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Service Project Idea: Overflow Thanksgiving Food Boxes

Thanksgiving is next week… Next week… NEXT Week… I’ve been working on Overflow for several months now and that still seems surprising to me!

overflowlogo

Overflow is a simple easy way to involve our families – even the littlest ones!

If you don’t know much about it, where have you been?! Just Kidding! For real, if you don’t know much about it – here’s a  quick overview and be sure to find out more from the website (www.overflowspartanburg.com) Overflow food boxes are distributed to community families in need of Thanksgiving assistance. You fill a food box that you pick up from FBS, bring it back filled with the specific items,  it’s delivered to families on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (which is NEXT week!). It’s that simple!

Here are some ways to make it fun!

  1. Let your little one help you buy the items needed and pack the box with you. Let them buy one or two items with money from their piggy bank. They will take great pride in picking it out, paying the cashier, taking it home and packing it – unless, it’s macaroni and cheese and you are three and can’t seem to part with that super healthy box of yummy cheesy goodness (?!?)
  2. Let your little one  be creative with the Food Box. Pull out those paints and markers and let them write a message, draw a picture, just be little. I’m sure the families will smile big when it is delivered to them. Who doesn’t smile at a turkey hand?!?
  3. Take time to let your little one write a note to the family, encouraging and praying for them. And actually spend time praying over your box and the family that will receive your food box once you pack it.
  4. Of course – bring the box back! Let your little one see ALL the boxes that will be coming back. We have given out right at 1200 boxes – that’s a LOT of boxes – representing lots of families in our community in need.
  5. Let your whole family deliver boxes together. It takes about one to two hours to deliver about 5 boxes. You will be given the family’s information and you put the boxes in your car and go!  You can sign up to volunteer at the website (which again is http://www.overflowspartanburg.com )

 

It’s really that simple and easy and FUN too and helps our little ones see a bigger different world out there, while learning great lessons on serving others.

Have you been a part of Overflow or something like it? If so, share with us your experience!

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A Mom on Mission: The Cogdills

I am Kellee Cogdill and my family lives on the outskirts of the Serengeti in Musoma, Tanazania, East Africa. This has only been our address for five years. Spartanburg was our previous address and we lived there for seven years. My husband, Patrick, worked for Milliken in the IT department and I have been a stay at home mom since 1999. We have six beautiful children: Eli 17, Ethan 15, Emilee 13, Elliot 12, and twins Eden and Evan 8. We currently work with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Patrick is IT support for an 8 language translation project which represents 1.5 million mother tongue speakers who are waiting for a Bible in their heart language.  I home school our children on the field and also dabble in a little translation work. My heart is in discipleship, so I am working with two nationals in translating a Precept 40 min. Bible study into the national language of Kiswahili.

No, we have not always wanted to live half way around the world, but we have always wanted to be a part of Jesus’ commission to tell the world of the Gospel. Every believer should have this desire and it needs to be reflected in the day to day living in your home. So, you might ask, “How do you raise your children to be intentionally missional?” That is a very good question and one that looks different for every family. Honestly, Patrick and I attribute our hearts for missions to the Bible. Hence the reason we are with a Bible translation organization.

In 2009, after much wrestling with the Lord, this became our mission statement as a family:

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Matthew 13:44 NLT

It took many years of being married and raising our children before we wrote this out as a family. I encourage you to take some time and write a mission statement for your family. Patrick and I desired our children to find the “joy” or “excitement” in the Gospel. I spent many years being very intentional with my children about what it means to follow after Jesus. I did this with the Bible. For years our morning devotions consisted on reading through the Bible together and biographies of past missionaries. The children and I included books, sometimes very hard books that showed us what real sacrifice in living for Jesus looks like. I never tried to minimize the cost of what it means to choose Jesus. Patrick and I are students of inductive Bible study and were daily challenged by digging and applying God’s words to our lives. We included the children in our love for the scriptures. When either of us learned something new as we studied, we shared it with the children. No, they did not always understand mommy and daddy’s excitement but God used His word to touch our hearts and soften the hearts of our children to the truth.

We also began to be intentional about how we lived. Halloween changed from trick or treating to studying about the reformation. Thanksgiving meant adopting an apartment complex near our house and cooking for the residents there. At Christmas we gave each of our children a certain amount of money and a gift catalog to various mission organizations. They bought mosquito nets, goats, chickens, and paid school fees for children in developing countries. They did not mind that they had nothing under the tree because they truly felt the joy in the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than receive.”

We sold everything and went. Please pause for a moment and take a deep breath. Feel better? I want you to understand that I am not telling you that you have to pick up and move to Africa. I believe that obedience to Jesus can be lived out anywhere, especially at home. Initially this was our desire. We were going to sell everything and live intentionally in Spartanburg. Honest. But God had another place for us to call home. The point of this part of the story is obedience. Don’t box God in and miss out on His glory. Release your family into His hands, His feet, His love. He could carry you down the street, to another state, or another country.

God loves your children. If you are reading this blog then you must have a desire to see your kids live out their lives for the Lord. Well, that does not magically happen. Speak, live, and joyfully serve His name at home and your kids will do the same. There is no magical formula. Dedicate and defend your home for the glory of the Lord, be a student of His word, faithful to be on your knees in prayer, and your children will do the same.

I love you sweet, hard-working, mama. We are in this journey together whether we live next door to each other or we live continents apart. If you want your kids to serve the Lord then be their example. Include them in the Joy of Christ and all the other details will fall in place including your hearts.

