First Baptist Church of Kenton, Kenton, OH

Mission Trips


2015 Missions Trip to Romania


Romania Pre-trip Warm-up

8/3/2015 - We are getting ready to go! Four more days...... Our donors have overwhelmed us with 26 balls for soccer, volleyball, basketball and tetherball games. It is quite an encouragement. Pray for us as we finish up all the last minute details (see family, finish work, get pets taken care of and prepare to go). Especially pray for us that we may have boldness to share the Gospel, during travel as well as in-country. We are asking the Father to transform us through this experience to be more like Christ, which is not always comfortable. Your prayers are the fuel for this trip and we need every one! - PBJ


From PBJ: Detroit Airport

We are here!! Our first connection was just over an hour and it looked bleak. However, the captain came on before takeoff and said, " since this is going to be a short flight....". We had a big tailwind and arrived an hour early, what an answer to prayer! The next two flights were both on schedule and we arrived with no problems, your prayers are being answered. On the way to our apartments Dave took us by the church and it was something else. They have to drive over a quarter of a mile up a hill (mountain in our eyes) following a small stream. Yes, drive in a river. In winter they park at the bottom and walk the entire way!! When asked how often that cancels they said almost never. What a challenge to us. Tomorrow we will be ministering in church there and in Osorhei. If you remember, Osorhei is where we raised money to finish the roof of the church. We will be taking pictures.





From John: We arrived in our apartment at 6:00 PM local time, 11:00 am your time. Preston and I could not sleep on the flight so we have not slept since Thursday night our time!!! What an experience. Preston is doing great, he has shown no signs of stress and has taken everything in great stride. We made all of our connections without any issues and we got a lot more stamps in our passport book! We visited the church it is really nice and where we are staying is quite comfy. To be coompletely honest I am having a hard time believing we are in Romania. With the nonstop travel and all it may take a day or two to sink in where we are. I hope all is going okay at home. We are getting ready to eat pizza and go to bed!!! We will be involved in 2 church services tomorrow, so here we go. This is definitely something that will stay with Preston for quite some time.






Sunday, August 9th, 2015, BobbiJo and Lisa:

We spent the day at two church services: this morning we were at Luncsoara. This is the church of Ruth and Dave Kimmel. Let us be in prayer for endurance, that the missionaries not be discouraged for low church attendance, and gentleness in dealing with the nationals when disciplining. Also pray that they walk worthy of God's calling 1Thess 2:1-12. We had 27 children in our children's church this morning that all the ladies helped teach.

The second church we attended was at Osorhei where we got to worship with Pastor Yosef. Pastor BJ spoke, interpreted by Dave, and Jim and Lena gave their testmonies. Just to know that we are 5,000 miles away from each other we are worshiping the same God and praising HIS name.

It has been wonderful to see the culture and interesting sights; we even were able to see a real shepherd in his field with his sheep. It truly brought the Bible to life. We thank you for your prayers for us. Please pray for us as we will be working outside tomorrow. The temperature has been unually the 90's and even humid. We have an upcoming teen night Friday, a rather large event that draws in many young believers. The ladies will be teaching a lesson and crafts.

We love you all, again thank you for your prayers.































Update on the Mission Trip: We just finished day one of our work day and boy was it hot. Temperatures were in the low 90's with high humidity. Romania has been experiencing unusually high temperatures and are really dry. One crew started working on replacing the soffit that had been blown off, another crew started weeding around the church and The crew Preston and I were on started working on the soccer field. We dug holes, started leveling the field and filled 3 tires with concrete for volleyball nets and tether ball. It was really sunny and really sweaty but we all got along great. More of the same tomorrow. It has been really great to get to know Dave and Ruth in their environment and see what they deal with everyday. Preston saw an example today that no matter where you are in the world people act the same and treat people who are "different" not very nicely. Winding down for the night getting ready for another day. Dave's ministry partner Luke Warner will be joining us tomorrow!

John Brien



My name is Preston Brien. I am really enjoying my trip to Romania. Today we have been working hard on preparing a soccer field, putting up soffit, and pulling weeds. Brady, John(Dad), Mr.Jim and myself worked on the soccer field. Mr.Tom, Bobbijo,and PBJ worked on soffit, while Mrs.Lisa and Mrs. Melissa worked on weeding. While we were digging holes for the soccer field a teenager named Donnie came from the village and helped us clean out the holes. He brought great joy to us although we did not understand him we could still communicate a little with him. We had a great time.


