By Joe Sorah
Compassion Ministries Specialist, TBMB
How can we reach children in Tennessee with the gospel? One answer has been Christmas Backpacks for some children.
The ministry began several years ago. Baptists in Georgia, North Carolina, and other states began bringing backpacks filled with toys, clothing articles, hygiene items and food to give to children in Tennessee as Christmas gifts. Children received more than backpacks filled with needed supplies.
Many children and adults gave their lives to Christ as churches and ministry centers had Christmas events where the gospel was shared.
Tennessee Baptists heard the call to join in donating Christmas Backpacks two years ago. In the first year more than 3,500 Christmas Backpacks were given from individuals from approximately 155 churches.
Last year that number grew to more than 5,500 backpacks from individuals from almost 200 churches. Our children and their families thank you for your generosity. Ministry centers and churches that serve the impoverished are equally appreciative of all you have done.
Our needs for 2020 are great. Some of the help we have been receiving from Baptists in other states is being redirected to those in need in their own states. We have requests for more than 6,500 Christmas Backpacks. We need your help.
The churches and ministry centers that receive the Christmas Backpacks agree to do the following:
(1) Have an event between Thanksgiving and Christmas;
(2) Share the Christmas story and the gospel at the event; and
(3) Follow up with all those who make decisions for Christ.
All backpacks given this year by Tennesseans will be given to children in our state.
Each child will hear the Christmas story and the gospel. Lives will be changed because many of you will give.
We need churches to register their intention to donate Christmas Backpacks. You may do so at www.tnbaptist.org/backpacks. The website has answers to most of your questions, but if you need further assistance, call me at 423-895-1481.
Thank you for your support of the Christmas Backpack ministry. We could never do this ministry without your generous help.