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Unlikely: Equipped to Spread the Word

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Shy and intimidated. Unequipped, unqualified, and unlikely.

Christy felt just like most of us when it came to sharing God’s Word to those around her. She took a leap of faith, stepped out in obedience, and did something she never thought she would. Through the method of Discovery Bible Study, which takes the role of the teacher out and asks questions that make the participants discover what is says for themselves, she felt equipped, capable, and inspired to do what she felt she was called to do. She believed “the Spirit of God illuminating the Word of God is enough to produce the people of God.” She asked a few of her coworkers to do the study with her, and by the end of one study, they are planning to meet again as soon as possible in a bigger room. All of them were asking questions and completely bought into it what God was doing through their Bible study in their workplace.

Jennifer found herself in a similar position. She is a professor who teaches on Tuesdays at a local university. After going through our Engage class, she started to begin her class with an oral DBS. She asks questions like, “What does this passage say about God, Man, and Obedience?” and allows the class to call out answers as a whole. She’s taking her beliefs seriously, and having the courage to share the Good News when it might not be the norm.

Both women have extreme belief and courage, and are examples of how God equips the unlikely to spread His Word. 

July 16, 2015

Once a Slave, Now a Survivor

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During the past month in our anti-trafficking ministry, we were able to see a 22-year-old girl rescued out of sex-slavery in the Nashville area. With a childhood in strip clubs and surrounded by drugs, this young girl was vulnerable to a life marked by the pains of addiction and abuse. Our ministry partner, Rescue 1, and volunteers from Long Hollow were able to be a part of the rescue and restoration process over the past few weeks. As she walked through the process of detoxing, members of our church family stayed by her side and were able to be a listening ear and a smiling face. She was then safely transported to a safe house where she is now receiving proper counseling, healing, education and hearing about the ultimate freedom available in Christ.  This is why we do what we do week after week. It is for girls like her. She was once a slave, but is now a SURVIVOR. What a beautiful story to celebrate as we are seeing freedom rising on the streets of Nashville. There are hundreds more just like her who are being trafficked every day in our own backyard. Because we have all been rescued by Christ, we will fight for the rescue of others – each girl, each young child– until every slave is free.

July 15, 2015

LHBC in NYC: Mobilizing Ministry

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God is at work in New York City, and Long Hollow members are joining in.

Butch and Maribeth, a part of the Long Hollow family, are with the North American Mission Board in New York City and serving this summer as the City Coach to 53 NAMB GenSend college interns, of which our very own, Ashton Redden, is one.

Gordon Baines, a Long Hollow member and NextGen director of Final Command Ministries, a strategic missions partner of Long Hollow, along with Long Hollow missions intern, Ryan O’Neal, had the opportunity to visit Butch and Maribeth Burns this past week in Brooklyn, NY. Gordon and Ryan trained these students in Discovery Bible Study and Disciple Making Movements this past Wednesday, as they prepare to canvas their areas in NYC with the gospel.

“We can’t wait to hear the stories,” said Ryan O’Neal. “These interns really caught the vision and many of them said they were incredibly thankful of learning about the DBS, and excited to use it.”

After just a couple of days, already a team of NAMB interns experienced the Discovery Bible Study as a team to practice, and others were identifying people in their community, including a single mom, that they could walk in discovering God through His Word with the DBS.

From waving at locals in the streets of Brooklyn to meeting with church planters in coffee shops to overseeing 53 NAMB GenSend interns, Butch and Maribeth are in full stride serving the Lord in New York City. God is using them tremendously in a city where only six percent of the population is evangelical Christians, which has increased over the past few years.

In addition, Cullen Hicks is in New York City with Metro New York Baptist Association (MNYBA), serving as an intern working alongside a church planter in Queens.

The Long Hollow family is incredibly grateful for Butch, Maribeth, Ashton, and Cullen’s obedience and willingness, as they are a witness to us all.

As for the NAMB summer interns that Gordon and Ryan were able to train in DBS and DMM, this is just the beginning for them as they walk with the diverse community of New York City in discovering the God of the Bible. Pray for God’s Word to speak, bring dead souls to life, and to transform this city.

If you want to read and learn more about Butch and Maribeth Burns’ ministry, as well as many other Long Hollow Baptist Church missionaries go to https://longhollow.com/mobilize/.

If you want to know more about what God is doing through Discovery Bible Study and Disciple Making Movements, consider attending the Disciple Making Movements Experience July 16-17, 2015 at our Hendersonville campus.  Visit www.dmmexperience.com for more details.

