December 2019 Update

(To download the print-ready PDF with pictures, click here)
 
December 26, 2019

Greetings to our brothers and sisters in Christ!

We are excited to share with you about an opportunity to join in ministry for the sake of the gospel in India. As we have previously mentioned, there have been discussions and extensive planning toward the creation of a Children’s Home in Vijayawada, India. Though the need for the home goes back as far as 2006, this need was first brought to our attention shortly after Baptist Charities came into existence under the leadership of Larry Jones. This was a project that was of utmost importance to him and Rodgers Baptist Church as the sponsoring church of this ministry. In 2017 there were plans to make a trip to India to assess the needs and practical ways that Baptist Charities could provide assistance to East Side Baptist Church of Vernon Texas and their missionary Rufus Saripalli.

In order to understand this project, here is a very brief history of this need and ministry. For decades, the ministry of East Side Baptist Church in Vernon has been planting churches in India through their missionaries, the Saripalli family. Solomon Rao Saripalli and his wife Nirmala came to the United States to attend Bible College at the Independent Baptist College which was located in Dallas. Upon the completion of their studies, Solomon Saripalli and his family returned to India to begin planting churches. The Lord worked in the hearts of men and women in India, and churches have been planted. God also called their son Rufus into ministry, and he has served faithfully in this ministry for many years. While Solomon and Nirmala are both with the Lord, the ministry is continuing as strong as ever under Rufus’s leadership. Through God’s providence, seven churches have been established to date.

In 2006, a young widow in one of the churches came with two little boys needing immediate help. She was a middle caste Hindu convert who was facing severe ostracism because of her faith. Since she was a young widow and in the rural villages, this meant facing extreme situations of immoral abuse. Although her parents were opposed to her conversion, they agreed to keep her in their home, but they refused to let her keep the little boys.

When she came to Bro. Solomon, he called Rufus and his sister Mary, and it was decided to keep the two boys with only the financial support Bro. Saripalli was receiving as his personal mission support. Before long, another three children with similar needs came that same year, followed by five other children, all without a dedicated facility to house the children. Finances were getting tight, the Lord brought about a few individuals who knew of the need and gave as they could. By the year 2010, the number had increased to eighteen
children and the Lord was moving to provide the needs as a few others learned of the needs and began to give to provide for their wellbeing.

As the children have grown into adulthood, the churches from where the children had come have stepped in to support them as they become independent adults. Now the Children’s Home has six new children and many more are need of help, but there have not been the resources to provide them with a place to live, food, clothes, and education.

Plans are underway for the construction of a Children’s Home under the ministry of the church in Vijayawada. A converted Hindu woman in this church has a great zeal to serve the Lord and she sees the need for this ministry. She has been pleading for help for ten children as of now. A small school has already been launched in preparation for this ministry and to meet the needs of the children already in the care of the Indian churches. This lady has donated land for the Children’s Home with the vision of a complex being built to house not only a residence hall, but a school and facilities for the church to meet within the security of the Children’s Home.

While the passing of Larry Jones has delayed this project, we have been hard at work to carry out the vision that we have shared to see a Children’s Home built to provide a home for the abundance of homeless children in the shadows of established independent Baptist churches in India. Pastor Curt Rutledge (East Side Baptist), Pastor Ron Thomas and Joshua Pettijohn (Rodgers Baptist), Missionary Rufus Saripalli, and the ministry team at Amazing Grace Children’s Home in Mexico have prayed and planned together for direction in this new venture. We are excited to tell you that we are ready to begin construction! Baptist Charities has already given funds to begin site development, construction of a wall around the property and the drawing of plans for the Home itself.

Cost of living and construction are both very low in India compared to the United States. A conservative estimate shows that construction dollars will go five times as far in India as it would here in the United States. This project can be completed for a fraction of the cost in India compared to what we would expect it to cost in the USA.

