Louisiana Baptists make missions trip to Arkansas Delta, help with VBS

Children enjoy VBS at Earle Baptist Church. (Submitted)

Louisiana Baptists recently embarked on a missions trip to the Arkansas Delta where they helped two local churches host Vacation Bible School.  

Mike Mathena, pastor at Grand Caillou Baptist in Houma, Louisiana, who was present during part of the trip, said they helped host Vacation Bible School during the morning at Earle Baptist Church then in the evening they cooked dinner for anybody who showed up and did Vacation Bible School at New Beginnings Faith Church in Wynne. Some of the dinners they cooked included fish, chicken and sausage gumbo, shrimp stew and spaghetti.  

“Earle Baptist Church was happy to host Vacation Bible School with a team from Bayou Baptist Association June 26-29,” Pastor Tony Wells said. “This is the first VBS held in several years at Earle and the response was overwhelming. Plans are already underway for VBS 2024.”  

Though this was Bayou Baptist Association’s first missions trip to include Earle Baptist Church, Mathena said this was their fifth year at New Beginnings Faith Church.  

“We’ve been able to develop a really nice relationship over the years,” Mathena said. “We are from down the bayou. Down the bayou and Arkansas Delta, we share a lot of the same characteristics and it kind of makes us uniquely qualified to minister to them. Those were very small Baptist churches and if somebody didn’t come help them, they wouldn’t be able to do Vacation Bible School. Over the years, the Lord has used us to lead kids to Jesus. That’s the reason we keep going.”   

Steve Nelson, pastor at New Beginnings Faith Church, said it is not just Vacation Bible School the folks from Louisiana have helped with over the years. They helped paint the church one year and even helped put in a drainage system another year.  

“They’ve really been a blessing to us. They’re good people. People of God seeking to do God’s work,” Nelson said. “It was a wonderful experience, especially for the children because they work so well with them. They’re just a group of people seeking to do God’s work. It’s been a blessing to us every year they’ve come here.”  

Nelson said the church, located at 336 West Davis St., will have a block party on Thursday, July 20. During the event, set for 5 to 7 p.m., he said they will be giving out school supplies.  

“We’re just trying to be a blessing to the community,” Nelson said.  

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