Lovingly from Africa,

Kellee Cogdill

 

At First Baptist Spartanburg, we recently had the opportunity to share a video that the Cogdills put together introducing us to their world and work of Bible Translation.  Be sure to check it out to learn more about all that God is doing through the Cogdill family!

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Leading our children in the midst of disasters…

disaster relief harvey

It’s all over the news and social media… pictures of a city drowning in flood waters. What is taking place in Houston, TX right now is heartbreaking.  We can’t always shield our children from all of the pictures and maybe we should or maybe we shouldn’t… that’s up to you too decide as the parent of your child. Here are some thoughts and links to articles to help you walk through this as a mommy.

1. Lead them to pray.   Prayer is powerful. I will never forget the prayers that were offered up for me as I faced Hurricane Katrina. More than the money that was given, the donations that will come in – prayer is what sustains and our children need to see that at work! Pray for those hurting. Pray for provisions of needs.  Pray for those serving and rescuing. Pray for the rain to stop. Pray for safety. Pray for God’s glory to be made known. Pray… God hears us and wants to listen to us and when we lead our children to pray through disasters, they will know how to respond “if/when” they ever face their own disaster one day.

2. Lead them to give. Help them understand that no gift is too small. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to pull down the piggy bank that they have and talk to them about the importance of giving financially to others in need.  I’m so very thankful for faithful people who gave in the midst of Katrina.  There are many ways that you can give. My family prefers to give directly through our home church, First Baptist Spartanburg, who then sends all financial gifts to support the work of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.  I would just encourage you to make sure that all of your money will go directly to those in need and in a timely manner.

3. Lead them to serve. I recently came across this quote from Mr. Rogers (love his sweaters…), “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ” It’s so true – and there are great ways to respond and serve. Maybe it’s making a card.  Maybe it’s collecting a needed and requested item. Maybe it’s actually going to serve in the recovery process. I will add that you must take great caution here – many times we want to rush to this and we end up causing more disaster. As I journeyed through Katrina, I received amazing support; however, I will never forget the bag of clothes that was given to me that was all size 4s… BAHAHAHAHA, if you know me, well.. I’m not even close to that!?! I laughed at first… but then I cried… a LOT.  12 years later, I can laugh again, sorda. There are times when the truck loads of water and baby formula end up causing more work for an already exhausted city.  Check out this great (yet sad) article:  When Disaster Relief Brings Anything But Relief. Let your children be  a part of helping you serve others.

Our little ones are watching us, as we watch social media and TV and they are waiting for us to respond. What are ways that you can respond today?

Here are other great links as you walk your children through how to handle disasters:

Focus on the Family : Talking to Kids About Natural Disasters

World Vision : 8 Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Disasters

 

 

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Service Project: Christmas in JULY!

Christmas in July

Join us as we partner with the Kid Depot to provide Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes for children around the world. This is a great and easy way to teach our little ones about other children around the world, serving and sharing, and telling others about Jesus. Samaritan’s Purse has also made a really neat addition to the program by allowing you to create your box online and following it until it’s delivered!

Shoeboxes will be collected on August 6th during Tool Time at the Kid Depot! If you have any questions, please contact The Kid Depot at FBS at 699-4308.

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Scripture & Prayer

2 Corinthians 9:6

Hosea 10:12

 

Pray for God to send workers into the fields.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to open eyes and hearts so that God’s children would come to know their real, lasting family.

Ask the Lord to help you reflect His desire for a global family in our own families.

Pray that we would not settle for the American dream, because we know that God’s Kingdom is better, more worthy, and far more global.

Pray to have hearts that beat and plead for God’s glory and global missions, whether it’s in your living room in Spartanburg or on the mission field in South Africa.

Pray for your children to understand that where they live does not prevent them from serving God for the sake of the nations. Help them to see that your family is on a mission to see God’s name glorified throughout the earth until the day when every knee will bow to Jesus.

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Scripture & Prayer

May these scriptures and prayers encourage our hearts and challenge us to live “On Mission” today…

Ephesians 6:4

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Pray for moms to be intentional about bringing their children along for the journey.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict you of valueless distractions and willful negligence in disciplining your children.

Pray for wisdom in educating them on the insufficiencies of other religions and the sufficiency of Christ. Ask the Lord to help you teach them cultural awareness and to give them a firm grasp of the Truth as a foundation and lens through which to see it all.

Ask God to soften their hearts for lost people all over the world.  Pray for God to give your family a spirit of unity and to be disciplined in prayer, serving joyfully, and giving sacrificially to the work of the Lord, knowing that in doing so God’s word is going out to all peoples.

Ask God to open your heart to His leading, and to give you courage to be obedient, whether that leaves you here in Spartanburg or takes you across the world.

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Scripture & Prayer

May these scriptures and prayers encourage our hearts and challenge us to live “On Mission” today…

 

Acts 26:18

1 Timothy 2:1-6

 

Pray for a burden for the peoples living in darkness, waiting to hear the good news of a Savior. 

Pray for unreached people groups, for God’s word to go out, and for people to repent and come to faith.  Ask God to continually remind you how similar we all are in regards to sin and neediness, and in our desperation for forgiveness.

Pray for ways to teach your family about the unique people and nations God created – every one of them in His image.

Pray that your small, personal perspective would be changed to God’s grand, global perspective.

Pray that as the shift happens in your heart, and in our home, that God would use you to set an example of Truth by sharing Jesus and serving others.

Love moves toward need, but not if you don’t see them. 

Pray for your eyes to be open to individuals, families, and friends in need of Jesus.