Partnership is at the heart of what we do as Arkansas Baptists. There is no greater evidence to that fact than what we experience each year in our Acts 1:8 “One Day” Missions Trip.
I remember last fall when I found out that this year’s event would take place in Southeast Arkansas. I immediately began to envision what this day would look like, and all the possibilities for some of the underserved parts of southeast Arkansas, like some of our Delta communities, and some things we could do on campus.
When preparations started to ramp up in the spring I was pumped when the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Missions Team wanted to use our beautiful University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) campus for the kickoff event that Saturday morning. Our gracious administrators, Head Coach and Athletic Director Hud Jackson, Police Chief John Kidwell, and Chancellor Dr. Peggy Doss, allowed us to use our campus, in particularly Convoy Leslie Cotton Bowl Stadium to gather Arkansas Baptists to be organized into teams and sent out to different communities for their respective ministry projects.
The power of partnership was evident as over 1,400 folks participated in 300 minutes of ministry projects that took months to plan and worked together to share the love of God through the Gospel of Jesus where we saw over 200 individuals make life changing decisions for Jesus.
On campus we were able to complete various projects with students from multiple Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). BCM’s from Fort Smith, Conway, and Pine Bluff partnered with UAM BCM to complete seven projects on our campus. Those projects included campus clean-up, Weevil Baseball service projects, and UAM BCM projects, with the biggest effort being serving 200 campus residents with gift bags containing school supplies, a copy of a “Life Book” which contains the Gospel of John, and a handwritten note of love and encouragement for each student.
Students from Southern Arkansas University’s BCM and Arkansas State University’s BCM also came and participated in ministry projects during the weekend.
Arkansas Baptists have partnership in our DNA. Collectively, there is not another network of churches that have the resources we have and are more generous with those resources. Arkansas Baptists give generously to the Cooperative Program and the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering in addition to international and north American missions endeavors. All of this is done to see more people come to faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior in Arkansas and around the world.