Tuesday Work - August 11th

Hello from Romania! Today was another very hot day here in this beautiful country. We have had a wonderful time serving and fellowshiping with the Kimmels. They have taken very good care of us making sure we each drink lots and lots of water and feeding us incredible and large Romanian meals. The soffit work is coming along very well. Tom has taught several of our crew including PBJ, Brady, and Preston how to cut and fit all the pieces. They are hoping to get the whole building finished. The women have been weeding, weeding, and weeding. Oh! And also moving a whole lotta stone for the landscaping. We rock! Jim has spent hours leveling the soccer field and helping with the hand mixing and pouring the footers for the soccer goals. The kids, Brady, Preston, and Amber Kimmel, have loved getting the water for the cement from the old fashioned well. John is an all around guy. He has been heading the cement team, painting gates, and moving stone. All the women have been able to go up behind the church to the Roma village and meet some of the people.This morning we got to visit a veterinary clinic and health food store in Alesd. Tomorrow we will get to see a few more specialty stores while we look for paint for a small mural in the Sunday school room. Each day we have had a visitor to the church property. A young man named Donny is from the Roma (gypsy) village. We don't know how old he is but he is a special needs young man. He is a joy to have around and a very hard and willing worker. He loves to show us his muscles :-) With all the hard work we are doing, we are learning to have a joy-filled servant's heart. We are having lots of fun sweating together, growing together, and experiencing the Romanian culture. We appreciate your prayers and are so glad we have so many prayer warriors back in the States.

Lots of Love,

Lena and Melissa

























Update from John Brien:

Finished day two if anyone ever tells you that 95 degrees and a dry heat is different than 95 and high humidity they are wrong, it is still HOT. We had a good day, we worked on our soccer field again and painted a fence along with a few other projects. Preston kept very busy running errands for everyone.



Wednesday night, August 12th:

A great day of work today and also a very hot one. It was sunny and got up to 97 degrees, with no air conditioning. Whew. One job is done as we have finished the soccer goals, volleyball goals and tetherball goal. Three other jobs we are working on are making benches for people to sit on, finishing repairs on the soffits and painting the new gate posts. Pray for us as we finish these jobs up, both for safety and strength. Everyone is really tired from the heat. Today we had a great time also talking with our hosts here, learning more about their family. Additionally, an old gentleman from the village near the church came with fresh pears from his "garden". He is an alcoholic but was sober today. Please pray for us - for boldness in speaking and understanding people's needs as we come in contact with them. We know these meetings are no accident and want to be an encouragement to the people and the church. Thursday is another church day and we will be ministering to a church the Finks started in Cheriu. On Friday, we will be holding a teen service with up to 40 teens. Please pray for that too. As you can see, we need a lot of prayer. As a matter of fact, your prayers are the fuel that drives our ministry. Thank you for each and every one!!! PBJ

 Romania 1







Update from John this morning: We are done working for the day
and are getting ready to go to church this evening. We went to an
open air market. Preston got to see some of the meteor shower
(the same one Kriss, Aunt Ty and David saw during their run this
morning) but it was limited.













Thursday, August 13th

Thursday, we start the day off with John's gourmet cooking and get the day started with bible study. We get picked up about 8:00 and head to the church. After arriving at the church our friend Donnie comes over from the community to help, he's a very hard worker and fun to be around, makes you smile, very good day we got alot accomplished throughout this week so far, VERY WARM here but God is good all the time. Went to open market this AM (fun) service this evening was great paster yosief preached tonight out of Matthew on how powerful God is. We got to meet Niku tonight at service and he is so thankful for all of our prayers back home, He called us his spiritual parents because we sent the Finks and have been praying for him like parents do. It has been a joy getting to know the Kimmels and there family, continue to keep us in prayer, tomorrow night is teen night and we will get to use the soccer field for the first time. - Tom



The guys with Nicu (center, under the cross). He is so grateful for all our prayers through the years. He said he is going to pray for us as a son for his parents. This is at the church at Cheriu.





