Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionary Nelle Thomas has been investing in the lives of children in her community since 2007 when she and a handful of volunteers directed Kid's Café, a weekly Bible study and meal for children on Wednesday evenings at their local church. As this outreach began to grow, God laid on Nelle's heart to expand the ministry, which became Mission Hope for Kids.
Mission Hope for Kids, a 501c3 non-profit, ministers to 200 pre-K to 12th-grade at-risk students — offering holistic support by meeting physical needs, after-school tutoring, college and career services, addressing the spiritual needs of the children and families and much more. In addition to its main Elizabethtown campus, it has satellite campuses in Radcliff and Leitchfield.
Mission Hope for Kids is indeed changing lives and the future of an entire generation of children and youth in their community. Since 2016, Nelle has reported 112 persons have prayed to receive Christ as Savior.
On a visit to Mission Hope for Kids several months ago, a couple of cardboard testimonies caught my eye.
The first one read, "Before Mission Hope for Kids… depressed, worthlessness, no friends, thoughts of suicide!" The second one read, "After Mission Hope for Kids… depression gone, I am worthy, have friends, I want to live! Thank you Jesus."
These are just a few of the reasons why Nelle has been chosen as the 2020 Kentucky Missionary of the Year. This award is given annually to the missionary that demonstrates:
• Commitment to and effectiveness in evangelism, church planting or ministry.
• Demonstration of going the second mile.
• Outstanding performance in achieving assigned tasks.
• Unusual commitment to our Lord's service.
• Positive representation of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
• True reflection of being an On Mission Christian.
Nelle is one of 110 self-funded Kentucky Mission Service Corps missionaries called to various ministries in Kentucky, all involved in meeting physical and spiritual needs of those they serve. In 2019, these missionaries collectively reported 2,095 professions of faith as a result of their ministries.
On behalf of these missionaries, we say thanks for your prayers and for giving through the Eliza Broadus Offering for state missions. Although self-funded, these missionaries benefit from EBO through grants, an annual missionary retreat, missionary orientation and various trainings. You are a part of their ministries as you pray and give through EBO.
To learn more about Mission Hope for Kids, go to www.missionhopeforkids.org. Click on www.kybaptist.org/interseed to pray for Kentucky missionaries and church planters on their birthdays, or go to www.kybaptist.org/missionaries to pray for all of the missionaries on a regular basis.
Teresa Parrett is missions mobilzation coordinator for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.