Please prayerfully consider a capital contribution to the construction of this home as well as ongoing support for the operating expenses. The Indian people in the local churches are already giving sacrificially to keep this ministry alive, but we believe that God is opening doors for you and your church to share in this ministry. As we have pastors, missionaries, teachers – men and women of God through children’s home ministries that are operated by local new testament churches. There is truly a great opportunity to be part of an incredible harvest through the orphaned children of India. Will you be part of this great opportunity?

To God be the glory!

Ron Thomas      Joshua Pettijohn      Curt Rutledge      Rufus Saripalli

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June 2019 Update

(To download the print-ready pdf with pictures, click here)

Amazing Grace Children’s Home – Fiesta Project

 
For many years now, an annual summer trip is made to Mexico City, made up of members from various churches involved with the Amazing Grace Children’s Home with the purpose of being a blessing to the children, and showing them how much they are loved. Although the trip is full for this summer, you and your church can still be a part of the ministry that will take place! It costs approximately $100 per child to provide each child with new shoes, personal gifts at the fiesta, and the field trip events that take place during the week. Please consider sponsoring a child for this wonderful event! If you would like to contribute any amount, please mark “AGCH Fiesta” in the memo of your check and send it to Rodgers Baptist Church, P.O. Box 460639, Garland, TX 75046.
 

Tornadoes Bring Ministry Opportunities in the Dayton, Ohio Area

 
This spring has been an incredibly active tornado season across the United States. As more than 200 tornadoes struck the Midwest alone in just 13 days, Dayton, Ohio stole the headlines as one of the hardest hit cities to date this year. With most of the city out of power and water for days on end, through your help and faithful giving to Baptist Charities, we were able to mobilize efforts on the ground in the Dayton area overnight.
 
Pastor Bryson Thompson led the newly-organized Assurance Baptist Church in relief efforts to a hurting community. Armed with bottled water, non-perishable foods and baby supplies, members from Assurance Baptist Church headed into neighborhoods affected by the tornadoes to bring hope through much needed supplies and most importantly, the gospel! Please pray that in the coming days that the Lord will bring fruit for their labor. Thank you for continuing to partner together to do church-to-church ministry!
 
In Christ Alone,
 
Baptist Charities and Rodgers Baptist Church

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October 2018 Update

Download Print-ready version here: http://bit.ly/BaptistCharities102018
 
 
October 2018

Typhoon Hits the Philippines
On September 14, Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit the Philippines, destroying homes, flooding towns and villages, and leaving most without power or shelter. We would like to share with you the opportunity to help directly with the needs from this storm. As always, Baptist Charities exists as a church-based charity, and all of the projects are done as a partnership with local churches, supporting gospel ministry through charity.

Missionary Fredelito Farinas has been on the mission field in the Philippines since 2008, sent by New Hope Baptist Church in Porter, Texas. In 2008, he started the first local mission called the River Oaks Baptist Mission. They bought property and built a worship chapel, as seen in the picture.
 
In 2010, they opened a satellite mission known as the New Hope Baptist Mission. A lot was donated by one of the members, and a worship chapel was built, as pictured.
 
 
 In 2013, a third mission was started, known as Fugu Baptist Mission.

When the super typhoon hit two weeks ago, the bamboo chapel at New Hope Baptist Mission was totally destroyed. They need $1,000.00 to build another chapel. This time the pillars will be a metal covered with cement, the half walls will be concreted
and the roof will be metal. The blessing here is the raw materials are very affordable, and the American dollar is very strong, so a little goes a long way.
 
The Fugu Baptist Mission was also hit hard and almost totally damaged. The best option is to totally remove this structure and build a better one. Some of the materials can be reused in the new construction. They need only $1,000.00 to fix this chapel. The finish work will be through voluntary contributions among members of the mission.

Next damaged were the two cabins for the camp activities at River Oakes Baptist Mission. It will take $1,200.00 to rebuild both cabins, which also serve as prophets chambers.
 