The children love to see themselves in the picture! They enjoyed learning how to say my name. Never heard it here before. Bobbijo






Cat's eyes- a Romanian delicacy






Friday, August 14th

Finished up the day and boy was it a good one. We started a little slow due to being a little tired. But we started to split wood for the Kimmels and it was much cooler today at 94 degrees! We also had children/teen night tonight. We had a puppet show and the ladies put together a fantastic program for the teens and then we finished the night playing soccer on our new field. Preston had a blast. We played old people versus the young ones, the old men prevailed! The Kimmels are taking us on a surprise trip tomorrow.


























What a wonderful day it has been today! The men began the day by finishing up a project at the church and helping Dave chop wood in our backyard, while the ladies worked on a project for Ruth. In the evening the team assisted Ruth during the children's class and, to the delight of the young children, performed a puppet skit on the Parable of the Sower. The children especially loved it when Preston tossed up sequins to represent the sower's seeds. smile emoticon Then the teenage youth group met and had a wonderful time with the team. The team taught the lesson on Eph 4's "putting offs" and "putting ons", which resonated well with the Roma teens. They loved the games and the t-shirt craft, but the best part was playing soccer together on our new field after the meeting. Everyone loved it and the men on the team especially enjoyed using the field which they had worked on all week. Thanks again to the team and to those back home who are praying for them! - Dave & Ruth Kimmel





Saturday, August 15th

Salina Turda - salt mine 175 yards underground. Open since the Roman Empire!




















From Bobbijo: Has been a long wk, but have met many lovely people on this journey. The team have shared and carried for each other. Hard hard working group from the youngest to the more mature, they just never gave up! In about 3 hrs will be getting to the airport to come home, pray for the group, we have one that has not been feeling well. God speed!! THANK YOU ALL for your prayers , we could feel from more then 5,0000 miles away !! This was a gift from our renters! GOD IS GOOD!







Leaving Cluj. (PBJ)












Photos from 2014 Summer Camp in the Dominican Republic

Summer camp in the Dominican Republic was great this year!

Our Missions Board was a sponsor in 2014 and helped fund camp so every child in COTN's care was able to enjoy games, Bible lessons, crafts, and other fun activities organized by the Venture Team that came to put on the camp.

DR summer camp

DR summer camp2










DR summer camp3DR summer camp4









Dominican Republic Venture Trip

July 5-12, 2014



Venture Trip Update

The 2014 Kenton First Baptist Venture Trip to the Barahona district of the Dominican Republic is in the pages of our history now. But it is not just an historic event, it along with everything we do to further the Kingdom of God is of eternal weight.  Here is a recap of what we did:

-Helped the Sponsorship Coordinator, Edwin Feliz update sponsor profiles in the Dominican neighborhood of Don Bosco in the city of Barahona.
-Also worked with Edwin in the Haitian-Dominican batey of Algodon to help the sponsor children write letters to their sponsors.
-Scraped and painted the school and skill center in Pueblo Nuevo, also a Dominican neighborhood situated in the poorest part of Barahona.
-Hosted an 8th Grade Graduation for 68 students at Casa Betesda.
-Delivered gifts to our sponsored children in the batey of Los Robles, which is also our "partner village" and played a little wiffle ball while we were there.

As you can tell our team of 11 were spread out and kept busy!  We are glad to have had the opportunity to serve in other villages and in other aspects of the ministry of Children of the Nations.  




Why do we go?


     1.  We go because we are commanded (Matthew 28:18-20)

     2.  We go because Jesus was the first missionary from heaven to earth (Matt. 1:23)

     3.  We go because our brothers and sisters need our help (James 2:14-17)




Mission to Uganda (August 13-27, 2013)

Craig Houser traveled to Uganda in August of 2013 with Wheels for the World through the ministry of Joni and Friends.

Wheels for the World provides a free wheelchair, along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults affected by disability worldwide.

Since 1994, our Wheels for the World ministry has presented the Gospel by delivering wheelchairs and Bibles in developing countries. But Wheels for the World is not simply about “dropping off a wheelchair.” It’s about changing the hearts, minds, and lives of people. It’s about transforming societies, village by village, person by person.

Wheels for the World shares the love of Jesus Christ, extended through the gift of mobility, bringing hope, joy, and salvation to children and adults with disabilities around the world.