Episode 549

Florida Church Expands Outreach, Remember Rhonda Kelley & Turning To Prayer

Feb 20, 2024

With a recent mission trip to Australia, Fruit Cove Church in North Florida has reached its goal of extending its missions footprint to all seven continents. Author, speaker and a mentor to many, Rhonda Kelley was known for her vibrant spirit and dedication in serving women in the local church, in the seminary classroom, and at the state and denominational level. And, Augustine is credited as having said, “God had only one Son who never sinned, but He never had any sons who didn’t suffer.”

Transcript

With a recent mission trip to Australia, Fruit Cove Church in North Florida has reached its goal of extending its missions footprint to all seven continents.

While it’s something the church has celebrated, Jonathan Wilson, the church’s families and missions pastor, will tell you the church still has more to do.

Through a combination of short-term mission trips and partnerships over the past seven and a half years that Wilson has been on staff, the church was able to reach this goal, including the mobilization of 160 people to six continents on 17 trips in 2023 alone. Wilson said he was initially inspired by Tim Maynard, now pastor emeritus at the church, who shared his desire for reaching all the continents.
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Author, speaker and a mentor to many, Rhonda Kelley was known for her vibrant spirit and dedication in serving women in the local church, in the seminary classroom, and at the state and denominational level.

Through the years, she helped expand women’s ministry program at New Orleans Seminary to include women’s ministry specializations and training at every academic level as women serve women in lay ministry, on church staffs, in academia, and other avenues of ministry.

As a writer and editor, Rhonda Kelley’s contribution as managing editor of the bestselling “Woman’s Study Bible,” published in 1995 by Thomas Nelson, helped produce a work that to date has sold more than two million copies.

Kelley served also as managing editor for “The Study Bible for Women,” published by Holman Bible Publishers in 2015, as well as managing editor for the companion titles “Women’s Evangelical Commentary” for the Old Testament and the New Testament.
She passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer. She is now home with Jesus.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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Augustine is credited as having said, “God had only one Son who never sinned, but He never had any sons who didn’t suffer.” The pain of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane was horrific. He gathered His closest friends and confided, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:38-39).

When His pain was the greatest, Jesus turned to prayer, and so can we. When we pray when suffering seems unbearable, we are choosing to surrender to God’s purpose rather than to our pain. Jesus repeatedly prayed in surrender to the will of God.

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