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For Georgia college students on summer mission trips, there is joy in serving the Lord

Members of a Georgia BCM team on a Send Me Now trip to the Czech Republic pose for a group photo. From left: Eric Bergrab, Colt Brady, Alisha Philpot, Daniel Obuah, Chris Bryan, Montana Arnold, Erika Rowland, and Georgia Miller. (BCM/Chris Bryan)
STATESBORO, Ga. — “What are you guys doing here?” It was a question the Baptist Collegiate Ministry Send Me Now team from Georgia heard repeatedly during their time in the city of Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. It was a query which opened doors for sharing the gospel on their ten-day journey in June.
Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers clean up flood damage in a home in Iowa. (Photo/GBDR)
Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief teams deploy to Iowa, headed to Texas
Teams of Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers headed west to Iowa last week to assist residents dealing with damage caused by record flooding. Severe storms in late June dropped torrential rains on Iowa, causing major flooding as dams failed and rivers overflowed their banks. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds estimates that more than 5,000 homes were damaged by the storms, including at least 2,000 that are likely irreparable.
Students pray at Superwow camp in Panama City Beach, Fla. (Photo/Georgia Baptist Mission Board)
More than 200 students make decisions at GBMB summer camps
“Camp is back!” declared Chris Trent, NextGen catalyst for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. “Superwow and Impact have an amazing legacy here in Georgia. It was amazing this summer to see those camps continue to point teenagers to Jesus in such a powerful way.”
Brandon Porter, editor of Baptist Press, facilitates a panel at the 2024 SBC Annual Meeting with Tony Wolfe and John Kyle on the upcoming 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Cooperative Program. (Baptist Press/Lindsey Stumpf)
Study shows Southern Baptist pastors supportive of cooperative program
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — The large majority of Southern Baptist pastors believe the Cooperative Program supports the ministries and missions their church values and allows their church to support more missions endeavors than they could on their own.
U.S. Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Pastors pray for ‘God’s peace to break through’ after assassination attempt
BUTLER, Pa. (BP) – It happened for Bob Hurd and others at a wedding reception on the evening of Saturday, July 13. Phones began chiming with alerts and texts. Donald Trump had been shot.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures while surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents as he is helped off the stage after being shot at a campaign rally in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Governor says man killed at Trump rally was former fire chief who 'died a hero'
BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — On the heels of an attempt to kill him, former President Donald Trump called Sunday for unity and resilience as shocked leaders across the political divide recoiled from the shooting that left him wounded but “fine.” A former fire chief attending the rally with family was killed, as was the gunman. Two other people were also wounded.
Baptist Life

God is using Vacation Bible School in powerful ways across Georgia

Kids pray during Vacation Bible School at Ivy Creek Baptist Church.
Summer is here, and in many churches across Georgia, that means it is time for Vacation Bible School. VBS has been a mainstay of children’s ministry programs for decades, if not longer.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro has used background checks in its ministry for more than 10 years. “It gives us peace of mind,” said Kellie Clem, financial assistant at New Vision. “Also, there are occasions where it becomes a chance to talk with volunteers about their faith walk due to results that have come back.”
Every morning when she opens her eyes, Erica Patrick thanks God for life and breath and another day to serve Him. Before her feet hit the floor, she asks Him to take control of her day—to fill it with the good works He has ordained for her and to remove the plans that are not from Him.
FORT WORTH, Texas  — Seminary students can expect to face challenges in pursuing theological education, but heart failure at the age of 24 is not usually one of them.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has received a grant of $1.25 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Midwestern Institute for Preaching and Preachers.
Georgia
Traffic slows on Interstate 75 approaching Atlanta on March 11, 2024. (Index/Henry Durand, File)

Georgia transportation officials set plans for additional $1.5 billion in spending

ATLANTA (AP) — Transportation officials on Thursday announced plans to spend an extra $1.5 billion on projects in Georgia. Gov. Brian Kemp and lawmakers approved the money earlier this year, dipping into the state's $10.7 billion surplus to speed up state and local roadbuilding.

