not only because of the thousands of people it serves but because it involves churches, businesses, and city agencies coming together for one good cause. 
If you are interested in serving with us this year, please visit our registration page. Registration  begins Sunday, November 13, at 8 a.m. and usually is filled up within the first day it’s open. 
If you or someone you know could use a great meal and community with others this Thanksgiving, please give them the following information:
Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner
11am – 3pm, Thursday, November 24
Lansdowne Shoppes
3373 Tates Creek Road, Lexington, Kentucky
Please call (859) 977-2606 to make arrangements to attend as a guest.
Free transportation available if needed through Lextran (see Sunday schedule for Thanksgiving Day routes). 

Parent Sneak Preview - November 13

Posted on Mon, Nov 07, 2016 under Children Expression 3

We believe parents make the biggest difference in their child’s faith. That’s why we want your kids to hear the Big Picture Show Bible story first from you!  Here’s what we’ll be teaching next Sunday in the Big Picture Show.  Take time this week to read it as a family.
The Drive-In
Bible Story:  Paul tells Crispus about Jesus. (John 1:35-49; Acts 18:5-8 NIrV)
Big Idea:  Friends of Jesus tell others about Him.
Bible Verse:  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” - James 1:22 NIV
The Backlot
Bible Story:  Jesus stops the crowd from stoning a woman. (John 8:1-11 NIrV)
Big Idea:  The Bible shows us how we are to live.
Bible Verse:  “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” - Isaiah 40:8 NIV

Jason Byerly
Children's Pastor

Danville Thanksgiving Service Opportunity

Posted on Fri, Nov 04, 2016 under Expression 1

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to express our gratitude to God for all He has provided by giving generosity out of the overflow of the resources He has entrusted to us. We can express our thanks in a number of ways. This Thanksgiving, would you be willing to give the gift of your time - or even a small part of your grocery budget - to make a difference in the life of a hungry family?
Southland is privileged to partner with Lexington Avenue Baptist again this year to feed over 300 people in the Danville community. Every year Lexington Avenue opens their doors to feed hungry families with an incredible home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. If a family is unable to attend due to transportation or medical limitations they deliver meals to them so they do not go without. Help us feed these families by donating your time or a food item to the event!
Click here for the specific sign ups for which you, your family, or your Life Group can register. The opportunities range from the Monday, November 21 through Thanksgiving Day on November 24th. 
Let me know if you have any questions. You will receive a follow up email after you sign up!

Janelle Earley
Serve The City Coordinator

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