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June 24, 2013

Press Photo

BCF Welcomes First Baptist Church Orlando Mission Team to campus.

Once again the First Baptist Church (FBC) of Orlando Mission Team embraced The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) campus and spent a week long adventure sprucing up the campus and getting it ready for the next semester. This actually makes the 12th consecutive year that the Orlando mission team has caravanned to Graceville to work on the campus; and according to the staff at BCF they are such a blessing.

The 2013 Orlando Mission Team included 98 servant missionaries with the youngest only 2 months old and the most seasoned veteran 92 years old. It was exciting to watch one generation teaching the next how to serve and sacrificially give of themselves for others. This year's labor of love included projects from pressure washing, deep cleaning, prepping and painting, removing carpet and glue, repairing doors, removing shrubs, trimming and shaping trees, building and rebuilding steps, installing windows, making witness bracelets, creating much needed office spaces for staff, and caring for the little tots as parents worked at the site.

The folks that came to serve on the BCF campus came from all walks of life, offering support, lending a hand, and blessing everyone they came in contact with. Team Leader Jim Wortham and his wife and group photographer, Pat, were once again the driving force behind the group. In addition to the list of special work projects, Wortham planned VBS for the children, watermelon breaks, special devotions, an ice cream trip to the local drugstore, and a continuous flow of meals that kept the workers full giving them energy to work.

Monday evening was especially meaningful to the team as they enjoyed a "thank you" meal at the home of BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, with homemade desserts provided by BCF First Lady Ruth Ann. Many of the veterans on the team stated that Ms. Ruth Ann's desserts, especially the thirteen layer chocolate cake, is the main reason they keep coming back to Graceville. "The Mission Team from FBC Orlando represents what we are trying to teach at BCF - lives surrendered to the service of our Lord," stated Kinchen. "These folks give so freely of their time, talent, and energy. They are a real source of encouragement to me personally, as well as to the entire BCF family. What they bring cannot be bought from vendors or contractors. We are very dependent upon volunteers for much of the work that is done on the campus, and FBC Orlando is a key hub in all that we do."

As anticipated, the week brought much activity, sweat, long hours, sore muscles, aching feet, and major improvements to the BCF campus. The Orlando Mission Team was seen all over campus working hard, dodging the rain, playing with the children, and quickly checking off projects on their to-do list. The final number of work hours spent on mission projects will far exceed last year's total of 1600 as this was the largest group that came and poured their heart and love into the campus.

"We are so thankful to God that we are able to partner with BCF and provide a labor of love to the college year after year," stated Orlando Mission Team Leader Jim Wortham. "Our desire is to be a blessing to the faculty, staff, and students of BCF, so that they can in turn be a blessing and God's witness to the nations. You are all in our thoughts and prayers throughout the year, and we look forward to doing bigger and better things in the years to come. God bless!"

The Orlando Mission Team encourages and challenges other Florida Baptist Churches to minister to the next generation of Christian leaders by volunteering their time and skills on the BCF campus. For more information about BCF, its programs, and mission opportunities, please call 800-328-2660 ext. 460.