Last damaged was Bro. Farinas’ garage and car. At this point the extent of the damage to the vehicle has not been assessed, but it is likely that it will need to be replaced. It is an older vehicle that was already in need of much work.

In addition to the needs of the mission work, many members lost their homes, and are in need of relief. You may think that you aren’t able to do much, but I am reminded of a boy who only had five loaves and two fish to offer. When we place what we have in the Lord’s hands, He can accomplish much more than we can imagine! If the Lord has placed it on your heart to help with this need, you may send checks to Baptist Charities with Typhoon in the memo, and 100% of your gift will make it to the point of need.

In Christ Alone,

Baptist Charities and Rodgers Baptist Church
 

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August 2018 Update

August 2018

Children’s Homes in India

We are most excited to share with you the next endeavor for Baptist Charities. In partnership with missionary Rufus Saripalli and the Eastside Baptist Church in Vernon, TX, we will be taking a team to Hyderabad, India in February to train people in twelve established churches to operate children’s homes. The Hindus in India have been at war with Christianity, and have burned orphanages to the ground that have been operated by other Christian organizations. That has left many children homeless, and these churches want to provide a home for these kids. At this time, there are already 17 children living in the home of Mary Saginala, the sister of Rufus Saripalli. These twelve churches were organized under the ministry of the Saripalli family during their decades of ministry in India, and they are prepared to care for these children, but need training to operate most effectively in this kind of ministry.

Bro. Leonardo Rivas and his son Omar Rivas will  be providing the firsthand knowledge and training. In preparation for this trip to India, we will be taking Rufus to Amazing Grace Children’s Home in late November for him to see the home and how it functions, as well as to discuss what training is needed, and what is culturally relevant in India. While this is an ambitious effort, we are confident that the Lord is leading in this endeavor and will bless it greatly.

In order for this ministry to take place, there will be significant costs for travel. The initial trip to Mexico City is relatively inexpensive, estimated to cost only $1,500 for the three people who will make that five day trip. The trip  to  India will be significantly more expensive. While the costs are not firm, we are estimating the cost to range between $10,000 to $13,000 for the team of five that will make the journey. If you would like to partner with us and share in the cost of this project, please write “India Project” in the memo of your check.

Amazing Grace Children’s Home – Acolman, Mexico

Thank you for joining us in hosting our annual Fiesta for the children of Amazing Grace Children’s Home! $5,400 was received to provide personalized gifts for each of the children, as well as providing activities for the week. Baptist Charities brought a team of 56 people from Texas, Kentucky, California, and southern Mexico together to host an incredible week of ministry to the boys and girls at AGCH.

As many of you know, the children who come to AGCH have been abandoned, abused, or often both. One ten year old young man shared his story with us. As a young child, his mother would withhold food from him, to the point that he was malnourished. When she would leave him at home, he would sneak food from the kitchen. When she would find that he had eaten the food, she would heat up a spoon on the stove and burn his lips as punishment for eating. In order to keep others from knowing what she was doing, she would cover his mouth anytime they left the house.

Over time, the neighbors started to notice that something was wrong. Eventually the police were called and he was taken to Amazing Grace Children’s Home. While at the home, he told Mrs. Rivas that he wanted to be a police officer when he grew up. She told him that was a great job for a young man, and he went on to tell her, “The only reason I want to be a police officer is so I can kill  my parents.”

Last year, it was evident that he was an angry young man. Praise God, his story didn’t end there.  He shared with us that this past year, he trusted Christ as his Savior! He has been baptized and joined the church, and has surrendered to God’s call on his life to ministry. Please  pray with us for this young man and others as they grow in the Lord and seek to serve Him.

Thank you to Highland Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, TX for their gift of $5,000.00 . This gift allowed us to meet several needs, including replacing the commercial refrigerator that quit working last month.

