Llewellyn Jones knows God provides for those in need. As administration team leader for North Carolina Baptist Men, Jones sees God working in little and big ways.
“I’ve seen story after story of how God provides for us and how He provides for those in need,” Jones said, noting many times when she had personally seen God provide what was needed at the perfect moment.
Many times people hear of the North Carolina Baptist Men and don’t realize that women help make the organization as well.
As administration leader, Llewellyn Jones maintains constant contact with site coordinators via walkie-talkie and computer.
Although “men” is part of its name, both men and women make up its volunteer force. In fact, Richard Brunson, executive director of N.C. Baptist Men, says there are about as many women involved as men. Medical missions and dental bus ministries have more women volunteers than men.
“Our main purpose is to help churches involve their members in missions,” said Richard Brunson, executive director of North Carolina Baptist Men.
Over the last 20 years, the largest growth has been among women and students. Baptist Men has made efforts to use the name “Baptists on Mission” for the past 10 years.
To get to Baptist Men’s website, visitors type in the address baptistsonmission.org and will see “Baptists on Mission” at the top of the page.
“We simply couldn’t do disaster relief, medical missions and all our partnerships if we didn’t have women, men and students involved,” Brunson said.
A retired educator Jones still does contract work for Wilson County schools with deaf and blind children. A member of Forest Hills Baptist Church in Wilson, Jones said her main goal is to help the Baptist Men’s disaster relief site coordinator for each project.
Spring is a busy time for her because there are five regional weekend trainings to coordinate.
Along with helping coordinate Deep Impact for North Carolina Baptist Men, Dollie Noa has planned World Missions Week at Caswell for several years. Noa, seen here in her Vacation Bible School shirt, models some of the gear from J.D. Tew, senior pastor of Freedom Biker Church in Fayetteville.
Jones ensures there are badges for participants. She also finds vendors for various resources. She says the best description for an administrator is “other parts as assigned by supervisor,” indicating that anything can be requested, depending on the needs.
Jones said her church’s Baptist Men helped after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992. But when she saw the work firsthand after Hurricane Floyd struck North Carolina in 1999, Jones said she decided to get trained to help with disaster relief.
She is currently scheduling volunteers for Pamlico County where N.C. Baptist Men is working to help people recovering from Hurricane Irene.
She is also working to finalize details for training in Region 10 (Cherokee County).
“I have just been amazed at how awesome God is,” Jones said, “He blesses the people we go to work with but more so how He blesses us because we go.”
Jones is not the only woman who helps lead in N.C. Baptist Men. Dollie Noa, director of education and children at Alexis Baptist Church, spends time planning Deep Impact, a hands-on, weeklong retreat for students and their leaders.
“I’ve always had a passion for working with youth and young adults in mission,” she said.
This summer she is planning the Charlotte Deep Impact.
Before she began working at Alexis, Noa was on staff at First Baptist Church in Spring Lake. There, she began working with Red Springs Mission Camp.
She took her youth to the camp as a servant evangelism team to help care for the visiting teams. Her work there led to serving on the student mobilization committee.
Noa credits “a dear friend” with inspiring her to get involved with Baptist Men.
That friend’s involvement with disaster relief helped Noa get started.
“She’s won my heart … once her husband passed away she just went,” Noa said, responding to disaster after disaster.
In April 2011, Noa headed to Fayetteville. She was scheduled to speak at her former church. The tornadoes that ripped through left devastation throughout the community.
“It really hit home how close … when I saw it firsthand,” she said. With no other training other than feeding, Noa and her daughter cleared debris that week.
“We were able to come back [to Alexis] and share [how] you just don’t know when these things are going to happen,” Noa said.
Noa is excited that her current church is accepting the challenge of hands-on missions.
“There are a lot of opportunities for everyone,” Noa said.
“It has changed my whole feel.
“Everything I do revolves around missions. It’s not about being inside the church.”
Noa said she tries to think outside the box to challenge her congregation, including taking preschoolers to pick strawberries and delivering them to shut-ins.
“How can we say we love God and not love those around us?” Noa said. “I want to be used for Him.” Calling herself a “to-do list nut,” Noa said the administration side of Baptist Men can be an adventure.
BSC file photo by K Brown
Mary Carroll, right, pharmacy director at Sandhills Regional Medical Center, is one of many women who participates in North Carolina Baptist Men. Carroll, seen here in Ukraine, recently returned from coordinating three medical teams in the country.
“If I don’t mark anything off that to-do list, but I served Him, it’s worth it,” she said.
Mary Carroll had always sent her husband, Jack, off to help.
Part of the Rescue 24 team, he often responded to disasters.
Rescue 24 is made up of medical professionals who are able to respond within 24 hours to a hurricane, earthquake or other emergency.
He even pursued a paramedic degree so he could help more.
“I always stayed home so he could do all this,” Carroll said. Her own first experience serving was Hurricane Katrina.
Her husband had just returned from Sri Lanka, so Carroll was able to go. As one of the first feeding teams there, she said the experience really opened her eyes to what N.C. Baptist Men does.
The Carrolls, who are members of First Baptist Church in Hamlet, have three sons; at one time they had six teenagers in the house when they were taking care of a sibling’s children.
She saves up her holidays and vacation at her job as pharmacy director of Sandhills Regional Medical Center in Hamlet. She just returned from a three-week stint in Ukraine coordinating medical teams._ÑŒ
Working with Baptist Men has been an answer to Mary’s prayer to be used by God.
“It’s a way to use my skills,” she said. “When I was with Katrina, I just couldn’t believe the spirit of the people. They had lost everything yet they had such a spirit. It’s amazing what people are capable of … what they deal with every day … even just to touch somebody especially with the gypsies” in the Ukraine.
While Carroll is thankful she gets to use her skills for glorifying God, she’s also thankful for the turn in her spiritual life since being involved with Baptist Men.
“It’s funny because when we first started, I felt like I was on this dry place of land and Jesus gave me water,” she said. “It’s really done a lot for me personally.”
N.C. Baptist Men has many ministries for volunteers. Find out more by visiting baptistsonmission.org. Contact (800) 395-5102, ext. 5599.