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Latest Blog Posts in "Expression 4"

Three Reasons You Need To Go To Haiti

Posted on Fri, Jan 06, 2017 under Expression 4

Is God doing some cool things in your life? In your family, friendships, or workplace? Have you seen Him move memorably during your time at Southland? Guess what? God is doing amazing things all over the world. And one place God has blessed Southland to get to serve as part of His work in our world is the tiny island country of Haiti.
 

Living in one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, over 80% of Haitians live at or below poverty level. Haiti is one of the most densely populated and least developed countries in the world. The country is still recovering from the massive earthquake they suffered seven years ago. 
 
Some people would say these three facts are a good reason to ask, “Why would anyone want to go there?” But here are are three simple reasons you need to go to Haiti with us…
 
1) It's time for a change of scenery.
2) It will change your view of the world around you.
3) It will change your life.
 
Your campus leader, Brian Lucas, will be leading a team down to Ouanaminthe, Haiti, on March 4 -11, 2017. This is your chance to go and grow, to be and see where SOUTHLAND serves on the mission field and generously extends hope in our world. Join Brian this Sunday, January 8, for an informational meeting at 1pm in the front lobby of the Danville Campus to learn more about his trip. Come discover how you can be the hands and feet of Christ and share with others in Haiti.

 

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

2016 Year-End Giving

Posted on Sat, Dec 24, 2016 under Expression 4

As we near the end of 2016, our thoughts turn to celebrating Christmas with our family and friends, some well-deserved downtime from school and work, and… year-end financial planning? OK, that may not be at the top of the list of things on your mind right now. But we do know that between now and the end of the year we will hear from a number of generous people at Southland who want to make sure that contributions made around this time of year will be recorded as contributions in 2016. So here are some things to keep in mind as you consider any year-end gifts.  
  • Contributions received at our services on December 24 will be included in 2016 giving records, as will contributions mailed to Southland and postmarked by Saturday, December 31,2016.  
  • In addition, 2016 contributions can be received at any of our church offices by 5pm on Thursday, December 22.  Our church offices will be closed for the remainder of the year after the 22nd. 
  • Of course, you can always give either a one-time gift or set up recurring contributions here.
  • And finally, gifts of appreciated securities should be initiated as soon as possible to allow for the time required to transfer the securities for receipt by Southland by December 31.
Have any questions? Feel free to contact me!

Kurt Braun
Executive Director of Operations / Advancement

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

Rebuilding

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

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

The Power of Mentorship

Posted on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 under Expression 4

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to mentor a little girl in one of the elementary schools in Fayette County. This little girl was in the foster care system; she was six years old, and had been in six different foster homes. I don’t know what these homes looked like or what this little girl experienced from day to day… but I knew that being in six different foster homes at the age of six was not healthy.  
 
One thing she was sure of was that she loved coming to school. Not only because school was her safe place. But she couldn’t wait for the days in the week when I came into her school to mentor her -- whether that was through working with her on classroom activities or playing games.  As time progressed in my mentoring her, this little girl finally saw a small glimpse of consistency and stability in her life and began to believe she was cared for and valued. She even started doing better in school and her self-esteem increased significantly. 
 
You never know how far a word of encouragement, a hug, or the time and energy spent investing in a child through mentorship goes for a child who needs a mentor. It speaks volumes to them and makes a huge impact emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; the investment of time spent mentoring a child reflects Christ’s love and glorifies His name above all. 
 
Though school has already started back, it is not too late to become a school mentor! We have many elementary aged students who still need mentors. Click here to start your mentoring journey!

Debbie Charalambakis
Local Outreach Coordinator - Richmond Road

Here’s What’s Happening In October In Outreach!

Posted on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 under Expression 4

The Outreach teams seek to generously extend hope to those in need across Central Kentucky and beyond. Here are the ways you can join us in unleashing love this month.
 
Give
  • Helping Through Him: Electric heaters. Contact Charlie for more information. HTH drop off details can be found below.
 
Serve
  • Trunk or Treat: Serve the City is hosting a trunk or treat at all STC locations on October 31st. Contact Janelle to learn more. 
  • Room in the Inn: November-March Southland houses 10+ homeless men on Saturday nights to keep them safe and warm during the winter months. Join us on a Saturday night with your life group or your family. Contact Max for more information.
 