Georgia man arraigned on charges of threatening FBI Director Christopher Wray, authorities say

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia man was arraigned Thursday on federal charges of threatening to kill the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. John Donovan Woodbury, 34, of the Atlanta area suburb of Roswell, was arraigned in federal court in Atlanta, U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan announced.

A Georgia death row inmate says a prosecutor hid a plea deal with a key witness, tainting his trial

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Attorneys for a Georgia inmate sent to death row 25 years ago are accusing a prosecutor of hiding a deal that they contend casts doubt on the credibility of a crucial trial witness. Warren King was sentenced to death in September 1998 after an Appling County jury convicted him of murdering Karen Crosby, a convenience store clerk who was fatally shot during an armed robbery in southeast Georgia.

Sheriff's deputies fatally shoot 2 people while serving a warrant in Georgia

ALTO, Ga. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies who were serving a warrant in another county shot and killed two people in northeast Georgia on Tuesday. The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said deputies were serving an arrest warrant on a sex offender for violating the conditions of his probation in the Banks County town of Alto.
Nation
Merri Cambo, left, of Saxonburg, Pa., and her friend, Jane Wesolosky, of Buffalo, Pa., react as the funeral procession for Corey Comperatore passes Friday, July 19, 2024, in Sarver, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Firefighter killed at Trump rally honored with bagpipes, gun salute and a bugle sounding taps

CABOT, Pa. (AP) — The keen of bagpipes, a three-volley gun salute and a bugle sounding taps pierced the air of a small Pennsylvania town on Friday as hundreds gathered to honor an ex-fire chief who was shot and killed at a rally for former President Donald Trump.

Biden's campaign chair acknowledges support 'slippage' but says he's 'staying in the race'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's campaign is insisting anew that he is not stepping aside as he faces the stark reality that many Democrats at the highest levels want him to consider how stepping aside from the 2024 election to make way for a new nominee atop the ticket could be the party's best chance of preventing widespread losses in November.

Massachusetts lawmakers call on the Pentagon to ground the Osprey again until crash causes are fixed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three Massachusetts lawmakers are pressing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to ground the V-22 Osprey aircraft again until the military can fix the root causes of multiple recent accidents, including a deadly crash in Japan.

Trump, in highly personal speech, accepts GOP nomination again days after assassination attempt

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Donald Trump, defiant and bandaged, accepted the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in a speech that largely focused on uniting his party — and the nation — just five days after an assassination attempt that could have ended his life.
World
Travelers wait in Terminal 1 for check-in at Hamburg Airport, in Hamburg, Germany, Friday July 19, 2024. (Bodo Marks/dpa via AP)

A faulty software update causes havoc worldwide for airlines, hospitals and governments

NEW YORK (AP) — A faulty software update caused technological havoc worldwide on Friday, grounding flights, knocking down some financial companies and news outlets, and disrupting hospitals, small businesses and government offices.

Drone strike by Yemen's Houthi rebels kills 1 person and wounds at least 10 in Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — An Iranian-made drone sent by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck Tel Aviv on Friday, leaving one person dead and at least 10 wounded in the group’s first lethal strike into Israel.

Russia convicts US reporter of espionage after a trial widely seen as politically motivated

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (AP) — Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was convicted Friday of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in a maximum-security prison on charges that his employer and the U.S. government have rejected as fabricated.