This year there are several new projects we would like to accomplish at the home. These projects are:

  • Additional monthly support to hire cooking and cleaning help: $2,000.00 monthly
  • Covered shelter for play area: $3,100.00
  • Industrial washing machine: $12,000.00
  • Repairs/replacement of 15 passenger van seats: $1,300.00
  • Surveillance camera system: $1,300.00
  • Equipment for Wood Shop Class: $18,000.00  
We appreciate your ongoing prayers for this ministry and its leadership. Baptist Charities is simply Churches helping Churches, and we are excited for what the Lord has in store for us as we partner together to do His kingdom work.
 
In Christ Alone,

Baptist Charities and Rodgers Baptist Church

 


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April 2018 Update

April 23, 2018

Brothers and Sisters in Christ and fellow laborers in ministry,

This past month has been incredibly difficult, as we said farewell to Pastor Larry Jones, who has led this ministry from it’s inception. Your prayers, kind words, cards, and special gifts to his family mean more than we can possibly express. It is very obvious that he was not only loved by so many, but has a lasting impact on God’s Kingdom through his surrendered life to the work of the Lord.

Baptist Charities has always been a church based charity, and will remain such under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Rodgers Baptist Church. Larry’s passing has begun a new chapter for Baptist Charities, one that has a bright future, and much more to accomplish. We are in the planning stages of some new ministry ventures, and we are excited to share the details with you this summer.

Rodgers Baptist Church has made all the funds that were given with the designation of “Larry Jones Work Fund” available to Carol Jones, and we have closed that account. As we move forward and prepare for more joint ministry ventures, please address contributions to “Baptist Charities Work Fund” to assist with the overhead costs of operation.

 

Amazing Grace Children’s Home – Fiesta Project

For many years now, an annual summer trip is made to Mexico City, made up of members from various churches involved with the Amazing Grace Children’s Home with the purpose of being a blessing to the children, and showing them how much they are loved. Just after the trip was announced, we were flooded with people registering for the trip. We quickly exceeded the number of people we were prepared to take, and had to close registration with a very full group.

Your opportunity to participate and be a blessing to the children is not limited to making the trip yourself. It costs approximately $100 per child to provide them with new shoes, personal gifts at the fiesta, and the field trip events that take place during the week. Please consider sponsoring a child for this wonderful event! If you would like to contribute any amount, please mark “AGCH Fiesta” in the memo of your check and send it to Rodgers Baptist Church, P.O. Box 460639, Garland, TX 75046.

 

Hurricane Harvey Update

Since the last update was shared in March, all the remaining funds that were given designated for Hurricane Relief have been disbursed through local churches in the disaster area (The November letter detailed the financial report on all of the previous gifts and distributions, and is available by request to 

office@rodgersbaptist.net). As we looked to be faithful with the resources entrusted to us, we reached out to the pastors in the disaster area to find what needs were still unmet.

 

Grace Baptist Church, Vidor, Texas

Baptist Charities contributed an additional $15,172.40 to finish the reconstruction of the house for Pastor David & Sarah Lott. These contributions have made it possible for them to move back into their home and to replace much of the furniture that was destroyed by the flooding of their house. (More details and pictures are on the pages that follow.)

“There simply are no words to express our heartfelt thanks to you, your church, Baptist Charities, and to the many, many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who have pulled together to accomplish this project. We will forever be grateful for all you have given and all you have done for us.” – Pastor David Lott

 

Lighthouse Baptist Church, DIckinson, Texas

In our conversations with Pastor Charles Dill, he told us of three families who were still struggling to recover from the displacement from their homes. Thanks to the kindness of the churches and individuals who contributed to Baptist Charities, $15,172.40 was provided, which was enough to get two of the families back into their homes, and to help the third family move forward in the process of repairs.

 

Berean Baptist Church, Houston, Texas

In talking with Pastor Roger Thompson, he shared a need for one of the widows in their church. Her roof, which was already in poor condition prior to the storm, had taken a hard hit, causing water and mold damage to the interior of her home. Through the generous giving of churches through Baptist Charities, $10,000.00 was provided to replace her roof and to remediate all mold and water damage inside her home.