Pray
  • Global Teams: 
    • Haiti Sonlight Academy: Oct. 7-15 Pray for the team to be effective as the hurricane passes. 
    • Austria TCMI Oct. 2-14 Pray for the theological students who are studying in Austria this session.
    • To learn more about our upcoming trips, contact Robin.
*Helping Through Him items can be donated at the Harrodsburg Road Campus Building M from 8am-8pm M-F
*Bring your backpack items to any Sunday service, bins can be found in the concourse. Stop by Connection Point if you have any questions.

Janelle Earley
Serve The City Coordinator

Update on Hurricane Matthew and Haiti

Posted on Tue, Oct 04, 2016 under Expression 4

Update - October 18: 

  • The front wall of the church at Laragel is gone as is the roof. Two classroom roofs are gone. Many people lost their houses. Yet Pastor Philemon said, “We are not angry because this was a natural disaster. We need our church rebuilt as well as our school so we can be the church in our community. Can you help us build a bigger building because we have filled this one?”
  • A team of dedicated builders put tarps on the school rooms, and those are temporary. The church building will have to be completely rebuilt. Food is being distributed to those in need and clothes are provided to those who lost their homes. There are trees blown down, power lines needing repair, crops ruined or uprooted in this area as well. 
  • At the church in Torback the roof is gone as are two classroom roofs. Over half of the members lost their homes, including the Pastor Erick’s house. Food, clothing, and other items were handed out to the church members and people in the community. Their town is virtually destroyed, trees down, buildings damaged, gardens uprooted, banana crops destroyed. Their needs are great there, but Pastor Erick told us God will provide through other churches.
  • At Laziel our truck could not cross the river, but we know from reports that trees are down, houses are damaged, including the pastor’s house. Other homes were destroyed, and gardens and crops ruined. However the church and school were not damaged. The issue there is how to get food and supplies to the people most in need.
What is Southland doing? We can begin by praying for church leaders and members affected by the storm. We are working with Lifeline Christian Mission to determine what we can do to support their relief and rebuilding efforts. It may take some time before we know what those specifics will be. Keep watching the web page for what you can do to assist the people in Southwest Haiti, where the hurricane did its worst damage.
 
Our other partners, COCINA and Sonlight, had no damage from the storm and we are thankful. Thus we will focus our efforts on Lifeline. 
 
Update - October 14: A team from Southland that has been in Port de Paix, HAITI travels home today. The team has been at Sonlight this past week assisting the teachers at Sonlight Academy and encouraging all of our brother's and sister's in Christ. Many of these folks in the northern part of Haiti were not physically affected by Hurricane Matthew but, had friends and family members that were. Please keep all these folks in your prayers.
 
 
UPDATE - October 13: Our partners in Haiti continue to assess the needs of all those affected by Hurricane Matthew. Today, Lifeline has a team arriving that will be traveling into the areas devastated by Matthew. Please keep these folks in your prayers. Our own Myron Williams is in Haiti and will be working with Lifeline in several capacities. We hope to know by next week how we can help extend Hope to those in need. Thanks so much for all of the interest in what has been taking place in the path of Matthew. 
 
UPDATE - October 5, 11:45am:
 
Please read below for an update from our partner in Haiti, Scott Alexander at Sonlight Ministries:
 
Hey Mark,

Sure appreciate your reaching out and your prayers.  The hurricane has passed us and we are unscathed.  It was pretty much like a normal rainy day for us.  And there are difficulties here even in normal rainy days, but the flooding and wind damage that COULD have hit PdP did not.  So, we are very thankful.  It’s no coincidence that with many people praying for us here in PdP that we were spared from the suffering that everyone predicted was coming.

Obviously, the situation here is not the same in other parts of Haiti - and I know you are aware of that.  So we continue to pray for many who did suffer damage from flooding and wind.

We are back in session at both the Academy & Bible College.  We dismissed early and cancelled classes for Monday and Tuesday but are back on normal schedule today.

Thanks to the staff and friends at Southland who have been praying for us.  I am copying some of the global team and other staff to say thanks!

Love from all the Sonlight team,
Scott
 
Original Post: 
 
Global Outreach at Southland is monitoring Hurricane Matthew and it's effect on Haiti. We have been touch with our partners and these photos are of a village, southern Haiti. 
 
Southland will continue to stay in touch with our partners and give updates as we receive them. Thanks to everyone that has called or emailed asking about the good folks in Haiti. Please continue to pray for all of those in the path of this destructive storm.
 

 

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

Can You Imagine?