The winner in China's panda diplomacy: the pandas themselves

WASHINGTON (AP) — China's panda diplomacy may have one true winner: the pandas themselves. Decades after Beijing began working with zoos in the U.S. and Europe to protect the species, the number of giant pandas in the wild has risen to 1,900, up from about 1,100 in the 1980.
Perspectives
On a recent Sunday, Connie and I were able to attend our home church together and reconnect with some of our friends. We heard a great sermon from Dr. Andy McDonald, who is serving as our interim pastor while we search for our next pastor.  
While on vacation or traveling for business, finding a place to worship, especially when a tight schedule requires traveling on Sunday, can be a challenge. Yet, the worship and fellowship experienced on many of those occasions may be enhanced by the providential hand of God, opening the church doors we normally would not have opened, and by introducing us to new friends along the way.
It’s been written that Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, once hired an expert to gauge the efficiency of his company.  A few weeks later, the man presented a very positive report, except for one thing. “It’s that man down the hall,” the expert reported. “Every time I go by his office he’s just sitting there with his feet on his desk. He’s wasting your money.” “That man,” answered Ford, “once had an idea that saved us millions of dollars. At that time, I believe his feet were planted right where they are now.”
Eddie Drinkard is a member of Green Acres Baptist Church in Athens, a real estate broker who focuses on selling property with large acreage, and a very gracious Christian gentleman. One of the things Drinkard does to serve his church is to maintain the grounds, including doing whatever landscaping is necessary, and providing pine straw whenever it is required.
Sunday morning! The sun is out, the church doors are unlocked, the AC is on (and working!), and the fellowship hall smells of homemade breakfast. A week has come and gone, and now it’s time to worship and fellowship with the church family.
Business
An Amazon Prime shipping box label is seen on March 17, 2023, in East Derry, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Amazon Prime Day is a big event for scammers, experts warn

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon Prime Day is here, and experts are reminding consumers to be wary of scams. Deceptions such as phony emails from people impersonating online retailers like Amazon are nothing new. But phishing attempts increase amid the heavy spending seen during significant sales events, whether it's Black Friday or Prime Day, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Walmart retools its young adult clothing line in pursuit of fashion credibility

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart has spent three years overhauling its mix of adult apparel to make it stylish as well as sensible for middle America. Now, the nation's largest retailer is seizing the back-to-school shopping season to take another shot at fashion respectability.

Retail sales unchanged in June as high interest rates persist

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers paused their spending June from May as they wrestle with high interest rates that have made buying anything on credit more expensive. Retail sales were unchanged in June from May, after being revised upward 0.3% in May, according to the Commerce Department.

Data of nearly all AT&T customers downloaded to a third-party platform in a 2022 security breach

The data of nearly all customers of the telecommunications giant AT&T was downloaded to a third-party platform in a 2022 security breach, the company said Friday, in a year already rife with massive cyberattacks.

Inflation cools, though still a concern for many Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation in the United States cooled in June for a third straight month, though prices are still up 3% from last year. 
Sports
Argentina's Lionel Messi holds the trophy while celebrating with teammates after defeating Colombia in the Copa America final in Miami Gardens, Fla., Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Argentina wins record 16th Copa America title, beats Colombia 1-0 after Messi gets hurt

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Argentina won its second straight Copa America championship, overcoming Lionel Messi’s second-half leg injury to beat Colombia 1-0 Sunday night on Lautaro Martínez’s 112th-minute goal.

d'Arnaud hits two homers, drives in 4 runs in Atlanta 6-3 win over San Diego

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Travis d’Arnaud had two home runs and four RBIs, Chris Sale pitched five solid innings for his major league-leading 13th win and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 6-3 on Sunday in the final game before the All-Star break.

Olympic diver trusts God’s purposes in journey from retirement to second Olympics

PARIS — Disappointed in her performance at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Alison Gibson said goodbye to the sport of diving for good. At least, that was her intention. “I felt like I let my country down, let my friends down,” Gibson said. “It was just like a really gut-wrenching feeling.” She officially retired and began what she considered to be a “normal” life — working, making money, and having free time.

Carlos Alcaraz wins Wimbledon by beating Novak Djokovic and now owns 4 Slam titles at age 21

LONDON (AP) — For Carlos Alcaraz, there was one brief blip in the Wimbledon men's final against Novak Djokovic on Sunday, one five-point stretch that took him from the verge of victory to close to a collapse.