The name “Lula Whilden World Missions Offering” conjures mental images of missions programs in far-flung corners of the globe, but it’s important to realize that this offering also supports missions right here in South Carolina and across the United States.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina supports missions both through one-time grants to local nonprofits (Jasmine Road, here in Greenville, was a recent recipient) and through long-term partner relationships with nonprofit organizations across the state. One partner is the Carolina Immigrant Alliance based in Rock Hill, which “works for the mutual inclusion of all people through immigration legal assistance, public policy advocacy, education initiatives, and relationship building.” The other three partners—Metanoia in North Charleston, Palmetto Works in Conway, and Koinonia in the Eau Claire community of Columbia—are dedicated to asset-based community development. This means that their programs are focused on the strengths within a community and that goals are set within a mutual relationship of partnership rather than being set by outside experts coming in to tell community members what to do.

The national level of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship also emphasizes asset-based community development in the US through its “Together for Hope” (TfH) coalition, which works closely with communities in over 300 counties of persistent rural poverty to promote education, health and nutrition, housing and environment, and social enterprise. First Baptist Greenville joined the work of TfH this past summer when our high school youth group spent a week in and around Shaw, Mississippi. Our youth helped to provide educational programming for children and middle schoolers, participated in a number of repair and beautification projects in Shaw and nearby towns, and explored the rich history and culture of the Mississippi Delta region. They saw beauty, strength, pride and excellence in a region where others may see only poverty and need. What a valuable lesson for them… and for all of us!
In the coming week, please pray for the ongoing work of CBF and CBFSC in Shaw and in other communities across our state and nation. You can also support this work through your gift to the Lula Whilden World Missions Offering. Thank you!

—Susan D’Amato, Missions and Affiliations Committee

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