Posted on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 under Expression 4

Imagine what it would be like to live in a country where only 3% of the people were followers of Jesus. If this were true in the United States, there would be less than 10 million followers of Jesus. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? But in reality here in the US, there are over 83 million followers of Jesus. 
 
To bring this even closer to home: if only 3% of the people in Kentucky were followers, we would have 132,000 believers across the state. In the Czech Republic only 3% of the population call themselves followers of Jesus. We are definitely blessed here in the US and in Kentucky. And yet we are called to make disciples around the world.
 
TCM International Institute, a partner with Southland, works with believers in the Czech Republic as well as other Eastern European, Central Asian, and African nations. TCMI’s mission is to develop Christian leaders for significant service through higher learning. The vision is that every nation will have effective leaders of disciple-making movements impacting their churches, cultures, and countries for Christ. 
 
This means they are preparing men and women with graduate degrees to change their nations for Christ. From Russia to Kenya, from Poland to Armenia, from Uzbekistan to Estonia - preachers, teachers, social workers, directors of orphanages and schools, youth ministers, doctors, and scientists are all earning graduate degrees in practical ministry so they can plant churches, lead churches, and engage in kingdom work in whatever way is open to them in their nations. 
 
Your giving directly supports TCMI so you are helping develop Christian leaders for significant service. Imagine how few believers there might be in those parts of the world if TCMI were not training men and women for significant service in their nations. Please pray for the TCMI staff and faculty, and for the students and graduates who are making an impact on their churches, cultures, and countries. 

Myron Williams
Global Outreach Development Pastor

Louisiana Relief Effort

Posted on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 under Expression 4

The last several weeks have been full of news about the flooding in Louisiana. Southland has been monitoring the situation and connecting with our friends at Journey Christian Church in Metairie, Louisiana, a church Southland helped launch 15 years ago and partnered with us post Hurricane Katrina. We will continue to communicate with Journey about any immediate needs they may have. For now, please continue to pray for those affected by the flooding.

Donations and serving opportunities may be possible through Samaritan's Purse at www.samaritanspurse.org or The Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

Mark Perraut
Global Outreach Director

It’s Heeeere!

Posted on Fri, Aug 05, 2016 under Expression 4

 
John 14:12-14 reveals powerful words of Jesus: “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
 
It’s one of the best things we do each year. We throw a party for those who don’t have many parties thrown in their honor.  We dress up and eat, we take pictures, and play games. And we dance. Oh boy, do we dance! We call it Jesus Prom, and it’s that time of year again! 
 
You will notice it’s a little earlier this year -- Friday, September 16, 6-10pm. You will also notice it’s at a new location -- the Richmond Road campus. Other things will remain the same. Like we’ll have a roaring good time hosting these Prom guests! 
 
And this year we’ll be dressing up in full 80s regalia! Big hair, lots of bracelets, and leg warmers. And mullets for the men! Can’t wait to see your 80s spin! 
 
Here’s what we need… YOU! We have thousands of volunteer positions to fill to pull off this night of nights. In all kinds of roles. We’re ready to sign you up, too! We need …
  • Greeters
  • Prom Hosts
  • Food Servers
  • And lots more!
 
Just head on over to the website and pick what volunteer position(s) you want to help with. And put this date on your calendar as well: Monday, September 12 - Training Night for all Jesus Prom volunteers. 
 
We’re so excited to present Jesus Prom 2016 for our special friends and their caregivers. Get online and get signed up today! And get ready to have the time of your life! All we need is you! 

Rebecca Hatton
Care Support Leader

Donate or Serve… Or Both!

Posted on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 under Expression 4

 
A June 2016 study shows that 1 out of 4 Kentucky kids live in poverty.  While it’s important to know that statistic, it’s even more important to step out of our comfort zones to help make a difference in these kid’s lives. We are called to love the poor and here is a simple way to do it: Southland’s Backpack Teams have the privilege of packing up the food items you donate and placing them in the hands of kids in need at our partner schools.
 
Our Backpack Volunteers will tell you they are grateful to serve these families. Talk to anyone who is currently serving - they are blessed by friendship, praying for each other and serving in the community together. No matter what season of life you are in, you will find a great fit serving with our Backpack Team.  
 
So, check out our shopping list below and keep those food donations coming! Every item you or your family bring in helps us not only feed the families currently in the program, but also helps us consider expanding the program to even more families in need! We continue to look for schools to serve, giving Southland the opportunity to have an even greater impact on Central Kentucky kids!  
 
