By Beverly Key
What has many strollers, many babies, many parents and many children running around wearing “Jesus loves me” stickers and expressing many thanks. The answer is the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s two diaper changing and nursing moms booths at the New Mexico State Fair.
Beverly Key and her husband think the booths are the best public relations effort the Baptists could ever make. She said, “This will be our 6th year to volunteer, and we really enjoy it!!”
Don’t worry, volunteers don’t have to change the diapers, but they must attend the training session led by Cheryl Vaughn and John Roe. Regarding the training, Key said, “They do an excellent job and even feed us.”
Parents appreciate a friendly booth to nurse and change their babies. Key said she always tries to let them know that all the New Mexico Baptist churches go together to pay for the booths.
“It’s a lot of fun and a great ministry to show God’s love,” she says. “Try it and I think you’ll like it as much as we do.”
Interacting with Unreached People
By Susan Parker
Fall is coming. School is back. Cooler weather and the New Mexico State Fair are arriving, too.
For several years, I had seen articles about the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s booths at the State Fair. I had even wanted to participate, but felt limited by distance and parenting responsibilities. The simple service that the BCNM booth provided intrigued me – a diaper changing and nursing mom’s station. Finally, the fall of 2015 provided an opportunity.
With my family’s move to Albuquerque during 2015’s summer, I was able, along with my daughter, to volunteer for the BCNM’s booths. The two of us attended an evening training session at the convention office, with dinner included. There, we learned more details about how the booth operates, what resources volunteers have available for conversations and questions, and the all-important instruction, “WE DON’T CHANGE DIAPERS!” Only a child’s parents or guardians could do the diaper changing. While a parent changed the diaper, volunteers were to visit with other family members, give stickers to siblings, and provide a private space for nursing or feeding a baby. We also learned about the resources available for adult diaper changes and how much that is appreciated by the people who need that particular service.
Since my daughter was taking college classes, we worked around her schedule to find a time that allowed us to work together. We learned that, often, church groups plan a day-long event to come and volunteer at the booths, and then enjoy the fair. My daughter and I were able to enter the fair early, visit exhibits and eating a delicious green chili burger before arriving for our assigned time in the booth.
Parents visiting the booth were incredibly appreciative of the clean, convenient place to care for their small children. Multiple times, we explained how New Mexico Baptists care about families and want to share God’s love. Often, we found chances to ask if a family had a church that they regularly attend. If they didn’t, we used a notebook list to identify BCNM churches near their home.
During one memorable encounter, two young sisters were looking at the many colorful Gospel tracts displayed on the booth’s literature table. When they became interested in a particular one, we read through the tract with them, explaining how they could live a life of faith in Jesus. Later, after enjoying the fair activities, the same two girls returned to the booth asking for a Bible, which we happily provided.
Representing the New Mexico Baptists at the State Fair was an exciting way to interact with many of our state’s unreached people and was an easy way to be a point of light for the Gospel. The diaper changing station is fully equipped, thanks to the generous Cooperative Program giving of New Mexico Baptists, and is available for a church or association to use at a local event, too.
To volunteer as an individual or as a group, contact Cheryl Vaughn at 505-924-2314, firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up for the time that best fits your schedule. You won’t be disappointed. Click here to register for the training on Thursday, September 1, from 6-8pm.