 

Please continue your prayers for this ministry. The Lord has done great things through the partnership of His churches, and  “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

In Christ Alone,

Baptist Charities and Rodgers Baptist Church

Download the full printable update including additional letter from Pastor David Lott with photos here


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March 5, 2018 Update

March 5, 2018               

Since the holidays, cancer has dominated our lives as a family and also the ministry. Most of you know   that I have been diagnosed with stage IV cancer and have been in multiple treatments already. In November, my doctors at MD Anderson notified me that the treatment I was undergoing at that time was no longer working. They offered another promising treatment program to me and so we began the process of ending one treatment and beginning another treatment, which took several months. Then there were some complications with my cancer that began after the new treatment started. These complications hospitalized me for a week. During that hospitalization, they found out that the new treatment had also failed. My main doctor then   recommended that I go on hospice. I went on hospice two weeks ago. The doctors cannot predict how quickly or slowly my cancer will continue to develop. I seem to be gaining strength every day. It’s good that I’m gaining strength because there’s still a lot to do for developing Baptist Charities recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

My home church, Rodgers Baptist Church, has been amazing through this whole process, both to my family personally, to the ministry, at the children’s home, and the with relief effort. I know for me, my goal is to continue to work every day as best I can for my Savior and for the people he has called me to serve. For the churches, pastors and individuals who have helped us in so many ways, including financial support, you have no idea what your continued love and faithfulness means to us as a family and also in ministry. Right now we’re taking things one day at a time. If you have questions, feel free to call or text me. If I can answer at all, I will. If not, someone else will answer on my behalf. 

Within two days of notifying supporters and people who are interested in going to Amazing Grace Children Home, to our surprise, the trip was already full. As much as I regret to say it, we don’t have any more space for anyone else to go visit Amazing Grace Children’s Home. Rodgers Baptist Church is, however, maintaining a waiting list. If you have questions about the trip, feel free to call the church office. 

 

Larry Jones


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November 28, 2017 Update

 Disaster Relief Update & Financial Report
 
First of all, Thank You to everyone who has helped by giving and/or volunteering!
Disaster Relief is only part of what we do, but lately it’s been a big part. I have personally worked in
Disaster relief for years and the challenge is always different depending on the nature of the disaster.
This time we have been overwhelmed in many ways, but doing relief the Bible way is very efficient
and effective. Baptist Charities is a church based Charity. This means we are sponsored by a church,
Rodgers Baptist Church, and we work with churches and missionaries at the point of need to bring the
love of Christ to hurting people. Each church we work with at the point of need commits to use 100%
of the resources they receive from Baptist Charities to meet the intended purpose. Baptist Charities
insures that 100% of what we receive reaches the point of need. This simple process was given in the
New Testament and still works today.
 
Lebanon
The first disaster for us was the destruction by fire of a Syrian Refugee Camp in Lebanon. A church we
work with in Lebanon, Emmanuel Baptist Church, has a ministry to that camp and other camps in the
region. When we published the need, churches responded and the need was met. EBC was able to
supply beds, water containers, stoves, heaters, and 1,000 blankets through the partnership of
supporting churches listed below. Pray this effort will increase to the salvation of some of the folks in
these camps.
 
The need in these refugee camps is constant and demanding. We have a window of opportunity to
reach refugees with the love of Christ and Emmanuel Baptist Church is doing it. We will continue to
work with this church as God supplies the resources. When you give to Baptist Charities this is one of
the ministries you are supporting.
 
Houston Region – Hurricane Harvey
I have never worked in a disaster as large and extensive as Hurricane Harvey. This is huge. This
disaster continues and there are tens of thousands who are not back in their homes yet. Many of you
have responded and the Houston area churches we’ve worked with have been amazing in their
commitment to minister the love of Christ to their neighbors. It’s an honor to work with them. There
are still great needs but giving to these needs has almost stopped completely. Houston seems
forgotten.

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