In 2001 the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship launched a rural poverty initiative called “Together for Hope.” It is a 20-year commitment to “offer hope to people in and around 20 of the poorest counties in the United States.” Two of those counties, Lee and Phillips, are located here in Arkansas. Helena is situated on the eastern border of Phillips county, right on the Mississippi River.
PHBC members have banded together with the CBF of Arkansas to provide mission work. The goal is to give new life and opportunity to people of the Mississippi Delta region in Phillips and Lee Counties. A PHBC team has worked for a week each summer in Bible Day Camp and library ministries. The week includes teaching swimming lessons to all the children in VBS as well as evening swim classes for adults.
In addition to going and working, the church supplies items of need in the Together for Hope ministry. We have collected hundreds of coats, hats, and mittens for residents of all ages. School supplies, bicycles, and books for the Community Center’s book-mobile are delivered in time for back-to-school. Swim suits, beach towels and tote bags are collected before VBS week each summer for the residents taking swimming lessons. We continue to provide help in any way that is requested.
A new area of work is childhood literacy. The Stories on Wheels bus goes to different locations in Helena, Elaine, Lake View and surrounding communities to do read-aloud programs and book distributions. PHBC has been actively involved in helping provide a new book for every child in the program each Christmas. The book “wish list” may be found at “Stories on Wheels’ or “Together for Hope” on amazon.com. We also collect “gently used” books for the program. Each child also receives a Bible for their home, so that they may read together and learn more about Christ’s love.
Let us know if you’d like to be involved!