July 1, 2015

Experiencing God in Bold Moves

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We are rejoicing constantly at the Work the Lord is doing at Long Hollow. He has equipped us to move and reach people far from Him. Jeff Armstrong, our Springfield Campus Pastor, recently shared a story about an experience he had praying, stepping out in faith, and boldly going where he was needed. Here’s what he had to say: 

I started going to the jail after Kelvin Penuel, one of our deacons, encouraged me to go. He has been going for years, and we both attended an orientation to be able to go and lead Bible studies in the different prison pods. 

It took me a few weeks to go, because I was somewhat apprehensive about being locked up in a pod with prisoners. However, I had been going through the Experiencing God study, and the day I decided to go, the lesson was on praying, allowing God to work, and then watching Him work. 

I went, and decided to go to the pod that houses the sex offenders, because a guard told me those guys always need to talk to people. I walked in, and asked if anyone would like to do a bible study. Four of the men came and I did a DBS study with them. Towards the end of the study, I shared what I had learned through my Experiencing God workbook. One of the guys mentioned he had read some of those devotionals before, and had always wanted to do that study. I was moved to ask them if they would like me to lead them in the study. I couldn’t promise anything, because there are restrictions on what the prisoners can have. 

In His faithfulness, God worked it out. Week after week, the group would grow, and other men asked if they could also join the study. Today, there are nine to ten guys in the study each week, with one other guy who just sits and listens. What God is doing in their hearts through this study is nothing short of incredible. And what God has taught me about boldness through this step of faith is amazing. 

June 25, 2015

At Home in Hillcrest

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“We needed to just go.”

Our Hillcrest Campus has been out and about in their community for weeks. They have a passion to reach their community and drive to go when called. About six weeks ago, they started to hit the streets surrounding their campus to greet their neighbors with meals each week and simply invite them to church. Their prayer was simple: “God, open doors.”

After their outreach strategy had moved from Wednesday nights to Sunday nights, over twenty people found themselves holding their weekly evening service in the home of one of those neighbors. God answered their prayer in a huge way.

The family’s home, that they were welcomed into, has experienced much heartache in the last few weeks. With a diagnosis of cancer for the father and a car wreck that left the mother bedridden, the whole family was ready for hope to enter their home.

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Hillcrest members had brought them meals for a few weeks, and they wanted to come to church, but due to their circumstances, weren’t able to leave their house. The people of Hillcrest rallied around this family by moving worship, the message and fellowship all to their house so they could attend. It was a beautiful picture of how God answers prayer and the obedience of some willing hearts to reach people for His glory.  Thank you, Lord, for opening doors!

June 22, 2015

Rescued & Redeemed: Jane’s Story

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On Friday, March 20, a Metro sting operation netted a repeat sex trafficking offender that ultimately provided freedom to a beautiful young lady, who we will call, Jane.  Rescue1 Global, a partner of Long Hollow, was called to intervene on Jane’s  behalf.

Jane is Korean, speaks very little English, and reads even less. Unaware of where she was, Rescue1 and Long Hollow worked tirelessly to develop communication with Jane in an effort to help her heal. They fell in love with Jane from the get-go, and she with them.  Through tools Long Hollow uses for Small Groups and discipleship (Discovery Bible Study), they learned that she had been taken as a 12-year-old girl from a small farming community. They also learned the story of hope and redemption that Jesus placed in her heart before she was taken.

Jane was a Buddhist. She learned about Jesus in a local church in Korea.  Her brother threatened to break her legs if she kept going to church.  She continued to go despite his increasing threats to take her life. When telling her story, she tearfully and joyfully recalled a moment in church when she was at choir rehearsal .

As the choir was practicing, a gentleman’s voice broke through from the back.  They all turned in shock to see that the man was in fact Jane’s brother!  She attributes his conversion to the mighty prayers of the church.  Today, Jane’s brother is a pastor and is in the process of building a Christian church in Korea. 

In the weeks following the sting operation, Jane was surrounded by friends who displayed the love of Christ to her everyday as she began healing, growing and learning what it meant to walk in freedom.  When Jane decided to stay in Tennessee for a a little while longer,  a Long Hollow family immediately offered financial support and even opened up their home to Jane.  She celebrated and danced with her new friends for weeks to come. Through the help of some amazing Long Hollow members, Jane found a Korean church in Nashville to attend. Jane’s zest for life was encouragement to everyone around her despite her past circumstances. 

When the day came for Jane’s trafficker to stand before a judge, Jane showed bravery and strength by agreeing to testify. We are happy to report that on March 30th, Jane’s previous trafficker pleaded guilty and was charged!

With the help of Long Hollow and Rescue1, Jane was able to reconnect with her family in the northeast. Jane continues to communicate with her Nashville friends daily, and is even taking a stand to go through training to rescue other victims for sex trafficking. We praise Jesus for the redemption in Jane’s life! 

April 22, 2015

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