If you are interested in serving in this area or have other questions about Southland Backpacks, we would love to hear from you!  Just shoot me an e-mail.  
 
Items for Backpack Food Program
 
- Fruit cups
- Applesauce cups
- Vegetable cups
- Individual microwaveable meals (Hormel, Dinty Moore, Chef Boyardee)
- Individual macaroni & cheese packets or cups
- Instant oatmeal
- Granola bars
- Pudding cups
- Shelf stable individual milk or soymilk boxes
- Precooked rice cups or packets
- Instant soups (Ramen Noodles)
- Raisins
- Peanut butter crackers / cheese crackers

Betty Hawkins
Local Intiatives Leader

Me A Missionary?

Posted on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 under Expression 4

What do you think when you hear the word Missionary? Living overseas, strange food, passports and visas... shots?
 
While this may be true for some, there are other ways to be part of God’s mission in this world, including serving missionaries when they are home. This summer, 18 people from Southland led a week of professional development here in Lexington for the 15 teachers from Sonlight Academy in Port de Paix, Haiti. During the week the teachers learned how to be creative, how to teach reading and math using new methods, making use of media for their classrooms and a variety of other practical methods for being effective in their classrooms. 
 
The Sonlight teachers were given gift bags with Kentucky made products, ate lunches from restaurants they miss most while in Haiti, visited with Life Groups in the evenings and wrapped up their time with a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park and a 4th of July picnic.
 
A few of the teachers shared afterward:
“Thank you” is not enough to say for everything you did to make the Sonlight teachers loved, cared for, equipped and encouraged.”
“I loved, and I think the entire team did, the time for us just to talk and be together apart from being in Haiti. We almost never have time for that.”
 
Sonlight Academy is one of Southland’s Ministry Partners, and if you’d like to take a trip to work with these teachers this October click here http://southlandchristian.org/global-missions/. If you are interested in working with these teachers next summer (first full week of June) let Myron Williams know.  
 
You are called to serve. Why not serve as a missionary?

Myron Williams
Global Outreach Development Pastor

Mondays Can Be Hard

Posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 under Expression 4

Mondays can be hard. They’re hard on adults and they’re hard on kids. But we’re redeeming the Monday! If you have time on Monday afternoons from 2:30pm to 5:15pm and want to have a ton of fun while supporting a student in our city who could use a little extra love, boy do we have the opportunity for you!
 
The Academy is an incredible one-on-one mentoring program for 2nd through 5th grade students at Breckinridge Elementary school who need extra support. We feed them a full meal, play together, and then spend the second half our afternoon doing homework and sharing a bible study and worship time with the students. The Academy loves to engage students holistically so we bring in Inspire Speakers from the community to share about their careers and how God has changed their lives. 
 
Contact me with any questions you might have! We will be hosting an informational meeting in a few weeks and we would love to have you there. 
 

Janelle Earley
Serve The City Coordinator

Orlando And West Virginia Relief

Posted on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 under Expression 4

In the last 2 weeks our country has seen the deadliest mass shooting in our history in Orlando and one of the worst floods West Virginia has on record. Whenever these tragedies happen our natural response is to want to help in some way.  So, how do we effectively help the victims in both the Orlando shooting and the West Virginia flooding? As a church we always take time to pray and listen for what God calls us to do. We resist the urge to react as we’ve learned that the first responders and local ministries do best to assess and coach us on how we can providing lasting help. Here is our current plan of how we are responding to both tragedies: 
  • Orlando:
    • Pray for the victim’s families as we did together Sunday, June 19.  Here is a list of each victim’s name and age.
    • Donate to Discovery Church’s Heal Orlando fund that will go to help victim’s families with financial assistance. 
    • Donate to the Bridges of Light Victim Education Fund, which is raising money to pay for college tuition for each of the 13 children left without a parent after the shooting. 
  • West Virginia:
    • Pray for the families of the 23 people who lost their lives and pray for people who lived in the more than 1,200 homes that were damaged or destroyed.
    • We are encouraging those who want to help by making a monetary donation to Samaritan’s Purse, who is on the ground in West Virginia assisting victims. You can also find information on volunteering your time with Samaritan’s Purse at the link provided. 
We’ve received numerous calls and emails about how to help.  Thank you for being a community that cares about people not just locally, but nationally. 

Gordon Walls
Harrodsburg Road Campus Leader / Outreach Director


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