LOUISVILLE—Six Kentucky Baptists will travel to Swaziland Oct. 4-15 to share the gospel and encourage believers as part of a state Woman's Missionary Union missions trip to the small country in southern Africa.
"This year's trip is a follow-up to the 2017 Kentucky WMU trip where the pastors asked that we return," said Kentucky WMU Executive Director Joy Bolton.
Wayne Myers, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary to Swaziland, knew of Kentucky Baptists' interest in the "bucket project," and asked Kentucky WMU to put a team together last year, Bolton said. Twelve Kentucky WMU volunteers went on the first trip, delivering hospice buckets assembled by Kentucky Baptists and sharing Christ's love.
This year's mission team will lead services at two churches and again deliver hospice buckets to homes of HIV/AIDS patients. The team members will also make a point to also share the gospel during each visit, in addition to singing and giving a gift of rice and beans to each household.
The three men on the team will lead a conference for pastors and church leaders, while the women will teach the Swazi Baptist Women's Guide at their National Women's Conference as well as demonstrate how to use salvation bracelets as a witnessing tool. Team members will also share Bible stories in a primary school in the mornings and lead chapel devotions at a high school with about 200 students.
"We had hoped to have a construction team to assist a Swazi congregation with their building, but that did not work out," Bolton added.
"Kentucky WMU has sponsored mission teams to places around the world in response to specific requests. When a request comes that uniquely fits us, we do our best to go," Bolton explained. "During my tenure, we've had teams go to Poland, Brazil, South Korea, South Africa, Malawi, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, Swaziland, and several high security locations. We've also sent people as part of KBC teams to Lesotho and other locations."
While Kentucky WMU does not specifically look for missions trips, the missions auxiliary responds when asked, noted Bolton. "My preference is to work with an IMB missionary and to do things that have been requested from field personnel," she said. "I look for projects where a team can bring energy, resources, and in some way extend and support the work of our (Southern Baptist) personnel."
Jay Hatfield, pastor of Willisburg Baptist Church, and his wife Cheryl were part of the first team and are returning out of their commitment to the relationships started there, Bolton said. Also participating on this year's team are Myers, of Frenchburg; George Chinn, of Hartford; Diane McDaniel, of Springfield; and Linda Crawford, of Greensburg. (WR)